More on Entrepreneurship/Creators
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7 months ago
The Untapped Gold Mine of Inspiration and Startup Ideas
I joined the 1000 Digital Startups Movement (Gerakan 1000 Startup Digital) in 2017 and learned a lot about the startup sector. My previous essay outlined what a startup is and what must be prepared. Here I'll offer raw ideas for better products.
A good startup solves a problem. These can include environmental, economic, energy, transportation, logistics, maritime, forestry, livestock, education, tourism, legal, arts and culture, communication, and information challenges. Everything I wrote is simply a basic idea (as inspiration) and requires more mapping and validation. Learn how to construct a startup to maximize launch success.
Adrian Gunadi (Investree Co-Founder) taught me that a Founder or Co-Founder must be willing to be CEO (Chief Everything Officer). Everything is independent, including drafting a proposal, managing finances, and scheduling appointments. The best individuals will come to you if you're the best. It's easier than consulting Andy Zain (Kejora Capital Founder).
To help better understanding from your idea, try to answer this following questions:
- Describe your idea/application
Maximum 1000 characters.
Explain the reasons that prompted you to realize the idea/application.
Explain the expected goals of the creation of the idea/application.
A solution that tells your idea can be the right solution for the problem at hand.
What makes your idea/app unique?
- Market share
Who are the people who need and are looking for your idea?
- Marketing Ways and Business Models
What is the best way to sell your idea and what is the business model?
Not everything here is a startup idea. It's meant to inspire creativity and new perspectives.
1. Medical students can operate on patients or not. Applications that train prospective doctors to distinguish body organs and their placement are useful. In the advanced stage, the app can be built with numerous approaches so future doctors can practice operating on patients based on their ailments. If they made a mistake, they'd start over. Future doctors will be more assured and make fewer mistakes this way.
2. VR (virtual reality) technology lets people see 3D space from afar. Later, similar technology was utilized to digitally sell properties, so buyers could see the inside and room contents. Every gadget has flaws. It's like a gold mine for robbers. VR can let prospective students see a campus's facilities. This facility can also help hotels promote their products.
3. How can retail entrepreneurs maximize sales? Most popular goods' sales data. By using product and brand/type sales figures, entrepreneurs can avoid overstocking. Walmart computerized their procedures to track products from the manufacturer to the store. As Retail Link products sell out, suppliers can immediately step in.
4. Failing to marry is something to be avoided. But if it had to happen, the loss would be like the proverb “rub salt into the wound”. On the I do Now I dont website, Americans who don't marry can resell their jewelry to other brides-to-be. If some want to cancel the wedding and receive their down money and dress back, others want a wedding with particular criteria, such as a quick date and the expected building. Create a DP takeover marketplace for both sides.
1. Like in the movie, players must exit the maze they enter within 3 minutes or the shape will change, requiring them to change their strategy. The maze's transformation time will shorten after a few stages.
2. Treasure hunts involve following clues to uncover hidden goods. Here, numerous sponsors are combined in one boat, and participants can choose a game based on the prizes. Let's say X-mart is a sponsor and provides riddles or puzzles to uncover the prize in their store. After gathering enough points, the player can trade them for a gift utilizing GPS and AR (augmented reality). Players can collaborate to increase their chances of success.
3. Where's Wally? Where’s Wally displays a thick image with several things and various Wally-like characters. We must find the actual Wally, his companions, and the desired object. Make a game with a map where players must find objects for the next level. The player must find 5 artifacts randomly placed in an Egyptian-style mansion, for example. In the room, there are standard tickets, pass tickets, and gold tickets that can be removed for safekeeping, as well as a wall-mounted carpet that can be stored but not searched and turns out to be a flying rug that can be used to cross/jump to a different place. Regular tickets are spread out since they can buy life or stuff. At a higher level, a black ticket can lower your ordinary ticket. Objects can explode, scattering previously acquired stuff. If a player runs out of time, they can exchange a ticket for more.
1. At the airport there are various visitors who come with different purposes. Asking tourists to live for 1 or 2 days in the city will be intriguing to witness.
2. Many professions exist. Carpenters, cooks, and lawyers must have known about job desks. Does HRD (Human Resource Development) only recruit new employees? Many don't know how to become a CEO, CMO, COO, CFO, or CTO. Showing young people what a Program Officer in an NGO does can help them choose a career.
Philatelists know that only the government can issue stamps. I hope stamps are creative so they have more worth.
1. Thermochromic pigments (leuco dyes) are well-known for their distinctive properties. By putting pigments to black and white batik stamps, for example, the black color will be translucent and display the basic color when touched (at a hot temperature).
