More on Entrepreneurship/Creators
1 year ago
31 startup company models (with examples)
Many people find the internet's various business models bewildering.
This article summarizes 31 startup e-books.
1. Using the freemium business model (free plus premium),
The freemium business model offers basic software, games, or services for free and charges for enhancements.
Examples include Slack, iCloud, and Google Drive
Provide a rudimentary, free version of your product or service to users.
Google Drive and Dropbox offer 15GB and 2GB of free space but charge for more.
Freemium business model details (Click here)
2. The Business Model of Subscription
Subscription business models sell a product or service for recurring monthly or yearly revenue.
Examples: Tinder, Netflix, Shopify, etc
It's the next step to Freemium if a customer wants to pay monthly for premium features.
Subscription Business Model (Click here)
3. A market-based business strategy
It's an e-commerce site or app where third-party sellers sell products or services.
Examples are Amazon and Fiverr.
On Amazon's marketplace, a third-party vendor sells a product.
Freelancers on Fiverr offer specialized skills like graphic design.
Marketplace's business concept is explained.
4. Business plans using aggregates
In the aggregator business model, the service is branded.
Uber, Airbnb, and other examples
Marketplace and Aggregator business models differ.
Amazon and Fiverr link merchants and customers and take a 10-20% revenue split.
Uber and Airbnb-style aggregator Join these businesses and provide their products.
5. The pay-as-you-go concept of business
This is a consumption-based pricing system. Cloud companies use it.
Example: Amazon Web Service and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) (AWS)
AWS, an Amazon subsidiary, offers over 200 pay-as-you-go cloud services.
“In short, the more you use the more you pay”
When it's difficult to divide clients into pricing levels, pay-as-you is employed.
6. The business model known as fee-for-service (FFS)
FFS charges fixed and variable fees for each successful payment.
For instance, PayU, Paypal, and Stripe
Stripe charges 2.9% + 30 per payment.
These firms offer a payment gateway to take consumer payments and deposit them to a business account.
Fintech business model
7. EdTech business strategy
In edtech, you generate money by selling material or teaching as a service.
edtech business models
Freemium When course content is free but certification isn't, e.g. Coursera
FREE TRIAL SkillShare offers free trials followed by monthly or annual subscriptions.
Self-serving marketplace approach where you pick what to learn.
Ad-revenue model The company makes money by showing adverts to its huge user base.
Lock-in business strategy
Lock in prevents customers from switching to a competitor's brand or offering.
It uses switching costs or effort to transmit (soft lock-in), improved brand experience, or incentives.
Apple, SAP, and other examples
Apple offers an iPhone and then locks you in with extra hardware (Watch, Airpod) and platform services (Apple Store, Apple Music, cloud, etc.).
9. Business Model for API Licensing
APIs let third-party apps communicate with your service.
Uber and Airbnb use Google Maps APIs for app navigation.
Examples are Google Map APIs (Map), Sendgrid (Email), and Twilio (SMS).
Business models for APIs
Free: The simplest API-driven business model that enables unrestricted API access for app developers. Google Translate and Facebook are two examples.
Developer Pays: Under this arrangement, service providers such as AWS, Twilio, Github, Stripe, and others must be paid by application developers.
The developer receives payment: These are the compensated content producers or developers who distribute the APIs utilizing their work. For example, Amazon affiliate programs
10. Open-source enterprise
Open-source software can be inspected, modified, and improved by anybody.
For instance, use Firefox, Java, or Android.
Google paid Mozilla $435,702 million to be their primary search engine in 2018.
Open-source software profits in six ways.
Paid assistance The Project Manager can charge for customization because he is quite knowledgeable about the codebase.
A full database solution is available as a Software as a Service (MongoDB Atlas), but there is a fee for the monitoring tool.
Open-core design R studio is a better GUI substitute for open-source applications.
sponsors of GitHub Sponsorships benefit the developers in full.
demands for paid features Earn Money By Developing Open Source Add-Ons for Current Products
Open-source business model
11. The business model for data
If the software or algorithm collects client data to improve or monetize the system.
Open AI GPT3 gets smarter with use.
Foursquare allows users to exchange check-in locations.
Later, they compiled large datasets to enable retailers like Starbucks launch new outlets.
12. Business Model Using Blockchain
Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that allows firms to deploy smart contracts without a central authority.
Examples include Alchemy, Solana, and Ethereum.
