More on Entrepreneurship/Creators
9 months ago
How Much I Got Paid by YouTube for a 68 Million Views Video
My nameless, faceless channel case study
I anonymize this YouTube channel.
It's in a trendy, crowded niche. Sharing it publicly will likely enhance competition.
I'll still share my dashboard numbers:
A year ago, the video was released.
What I earned
I'll stop stalling. Here's a screenshot of my YouTube statistics page displaying Adsense profits.
YouTube Adsense made me ZERO dollars.
How is this possible?
YouTube Adsense can't monetize my niche. This is typical in faceless niches like TikTok's rain videos. If they were started a while ago, I'm sure certain rain accounts are monetized, but not today.
I actually started a soothing sounds faceless YouTube channel. This was another account of mine.
I looped Pexels films for hours. No background music, just wind, rain, etc.
People could watch these videos to relax or get ready for bed. They're ideal for background noise and relaxation.
They're long-lasting, too. It's easy to make a lot from YouTube Adsense if you insert ads.
Anyway, I tried to monetize it and couldn’t. This was about a year ago. That’s why I doubt new accounts in this genre would be able to get approved for ads.
Back to my faceless channel with 68 million views.
I received nothing from YouTube Adsense, but I made money elsewhere.
Getting paid by the gods of affiliate marketing
Place links in the video and other videos on the channel to get money. Visitors that buy through your affiliate link earn you a commission.
This video earned many clicks on my affiliate links.
I linked to a couple of Amazon products, a YouTube creator tool, my kofi link, and my subscribe link.
Brands pay you to include ads in your videos.
This video led to many sponsorships.
I've done dozens of sponsorship campaigns that paid $40 to $50 for an end screen to $450 for a preroll ad.
Overall, I made less than $3,000.
If I had time, I'd be more proactive with sponsorships. You can pitch brand sponsorships. This actually works.
I'd do that if I could rewind time.
I still can, but I think the reaction rate would be higher closer to the viral video's premiere date.
8 months ago
Growth tactics that grew businesses from 1 to 100
Everyone wants a scalable startup.
Innovation helps launch a startup. The secret to a scalable business is growth trials (from 1 to 100).
Growth marketing combines marketing and product development for long-term growth.
Today, I'll explain growth hacking strategies popular startups used to scale.
1/ A Facebook user's social value is proportional to their friends.
Facebook built its user base using content marketing and paid ads. Mark and his investors feared in 2007 when Facebook's growth stalled at 90 million users.
Chamath Palihapitiya was brought in by Mark.
The team tested SEO keywords and MAU chasing. The growth team introduced “people you may know”
This feature reunited long-lost friends and family. Casual users became power users as the retention curve flattened.
Growth Hack Insights: With social network effect the value of your product or platform increases exponentially if you have users you know or can relate with.
2/ Airbnb - Focus on your value propositions
Airbnb nearly failed in 2009. The company's weekly revenue was $200 and they had less than 2 months of runway.
Enter Paul Graham. The team noticed a pattern in 40 listings. Their website's property photos sucked.
Because these photos were taken with regular smartphones. Users didn't like the first impression.
Graham suggested traveling to New York to rent a camera, meet with property owners, and replace amateur photos with high-resolution ones.
A week later, the team's weekly revenue doubled to $400, indicating they were on track.
Growth Hack Insights: When selling an “online experience” ensure that your value proposition is aesthetic enough for users to enjoy being associated with them.
3/ Zomato - A company's smartphone push ensured growth.
Zomato delivers food. User retention was a challenge for the founders. Indian food customers are notorious for switching brands at the drop of a hat.
Zomato wanted users to order food online and repeat orders throughout the week.
Zomato created an attractive website with “near me” keywords for SEO indexing.
Zomato gambled to increase repeat orders. They only allowed mobile app food orders.
Zomato thought mobile apps were stickier. Product innovations in search/discovery/ordering or marketing campaigns like discounts/in-app notifications/nudges can improve user experience.
Zomato went public in 2021 after users kept ordering food online.
Growth Hack Insights: To improve user retention try to build platforms that build user stickiness. Your product and marketing team will do the rest for them.
4/ Hotmail - Signaling helps build premium users.
Ever sent or received an email or tweet with a sign — sent from iPhone?
Hotmail did it first! One investor suggested Hotmail add a signature to every email.
Overnight, thousands joined the company. Six months later, the company had 1 million users.