2. In 2012, Liechtenstein Post published a laser-art Chinese zodiac stamp. Belgium (Bruges Market Square 2012), Taiwan (Swallow Tail Butterfly 2009), etc. Why not make a stencil of the president or king/queen?
3. Each country needs its unique identity, like Taiwan's silk and bamboo stamps. Create from your country's history. Using traditional paper like washi (Japan), hanji (Korea), and daluang/saeh (Indonesia) can introduce a country's culture.
4. Garbage has long been a problem. Bagasse, banana fronds, or corn husks can be used as stamp material.
5. Austria Post published a stamp containing meteor dust in 2006. 2004 meteorite found in Morocco produced the dust. Gibraltar's Rock of Gilbraltar appeared on stamps in 2002. What's so great about your country? East Java is muddy (Lapindo mud). Lapindo mud stamps will be popular. Red sand at Pink Beach, East Nusa Tenggara, could replace the mud.
1. Map postcards are popular because they make searching easier. Combining laser-cut road map patterns with perforated 200-gram paper glued on 400-gram paper as a writing medium. Vision-impaired people can use laser-cut maps.
2. Regional art can be promoted by tucking traditional textiles into postcards.
3. A thin canvas or plain paper on the card's front allows the giver to be creative.
4. What is local crop residue? Cork lids, maize husks, and rice husks can be recycled into postcard materials.
5. Have you seen a dried-flower bookmark? Cover the postcard with mica and add dried flowers. If you're worried about losing the flowers, you can glue them or make a postcard envelope.
6. Wood may be ubiquitous; try a 0.2-mm copper plate engraved with an image and connected to a postcard as a writing medium.
7. Utilized paper pulp can be used to hold eggs, smartphones, and food. Form a smooth paper pulp on the plate with the desired image, the Golden Gate bridge, and paste it on your card.
8. Postcards can promote perfume. When customers rub their hands on the card with the perfume image, they'll smell the aroma.
Tourism activities can be tailored to tourists' interests or needs. Each tourist benefits from tourism's distinct aim.
Let's define tourism's objective and purpose.
Holiday Tour is a tour that its participants plan and do in order to relax, have fun, and amuse themselves.
A familiarization tour is a journey designed to help travelers learn more about (survey) locales connected to their line of work.
An educational tour is one that aims to give visitors knowledge of the field of work they are visiting or an overview of it.
A scientific field is investigated and knowledge gained as the major goal of a scientific tour.
A pilgrimage tour is one designed to engage in acts of worship.
A special mission tour is one that has a specific goal, such a commerce mission or an artistic endeavor.
A hunting tour is a destination for tourists that plans organized animal hunting that is only allowed by local authorities for entertainment purposes.
Every part of life has tourism potential. Activities include:
1. Those who desire to volunteer can benefit from the humanitarian theme and collaboration with NGOs. This activity's profit isn't huge but consider the environmental impact.
2. Want to escape the city? Meditation travel can help. Beautiful spots around the globe can help people forget their concerns. A certified yoga/meditation teacher can help travelers release bad energy.
3. Any prison visitors? Some prisons, like those for minors under 17, are open to visitors. This type of tourism helps mental convicts reach a brighter future.
4. Who has taken a factory tour/study tour? Outside-of-school study tour (for ordinary people who have finished their studies). Not everyone in school could tour industries, workplaces, or embassies to learn and be inspired. Shoyeido (an incense maker) and Royce (a chocolate maker) offer factory tours in Japan.
5. Develop educational tourism like astronomy and archaeology. Until now, only a few astronomy enthusiasts have promoted astronomy tourism. In Indonesia, archaeology activities focus on site preservation, and to participate, office staff must undertake a series of training (not everyone can take a sabbatical from their routine). Archaeological tourist activities are limited, whether held by history and culture enthusiasts or in regional tours.
6. Have you ever longed to observe a film being made or your favorite musician rehearsing? Such tours can motivate young people to pursue entertainment careers.
7. Pamper your pets to reduce stress. Many pet owners don't have time for walks or treats. These premium services target the wealthy.
8. A quirky idea to provide tours for imaginary couples or things. Some people marry inanimate objects or animals and seek to make their lover happy; others cherish their ashes after death.
1. Fashion is a lifestyle, thus people often seek fresh materials. Chicken claws, geckos, snake skin casings, mice, bats, and fish skins are also used. Needs some improvement, definitely.