Business models using blockchain
Economy of tokens or utility When a business uses a token business model, it issues some kind of token as one of the ways to compensate token holders or miners. For instance, Solana and Ethereum
Bitcoin Cash P2P Business Model Peer-to-peer (P2P) blockchain technology permits direct communication between end users. as in IPFS
Enterprise Blockchain as a Service (Baas) BaaS focuses on offering ecosystem services similar to those offered by Amazon (AWS) and Microsoft (Azure) in the web 3 sector. Example: Ethereum Blockchain as a Service with Bitcoin (EBaaS).
Blockchain-Based Aggregators With AWS for blockchain, you can use that service by making an API call to your preferred blockchain. As an illustration, Alchemy offers nodes for many blockchains.
13. The free-enterprise model
In the freeterprise business model, free professional accounts are led into the funnel by the free product and later become B2B/enterprise accounts.
For instance, Slack and Zoom
Freeterprise companies flourish through collaboration.
Start with a free professional account to build an enterprise.
14. Business plan for razor blades
It's employed in hardware where one piece is sold at a loss and profits are made through refills or add-ons.
Gillet razor & blades, coffee machine & beans, HP printer & cartridge, etc.
Sony sells the Playstation console at a loss but makes up for it by selling games and charging for online services.
Advantages of the Razor-Razorblade Method
lowers the risk a customer will try a product. enables buyers to test the goods and services without having to pay a high initial investment.
The product's ongoing revenue stream has the potential to generate sales that much outweigh the original investments.
Razor blade business model
15. The business model of direct-to-consumer (D2C)
In D2C, the company sells directly to the end consumer through its website using a third-party logistic partner.
Examples include GymShark and Kylie Cosmetics.
D2C brands can only expand via websites, marketplaces (Amazon, eBay), etc.
Lower reliance on middlemen = greater profitability
You now have access to more precise demographic and geographic customer data.
Additional space for product testing
Increased customisation throughout your entire product line-Inventory Less
16. Business model: White Label vs. Private Label
Private label/White label products are made by a contract or third-party manufacturer.
Most amazon electronics are made in china and white-labeled.
Amazon supplements and electronics.
Contract manufacturers handle everything after brands select product quantities on design labels.
17. The franchise model
The franchisee uses the franchisor's trademark, branding, and business strategy (company).
For instance, KFC, Domino's, etc.
Subway, Domino, Burger King, etc. use this business strategy.
Many people pick a franchise because opening a restaurant is risky.
18. Ad-based business model
Social media and search engine giants exploit search and interest data to deliver adverts.
Google, Meta, TikTok, and Snapchat are some examples.
Users don't pay for the service or product given, e.g. Google users don't pay for searches.
In exchange, they collected data and hyper-personalized adverts to maximize revenue.
19. Business plan for octopuses
Each business unit functions separately but is connected to the main body.
OYO is Asia's Airbnb, operating hotels, co-working, co-living, and vacation houses.
20, Transactional business model, number
Sales to customers produce revenue.
E-commerce sites and online purchases employ SSL.
Goli is an ex-GymShark.
21. The peer-to-peer (P2P) business model
In P2P, two people buy and sell goods and services without a third party or platform.
22. P2P lending as a manner of operation
In P2P lending, one private individual (P2P Lender) lends/invests or borrows money from another (P2P Borrower).
Social lending lets people lend and borrow money directly from each other without an intermediary financial institution.
23. A business model for brokers
Brokerages charge a commission or fee for their services.
Examples include eBay, Coinbase, and Robinhood.
Brokerage businesses are common in Real estate, finance, and online and operate on this model.
Buy/sell similar models Examples include financial brokers, insurance brokers, and others who match purchase and sell transactions and charge a commission.
These brokers charge an advertiser a fee based on the date, place, size, or type of an advertisement. This is known as the classified-advertiser model. For instance, Craiglist
24. Drop shipping as an industry
Dropshipping allows stores to sell things without holding physical inventories.
When a customer orders, use a third-party supplier and logistic partners.
Retailer product portfolio and customer experience Fulfiller The consumer places the order.
Less money is needed (Low overhead-No Inventory or warehousing)
Simple to start (costs under $100)
flexible work environment
New product testing is simpler
25. Business Model for Space as a Service
It's centered on a shared economy that lets millennials live or work in communal areas without ownership or lease.
Consider WeWork and Airbnb.
WeWork helps businesses with real estate, legal compliance, maintenance, and repair.
26. The business model for third-party logistics (3PL)
In 3PL, a business outsources product delivery, warehousing, and fulfillment to an external logistics company.
Examples include Ship Bob, Amazon Fulfillment, and more.
3PL partners warehouse, fulfill, and return inbound and outbound items for a charge.
Inbound logistics involves bringing products from suppliers to your warehouse.
Outbound logistics refers to a company's production line, warehouse, and customer.
