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SAHIL SAPRU

SAHIL SAPRU

1 year ago

Growth tactics that grew businesses from 1 to 100

More on Entrepreneurship/Creators

The woman

The woman

1 year ago

Because he worked on his side projects during working hours, my junior was fired and sued.

Many developers do it, but I don't approve.

Art made by the author

Aren't many programmers part-time? Many work full-time but also freelance. If the job agreement allows it, I see no problem.

Tech businesses' policies vary. I have a friend in Google, Germany. According to his contract, he couldn't do an outside job. Google owns any code he writes while employed.

I was shocked. Later, I found that different Google regions have different policies.

A corporation can normally establish any agreement before hiring you. They're negotiable. When there's no agreement, state law may apply. In court, law isn't so simple.

I won't delve into legal details. Instead, let’s talk about the incident.

How he was discovered

In one month, he missed two deadlines. His boss was frustrated because the assignment wasn't difficult to miss twice. When a team can't finish work on time, they all earn bad grades.

He annoyed the whole team. One team member (anonymous) told the project manager he worked on side projects during office hours. He may have missed deadlines because of this.

The project manager was furious. He needed evidence. The manager caught him within a week. The manager told higher-ups immediately.

The company wanted to set an example

Management could terminate him and settle the problem. But the company wanted to set an example for those developers who breached the regulation.

Because dismissal isn't enough. Every organization invests heavily in developer hiring. If developers depart or are fired after a few months, the company suffers.

The developer spent 10 months there. The employer sacked him and demanded ten months' pay. Or they'd sue him.

It was illegal and unethical. The youngster paid the fine and left the company quietly to protect his career.

Right or wrong?

Is the developer's behavior acceptable? Let's discuss developer malpractice.

During office hours, may developers work on other projects? If they're bored during office hours, they might not. Check the employment contract or state law.

If there's no employment clause, check country/state law. Because you can't justify breaking the law. Always. Most employers own their employees' work hours unless it's a contractual position.

If the company agrees, it's fine.

I also oppose companies that force developers to work overtime without pay.

Most states and countries have laws that help companies and workers. Law supports employers in this case. If any of the following are true, the company/employer owns the IP under California law.

  • using the business's resources

  • any equipment, including a laptop used for business.

  • company's mobile device.

  • offices of the company.

  • business time as well. This is crucial. Because this occurred in the instance of my junior.

Company resources are dangerous. Because your company may own the product's IP.  If you have seen the TV show Silicon Valley, you have seen a similar situation there, right?

Conclusion

Simple rule. I avoid big side projects. I work on my laptop on weekends for side projects. I'm safe. But I also know that my company might not be happy with that.

As an employee, I suppose I can. I can make side money. I won't promote it, but I'll respect their time, resources, and task. I also sometimes work extra time to finish my company’s deadlines.

Pat Vieljeux

Pat Vieljeux

1 year ago

In 5 minutes, you can tell if a startup will succeed.

Or the “lie to me” method.

I can predict a startup's success in minutes.

Just interview its founder.

Ask "why?"

I question "why" till I sense him.

I need to feel the person I have in front of me. I need to know if he or she can deliver. Startups aren't easy. Without abilities, a brilliant idea will fail.

Good entrepreneurs have these qualities: He's a leader, determined, and resilient.

For me, they can be split in two categories.

The first entrepreneur aspires to live meaningfully. The second wants to get rich. The second is communicative. He wants to wow the crowd. He's motivated by the thought of one day sailing a boat past palm trees and sunny beaches.

What drives the first entrepreneur is evident in his speech, face, and voice. He will not speak about his product. He's (nearly) uninterested. He's not selling anything. He's not a salesman. He wants to succeed. The product is his fuel.

He'll explain his decision. He'll share his motivations. His desire. And he'll use meaningful words.

Paul Ekman has shown that face expressions aren't cultural. His study influenced the American TV series "lie to me" about body language and speech.

Passionate entrepreneurs are obvious. It's palpable. Faking passion is tough. Someone who wants your favor and money will expose his actual motives through his expressions and language.

The good liar will be able to fool you for a while, but not for long if you pay attention to his body language and how he expresses himself.

And also, if you look at his business plan.

His business plan reveals his goals. Read between the lines.

Entrepreneur 1 will focus on his "why", whereas Entrepreneur 2 will focus on the "how".

Entrepreneur 1 will develop a vision-driven culture.

The second, on the other hand, will focus on his EBITDA.

Why is the culture so critical? Because it will allow entrepreneur 1 to develop a solid team that can tackle his problems and trials. His team's "why" will keep them together in tough times.

"Give me a terrific start-up team with a mediocre idea over a weak one any day." Because a great team knows when to pivot and trusts each other. Weak teams fail.” — Bernhard Schroeder

Closings thoughts

Every VC must ask Why. Entrepreneur's motivations. This "why" will create the team's culture. This culture will help the team adjust to any setback.