2. As fuel supplies become scarcer, people hunt for other energy sources. Sound is an underutilized renewable energy. The Batechsant technology converts environmental noise into electrical energy, according to study (Battery Technology Of Sound Power Plant). South Korean researchers use Sound-Driven Piezoelectric Nanowire based on Nanogenerators to recharge cell phone batteries. The Batechsant system uses existing noise levels to provide electricity for street lamp lights, aviation, and ships. Using waterfall sound can also energize hard-to-reach locations.
3. A New York Times reporter said IQ doesn't ensure success. Our school system prioritizes IQ above EQ (Emotional Quotient). EQ is a sort of human intelligence that allows a person to perceive and analyze the dynamics of his emotions when interacting with others (and with himself). EQ is suspected of being a bigger source of success than IQ. EQ training can gain greater attention to help people succeed. Prioritize role models from school stakeholders, teachers, and parents to improve children' EQ.
4. Teaching focuses more on theory than practice, so students are less eager to explore and easily forget if they don't pay attention. Has an engineer ever made bricks from arid red soil? Morocco's non-college-educated builders can create weatherproof bricks from red soil without equipment. Can mechanical engineering grads create a water pump to solve water shortages in remote areas? Art graduates can innovate beyond only painting. Artists may create kinetic sculpture by experimenting so much. Young people should understand these sciences so they can be more creative with their potential. These might be extracurricular activities in high school and university.
5. People have been trying to recycle agricultural waste for a long time. Mycelium helps replace light, easily crushed tiles and bricks (a collection of hyphae like in the manufacture of tempe). Waste must contain lignocellulose. In this vein, anti-mainstream painting canvases can be made. The goal is to create the canvas uneven like an amoeba outline, not square or spherical. The resulting canvas is lightweight and needs no frame. Then what? Open source your idea like Precious Plastic to establish a community. By propagating this notion, many knowledgeable people will help improve your product's quality and impact.
6. As technology and humans adapt, fraud increases. Making phony doctor's letters to fool superiors, fake credentials to get hired, fraudulent land certificates to make money, and fake news (hoax). The existence of a Wikimedia can aid the community by comparing bogus and original information.
7. Do you often hit a problem-solving impasse? Since the Doraemon bag hasn't been made, construct an Idea Bank. Everyone can contribute to solving problems here. How do you recruit volunteers? Obviously, a reward is needed. Contributors can become moderators or gain complimentary tickets to TIA (Tech in Asia) conferences. Idea Bank-related concepts: the rise of startups without a solid foundation generates an age as old as corn that does not continue. Those with startup ideas should describe them here so they can be validated by other users. Other users can contribute input if a comparable notion is produced to improve the product or integrate it. Similar-minded users can become Co-Founders.
8. Why not invest in fruit/vegetables, inspired by digital farming? The landowner obtains free fruit without spending much money on maintenance. Investors can get fruits/vegetables in larger quantities, fresher, and cheaper during harvest. Fruits and vegetables are often harmed if delivered too slowly. Rich investors with limited land can invest in teak, agarwood, and other trees. When harvesting, investors might choose raw results or direct wood sales earnings. Teak takes at least 7 years to harvest, therefore long-term wood investments carry the risk of crop failure.
9. Teenagers in distant locations can't count, read, or write. Many factors hinder locals' success. Life's demands force them to work instead of study. Creating a learning playground may attract young people to learning. Make a skatepark at school. Skateboarders must learn in school. Donations buy skateboards.
10. Globally, online taxi-bike is known. By hiring a motorcycle/car online, people no longer bother traveling without a vehicle. What if you wish to cross the island or visit remote areas? Is online boat or helicopter rental possible like online taxi-bike? Such a renting process has been done independently thus far and cannot be done quickly.
11. What do startups need now? A startup or investor consultant. How many startups fail to become Unicorns? Many founders don't know how to manage investor money, therefore they waste it on promotions and other things. Many investors only know how to invest and can't guide a struggling firm.
“In times of crisis, the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers.” — T’Challa [Black Panther]
Don't chase cash. Money is a byproduct. Profit-seeking is stressful. Market requirements are opportunities. If you have something to say, please comment.
This is only informational. Before implementing ideas, do further study.
9 months ago
Looking for a Reliable Micro SaaS Niche
Niches are rich, as the adage goes.
Micro SaaS requires a great micro-niche; otherwise, it's merely plain old SaaS with a large audience.
Instead of targeting broad markets with few identifying qualities, specialise down to a micro-niche. How would you target these users?
Better go tiny. You'll locate and engage new consumers more readily and serve them better with a customized solution.
Imagine you're a real estate lawyer looking for a case management solution. Because it's so specific to you, you'd be lured to this link:
instead of below:
Next, locate mini SaaS niches that could work for you. You're not yet looking at the problems/solutions in these areas, merely shortlisting them.
