More on Entrepreneurship/Creators
1 year ago
How I set up my teams to be successful
After 10 years of working in scale-ups, I've embraced a few concepts for scaling Tech and Product teams.
First, cross-functionalize teams. Product Managers represent the business, Product Designers the consumer, and Engineers build.
If more individuals are needed to reach a goal, I group teams under a Product Trio.
With Engineering being the biggest group, Staff/Principal Engineers often support the Trio on cross-team technical decisions.
Product Managers, Engineering Managers, or Engineers in the team may manage projects (depending on the project or aim), but the trio is collectively responsible for the team's output and outcome.
Once the Product Trio model is created, roles, duties, team ceremonies, and cooperation models must be clarified.
Keep reporting lines by discipline. Line managers are accountable for each individual's advancement, thus it's crucial that they know the work in detail.
Cross-team collaboration becomes more important after 3 teams (15-30 people). Teams can easily diverge in how they write code, run ceremonies, and build products.
Establishing groups of people that are cross-team, but grouped by discipline and skills, sharing and agreeing on working practices becomes critical.
The “Spotify Guild” model has been where I’ve taken a lot of my inspiration from.
Last, establish a taxonomy for communication channels.
In Slack, I create one channel per team and one per guild (and one for me to have discussions with the team leads).
These are just some of the basic principles I follow to organize teams.
A book I particularly like about team types and how they interact with each other is https://teamtopologies.com/.
1 year ago
Why don't you relaunch my startup projects?
Open to ideas or acquisitions
Failure is an unavoidable aspect of life, yet many recoil at the word.
I've worked on unrelated startup projects. This is a list of products I developed (often as the tech lead or co-founder) and why they failed to launch.
Chess Bet (Betting)
As a chess player who plays 5 games a day and has an ELO rating of 2100, I tried to design a chess engine to rival stockfish and Houdini.
While constructing my chess engine, my cofounder asked me about building a p2p chess betting app. Chess Bet. There couldn't be a better time.
Two people in different locations could play a staked game. The winner got 90% of the bet and we got 10%. The business strategy was clear, but our mini-launch was unusual.
People started employing the same cheat engines I mentioned, causing user churn and defaming our product.
It was the first programming problem I couldn't solve after building a cheat detection system based on player move strengths and prior games. Chess.com, the most famous online chess software, still suffers from this.
We decided to pivot because we needed an expensive betting license.
We relaunched as Chess MVP after deciding to focus on chess learning. A platform for teachers to create chess puzzles and teach content. Several chess students used our product, but the target market was too tiny.
We chose to quit rather than persevere or pivot.
BodaCare (Insure Tech)
‘BodaBoda’ in Swahili means Motorcycle. My Dad approached me in 2019 (when I was working for a health tech business) about establishing an Insurtech/fintech solution for motorbike riders to pay for insurance using SNPL.
We teamed up with an underwriter to market motorcycle insurance. Once they had enough premiums, they'd get an insurance sticker in the mail. We made it better by splitting the cover in two, making it more reasonable for motorcyclists struggling with lump-sum premiums.
Lack of capital and changing customer behavior forced us to close, with 100 motorcyclists paying 0.5 USD every day. Our unit econ didn't make sense, and CAC and retention capital only dug us deeper.
Circle (Social Networking)
Having learned from both product failures, I began to understand what worked and what didn't. While reading through Instagram, an idea struck me.
Suppose social media weren't virtual.
Imagine meeting someone on your way home. Like-minded person
People were excited about social occasions after covid restrictions were eased. Anything to escape. I just built a university student-popular experiences startup. Again, there couldn't be a better time.
I started the Android app. I launched it on Google Beta and oh my! 200 people joined in two days.
It works by signaling if people are in a given place and allowing users to IM in hopes of meeting up in near real-time. Playstore couldn't deploy the app despite its success in beta for unknown reasons. I appealed unsuccessfully.
My infrastructure quickly lost users because I lacked funding.
This essay contains many failures, some of which might have been avoided and others not, but they were crucial learning points in my startup path.
If you liked any idea, I have the source code on Github.
Happy reading until then!
1 year ago
Billionaire who was disgraced lost his wealth more quickly than anyone in history
If you're not genuine, you'll be revealed.
Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) was called the Cryptocurrency Warren Buffet.
SBF's trading expertise, Blockchain knowledge, and ability to construct FTX attracted mainstream investors.
He had a fantastic worldview, donating much of his riches to charity.
As the onion layers peel back, it's clear he wasn't the altruistic media figure he portrayed.
SBF's mistakes were disastrous.
Customer deposits were traded and borrowed by him.
With ten other employees, he shared a $40 million mansion where they all had polyamorous relationships.
Tone-deaf and wasteful marketing expenditures, such as the $200 million spent to change the name of the Miami Heat stadium to the FTX Arena
Democrats received a $40 million campaign gift.
And now there seems to be no regret.
FTX was a 32-billion-dollar cryptocurrency exchange.
It went bankrupt practically overnight.
SBF, FTX's creator, exploited client funds to leverage trade.
FTX had $1 billion in customer withdrawal reserves against $9 billion in liabilities in sister business Alameda Research.
Bloomberg Billionaire Index says it's the largest and fastest net worth loss in history.
It gets worse.
SBF's net worth is $900 Million, however he must still finalize FTX's bankruptcy.
SBF's arrest in the Bahamas and SEC inquiry followed news that his cryptocurrency exchange had crashed, losing billions in customer deposits.
A journalist contacted him on Twitter D.M., and their exchange is telling.
His ideas are revealed.
Kelsey Piper says they didn't expect him to answer because people under investigation don't comment.
Bankman-Fried wanted to communicate, and the interaction shows he has little remorse.
SBF talks honestly about FTX gaming customers' money and insults his competition.
Reporter Kelsey Piper was outraged by what he said and felt the mistakes SBF says plague him didn't evident in the messages.
Before FTX's crash, SBF was a poster child for Cryptocurrency regulation and avoided criticizing U.S. regulators.
He tells Piper that his lobbying is just excellent PR.
It shows his genuine views and supports cynics' opinions that his attempts to win over U.S. authorities were good for his image rather than Crypto.
SBF’s responses are in Grey, and Pipers are in Blue.
It's unclear if SBF cut corners for his gain. In their Twitter exchange, Piper revisits an interview question about ethics.
SBF says, "All the foolish sh*t I said"
SBF claims FTX has never invested customer monies.
Piper challenged him on Twitter.
While he insisted FTX didn't use customer deposits, he said sibling business Alameda borrowed too much from FTX's balance sheet.
He did, basically.
When consumers tried to withdraw money, FTX was short.
SBF thought Alameda had enough money to cover FTX customers' withdrawals, but life sneaks up on you.
SBF believes most exchanges have done something similar to FTX, but they haven't had a bank run (a bunch of people all wanting to get their deposits out at the same time).
SBF believes he shouldn't have consented to the bankruptcy and kept attempting to raise more money because withdrawals would be open in a month with clients whole.
If additional money came in, he needed $8 billion to bridge the creditors' deficit, and there aren't many corporations with $8 billion to spare.
Once clients feel protected, they will continue to leave their assets on the exchange, according to one idea.
Kevin OLeary, a world-renowned hedge fund manager, says not all investors will walk through the open gate once the company is safe, therefore the $8 Billion wasn't needed immediately.
SBF claims the bankruptcy was his biggest error because he could have accumulated more capital.
Sam Bankman-Fried, 30, became the world's youngest billionaire in four years.
Never listen to what people say about investing; watch what they do.
SBF is a trader who gets wrecked occasionally.
Ten first-time entrepreneurs ran FTX, screwing each other with no risk management.
It prevents opposing or challenging perspectives and echo chamber highs.
Twitter D.M. conversation with a journalist is the final nail.
He lacks an experienced crew.
This event will surely speed up much-needed regulation.
It's also prompted cryptocurrency exchanges to offer proof of reserves to calm customers.
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1 year ago
Holographic concerts are the AI of the Future.
A few days ago, I was discussing dall-e with two art and tech pals. One artist acquaintance said she knew a frightened illustrator. Would the ability to create anything with a click derail her career? The artist feared this. My curator friend smiled and said this has always been a dread among artists. When the camera was invented, didn't painters say this? Even in the Instagram era, painting exists.