Dani Herrera

Dani Herrera

1 year ago

What prevents companies from disclosing salary information?

Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels

Yes, salary details ought to be mentioned in job postings. Recruiters and candidates both agree, so why doesn't it happen?

The short answer is “Unfortunately, it’s not the Recruiter’s decision”. The longer answer is well… A LOT.

Starting in November 2022, NYC employers must include salary ranges in job postings. It should have started in May, but companies balked.

I'm thrilled about salary transparency. This decision will promote fair, inclusive, and equitable hiring practices, and I'm sure other states will follow suit. Good news!

Candidates, recruiters, and ED&I practitioners have advocated for pay transparency for years. Why the opposition?

Let's quickly review why companies have trouble sharing salary bands.

💰 Pay Parity

Many companies and leaders still oppose pay parity. Yes, even in 2022.

💰 Pay Equity

Many companies believe in pay parity and have reviewed their internal processes and systems to ensure equality.

However, Pay Equity affects who gets roles/promotions/salary raises/bonuses and when. Enter the pay gap!

💰Pay Transparency and its impact on Talent Retention

Sharing salary bands with external candidates (and the world) means current employees will have access to that information, which is one of the main reasons companies don't share salary data.

If a company has Pay Parity and Pay Equity issues, they probably have a Pay Transparency policy as well.

Sharing salary information with external candidates without ensuring current employees understand their own salary bands and how promotions/raises are decided could impact talent retention strategies.

This information should help clarify recent conversations.

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Camilla Dudley

Camilla Dudley

1 year ago

How to gain Twitter followers: A 101 Guide

No wonder brands use Twitter to reach their audience. 53% of Twitter users buy new products first. 

Twitter growth does more than make your brand look popular. It helps clients trust your business. It boosts your industry standing. It shows clients, prospects, and even competitors you mean business.

How can you naturally gain Twitter followers?

  • Share useful information

  • Post visual content

  • Tweet consistently

  • Socialize

  • Spread your @name everywhere.

  • Use existing customers

  • Promote followers

Share useful information

Twitter users join conversations and consume material. To build your followers, make sure your material appeals to them and gives value, whether it's sales, product lessons, or current events.

Use Twitter Analytics to learn what your audience likes.

Explore popular topics by utilizing relevant keywords and hashtags. Check out this post on how to use Twitter trends.

Post visual content

97% of Twitter users focus on images, so incorporating media can help your Tweets stand out. Visuals and videos make content more engaging and memorable.

Tweet often

Your audience should expect regular content updates. Plan your ideas and tweet during crucial seasons and events with a content calendar.

Socialize

Twitter connects people. Do more than tweet. Follow industry leaders. Retweet influencers, engage with thought leaders, and reply to mentions and customers to boost engagement.

Micro-influencers can promote your brand or items. They can help you gain new audiences' trust.

Spread your @name everywhere.

Maximize brand exposure. Add a follow button on your website, link to it in your email signature and newsletters, and promote it on business cards or menus.

Use existing customers

Emails can be used to find existing Twitter clients. Upload your email contacts and follow your customers on Twitter to start a dialogue.

Promote followers

Run a followers campaign to boost your organic growth. Followers campaigns promote your account to a particular demographic, and you only pay when someone follows you.

Consider short campaigns to enhance momentum or an always-on campaign to gain new followers.

Increasing your brand's Twitter followers takes effort and experimentation, but the payback is huge.

👋 Follow me on twitter

Peter Steven Ho

Peter Steven Ho

1 year ago

Thank You for 21 Fantastic Years, iPod

Apple's latest revelation may shock iPod fans and former owners.

Image by Sly from Pixabay

Apple discontinued the iPod touch on May 11, 2022. After 21 years, Apple killed the last surviving iPod, a device Steve Jobs believed would revolutionize the music industry.

Jobs was used to making bold predictions, but few expected Apple's digital music player to change the music industry. It did.

This chaos created new business opportunities. Spotify, YouTube, and Amazon are products of that chaotic era.

As the digital landscape changes, so do consumers, and the iPod has lost favor. I'm sure Apple realizes the importance of removing an icon. The iPod was Apple like the Mac and iPhone. I think it's bold to retire such a key Apple cornerstone. What would Jobs do?

iPod evolution across the ages

Here's an iPod family tree for all you enthusiasts.

iPod classic — Image by WikimediaImages from Pixabay

iPod vintage (Oct 2001 to Sep 2014, 6 generations)

The original iPod had six significant upgrades since 2001. Apple announced an 80 GB ($249) and 160 GB ($349) iPod classic in 2007.

