September 18, 2019

Front page of Hacker News!

aaavl2821

My blog post on valuing drugs and biotech companies got to the front page of Hacker News, though for just a short time. Here's the post:

https://www.baybridgebio.com/drug_valuation.html

I got about 1,000 visitors from this post, so pretty small in terms of what I've seen others get from HN spikes. But HN is not that into biotech content so it was cool to see this get attention. The traffic didn't convert super well: just 1.35% of people signed up for my newsletter. For reference, last week 12% of my ~200 visitors signed up.

This was the first blog post that had an embedded tool: a drug valuation calculator. It has a list of inputs that help determine valuation, and you can change the input and recalculate the value. As a self-taught hobbyist programmer, it was fun to build this more interactive blog post. The page itself is just a static html / css page. The backend is a Flask-RESTful API hosted on heroku. A javascript file connects the static site with the backend. Since I don't know anything about devops or setting up servers, and don't write very performant code, this setup lets me rely on free Netlify servers for pretty much all the content and then only touches the application server on Heroku if users use the tool.

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