When art and technology collide, there's room for innovation, experimentation, and fear — especially if the technology replicates or replaces art making. What is art's future with dall-e? How does technology affect music, beyond visual art? Recently, I saw "ABBA Voyage," a holographic ABBA concert in London.
"Abba voyage?" my phone asked in early March. A Gen X friend I met through a fashion blogging ring texted me.
"What's abba Voyage?" I asked while opening my front door with keys and coffee.
We're going! Marti, visiting London, took me to a show.
"Absolutely no ABBA songs here." I responded.
My parents didn't play ABBA much, so I don't know much about them. Dad liked Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Deep Purple, and New Orleans jazz. Marti told me ABBA Voyage was a holographic ABBA show with a live band.
The show was fun, extraordinary fun. Nearly everyone on the dance floor wore wigs, ankle-breaking platforms, sequins, and bellbottoms. I saw some millennials and Zoomers among the boomers.
I was intoxicated by the experience.
Automatons date back to the 18th-century mechanical turk. The mechanical turk was a chess automaton operated by a person. The mechanical turk seemed to perform like a human without human intervention, but it required a human in the loop to work properly.
Humans have used non-humans in entertainment for centuries, such as puppets, shadow play, and smoke and mirrors. A show can have animatronic, technological, and non-technological elements, and a live show can blur real and illusion. From medieval puppet shows to mechanical turks to AI filters, bots, and holograms, entertainment has evolved over time.
I'm not a hologram skeptic, but I'm skeptical of technology, especially since I work with it. I love live performances, I love hearing singers breathe, forget lines, and make jokes. Live shows are my favorite because I love watching performers make mistakes or interact with the audience. ABBA Voyage was different.
Marti and I traveled to Manchester after ABBA Voyage to see Liam Gallagher. Similar but different vibe. Similar in that thousands dressed up for the show. ABBA's energy was dizzying. 90s chic replaced sequins in the crowd. Doc Martens, nylon jackets, bucket hats, shaggy hair. The Charlatans and Liam Gallagher opened and closed, respectively. Fireworks. Incredible. People went crazy. Yelling exhausted my voice.
This week in music featured AI-enabled holograms and a decades-old rocker. Both are warm and gooey in our memories.
After seeing both, I'm wondering if we need AI hologram shows. Why? Is it good?
Like everything tech-related, my answer is "maybe." Because context and performance matter. Liam Gallagher and ABBA both had great, different shows.
For a hologram to work, it must be impossible and big. It must be big, showy, and improbable to justify a hologram. It must feel...expensive, like a stadium pop show. According to a quick search, ABBA broke up on bad terms. Reuniting is unlikely. This is also why Prince or Tupac hologram shows work. We can only engage with their legacy through covers or...holograms.
I drove around listening to the radio a few weeks ago. "Dreaming of You" by Selena played. Selena's music defined my childhood. I sang along and turned up the volume (or as loud as my husband would allow me while driving on the highway).
I discovered Selena's music six months after her death, so I never saw her perform live. My babysitter Melissa played me her album after I moved to Houston. Melissa took me to see the Selena movie five times when it came out. I quickly wore out my VHS copy. I constantly sang "Bibi Bibi Bom Bom" and "Como la Flor." I love Selena. A Selena hologram? Yes, probably.
Instagram advertised a cellist's Arthur Russell tribute show. Russell is another deceased artist I love. I almost walked down the aisle to "This is How We Walk on the Moon," but our cellist couldn't find it. Instead, I walked to Magnetic Fields' "The Book of Love." I "discovered" Russell after a friend introduced me to his music a few years ago.
I use these as analogies for the Liam Gallagher and ABBA concerts.
You have no idea how much I'd pay to see a hologram of Selena's 1995 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo concert. Arthur Russell's hologram is unnecessary. Russell's work was intimate and performance-based. We can't separate his life from his legacy; popular audiences overlooked his genius. He died of AIDS broke. Like Selena, he died prematurely. Given his music and history, another performer would be a better choice than a hologram. He's no Selena. Selena could have rivaled Beyonce.