Apple updated the 80 GB model with a 120 GB device in September 2008. Apple upgraded the 120 GB model with a 160 GB variant a year later (2009). This was the last iteration, and Apple discontinued the classic in September 2014.

iPod nano (Jan 2004 to Sep 2005, 2 generations)

Apple debuted a smaller, brightly-colored iPod in 2004. The first model featured 4 GB, enough for 1,000 songs.

Apple produced a new 4 GB or 6 GB iPod mini in February 2005 and discontinued it in September when they released a better-looking iPod nano.

iTouch nano (Sep 2005 to July 2017, 7 generations)

I loved the iPod nano. It was tiny and elegant with enough tech to please most music aficionados, unless you carry around your complete music collection.

iPod nano — Image by Herbert Aust from Pixabay

Apple owed much of the iPod nano's small form and success to solid-state flash memory. Flash memory doesn't need power because it has no moving parts. This makes the iPod nano more durable than the iPod classic and mini, which employ hard drives.

Apple manufactured seven generations of the iPod nano, improving its design, display screen, memory, battery, and software, but abandoned it in July 2017 due to dwindling demand.

Shuffle iPod (Jan 2005 to Jul 2017, 4 generations)

The iPod shuffle was entry-level. It was a simple, lightweight, tiny music player. The iPod shuffle was perfect for lengthy bike trips, runs, and hikes.

iPod shuffle — Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Apple sold 10 million iPod shuffles in the first year and kept making them for 12 years, through four significant modifications.

iOS device (Sep 2007 to May 2022, 7 generations)

The iPod touch's bigger touchscreen interface made it a curious addition to the iPod family. The iPod touch resembled an iPhone more than the other iPods, making them hard to tell apart.

Many were dissatisfied that Apple removed functionality from the iPod touch to avoid making it too similar to the iPhone. Seven design improvements over 15 years brought the iPod touch closer to the iPhone, but not completely.

The iPod touch uses the same iOS operating system as the iPhone, giving it access to many apps, including handheld games.

The iPod touch's long production run is due to the next generation of music-loving gamers.

What made the iPod cool

iPod revolutionized music listening. It was the first device to store and play MP3 music, allowing you to carry over 1,000 songs anywhere.

The iPod changed consumer electronics with its scroll wheel and touchscreen. Jobs valued form and function equally. He showed people that a product must look good to inspire an emotional response and ignite passion.

The elegant, tiny iPod was a tremendous sensation when it arrived for $399 in October 2001. Even at this price, it became a must-have for teens to CEOs.

It's hard to identify any technology that changed how music was downloaded and played like the iPod. Apple iPod and iTunes had 63% of the paid music download market in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The demise of the iPod was inevitable

Apple discontinuing the iPod touch after 21 years is sad. This ends a 00s music icon.

Jobs was a genius at anticipating market needs and opportunities, and Apple launched the iPod at the correct time.

Few consumer electronics items have had such a lasting impact on music lovers and the music industry as the iPod.

Smartphones and social media have contributed to the iPod's decline. Instead of moving to the music, the new generation of consumers is focused on social media. They're no longer passive content consumers; they're active content creators seeking likes and followers. Here, the smartphone has replaced the iPod.

It's hard not to feel a feeling of loss, another part of my adolescence now forgotten by the following generation.

So, if you’re lucky enough to have a working iPod, hang on to that relic and enjoy the music and the nostalgia.

Tim Soulo

Tim Soulo

1 year ago

Here is why 90.63% of Pages Get No Traffic From Google. 

The web adds millions or billions of pages per day.

How much Google traffic does this content get?

In 2017, we studied 2 million randomly-published pages to answer this question. Only 5.7% of them ranked in Google's top 10 search results within a year of being published.

94.3 percent of roughly two million pages got no Google traffic.

Two million pages is a small sample compared to the entire web. We did another study.

We analyzed over a billion pages to see how many get organic search traffic and why.

How many pages get search traffic?

90% of pages in our index get no Google traffic, and 5.2% get ten visits or less.

90% of google pages get no organic traffic

How can you join the minority that gets Google organic search traffic?

There are hundreds of SEO problems that can hurt your Google rankings. If we only consider common scenarios, there are only four.

Reason #1: No backlinks

I hate to repeat what most SEO articles say, but it's true:

Backlinks boost Google rankings.

Google's "top 3 ranking factors" include them.

Why don't we divide our studied pages by the number of referring domains?

66.31 percent of pages have no backlinks, and 26.29 percent have three or fewer.

Did you notice the trend already?

Most pages lack search traffic and backlinks.

But are these the same pages?

Let's compare monthly organic search traffic to backlinks from unique websites (referring domains):

More backlinks equals more Google organic traffic.

Referring domains and keyword rankings are correlated.