27. The last-mile delivery paradigm as a commercial strategy
Last-mile delivery is the collection of supply chain actions that reach the end client.
Examples include Rappi, Gojek, and Postmates.
Last-mile is tied to on-demand and has a nighttime peak.
28. The use of affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing involves promoting other companies' products and charging commissions.
Examples include Hubspot, Amazon, and Skillshare.
Your favorite youtube channel probably uses these short amazon links to get 5% of sales.
Affiliate marketing's benefits
In exchange for a success fee or commission, it enables numerous independent marketers to promote on its behalf.
Ensure system transparency by giving the influencers a specific tracking link and an online dashboard to view their profits.
Learn about the newest bargains and have access to promotional materials.
29. The business model for virtual goods
This is an in-app purchase for an intangible product.
Examples include PubG, Roblox, Candy Crush, etc.
Consumables are like gaming cash that runs out. Non-consumable products provide a permanent advantage without repeated purchases.
30. Business Models for Cloud Kitchens
Ghost, Dark, Black Box, etc.
These restaurants don't provide dine-in, only delivery.
For instance, NextBite and Faasos
31. Crowdsourcing as a Business Model
Crowdsourcing = Using the crowd as a platform's source.
In crowdsourcing, you get support from people around the world without hiring them.
Open-Source Software gives access to the software's source code so that developers can edit or enhance it. Examples include Firefox browsers and Linux operating systems.
Crowdfunding The oculus headgear would be an example of crowdfunding in essence, with no expectations.
1 year ago
The survival and demise of Y Combinator startups
I've written a lot about Y Combinator's success, but as any startup founder or investor knows, many startups fail.
Rebel Fund invests in the top 5-10% of new Y Combinator startups each year, so we focus on identifying and supporting the most promising technology startups in our ecosystem. Given the power law dynamic and asymmetric risk/return profile of venture capital, we worry more about our successes than our failures. Since the latter still counts, this essay will focus on the proportion of YC startups that fail.
Since YC's launch in 2005, the figure below shows the percentage of active, inactive, and public/acquired YC startups by batch.
As more startups finish, the blue bars (active) decrease significantly. By 12 years, 88% of startups have closed or exited. Only 7% of startups reach resolution each year.
YC startups by status after 12 years:
Half the startups have failed, over one-third have exited, and the rest are still operating.
In venture investing, it's said that failed investments show up before successful ones. This is true for YC startups, but only in their early years.
Below, we only present resolved companies from the first chart. Some companies fail soon after establishment, but after a few years, the inactive vs. public/acquired ratio stabilizes around 55:45. After a few years, a YC firm is roughly as likely to quit as fail, which is better than I imagined.
I prepared this post because Rebel investors regularly question me about YC startup failure rates and how long it takes for them to exit or shut down.
Early-stage venture investors can overlook it because 100x investments matter more than 0x investments.
YC founders can ignore it because it shouldn't matter if many of their peers succeed or fail ;)
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
These 10 phrases are unprofessional at work.
Successful workers don't talk this way.
"I know it's unprofessional, but I can't stop." — Author Sandy Hall
Do you realize your unprofessionalism? Do you care? Self-awareness?
Everyone can improve their unprofessionalism. Some workplace phrases and words shouldn't be said.
People often say out loud what they're thinking. They show insecurity, incompetence, and disrespect.
"Think before you speak," goes the saying.
Some of these phrases are "okay" in certain situations, but you'll lose colleagues' respect if you use them often.
Your word choice. Your tone. Your intentions. They matter.
Choose your words carefully to build work relationships and earn peer respect. You should build positive relationships with coworkers and clients.
These 10 phrases are unprofessional.
1. That Meeting Really Sucked
Wow! Were you there? You should be responsible if you attended. You can influence every conversation.
Improve the meeting instead of complaining afterward. Make it more meaningful and productive.
2. Not Sure if You Saw My Last Email
Referencing a previous email irritates people. Email follow-up can be difficult. Most people get tons of emails a day, so it may have been buried, forgotten, or low priority.
It's okay to follow up, but be direct, short, and let the recipient "save face"
3. Any Phrase About Sex, Politics, and Religion
Discussing sex, politics, and religion at work is foolish. If you discuss these topics, you could face harassment lawsuits.
Keep quiet about these contentious issues. Don't touch them.
4. I Know What I’m Talking About
Adding this won't persuade others. Research, facts, and topic mastery are key to persuasion. If you're knowledgeable, you don't need to say this.
Please don’t say it at all. Justify your knowledge.
5. Per Our Conversation
This phrase sounds like legal language. You seem to be documenting something legally. Cold, stern, and distant. "As discussed" sounds inauthentic.