When serving an existing customer, improve their social standing. Signaling keeps the top 1%.
5/ Dropbox - Respect loyal customers
Dropbox is a company that puts people over profits. The company prioritized existing users.
Dropbox rewarded loyal users by offering 250 MB of free storage to anyone who referred a friend. The referral hack helped Dropbox get millions of downloads in its first few months.
Growth Hack Insights: Think of ways to improve the social positioning of your end-user when you are serving an existing customer. Signaling goes a long way in attracting the top 1% to stay.
These experiments weren’t hacks. Hundreds of failed experiments and user research drove these experiments. Scaling up experiments is difficult.
Contact me if you want to grow your startup's user base.
8 months ago
In five years, starting a business won't be hip.
People are slowly recognizing entrepreneurship's downside.
Growing up, entrepreneurship wasn't common. High school class of 2012 had no entrepreneurs.
Businesses were different.
They had staff and a lengthy history of achievement.
I never wanted a business. It felt unattainable. My friends didn't care.
People desired degrees to attain good jobs at big companies.
When graduated high school:
9 out of 10 people attend college
Earn minimum wage (7%) working in a restaurant or retail establishment
Or join the military (3%)
Later, entrepreneurship became a thing.
I was in the military and most of my high school friends were in college, so I didn't hear anything.
Entrepreneurship soared in 2015, according to Google Trends.
Then more individuals were interested. Entrepreneurship went from unusual to cool.
In 2015, it was easier than ever to build a website, run Facebook advertisements, and achieve organic social media reach.
There were several online business tools.
You didn't need to spend years or money figuring it out. Most entry barriers were gone.
Everyone wanted a side gig to escape the 95.
Small company applications have increased during the previous 10 years.
2011-2014 trend continues.
2015 adds 150,000 applications. 2016 adds 200,000. Plus 300,000 in 2017.
The graph makes it look little, but that's a considerable annual spike with no indications of stopping.
By 2021, new business apps had doubled.
Entrepreneurship will return to its early 2010s level.
I think we'll go backward in 5 years.
Entrepreneurship is half as popular as it was in 2015.
In the late 2020s and 30s, entrepreneurship will again be obscure.
Entrepreneurship's decade-long splendor is fading. People will cease escaping 9-5 and launch fewer companies.
That’s not a bad thing.
I think people have a rose-colored vision of entrepreneurship. It's fashionable. People feel that they're missing out if they're not entrepreneurial.
Reality is showing up.
People say on social media, "I knew starting a business would be hard, but not this hard."
More negative posts on entrepreneurship:
Is being an entrepreneur ‘healthy’? I don’t really think so. Many like Gary V, are not role models for a well-balanced life. Despite what feel-good LinkedIn tells you the odds are against you as an entrepreneur. You have to work your face off. It’s a tough but rewarding lifestyle. So maybe let’s stop glorifying it because it takes a lot of (bleepin) work to survive a pandemic, mental health battles, and a competitive market.
Entrepreneurship is no longer a pipe dream.
I went full-time in March 2020. I was done by April 2021. I had a good-paying job with perks.
When that fell through (on my start date), I had to continue my entrepreneurial path. I needed money by May 1 to pay rent.
Entrepreneurship isn't as great as many think.
Entrepreneurship is a serious business.
If you have a 9-5, the grass isn't greener here. Most people aren't telling the whole story when they post on social media or quote successful entrepreneurs.
People prefer to communicate their victories than their defeats.
Is this a bad thing?
I don’t think so.
Over the previous decade, entrepreneurship went from impossible to the finest thing ever.
It peaked in 2020-21 and is returning to reality.
Startups aren't for everyone.
If you like your job, don't quit.
Entrepreneurship won't amaze people if you quit your job.
And you'll probably make less money.
If you hate your job, quit. Change jobs and bosses. Changing jobs could net you a greater pay or better perks.
When you go solo, your paycheck and perks vanish. Did I mention you'll fail, sleep less, and stress more?
Nobody will stop you from pursuing entrepreneurship. You'll face several challenges.
Entrepreneurship may be romanticized for years.
Based on what I see from entrepreneurs on social media and trends, entrepreneurship is challenging and few will succeed.
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9 months ago
I received a $2k bribe to replace another developer in an interview
I can't believe they’d even think it works!
Developers are usually interviewed before being hired, right? Every organization wants candidates who meet their needs. But they also want to avoid fraud.
