Integrity
Write
Loading...
Ben Chino

Ben Chino

4 months ago

100-day SaaS buildout.

More on Entrepreneurship/Creators

Nick

Nick

5 months ago

This Is How Much Quora Paid Me For 23 Million Content Views

You’ll be surprised; I sure was

Photo by Burst from Pexels

Blogging and writing online as a side income has now been around for a significant amount of time. Nowadays, it is a continuously rising moneymaker for prospective writers, with several writing platforms existing online. At the top of the list are Medium, Vocal Media, Newsbreak, and the biggest one of them, Quora, with 300 million active users.

Quora, unlike Medium, is a question-and-answer format platform. On Medium you are permitted to write what you want, while on Quora, you answer questions on topics that you have expertise about. Quora, like Medium, now compensates its authors for the answers they provide in comparison to the previous, in which you had to be admitted to the partner program and were paid to ask questions.

Quora just recently went live with this new partner program, Quora Plus, and the way it works is that it is a subscription for $5 a month which provides you access to metered/monetized stories, in turn compensating the writers for part of that subscription for their answers.

I too on Quora have found a lot of success on the platform, gaining 23 Million Content Views, and 300,000 followers for my space, which is kind of the Quora equivalent of a Medium article. The way in which I was able to do this was entirely thanks to a hack that I uncovered to the Quora algorithm.

In this article, I plan on discussing how much money I received from 23 million content views on Quora, and I bet you’ll be shocked; I know I was.

A Brief Explanation of How I Got 23 Million Views and How You Can Do It Too

On Quora, everything in terms of obtaining views is about finding the proper question, which I only understood quite late into the game. I published my first response in 2019 but never actually wrote on Quora until the summer of 2020, and about a month into posting consistently I found out how to find the perfect question. Here’s how:

The Process

Go to your Home Page and start scrolling… While browsing, check for the following things…

  1. Answers from people you follow or your followers.

  2. Advertisements

These two things are the two things you want to ignore, you don’t want to answer those questions or look at the ads. You should now be left with a couple of recommended answers. To discover which recommended answer is the best to answer as well, look at these three important aspects.

  1. Date of the answer: Was it in the past few days, preferably 2–3 days, even better, past 24 hours?

  2. Views: Are they in the ten thousands or hundred thousands?

  3. Upvotes: Are they in the hundreds or thousands?

Now, choose an answer to a question which you think you could answer as well that satisfies the requirements above. Once you click on it, as all answers on Quora works, it will redirect you to the page for that question, in which you will have to select once again if you should answer the question.

  1. Amount of answers: How many responses are there to the given question? This tells you how much competition you have. My rule is beyond 25 answers, you shouldn’t answer, but you can change it anyway you’d like.

  2. Answerers: Who did the answering for the question? If the question includes a bunch of renowned, extremely well-known people on Quora, there’s a good possibility your essay is going to get drowned out.

  3. Views: Check for a constant quantity of high views on each answer for the question; this is what will guarantee that your answer gets a lot of views!

The Income Reveal! How Much I Made From 23 Million Content Views

DRUM ROLL, PLEASE!

8.97 USD. Yes, not even ten dollars, not even nine. Just eight dollars and ninety-seven cents.

Possible Reasons for My Low Earnings

  • Quora Plus and the answering partner program are newer than my Quora views.

  • Few people use Quora+, therefore revenues are low.

  • I haven't been writing much on Quora, so I'm only making money from old answers and a handful since Quora Plus launched.

  • Quora + pays poorly...

Should You Try Quora and Quora For Money?

My answer depends on your needs. I never got invited to Quora's question partner program due to my late start, but other writers have made hundreds. Due to Quora's new and competitive answering partner program, you may not make much money.

If you want a fun writing community, try Quora. Quora was fun when I only made money from my space. Quora +'s paywalls and new contributors eager to make money have made the platform less fun for me.


This article is a summary to save you time. You can read my full, more detailed article, here.

Antonio Neto

Antonio Neto

6 months ago

Should you skip the minimum viable product?

Are MVPs outdated and have no place in modern product culture?

Frank Robinson coined "MVP" in 2001. In the same year as the Agile Manifesto, the first Scrum experiment began. MVPs are old.

The concept was created to solve the waterfall problem at the time.

The market was still sour from the .com bubble. The tech industry needed a new approach. Product and Agile gained popularity because they weren't waterfall.

More than 20 years later, waterfall is dead as dead can be, but we are still talking about MVPs. Does that make sense?

What is an MVP?

Minimum viable product. You probably know that, so I'll be brief:

[…] The MVP fits your company and customer. It's big enough to cause adoption, satisfaction, and sales, but not bloated and risky. It's the product with the highest ROI/risk. […] — Frank Robinson, SyncDev

MVP is a complete product. It's not a prototype. It's your product's first iteration, which you'll improve. It must drive sales and be user-friendly.

At the MVP stage, you should know your product's core value, audience, and price. We are way deep into early adoption territory.

What about all the things that come before?