The market should be growing, not shrinking
We shouldn't design apps for a declining niche. We intend to target stable or growing niches for the next 5 to 10 years.
If it's a developing market, you may be able to claim a stake early. You must balance this strategy with safer, longer-established niches (accountancy, law, health, etc).
First Micro SaaS apps I designed were for Merch By Amazon creators, a burgeoning niche. I found this niche when searching for passive income.
Graphic designers and entrepreneurs post their art to Amazon to sell on clothes. When Amazon sells their design, they get a royalty. Since 2015, this platform and specialty have grown dramatically.
Amazon doesn't publicize the amount of creators on the platform, but it's possible to approximate by looking at Facebook groups, Reddit channels, etc.
I could see the community growing week by week, with new members joining. Merch was an up-and-coming niche, and designers made money when their designs sold. All I had to do was create tools that let designers focus on making bestselling designs.
Look at the Google Trends graph below to see how this niche has evolved and when I released my apps and resigned my job.
Are the users able to afford the tools?
Who's your average user? Consumer or business? Is your solution budgeted?
If they're students, you'll struggle to convince them to subscribe to your study-system app (ahead of video games and beer).
Let's imagine you designed a Shopify plugin that emails customers when a product is restocked. If your plugin just needs 5 product sales a month to justify its cost, everyone wins (just be mindful that one day Shopify could potentially re-create your plugins functionality within its core offering making your app redundant ).
Do specialized users buy tools? If so, that's comforting. If not, you'd better have a compelling value proposition for your end customer if you're the first.
This should include how much time or money your program can save or make the user.
Are you able to understand the Micro SaaS market?
Ideally, you're already familiar about the industry/niche. Maybe you're fixing a challenge from your day job or freelance work.
If not, evaluate how long it would take to learn the niche's users. Health & Fitness is easier to relate to and understand than hedge fund derivatives trading.
Competing in these complex (and profitable) fields might offer you an edge.
B2C, B2M, or B2B?
Consider your user base's demographics. Will you target businesses, consumers, or both? Let's examine the different consumer types:
B2B refers to business-to-business transactions where customers are other businesses. UpVoty, Plutio, Slingshot, Salesforce, Atlassian, and Hubspot are a few examples of SaaS, ranging from Micro SaaS to SaaS.
Business to Consumer (B2C), in which your clients are people who buy things. For instance, Duolingo, Canva, and Nomad List.
For instance, my tool KDP Wizard has a mixed user base of publishing enterprises and also entrepreneurial consumers selling low-content books on Amazon. This is a case of business to many (B2M), where your users are a mixture of businesses and consumers. There is a large SaaS called Dropbox that offers both personal and business plans.
Targeting a B2B vs. B2C niche is very different. The sales cycle differs.
A B2B sales staff must make cold calls to potential clients' companies. Long sales, legal, and contractual conversations are typically required for each business to get the go-ahead. The cost of obtaining a new customer is substantially more than it is for B2C, despite the fact that the recurring fees are significantly higher.
Since there is typically only one individual making the purchasing decision, B2C signups are virtually always self-service with reduced recurring fees. Since there is typically no outbound sales staff in B2C, acquisition costs are significantly lower than in B2B.
User Characteristics for B2B vs. B2C
Consider where your niche's users congregate if you don't already have a presence there.
B2B users frequent LinkedIn and Twitter. B2C users are on Facebook/Instagram/Reddit/Twitter, etc.
Churn is higher in B2C because consumers haven't gone through all the hoops of a B2B sale. Consumers are more unpredictable than businesses since they let their bank cards exceed limitations or don't update them when they expire.
With a B2B solution, there's a contractual arrangement and the firm will pay the subscription as long as they need it.
Depending on how you feel about the above (sales team vs. income vs. churn vs. targeting), you'll know which niches to pursue.
You ought to respect potential customers.
Would you hang out with customers?
You'll connect with users at conferences (in-person or virtual), webinars, seminars, screenshares, Facebook groups, emails, support calls, support tickets, etc.
If talking to a niche's user base makes you shudder, you're in for a tough road. Whether they're demanding or dull, avoid them if possible.
Merch users are mostly graphic designers, side hustlers, and entrepreneurs. These laid-back users embrace technologies that assist develop their Merch business.
I discovered there was only one annual conference for this specialty, held in Seattle, USA. I decided to organize a conference for UK/European Merch designers, despite never having done so before.
Hosting a conference for over 80 people was stressful, and it turned out to be much bigger than expected, with attendees from the US, Europe, and the UK.