Pop shows' size works for holograms. Along with ABBA holograms, there was an anime movie and a light show that would put Tron to shame. ABBA created a tourable stadium show. The event was lavish, expensive, and well-planned. Pop, unlike rock, isn't gritty. Liam Gallagher hologram? No longer impossible, it wouldn't work. He's touring. I'm not sure if a rockstar alone should be rendered as a hologram; it was the show that made ABBA a hologram.
Holograms, like AI, are part of the future of entertainment, but not all of it. Because only modern interpretations of Arthur Russell's work reveal his legacy. That's his legacy.
Large-scale arena performers may use holograms in the future, but the experience must be impossible. A teacher once said that the only way to convey emotion in opera is through song, and I feel the same way about holograms, AR, VR, and mixed reality. A story's impossibility must make sense, like in opera. Impossibility and bombastic performance must be present for an immersive element to "work." ABBA was an impossible and improbable experience, which made it magical. It helped the holographic show work.
Marti told me about ABBA Voyage. She said it was a great concert. Marti has worked in music since the 1990s. She's a music expert; she's seen many shows.
Ai isn't a god or sentient, and the ABBA holograms aren't real. The renderings were glassy-eyed, flat, and robotic, like the Polar Express or the Jaws shark. Even today, the uncanny valley is insurmountable. We know it's not real because it's not about reality. It was about a suspended moment and performance feelings.
I knew this was impossible, an 'unreal' experience, but the emotions I felt were real, like watching a movie or tv show. Perhaps this is one of the better uses of AI, like CGI and special effects, like the beauty of entertainment- we were enraptured and entertained for hours. I've been playing ABBA since then.
1 year ago
Most people are unaware of how artificial intelligence (A.I.) is changing the world.
Recently, I saw an interesting social media post. In an entrepreneurship forum. A blogger asked for help because he/she couldn't find customers. I now suspect that the writer’s occupation is being disrupted by A.I.
Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) has been a hot topic since the 1950s. With recent advances in machine learning, A.I. will touch almost every aspect of our lives. This article will discuss A.I. technology and its social and economic implications.
A computer program or machine with A.I. can think and learn. In general, it's a way to make a computer smart. Able to understand and execute complex tasks. Machine learning, NLP, and robotics are common types of A.I.
AI's global impact
AI will change the world, but probably faster than you think. A.I. already affects our daily lives. It improves our decision-making, efficiency, and productivity.
A.I. is transforming our lives and the global economy. It will create new business and job opportunities but eliminate others. Affected workers may face financial hardship.
OpenAI's GPT-3 text-generation
Developers can train, deploy, and manage models on GPT-3. It handles data preparation, model training, deployment, and inference for machine learning workloads. GPT-3 is easy to use for both experienced and new data scientists.
My team conducted an experiment. We needed to generate some blog posts for a website. We hired a blogger on Upwork. OpenAI created a blog post. The A.I.-generated blog post was of higher quality and lower cost.
MidjourneyAI's Art Contests
AI already affects artists. Artists use A.I. to create realistic 3D images and videos for digital art. A.I. is also used to generate new art ideas and methods.
MidjourneyAI and GigapixelAI won a contest last month. It's AI. created a beautiful piece of art that captured the contest's spirit. AI triumphs. It could open future doors.
After the art contest win, I registered to try out these new image generating A.I.s. In the MidjourneyAI chat forum, I noticed an artist's plea. The artist begged others to stop flooding RedBubble with AI-generated art.
Shutterstock and Getty Images have halted user uploads. AI-generated images flooded online marketplaces.
Imagining Videos with Meta
Meta released Make-a-Video this week. It's an A.I. app that creates videos from text. What you type creates a video.
This technology will impact TV, movies, and video games greatly. Imagine a movie or game that's personalized to your tastes. It's closer than you think.
Uses and Abuses of Deepfakes
Deepfake videos are computer-generated images of people. AI creates realistic images and videos of people.
Deepfakes are entertaining but have social implications. Porn introduced deepfakes in 2017. People put famous faces on porn actors and actresses without permission.
Soon, deepfakes were used to show dead actors/actresses or make them look younger. Carrie Fischer was included in films after her death using deepfake technology.
Deepfakes can be used to create fake news or manipulate public opinion, according to an AI.