Modern product discovery

Eric Ries popularized the term with The Lean Startup in 2011. (Ries would work with the concept since 2008, but wide adoption came after the book was released).

Ries' definition of MVP was similar to Robinson's: "Test the market" before releasing anything. Ries never mentioned money, unlike Jobs. His MVP's goal was learning.

“Remove any feature, process, or effort that doesn't directly contribute to learning” — Eric Ries, The Lean Startup

Product has since become more about "what" to build than building it. What started as a learning tool is now a discovery discipline: fake doors, prototyping, lean inception, value proposition canvas, continuous interview, opportunity tree... These are cheap, effective learning tools.

Over time, companies realized that "maximum ROI divided by risk" started with discovery, not the MVP. MVPs are still considered discovery tools. What is the problem with that?

Time to Market vs Product Market Fit

Waterfall's Time to Market is its biggest flaw. Since projects are sliced horizontally rather than vertically, when there is nothing else to be done, it’s not because the product is ready, it’s because no one cares to buy it anymore.

MVPs were originally conceived as a way to cut corners and speed Time to Market by delivering more customer requests after they paid.

Original product development was waterfall-like.

Time to Market defines an optimal, specific window in which value should be delivered. It's impossible to predict how long or how often this window will be open.

Product Market Fit makes this window a "state." You don’t achieve Product Market Fit, you have it… and you may lose it.

Take, for example, Snapchat. They had a great time to market, but lost product-market fit later. They regained product-market fit in 2018 and have grown since.

An MVP couldn't handle this. What should Snapchat do? Launch Snapchat 2 and see what the market was expecting differently from the last time? MVPs are a snapshot in time that may be wrong in two weeks.

MVPs are mini-projects. Instead of spending a lot of time and money on waterfall, you spend less but are still unsure of the results.


MVPs aren't always wrong. When releasing your first product version, consider an MVP.

Minimum viable product became less of a thing on its own and more interchangeable with Alpha Release or V.1 release over time.

Modern discovery technics are more assertive and predictable than the MVP, but clarity comes only when you reach the market.

MVPs aren't the starting point, but they're the best way to validate your product concept.

Jayden Levitt

Jayden Levitt

15 days ago

Billionaire who was disgraced lost his wealth more quickly than anyone in history

If you're not genuine, you'll be revealed.

Photo By Fl Institute — Flikr

Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) was called the Cryptocurrency Warren Buffet.

No wonder.

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.

Source — Kelsey Piper

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.

Source — Kelsey PiperSource — Kelsey Piper

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.

Source — Kelsey Piper

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.

Source — Kelsey PiperSource — Kelsey Piper

Final Reflections

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.

You might also like

Daniel Vassallo

Daniel Vassallo

7 months ago

Why I quit a $500K job at Amazon to work for myself

I quit my 8-year Amazon job last week. I wasn't motivated to do another year despite promotions, pay, recognition, and praise.

In AWS, I built developer tools. I could have worked in that field forever.

I became an Amazon developer. Within 3.5 years, I was promoted twice to senior engineer and would have been promoted to principal engineer if I stayed. The company said I had great potential.

Over time, I became a reputed expert and leader within the company. I was respected.

First year I made $75K, last year $511K. If I stayed another two years, I could have made $1M.

Despite Amazon's reputation, my work–life balance was good. I no longer needed to prove myself and could do everything in 40 hours a week. My team worked from home once a week, and I rarely opened my laptop nights or weekends.

My coworkers were great. I had three generous, empathetic managers. I’m very grateful to everyone I worked with.

Everything was going well and getting better. My motivation to go to work each morning was declining despite my career and income growth.

Another promotion, pay raise, or big project wouldn't have boosted my motivation. Motivation was also waning. It was my freedom.

Demotivation

My motivation was high in the beginning. I worked with someone on an internal tool with little scrutiny. I had more freedom to choose how and what to work on than in recent years. Me and another person improved it, talked to users, released updates, and tested it. Whatever we wanted, we did. We did our best and were mostly self-directed.

In recent years, things have changed. My department's most important project had many stakeholders and complex goals. What I could do depended on my ability to convince others it was the best way to achieve our goals.

Amazon was always someone else's terms. The terms started out simple (keep fixing it), but became more complex over time (maximize all goals; satisfy all stakeholders). Working in a large organization imposed restrictions on how to do the work, what to do, what goals to set, and what business to pursue. This situation forced me to do things I didn't want to do.

Finding New Motivation

What would I do forever? Not something I did until I reached a milestone (an exit), but something I'd do until I'm 80. What could I do for the next 45 years that would make me excited to wake up and pay my bills? Is that too unambitious? Nope. Because I'm motivated by two things.

One is an external carrot or stick. I'm not forced to file my taxes every April, but I do because I don't want to go to jail. Or I may not like something but do it anyway because I need to pay the bills or want a nice car. Extrinsic motivation

One is internal. When there's no carrot or stick, this motivates me. This fuels hobbies. I wanted a job that was intrinsically motivated.