There are cheaters in every field. Only two come to mind for the hiring process:
Lying on a resume.
Cheating on an online test.
Recently, I observed another one. One of my coworkers invited me to replace another developer during an online interview! I was astonished, but it’s not new.
My ex-colleague recently texted me. No one from your former office will ever approach you after a year unless they need something.
Which was the case. My coworker said his wife needed help as a programmer. I was glad someone asked for my help, but I'm still a junior programmer.
Then he informed me his wife was selected for a fantastic job interview. He said he could help her with the online test, but he needed someone to help with the online interview.
Okay, I guess. Preparing for an online interview is beneficial. But then he said she didn't need to be ready. She needed someone to take her place.
I told him it wouldn't work. Every remote online interview I've ever seen required an open camera.
What followed surprised me. She'd ask to turn off the camera, he said.
I asked why.
He told me if an applicant is unwell, the interviewer may consider an off-camera interview. His wife will say she's sick and prefers no camera.
The plan left me speechless. I declined politely. He insisted and promised $2k if she got the job.
I felt insulted and told him if he persisted, I'd inform his office. I was furious. Later, I apologized and told him to stop.
I'm not sure what they did after that
I'm not sure if they found someone or listened to me. They probably didn't. How would she do the job if she even got it?
It's an internship, he said. With great pay, though. What should an intern do?
I suggested she do the interview alone. Even if she failed, she'd gain confidence and valuable experience.
Many interviewees cheat. My profession is vital to me, thus I'd rather improve my abilities and apply honestly. It's part of my identity.
Am I truthful? Most professionals are not. They fabricate their CVs. Often.
When you support interview cheating, you encourage more cheating! When someone cheats, another qualified candidate may not obtain the job.
One day, that could be you or me.
Peter Steven Ho
9 months ago
Thank You for 21 Fantastic Years, iPod
Apple's latest revelation may shock iPod fans and former owners.
Apple discontinued the iPod touch on May 11, 2022. After 21 years, Apple killed the last surviving iPod, a device Steve Jobs believed would revolutionize the music industry.
Jobs was used to making bold predictions, but few expected Apple's digital music player to change the music industry. It did.
This chaos created new business opportunities. Spotify, YouTube, and Amazon are products of that chaotic era.
As the digital landscape changes, so do consumers, and the iPod has lost favor. I'm sure Apple realizes the importance of removing an icon. The iPod was Apple like the Mac and iPhone. I think it's bold to retire such a key Apple cornerstone. What would Jobs do?
iPod evolution across the ages
Here's an iPod family tree for all you enthusiasts.
iPod vintage (Oct 2001 to Sep 2014, 6 generations)
The original iPod had six significant upgrades since 2001. Apple announced an 80 GB ($249) and 160 GB ($349) iPod classic in 2007.
Apple updated the 80 GB model with a 120 GB device in September 2008. Apple upgraded the 120 GB model with a 160 GB variant a year later (2009). This was the last iteration, and Apple discontinued the classic in September 2014.
iPod nano (Jan 2004 to Sep 2005, 2 generations)
Apple debuted a smaller, brightly-colored iPod in 2004. The first model featured 4 GB, enough for 1,000 songs.
Apple produced a new 4 GB or 6 GB iPod mini in February 2005 and discontinued it in September when they released a better-looking iPod nano.
iTouch nano (Sep 2005 to July 2017, 7 generations)
I loved the iPod nano. It was tiny and elegant with enough tech to please most music aficionados, unless you carry around your complete music collection.
Apple owed much of the iPod nano's small form and success to solid-state flash memory. Flash memory doesn't need power because it has no moving parts. This makes the iPod nano more durable than the iPod classic and mini, which employ hard drives.
Apple manufactured seven generations of the iPod nano, improving its design, display screen, memory, battery, and software, but abandoned it in July 2017 due to dwindling demand.
Shuffle iPod (Jan 2005 to Jul 2017, 4 generations)
The iPod shuffle was entry-level. It was a simple, lightweight, tiny music player. The iPod shuffle was perfect for lengthy bike trips, runs, and hikes.
Apple sold 10 million iPod shuffles in the first year and kept making them for 12 years, through four significant modifications.
iOS device (Sep 2007 to May 2022, 7 generations)
The iPod touch's bigger touchscreen interface made it a curious addition to the iPod family. The iPod touch resembled an iPhone more than the other iPods, making them hard to tell apart.