I met many specialized users, built relationships, gained trust, and picked their brains in person. Many of the attendees were already Merch Wizard users, so hearing their feedback and ideas for future features was invaluable.
focused and specific
Instead of building for a generic, hard-to-reach market, target a specific group.
I liken it to fishing in a little, hidden pond. This small pond has only one species of fish, so you learn what bait it likes. Contrast that with trawling for hours to catch as many fish as possible, even if some aren't what you want.
In the case management scenario, it's difficult to target leads because several niches could use the app. Where do your potential customers hang out? Your generic solution: No.
It's easier to join a community of Real Estate Lawyers and see if your software can answer their pain points.
My Success with Micro SaaS
In my case, my Micro SaaS apps have been my chrome extensions. Since I launched them, they've earned me an average $10k MRR, allowing me to quit my lousy full-time job years ago.
I sold my apps after scaling them for a life-changing lump amount. Since then, I've helped unfulfilled software developers escape the 9-5 through Micro SaaS.
Whether it's a profitable side hustle or a liferaft to quit their job and become their own Micro SaaS boss.
Having built my apps to the point where I could quit my job, then scaled and sold them, I feel I can share my skills with software developers worldwide.
Read my free guide on self-funded SaaS to discover more about Micro SaaS, or download your own copy. 12 chapters cover everything from Idea to Exit.
Watch my YouTube video to learn how to construct a Micro SaaS app in 10 steps.
9 months ago
Facebook is going away. Here are two explanations for why it hasn't been replaced yet.
And tips for anyone trying.
We see the same story every few years.
BREAKING NEWS: [Platform X] launched a social network. With Facebook's reputation down, the new startup bets millions will switch.
Despite the excitement surrounding each new platform (Diaspora, Ello, Path, MeWe, Minds, Vero, etc.), no major exodus occurred.
Snapchat and TikTok attracted teens with fresh experiences (ephemeral messaging and rapid-fire videos). These features aren't Facebook, even if Facebook replicated them.
Facebook's core is simple: you publish items (typically text/images) and your friends (generally people you know IRL) can discuss them.
It's cool. Sometimes I don't want to, but sh*t. I like it.
Because, well, I like many folks I've met. I enjoy keeping in touch with them and their banter.
I dislike Facebook's corporation. I've been cautiously optimistic whenever a Facebook-killer surfaced.
Why? Two causes, I think:
People couldn't switch quickly enough, which is reason #1
Your buddies make a social network social.
Facebook started in self-contained communities (college campuses) then grew outward. But a new platform can't.
If we're expected to leave Facebook, we want to know that most of our friends will too.
Most Facebook-killers had bottlenecks. You have to waitlist or jump through hoops (e.g. setting up a server).
Same outcome. Upload. Chirp.
After a week or two of silence, individuals returned to Facebook.
Reason #2: The fundamental experience was different.
Even when many of our friends joined in the first few weeks, it wasn't the same.
There were missing features or a different UX.
Want to reply with a meme? No photos in comments yet. (Trying!)
Want to tag a friend? Nope, sorry. 2019!
Want your friends to see your post? You must post to all your friends' servers. Good luck!
It's difficult to introduce a platform with 100% of the same features as one that's been there for 20 years, yet customers want a core experience.
If you can't, they'll depart.
The causes that led to the causes
Having worked on software teams for 14+ years, I'm not surprised by these challenges. They are a natural development of a few tech sector meta-problems:
Lean startup methodology
Silicon Valley worships lean startup. It's a way of developing software that involves testing a stripped-down version with a limited number of people before selecting what to build.
Billion people use Facebook's functions. They aren't tested. It must work right away*
*This may seem weird to software people, but it's how non-software works! You can't sell a car without wheels.
Startup entrepreneurs build new things, not copies. I understand. Reinventing the wheel is boring.
We know what works. Different experiences raise adoption friction. Once millions have transferred, more features (and a friendlier UX) can be implemented.
3. Cost scaling
True. Building a product that can sustain hundreds of millions of users in weeks is expensive and complex.
Your lifeboats must have the same capacity as the ship you're evacuating. It's required.
4. Pure ideologies
People who work on Facebook-alternatives are (understandably) critical of Facebook.
They build an open-source, fully-distributed, data-portable, interface-customizable, offline-capable, censorship-proof platform.
Prioritizing these aims can prevent replicating the straightforward experience users expect. Github, not Facebook, is for techies only.
What about the business plan, though?
Facebook-killer attempts have followed three models.
Utilize VC funding to increase your user base, then monetize them later. (If you do this, you won't kill Facebook; instead, Facebook will become you.)
Users must pay to utilize it. (This causes a huge bottleneck and slows the required quick expansion, preventing it from seeming like a true social network.)