It was great talking with you earlier; here's what I said.
6. Curse-Word Phrases
Swearing at work is unprofessional. You never know who's listening, so be careful. A child may be at work or on a Zoom or Teams call. Workplace cursing is unacceptable.
Avoid adult-only words.
7. I Hope This Email Finds You Well
This is a unique way to wish someone well. This phrase isn't as sincere as the traditional one. When you talk about the email, you're impersonal.
Genuinely care for others.
8. I Am Really Stressed
Happy, strong, stress-managing coworkers are valued. Manage your own stress. Exercise, sleep, and eat better.
Everyone has stress, so manage it. Don't talk about your stress.
9. I Have Too Much to Do
You seem incompetent. People think you can't say "no" or have poor time management. If you use this phrase, you're telling others you may need to change careers.
Don't complain about your workload; just manage it.
10. Bad Closing Salutations
"Warmly," "best," "regards," and "warm wishes" are common email closings. This conclusion sounds impersonal. Why use "warmly" for finance's payment status?
Personalize the closing greeting to the message and recipient. Use "see you tomorrow" or "talk soon" as closings.
Bringing It All Together
These 10 phrases are unprofessional at work. That meeting sucked, not sure if you saw my last email, and sex, politics, and religion phrases.
Also, "I know what I'm talking about" and any curse words. Also, avoid phrases like I hope this email finds you well, I'm stressed, and I have too much to do.
Successful workers communicate positively and foster professionalism. Don't waste chances to build strong work relationships by being unprofessional.
“Unprofessionalism damages the business reputation and tarnishes the trust of society.” — Pearl Zhu, an American author
This post is a summary. Read full article here
1 year ago
How I Stay Fit Despite Eating Fast Food and Drinking Alcohol
Here's me. Perfectionism is unnecessary.
This post isn't for people who gag at the prospect of eating french fries. I've been ridiculed for stating you can lose weight eating carbs and six-pack abs aren't good.
My family eats frozen processed meals and quick food most weeks (sometimes more). Clean eaters may think I'm unqualified to give fitness advice. I get it.
Hear me out, though. I’m a 44-year-old raising two busy kids with a weekly-traveling husband. Tutoring, dance, and guitar classes fill weeknights. I'm also juggling my job and freelancing.
I'm as worried and tired as my clients. I wish I ate only kale smoothies and salads. I can’t. Despite my mistakes, I'm fit. I won't promise you something just because it worked for me. But here’s a look at how I manage.
What I largely get right about eating
I have a flexible diet and track my daily intake. I count protein, fat, and carbs. Only on vacation or exceptional occasions do I not track.
My protein goal is 1 g per lb. I consume a lot of chicken breasts, eggs, turkey, and lean ground beef. I also occasionally drink protein shakes.
I eat 220–240 grams of carbs daily. My carb count depends on training volume and goals. I'm trying to lose weight slowly. If I want to lose weight faster, I cut carbs to 150-180.
My carbs include white rice, Daves Killer Bread, fruit, pasta, and veggies. I don't eat enough vegetables, so I take Athletic Greens. Also, V8.
Fat grams over 50 help me control my hormones. Recently, I've reached 70-80 grams. Cooking with olive oil. I eat daily dark chocolate. Eggs, butter, milk, and cheese contribute to the rest.
Those frozen meals? What can I say? Stouffer’s lasagna is sometimes needed. I order the healthiest fast food I can find (although I can never bring myself to order the salad). That's a chicken sandwich or a kid's hamburger. I rarely order fries. I eat slowly and savor each bite to feel full.
Potato chips and sugary cereals are in the pantry, but I'm not tempted. My kids eat them because I'd rather teach them moderation than total avoidance. If I eat them, I only eat one portion.
If you're not hungry and eating enough protein and fat, you won't want to eat everything in sight.
I drink once or twice a week. As a result, I rarely overdo it.
Food tracking is tedious and frustrating for many. Taking breaks and using estimates when eating out help. Not perfect, but realistic.
I practice a prolonged fast to enhance metabolic adaptability
Metabolic flexibility is the ability to switch between fuel sources (fat and carbs) based on activity intensity and time since eating. At rest or during low to moderate exertion, your body burns fat. Your body burns carbs after eating and during intense exercise.
Our metabolic flexibility can be hampered by lack of exercise, overeating, and stress. Our bodies become lousy fat burners, making weight loss difficult.
Once a week, I skip dinner (usually around 24 hours). Long-term fasting teaches my body to burn fat. It provides me one low-calorie day a week (I break the fast with a normal-sized dinner).
Fasting day helps me maintain my weight on weekends, when I typically overeat and drink.