Voices for Darth Vader and Iceman
James Earl Jones, who voiced Darth Vader, sold his voice rights this week. Aged actor won't be in those movies. Respeecher will use AI to mimic Jones's voice. This technology could change the entertainment industry. One actor can now voice many characters.
AI can generate realistic voice audio from text. Top Gun 2 actor Val Kilmer can't speak for medical reasons. Sonantic created Kilmer's voice from the movie script. This entertaining technology has social implications. It blurs authentic recordings and fake media.
Medical A.I. fights viruses
A team of Chinese scientists used machine learning to predict effective antiviral drugs last year. They started with a large dataset of virus-drug interactions. Researchers combined that with medication and virus information. Finally, they used machine learning to predict effective anti-virus medicines. This technology could solve medical problems.
AI ideas AI-generated Itself
OpenAI's GPT-3 predicted future A.I. uses. Here's what it told me:
AI will affect the economy. Businesses can operate more efficiently and reinvest resources with A.I.-enabled automation. AI can automate customer service tasks, reducing costs and improving satisfaction.
A.I. makes better pricing, inventory, and marketing decisions. AI automates tasks and makes decisions. A.I.-powered robots could help the elderly or disabled. Self-driving cars could reduce accidents.
A.I. predictive analytics can predict stock market or consumer behavior trends and patterns. A.I. also personalizes recommendations. sways. A.I. recommends products and movies. AI can generate new ideas based on data analysis.
A.I. will change business as it becomes more common. It will change how we live and work by creating growth and prosperity.
Exciting times, but also one which should give us all pause. Technology can be good or evil. We must use new technologies ethically, fairly, and honestly.
“The author generated some sentences in this text in part with GPT-3, OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model. Upon generating draft language, the author reviewed, edited, and revised the language to their own liking and takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication. The text of this post was further edited using HemingWayApp. Many of the images used were generated using A.I. as described in the captions.”
10 months ago
Mastering the Art of Rhetoric: A Guide to Rhetorical Devices in Successful Headlines and Titles
Unleash the power of persuasion and captivate your audience with compelling headlines.
As the old adage goes, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression."
In the world of content creation and social ads, headlines and titles play a critical role in making that first impression.
A well-crafted headline can make the difference between an article being read or ignored, a video being clicked on or bypassed, or a product being purchased or passed over.
To make an impact with your headlines, mastering the art of rhetoric is essential. In this post, we'll explore various rhetorical devices and techniques that can help you create headlines that captivate your audience and drive engagement.
tl;dr : Headline Magician will help you craft the ultimate headline titles powered by rhetoric devices
Example with a high-end luxury organic zero-waste skincare brand
✍️ The Power of Alliteration
Alliteration is the repetition of the same consonant sound at the beginning of words in close proximity. This rhetorical device lends itself well to headlines, as it creates a memorable, rhythmic quality that can catch a reader's attention.
By using alliteration, you can make your headlines more engaging and easier to remember.
"Crafting Compelling Content: A Comprehensive Course"
"Mastering the Art of Memorable Marketing"
🔁 The Appeal of Anaphora
Anaphora is the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses. This rhetorical device emphasizes a particular idea or theme, making it more memorable and persuasive.
In headlines, anaphora can be used to create a sense of unity and coherence, which can draw readers in and pique their interest.
"Create, Curate, Captivate: Your Guide to Social Media Success"
"Innovation, Inspiration, and Insight: The Future of AI"
🔄 The Intrigue of Inversion
Inversion is a rhetorical device where the normal order of words is reversed, often to create an emphasis or achieve a specific effect.
In headlines, inversion can generate curiosity and surprise, compelling readers to explore further.
"Beneath the Surface: A Deep Dive into Ocean Conservation"
"Beyond the Stars: The Quest for Extraterrestrial Life"
⚖️ The Persuasive Power of Parallelism
Parallelism is a rhetorical device that involves using similar grammatical structures or patterns to create a sense of balance and symmetry.
In headlines, parallelism can make your message more memorable and impactful, as it creates a pleasing rhythm and flow that can resonate with readers.