It's important to note that correlation does not imply causation, and none of these graphs prove backlinks boost Google rankings. Most SEO professionals agree that it's nearly impossible to rank on the first page without backlinks.

You'll need high-quality backlinks to rank in Google and get search traffic. 

Is organic traffic possible without links?

Here are the numbers:

Four million pages get organic search traffic without backlinks. Only one in 20 pages without backlinks has traffic, which is 5% of our sample.

Most get 300 or fewer organic visits per month.

What happens if we exclude high-Domain-Rating pages?

The numbers worsen. Less than 4% of our sample (1.4 million pages) receive organic traffic. Only 320,000 get over 300 monthly organic visits, or 0.1% of our sample.

This suggests high-authority pages without backlinks are more likely to get organic traffic than low-authority pages.

Internal links likely pass PageRank to new pages.

Two other reasons:

  1. Our crawler's blocked. Most shady SEOs block backlinks from us. This prevents competitors from seeing (and reporting) PBNs.

  2. They choose low-competition subjects. Low-volume queries are less competitive, requiring fewer backlinks to rank.

If the idea of getting search traffic without building backlinks excites you, learn about Keyword Difficulty and how to find keywords/topics with decent traffic potential and low competition.

Reason #2: The page has no long-term traffic potential.

Some pages with many backlinks get no Google traffic.

Why? I filtered Content Explorer for pages with no organic search traffic and divided them into four buckets by linking domains.

Almost 70k pages have backlinks from over 200 domains, but no search traffic.

By manually reviewing these (and other) pages, I noticed two general trends that explain why they get no traffic:

  1. They overdid "shady link building" and got penalized by Google;

  2. They're not targeting a Google-searched topic.

I won't elaborate on point one because I hope you don't engage in "shady link building"

#2 is self-explanatory:

If nobody searches for what you write, you won't get search traffic.

Consider one of our blog posts' metrics:

No organic traffic despite 337 backlinks from 132 sites.

The page is about "organic traffic research," which nobody searches for.

News articles often have this. They get many links from around the web but little Google traffic.

People can't search for things they don't know about, and most don't care about old events and don't search for them.


Note:

Some news articles rank in the "Top stories" block for relevant, high-volume search queries, generating short-term organic search traffic.

The Guardian's top "Donald Trump" story:

Ahrefs caught on quickly:

"Donald Trump" gets 5.6M monthly searches, so this page got a lot of "Top stories" traffic.

I bet traffic has dropped if you check now.


One of the quickest and most effective SEO wins is:

  1. Find your website's pages with the most referring domains;

  2. Do keyword research to re-optimize them for relevant topics with good search traffic potential.

Bryan Harris shared this "quick SEO win" during a course interview:

He suggested using Ahrefs' Site Explorer's "Best by links" report to find your site's most-linked pages and analyzing their search traffic. This finds pages with lots of links but little organic search traffic.

We see:

The guide has 67 backlinks but no organic traffic.

We could fix this by re-optimizing the page for "SERP"

A similar guide with 26 backlinks gets 3,400 monthly organic visits, so we should easily increase our traffic.

Don't do this with all low-traffic pages with backlinks. Choose your battles wisely; some pages shouldn't be ranked.

Reason #3: Search intent isn't met

Google returns the most relevant search results.

That's why blog posts with recommendations rank highest for "best yoga mat."

Google knows that most searchers aren't buying.

It's also why this yoga mats page doesn't rank, despite having seven times more backlinks than the top 10 pages:

The page ranks for thousands of other keywords and gets tens of thousands of monthly organic visits. Not being the "best yoga mat" isn't a big deal.

If you have pages with lots of backlinks but no organic traffic, re-optimizing them for search intent can be a quick SEO win.

It was originally a boring landing page describing our product's benefits and offering a 7-day trial.

We realized the problem after analyzing search intent.

People wanted a free tool, not a landing page.

In September 2018, we published a free tool at the same URL. Organic traffic and rankings skyrocketed.

Reason #4: Unindexed page

Google can’t rank pages that aren’t indexed.

If you think this is the case, search Google for site:[url]. You should see at least one result; otherwise, it’s not indexed.

A rogue noindex meta tag is usually to blame. This tells search engines not to index a URL.

Rogue canonicals, redirects, and robots.txt blocks prevent indexing.

Check the "Excluded" tab in Google Search Console's "Coverage" report to see excluded pages.

Google doesn't index broken pages, even with backlinks.

Surprisingly common.

In Ahrefs' Site Explorer, the Best by Links report for a popular content marketing blog shows many broken pages.

One dead page has 131 backlinks:

According to the URL, the page defined content marketing. —a keyword with a monthly search volume of 5,900 in the US.

Luckily, another page ranks for this keyword. Not a huge loss.

At least redirect the dead page's backlinks to a working page on the same topic. This may increase long-tail keyword traffic.


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