Make it a volunteer-run, open-source endeavor that is free. (This typically denotes that something is cumbersome, difficult to operate, and is only for techies.)
Wikipedia is a fourth way.
Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites and a charity. No ads. Donations support them.
A Facebook-killer managed by a good team may gather millions (from affluent contributors and the crowd) for their initial phase of development. Then it might sustain on regular donations, ethical transactions (e.g. fees on commerce, business sites, etc.), and government grants/subsidies (since it would essentially be a public utility).
When you're not aiming to make investors rich, it's remarkable how little money you need.
If you want to build a Facebook competitor, follow these tips:
Drop the lean startup philosophy. Wait until you have a finished product before launching. Build it, thoroughly test it for bugs, and then release it.
Delay innovating. Wait till millions of people have switched before introducing your great new features. Make it nearly identical for now.
Spend money climbing. Make sure that guests can arrive as soon as they are invited. Never keep them waiting. Make things easy for them.
Make it accessible to all. Even if doing so renders it less philosophically pure, it shouldn't require technical expertise to utilize.
Constitute a nonprofit. Additionally, develop community ownership structures. Profit maximization is not the only strategy for preserving valued assets.
Nobody has killed Facebook, but Facebook is killing itself.
The startup is burying the newsfeed to become a TikTok clone. Meta itself seems to be ditching the platform for the metaverse.
I wish I was happy, but I'm not. I miss (understandably) removed friends' postings and remarks. It could be a ghost town in a few years. My dance moves aren't TikTok-worthy.
Who will lead? It's time to develop a social network for the people.
Greetings if you're working on it. I'm not a company founder, but I like to help hard-working folks.
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7 months ago
Sam Altman, CEO of Open AI, foresees the next trillion-dollar AI company
“I think if I had time to do something else, I would be so excited to go after this company right now.”
Sam Altman, CEO of Open AI, recently discussed AI's present and future.
Open AI is important. They're creating the cyberpunk and sci-fi worlds.
They use the most advanced algorithms and data sets.
GPT-3...sound familiar? Open AI built most copyrighting software. Peppertype, Jasper AI, Rytr. If you've used any, you'll be shocked by the quality.
Open AI isn't only GPT-3. They created DallE-2 and Whisper (a speech recognition software released last week).
What will they do next? What's the next great chance?
Sam Altman, CEO of Open AI, recently gave a lecture about the next trillion-dollar AI opportunity.
Who is the organization behind Open AI?
Open AI first. If you know, skip it.
Open AI is one of the earliest private AI startups. Elon Musk, Greg Brockman, and Rebekah Mercer established OpenAI in December 2015.
OpenAI has helped its citizens and AI since its birth.
They have scary-good algorithms.
Their GPT-3 natural language processing program is excellent.
The algorithm's exponential growth is astounding. GPT-2 came out in November 2019. May 2020 brought GPT-3.
Massive computation and datasets improved the technique in just a year. New York Times said GPT-3 could write like a human.
Same for Dall-E. Dall-E 2 was announced in April 2022. Dall-E 2 won a Colorado art contest.
Open AI's algorithms challenge jobs we thought required human innovation.
So what does Sam Altman think?
The Present Situation and AI's Limitations
During the interview, Sam states that we are still at the tip of the iceberg.
So I think so far, we’ve been in the realm where you can do an incredible copywriting business or you can do an education service or whatever. But I don’t think we’ve yet seen the people go after the trillion dollar take on Google.
He's right that AI can't generate net new human knowledge. It can train and synthesize vast amounts of knowledge, but it simply reproduces human work.
“It’s not going to cure cancer. It’s not going to add to the sum total of human scientific knowledge.”
But the key word is yet.
And that is what I think will turn out to be wrong that most surprises the current experts in the field.
Reinforcing his point that massive innovations are yet to come.
The Next $1 Trillion AI Company
Sam predicts a bio or genomic breakthrough.
There’s been some promising work in genomics, but stuff on a bench top hasn’t really impacted it. I think that’s going to change. And I think this is one of these areas where there will be these new $100 billion to $1 trillion companies started, and those areas are rare.
Avoid human trials since they take time. Bio-materials or simulators are suitable beginning points.
AI may have a breakthrough. DeepMind, an OpenAI competitor, has developed AlphaFold to predict protein 3D structures.
It could change how we see proteins and their function. AlphaFold could provide fresh understanding into how proteins work and diseases originate by revealing their structure. This could lead to Alzheimer's and cancer treatments. AlphaFold could speed up medication development by revealing how proteins interact with medicines.