Try an extended fast slowly. Delay breakfast by two hours. Next week, add two hours, etc. It takes practice to go that long without biting off your arm. I also suggest consulting your doctor.
I stay active.
I've always been active. As a child, I danced many nights a week, was on the high school dance team, and ran marathons in my 20s.
Often, I feel driven by an internal engine. Working from home makes it easy to exercise. If that’s not you, I get it. Everyone can benefit from raising their baseline.
After taking the kids to school, I walk two miles around the neighborhood. When I need to think, I switch off podcasts. First thing in the morning, I go for a walk.
I lift weights Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. 45 minutes is typical. I run 45-90 minutes on Tuesday and Thursday. I'm slow but reliable. On Saturdays and Sundays, I walk and add a short spin class if I'm not too tired.
I almost never forgo sleep.
I rarely stay up past 10 p.m., much to my night-owl husband's dismay. My 7-8-hour nights help me recover from workouts and handle stress. Without it, I'm grumpy.
I suppose sleep duration matters more than bedtime. Some people just can't fall asleep early. Internal clock and genetics determine sleep and wake hours.
Fitness and diet advice is often useless. Some of the advice is inaccurate, dangerous, or difficult to follow if you have a life. I want to throw a shoe at my screen when I see headlines promising to speed up my metabolism or help me lose fat.
I studied exercise physiology for years. No shortcuts exist. No medications or cleanses reset metabolism. I play the hand I'm dealt. I realize that just because something works for me, it won't for you.
If I wanted 15% body fat and ripped abs, I'd have to be stricter. I occasionally think I’d like to get there. But then I remember I’m happy with my life. I like fast food and beer. Pizza and margaritas are favorites (not every day).
You can get it mostly right and live a healthy life.
1 year ago
Putin's War On Reality
The dictator's playbook.
Stalin's successor, Nikita Khrushchev, delivered a speech titled "On The Cult Of Personality And Its Consequences" in 1956, three years after Stalin’s death.
It was Stalin's grave abuse of power that caused untold harm to our party.
Stalin acted not by persuasion, explanation, or patient cooperation, but by imposing his ideas and demanding absolute obedience. […]
See where Stalin's mania for greatness led? He had lost all sense of reality.
The speech, which was never made public, shook the Soviet Union and the Soviet Bloc. After Stalin's "cult of personality" was exposed as a lie, only reality remained.
As I've watched the nightmare unfold in Ukraine, I'm reminded of that question. Primarily by Putin's repeated denials.
His odd claim that Ukraine is run by drug addicts and Nazis (especially strange given that Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian president, is Jewish). Others attempt to portray Russia as liberators rather than occupiers. For example, he portrays Luhansk and Donetsk as plucky, newly independent states when they have been totalitarian statelets for 8 years.
Putin seemed to have lost all sense of reality.
Maybe that's why his remarks to an oligarchs' gathering stood out:
Everything is a desperate measure. They gave us no choice. We couldn't do anything about their security risks. […] They could have put the country in jeopardy.
This is almost certainly true from Putin's perspective. Even for Putin, a military invasion seems unlikely. So, what exactly is putting Russia's security in jeopardy? How could Ukraine's independence endanger Russia's existence?
The truth is the only thing that truly terrifies leaders like these.
Trump, the president of “alternative facts,” "and “fake news” praised Putin's fabricated justifications for the Ukraine invasion. Russia tightened news censorship as news of their losses came in. It's no accident that modern dictatorships like Russia (and China and North Korea) restrict citizens' access to information.
Controlling what people see, hear, and think is the simplest method. And Ukraine's recent efforts to join the European Union showed a country whose thoughts Putin couldn't control. With the Russian and Ukrainian peoples so close, he could not control their reality.
He appears to think this is a threat worth fighting NATO over.
It's easy to disown history's great dictators. By the magnitude of their harm. But the strategy they used is still in use today, albeit not to the same devastating effect.
The Kim dynasty in North Korea has ruled for 74 years, Putin has ruled Russia for 19 years (using loopholes and even rewriting the constitution).
“Politicians and diapers must be changed frequently,” said Mark Twain. "And for the same reason.”
When their egos are threatened, they sabre-rattle, as in Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump's famous spat about the size of their...ahem, “nuclear buttons”." Or Putin's threats of mutual destruction this weekend.
Most importantly, they have cult-like control over their followers.
When a leader whose power is built on lies feels he is losing control of the narrative, things like Trump's Jan. 6 meltdown and Putin's current actions in Ukraine are unavoidable.
Leaders who try to control their people's reality will have to die to keep the illusion alive.
Long version of this post available here