We all love Hacker News for similar reasons. We share common interests in subjects such as hacking, technology and startups. As a community we also love to create things, with many of us putting large amounts of our free time each week into creating new products and services that will hopefully be used and enjoyed by people like ourselves.
Even when you have a great idea it won't always make a great product if the execution isn't perfect. We often need a little feedback on what we're doing wrong along the way, but we also need to know what we're doing right. Hacker News provides us the perfect community to obtain feedback from more experienced users through Show and Ask HN submissions.
I recently read an interesting article by Alex Ramadan explaining why we should always up vote Show HN submissions, and I agree, we generally should. I don't think we should stop there though, we shouldn't just blindly up vote the post, take a quick look. What's the first thing you like? What's the first thing you notice could be improved? When you've found something you like and something to improve leave a comment, it only takes a minute or two. I often see Show HN submissions with a quite a few upvotes with 0 comments or often worst, 1 or 2 comments along the lines of, 'I don't like the menu, it's too confusing'. That isn't helping anyone. Someone has probably worked extremely hard building that and they now have no idea if anyone actually found it useful or not. Sure let them know the menu could use some work, but they need to know what they're doing right.
So let's try to be a bit more positive. Often users aren't just looking for criticism but also for a little bit of encouragement and reassurance that what they've worked on for the last 6 months has been worthwhile.