Deep Mind offered 200 million protein structures for scientists to download (including sustainability, food insecurity, and neglected diseases).
Being in AI for 4+ years, I'm amazed at the progress. We're past the hype cycle, as evidenced by the collapse of AI startups like C3 AI, and have entered a productive phase.
We'll see innovative enterprises that could replace Google and other trillion-dollar companies.
What happens after AI adoption is scary and unpredictable. How will AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) affect us? Highly autonomous systems that exceed humans at valuable work (Open AI)
My guess is that the things that we’ll have to figure out are how we think about fairly distributing wealth, access to AGI systems, which will be the commodity of the realm, and governance, how we collectively decide what they can do, what they don’t do, things like that. And I think figuring out the answer to those questions is going to just be huge. — Sam Altman CEO
9 months ago
Even In a Crazy Market, Hire the Best People: The "First Ten" Rules
Hiring is difficult, but you shouldn't compromise on team members. Or it may suggest you need to look beyond years in a similar role/function.
Every hire should be someone we'd want as one of our first ten employees.
If you hire such people, your team will adapt, initiate, and problem-solve, and your company will grow. You'll stay nimble even as you scale, and you'll learn from your colleagues.
If you only hire for a specific role or someone who can execute the job, you'll become a cluster of optimizers, and talent will depart for a more fascinating company. A startup is continually changing, therefore you want individuals that embrace it.
As a leader, establishing ideal conditions for talent and having a real ideology should be high on your agenda. You can't eliminate attrition, nor would you want to, but you can hire people who will become your company's leaders.
In my last four jobs I was employee 2, 5, 3, and 5. So while this is all a bit self serving, you’re the one reading my writing — and I have some experience with who works out in the first ten!
First, we'll examine what they do well (and why they're beneficial for startups), then what they don't, and how to hire them.
First 10 are:
Business partners: Because it's their company, they take care of whatever has to be done and have ideas about how to do it. You can rely on them to always put the success of the firm first because it is their top priority (company success is strongly connected with success for early workers). This approach will eventually take someone to leadership positions.
High Speed Learners: They process knowledge quickly and can reach 80%+ competency in a new subject matter rather quickly. A growing business that is successful tries new things frequently. We have all lost a lot of money and time on employees who follow the wrong playbook or who wait for someone else within the company to take care of them.
Autodidacts learn by trial and error, osmosis, networking with others, applying first principles, and reading voraciously (articles, newsletters, books, and even social media). Although teaching is wonderful, you won't have time.
Self-scaling: They figure out a means to deal with issues and avoid doing the grunt labor over the long haul, increasing their leverage. Great people don't keep doing the same thing forever; as they expand, they use automation and delegation to fill in their lower branches. This is a crucial one; even though you'll still adore them, you'll have to manage their scope or help them learn how to scale on their own.
Free Range: You can direct them toward objectives rather than specific chores. Check-ins can be used to keep them generally on course without stifling invention instead of giving them precise instructions because doing so will obscure their light.
When people are inspired, they bring their own ideas about what a firm can be and become animated during discussions about how to get there.
Novelty Seeking: They look for business and personal growth chances. Give them fresh assignments and new directions to follow around once every three months.
Here’s what the First Ten types may not be:
Domain specialists. When you look at their resumes, you'll almost certainly think they're unqualified. Fortunately, a few strategically positioned experts may empower a number of First Ten types by serving on a leadership team or in advising capacities.
Balanced. These people become very invested, and they may be vulnerable to many types of stress. You may need to assist them in managing their own stress and coaching them through obstacles. If you are reading this and work at Banza, I apologize for not doing a better job of supporting this. I need to be better at it.
Able to handle micromanagement with ease. People who like to be in charge will suppress these people. Good decision-making should be delegated to competent individuals. Generally speaking, if you wish to scale.
Great startup team members have versatility, learning, innovation, and energy. When we hire for the function, not the person, we become dull and staid. Could this person go to another department if needed? Could they expand two levels in a few years?
First Ten qualities and experience level may have a weak inverse association. People with 20+ years of experience who had worked at larger organizations wanted to try something new and had a growth mentality. College graduates may want to be told what to do and how to accomplish it so they can stay in their lane and do what their management asks.
Does the First Ten archetype sound right for your org? Cool, let’s go hiring. How will you know when you’ve found one?
They exhibit adaptive excellence, excelling at a variety of unrelated tasks. It could be hobbies or professional talents. This suggests that they will succeed in the next several endeavors they pursue.
Successful risk-taking is doing something that wasn't certain to succeed, sometimes more than once, and making it do so. It's an attitude.