"Eat Well, Live Well, Be Well: The Ultimate Guide to Wellness"
"Learn, Lead, and Launch: A Blueprint for Entrepreneurial Success"
⏭️ The Emphasis of Ellipsis
Ellipsis is the omission of words, typically indicated by three periods (...), which suggests that there is more to the story.
In headlines, ellipses can create a sense of mystery and intrigue, enticing readers to click and discover what lies behind the headline.
"The Secret to Success... Revealed"
"Unlocking the Power of Your Mind... A Step-by-Step Guide"
🎭 The Drama of Hyperbole
Hyperbole is a rhetorical device that involves exaggeration for emphasis or effect.
In headlines, hyperbole can grab the reader's attention by making bold, provocative claims that stand out from the competition. Be cautious with hyperbole, however, as overuse or excessive exaggeration can damage your credibility.
"The Ultimate Guide to Mastering Any Skill in Record Time"
"Discover the Revolutionary Technique That Will Transform Your Life"
❓The Curiosity of Questions
Posing questions in your headlines can be an effective way to pique the reader's curiosity and encourage engagement.
Questions compel the reader to seek answers, making them more likely to click on your content. Additionally, questions can create a sense of connection between the content creator and the audience, fostering a sense of dialogue and discussion.
"Are You Making These Common Mistakes in Your Marketing Strategy?"
"What's the Secret to Unlocking Your Creative Potential?"
💥 The Impact of Imperatives
Imperatives are commands or instructions that urge the reader to take action. By using imperatives in your headlines, you can create a sense of urgency and importance, making your content more compelling and actionable.
"Master Your Time Management Skills Today"
"Transform Your Business with These Innovative Strategies"
💢 The Emotion of Exclamations
Exclamations are powerful rhetorical devices that can evoke strong emotions and convey a sense of excitement or urgency.
Including exclamations in your headlines can make them more attention-grabbing and shareable, increasing the chances of your content being read and circulated.
"Unlock Your True Potential: Find Your Passion and Thrive!"
"Experience the Adventure of a Lifetime: Travel the World on a Budget!"
🎀 The Effectiveness of Euphemisms
Euphemisms are polite or indirect expressions used in place of harsher, more direct language.
In headlines, euphemisms can make your message more appealing and relatable, helping to soften potentially controversial or sensitive topics.
"Navigating the Challenges of Modern Parenting"
"Redefining Success in a Fast-Paced World"
⚡Antithesis: The Power of Opposites
Antithesis involves placing two opposite words side-by-side, emphasizing their contrasts. This device can create a sense of tension and intrigue in headlines.
"Once a day. Every day"
"Soft on skin. Kill germs"
"Mega power. Mini size."
To utilize antithesis, identify two opposing concepts related to your content and present them in a balanced manner.
🎨 Scesis Onomaton: The Art of Verbless Copy
Scesis onomaton is a rhetorical device that involves writing verbless copy, which quickens the pace and adds emphasis.
"7 days. 7 dollars. Full access."
To use scesis onomaton, remove verbs and focus on the essential elements of your headline.
🌟 Polyptoton: The Charm of Shared Roots
Polyptoton is the repeated use of words that share the same root, bewitching words into memorable phrases.
"Real bread isn't made in factories. It's baked in bakeries"
"Lose your knack for losing things."
To employ polyptoton, identify words with shared roots that are relevant to your content.
✨ Asyndeton: The Elegance of Omission
Asyndeton involves the intentional omission of conjunctions, adding crispness, conviction, and elegance to your headlines.
"You, Me, Sushi?"
"All the latte art, none of the environmental impact."
To use asyndeton, eliminate conjunctions and focus on the core message of your headline.
🔮 Tricolon: The Magic of Threes
Tricolon is a rhetorical device that uses the power of three, creating memorable and impactful headlines.
"Show it, say it, send it"
"Eat Well, Live Well, Be Well."
To use tricolon, craft a headline with three key elements that emphasize your content's main message.
🔔 Epistrophe: The Chime of Repetition
Epistrophe involves the repetition of words or phrases at the end of successive clauses, adding a chime to your headlines.
"Catch it. Bin it. Kill it."
"Joint friendly. Climate friendly. Family friendly."
To employ epistrophe, repeat a key phrase or word at the end of each clause.