Many were dissatisfied that Apple removed functionality from the iPod touch to avoid making it too similar to the iPhone. Seven design improvements over 15 years brought the iPod touch closer to the iPhone, but not completely.
The iPod touch uses the same iOS operating system as the iPhone, giving it access to many apps, including handheld games.
The iPod touch's long production run is due to the next generation of music-loving gamers.
What made the iPod cool
iPod revolutionized music listening. It was the first device to store and play MP3 music, allowing you to carry over 1,000 songs anywhere.
The iPod changed consumer electronics with its scroll wheel and touchscreen. Jobs valued form and function equally. He showed people that a product must look good to inspire an emotional response and ignite passion.
The elegant, tiny iPod was a tremendous sensation when it arrived for $399 in October 2001. Even at this price, it became a must-have for teens to CEOs.
It's hard to identify any technology that changed how music was downloaded and played like the iPod. Apple iPod and iTunes had 63% of the paid music download market in the fourth quarter of 2012.
The demise of the iPod was inevitable
Apple discontinuing the iPod touch after 21 years is sad. This ends a 00s music icon.
Jobs was a genius at anticipating market needs and opportunities, and Apple launched the iPod at the correct time.
Few consumer electronics items have had such a lasting impact on music lovers and the music industry as the iPod.
Smartphones and social media have contributed to the iPod's decline. Instead of moving to the music, the new generation of consumers is focused on social media. They're no longer passive content consumers; they're active content creators seeking likes and followers. Here, the smartphone has replaced the iPod.
It's hard not to feel a feeling of loss, another part of my adolescence now forgotten by the following generation.
So, if you’re lucky enough to have a working iPod, hang on to that relic and enjoy the music and the nostalgia.
9 months ago Draft
A Myth: Decentralization
It’s simply not conceivable, or at least not credible.
One of the most touted selling points of Crypto has always been this grandiose idea of decentralization. Bitcoin first arose in 2009 after the housing crisis and subsequent crash that came with it. It aimed to solve this supposed issue of centralization. Nobody “owns” Bitcoin in theory, so the idea then goes that it won’t be subject to the same downfalls that led to the 2008 crash or similarly speculative events that led to the 2008 disaster. The issue is the banks, not the human nature associated with the greedy individuals running them.
Subsequent blockchains have attempted to fix many of the issues of Bitcoin by increasing capacity, decreasing the costs and processing times associated with Bitcoin, and expanding what can be done with their blockchains. Since nobody owns Bitcoin, it hasn’t really been able to be expanded on. You have people like Vitalk Buterin, however, that actively work on Ethereum though.
The leap from Bitcoin to Ethereum was a massive leap toward centralization, and the trend has only gotten worse. In fact, crypto has since become almost exclusively centralized in recent years.
Decentralization is only good in theory
It’s a good idea. In fact, it’s a wonderful idea. However, like other utopian societies, individuals misjudge human nature and greed. In a perfect world, decentralization would certainly be a wonderful idea because sure, people may function as their own banks, move payments immediately, remain anonymous, and so on. However, underneath this are a couple issues:
You can already send money instantaneously today.
They are not decentralized.
Decentralization is a bad idea.
Being your own bank is a stupid move.
Let’s break these down. Some are quite simple, but lets have a look.
Sending money right away
One thing with crypto is the idea that you can send payments instantly. This has pretty much been entirely solved in current times. You can transmit significant sums of money instantly for a nominal cost and it’s instantaneously cleared. Venmo was launched in 2009 and has since increased to prominence, and currently is on most people's phones. I can directly send ANY amount of money quickly from my bank to another person's Venmo account.
Comparing that with ETH and Bitcoin, Venmo wins all around. I can send money to someone for free instantly in dollars and the only fee paid is optional depending on when you want it.
Both Bitcoin and Ethereum are subject to demand. If the blockchains have a lot of people trying to process transactions fee’s go up, and the time that it takes to receive your crypto takes longer. When Ethereum gets bad, people have reported spending several thousand of dollars on just 1 transaction.
These transactions take place via “miners” bundling and confirming transactions, then recording them on the blockchain to confirm that the transaction did indeed happen. They charge fees to do this and are also paid in Bitcoin/ETH. When a transaction is confirmed, it's then sent to the other users wallet. This within itself is subject to lots of controversy because each transaction needs to be confirmed 6 times, this takes massive amounts of power, and most of the power is wasted because this is an adversarial system in which the person that mines the transaction gets paid, and everyone else is out of luck. Also, these could theoretically be subject to a “51% attack” in which anyone with over 51% of the mining hash rate could effectively control all of the transactions, and reverse transactions while keeping the BTC resulting in “double spending”.