Rapid Rise: They regularly change roles and get promoted. However, they don't leave companies when the going gets tough. Look for promotions at every stop and at least one position with three or more years of experience.
You can ask them:
Tell me about a time when you started from scratch or achieved success. What occurred en route? You might request a variety of tales from various occupations or even aspects of life. They ought to be energized by this.
What new skills have you just acquired? It is not required to be work-related. They must be able to describe it and unintentionally become enthusiastic about it.
Tell me about a moment when you encountered a challenge and had to alter your strategy. The core of a startup is reinventing itself when faced with obstacles.
Tell me about a moment when you eliminated yourself from a position at work. They've demonstrated they can permanently solve one issue and develop into a new one, as stated above.
Why do you want to leave X position or Y duty? These people ought to be moving forward, not backward, all the time. Instead, they will discuss what they are looking forward to visiting your location.
Any questions? Due to their inherent curiosity and desire to learn new things, they should practically never run out of questions. You can really tell if they are sufficiently curious at this point.
People who see their success as being the same as the success of the organization are the best-case team members, in any market. They’ll grow and change with the company, and always try to prioritize what matters. You’ll find yourself more energized by your work because you’re surrounded by others who are as well. Happy teambuilding!
1 year ago
How a $300K Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT was accidentally sold for $3K
The Bored Ape Yacht Club is one of the most prestigious NFT collections in the world. A collection of 10,000 NFTs, each depicting an ape with different traits and visual attributes, Jimmy Fallon, Steph Curry and Post Malone are among their star-studded owners. Right now the price of entry is 52 ether, or $210,000.
Which is why it's so painful to see that someone accidentally sold their Bored Ape NFT for $3,066.
Unusual trades are often a sign of funny business, as in the case of the person who spent $530 million to buy an NFT from themselves. In Saturday's case, the cause was a simple, devastating "fat-finger error." That's when people make a trade online for the wrong thing, or for the wrong amount. Here the owner, real name Max or username maxnaut, meant to list his Bored Ape for 75 ether, or around $300,000. Instead he accidentally listed it for 0.75. One hundredth the intended price.
It was bought instantaneously. The buyer paid an extra $34,000 to speed up the transaction, ensuring no one could snap it up before them. The Bored Ape was then promptly listed for $248,000. The transaction appears to have been done by a bot, which can be coded to immediately buy NFTs listed below a certain price on behalf of their owners in order to take advantage of these exact situations.
"How'd it happen? A lapse of concentration I guess," Max told me. "I list a lot of items every day and just wasn't paying attention properly. I instantly saw the error as my finger clicked the mouse but a bot sent a transaction with over 8 eth [$34,000] of gas fees so it was instantly sniped before I could click cancel, and just like that, $250k was gone."
"And here within the beauty of the Blockchain you can see that it is both honest and unforgiving," he added.
Fat finger trades happen sporadically in traditional finance -- like the Japanese trader who almost bought 57% of Toyota's stock in 2014 -- but most financial institutions will stop those transactions if alerted quickly enough. Since cryptocurrency and NFTs are designed to be decentralized, you essentially have to rely on the goodwill of the buyer to reverse the transaction.
Fat finger errors in cryptocurrency trades have made many a headline over the past few years. Back in 2019, the company behind Tether, a cryptocurrency pegged to the US dollar, nearly doubled its own coin supply when it accidentally created $5 billion-worth of new coins. In March, BlockFi meant to send 700 Gemini Dollars to a set of customers, worth roughly $1 each, but mistakenly sent out millions of dollars worth of bitcoin instead. Last month a company erroneously paid a $24 million fee on a $100,000 transaction.
Similar incidents are increasingly being seen in NFTs, now that many collections have accumulated in market value over the past year. Last month someone tried selling a CryptoPunk NFT for $19 million, but accidentally listed it for $19,000 instead. Back in August, someone fat finger listed their Bored Ape for $26,000, an error that someone else immediately capitalized on. The original owner offered $50,000 to the buyer to return the Bored Ape -- but instead the opportunistic buyer sold it for the then-market price of $150,000.
"The industry is so new, bad things are going to happen whether it's your fault or the tech," Max said. "Once you no longer have control of the outcome, forget and move on."
The Bored Ape Yacht Club launched back in April 2021, with 10,000 NFTs being sold for 0.08 ether each -- about $190 at the time. While NFTs are often associated with individual digital art pieces, collections like the Bored Ape Yacht Club, which allow owners to flaunt their NFTs by using them as profile pictures on social media, are becoming increasingly prevalent. The Bored Ape Yacht Club has since become the second biggest NFT collection in the world, second only to CryptoPunks, which launched in 2017 and is considered the "original" NFT collection.