There are tons of other issues with this, but essentially it means: They rely on these third parties to confirm the transactions. Without people confirming these transactions, Bitcoin stalls completely, and if anyone becomes too dominant they can effectively control bitcoin.
Not to mention, these transactions are in Bitcoin and ETH, not dollars. So, you need to convert them to dollars still, and that's several more transactions, and likely to take several days anyway as the centralized exchange needs to send you the money by traditional methods.
They are not distributed
That takes me to the following point. This isn’t decentralized, at all. Bitcoin is the closest it gets because Satoshi basically closed it to new upgrades, although its still subject to:
It’s vital to realize that these are often the same folks. While whales aren’t centralized entities typically, they can considerably effect the price and outcome of Bitcoin. If the largest wallets holding as much as 1 million BTC were to sell, it’d effectively collapse the price perhaps beyond repair. However, Bitcoin can and is pretty much controlled by the miners. Further, Bitcoin is more like an oligarchy than decentralized. It’s been effectively used to make the rich richer, and both the mining and price is impacted by the rich. The overwhelming minority of those actually using it are retail investors. The retail investors are basically never the ones generating money from it either.
As far as ETH and other cryptos go, there is realistically 0 case for them being decentralized. Vitalik could not only kill it but even walking away from it would likely lead to a significant decline. It has tons of issues right now that Vitalik has promised to fix with the eventual Ethereum 2.0., and stepping away from it wouldn’t help.
Most tokens as well are generally tied to some promise of future developments and creators. The same is true for most NFT projects. The reason 99% of crypto and NFT projects fail is because they failed to deliver on various promises or bad dev teams, or poor innovation, or the founders just straight up stole from everyone. I could go more in-depth than this but go find any project and if there is a dev team, company, or person tied to it then it's likely, not decentralized. The success of that project is directly tied to the dev team, and if they wanted to, most hold large wallets and could sell it all off effectively killing the project. Not to mention, any crypto project that doesn’t have a locked contract can 100% be completely rugged and they can run off with all of the money.
Decentralization is undesirable
Even if they were decentralized then it would not be a good thing. The graphic above indicates this is effectively a rich person’s unregulated playground… so it’s exactly like… the very issue it tried to solve?
Not to mention, it’s supposedly meant to prevent things like 2008, but is regularly subjected to 50–90% drawdowns in value? Back when Bitcoin was only known in niche parts of the dark web and illegal markets, it would regularly drop as much as 90% and has a long history of massive drawdowns.
The majority of crypto is blatant scams, and ALL of crypto is a “zero” or “negative” sum game in that it relies on the next person buying for people to make money. This is not a good thing. This has yet to solve any issues around what caused the 2008 crisis. Rather, it seemingly amplified all of the bad parts of it actually. Crypto is the ultimate speculative asset and realistically has no valuation metric. People invest in Apple because it has revenue and cash on hand. People invest in crypto purely for speculation. The lack of regulation or accountability means this is amplified to the most extreme degree where anything goes: Fraud, deception, pump and dumps, scams, etc. This results in a pure speculative madhouse where, unsurprisingly, only the rich win. Not only that but the deck is massively stacked in against the everyday investor because you can’t do a pump and dump without money.
At the heart of all of this is still the same issues: greed and human nature. However, in setting out to solve the issues that allowed 2008 to happen, they made something that literally took all of the bad parts of 2008 and then amplified it. 2008, similarly, was due to greed and human nature but was allowed to happen due to lack of oversite, rich people's excessive leverage over the poor, and excessive speculation. Crypto trades SOLELY on human emotion, has 0 oversite, is pure speculation, and the power dynamic is just as bad or worse.
Why should each individual be their own bank?
This is the last one, and it's short and basic. Why do we want people functioning as their own bank? Everything we do relies on another person. Without the internet, and internet providers there is no crypto. We don’t have people functioning as their own home and car manufacturers or internet service providers. Sure, you might specialize in some of these things, but masquerading as your own bank is a horrible idea.
I am not in the banking industry so I don’t know all the issues with banking. Most people aren’t in banking or crypto, so they don’t know the ENDLESS scams associated with it, and they are bound to lose their money eventually.
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