Is this too low-key? Extrinsic motivation isn't sustainable. Getting promoted felt good for a week, then it was over. When I hit $100K, I admired my W2 for a few days, but then it wore off. Same thing happened at $200K, $300K, $400K, and $500K. Earning $1M or $10M wouldn't change anything. I feel the same about every material reward or possession. Getting them feels good at first, but quickly fades.

Things I've done since I was a kid, when no one forced me to, don't wear off. Coding, selling my creations, charting my own path, and being honest. Why not always use my strengths and motivation? I'm lucky to live in a time when I can work independently in my field without large investments. So that’s what I’m doing.

What’s Next?

I'm going all-in on independence and will make a living from scratch. I won't do only what I like, but on my terms. My goal is to cover my family's expenses before my savings run out while doing something I enjoy. What more could I want from my work?

You can now follow me on Twitter as I continue to document my journey.


This post is a summary. Read full article here

Vitalik

Vitalik

1 year ago

An approximate introduction to how zk-SNARKs are possible (part 2)

If tasked with the problem of coming up with a zk-SNARK protocol, many people would make their way to this point and then get stuck and give up. How can a verifier possibly check every single piece of the computation, without looking at each piece of the computation individually? But it turns out that there is a clever solution.

Polynomials

Polynomials are a special class of algebraic expressions of the form:

  • x+5
  • x^4
  • x^3+3x^2+3x+1
  • 628x^{271}+318x^{270}+530x^{269}+…+69x+381

i.e. they are a sum of any (finite!) number of terms of the form cx^k

There are many things that are fascinating about polynomials. But here we are going to zoom in on a particular one: polynomials are a single mathematical object that can contain an unbounded amount of information (think of them as a list of integers and this is obvious). The fourth example above contained 816 digits of tau, and one can easily imagine a polynomial that contains far more.

Furthermore, a single equation between polynomials can represent an unbounded number of equations between numbers. For example, consider the equation A(x)+ B(x) = C(x). If this equation is true, then it's also true that:

  • A(0)+B(0)=C(0)
  • A(1)+B(1)=C(1)
  • A(2)+B(2)=C(2)
  • A(3)+B(3)=C(3)

And so on for every possible coordinate. You can even construct polynomials to deliberately represent sets of numbers so you can check many equations all at once. For example, suppose that you wanted to check:

  • 12+1=13
  • 10+8=18
  • 15+8=23
  • 15+13=28

You can use a procedure called Lagrange interpolation to construct polynomials A(x) that give (12,10,15,15) as outputs at some specific set of coordinates (eg. (0,1,2,3)), B(x) the outputs (1,8,8,13) on thos same coordinates, and so forth. In fact, here are the polynomials:

  • A(x)=-2x^3+\frac{19}{2}x^2-\frac{19}{2}x+12
  • B(x)=2x^3-\frac{19}{2}x^2+\frac{29}{2}x+1
  • C(x)=5x+13

Checking the equation A(x)+B(x)=C(x) with these polynomials checks all four above equations at the same time.

Comparing a polynomial to itself

You can even check relationships between a large number of adjacent evaluations of the same polynomial using a simple polynomial equation. This is slightly more advanced. Suppose that you want to check that, for a given polynomial F, F(x+2)=F(x)+F(x+1) with the integer range {0,1…89} (so if you also check F(0)=F(1)=1, then F(100) would be the 100th Fibonacci number)

As polynomials, F(x+2)-F(x+1)-F(x) would not be exactly zero, as it could give arbitrary answers outside the range x={0,1…98}. But we can do something clever. In general, there is a rule that if a polynomial P is zero across some set S=\{x_1,x_2…x_n\} then it can be expressed as P(x)=Z(x)*H(x), where Z(x)=(x-x_1)*(x-x_2)*…*(x-x_n) and H(x) is also a polynomial. In other words, any polynomial that equals zero across some set is a (polynomial) multiple of the simplest (lowest-degree) polynomial that equals zero across that same set.

Why is this the case? It is a nice corollary of polynomial long division: the factor theorem. We know that, when dividing P(x) by Z(x), we will get a quotient Q(x) and a remainder R(x) is strictly less than that of Z(x). Since we know that P is zero on all of S, it means that R has to be zero on all of S as well. So we can simply compute R(x) via polynomial interpolation, since it's a polynomial of degree at most n-1 and we know n values (the zeros at S). Interpolating a polynomial with all zeroes gives the zero polynomial, thus R(x)=0 and H(x)=Q(x).

Going back to our example, if we have a polynomial F that encodes Fibonacci numbers (so F(x+2)=F(x)+F(x+1) across x=\{0,1…98\}), then I can convince you that F actually satisfies this condition by proving that the polynomial P(x)=F(x+2)-F(x+1)-F(x) is zero over that range, by giving you the quotient:
H(x)=\frac{F(x+2)-F(x+1)-F(x)}{Z(x)}
Where Z(x) = (x-0)*(x-1)*…*(x-98).
You can calculate Z(x) yourself (ideally you would have it precomputed), check the equation, and if the check passes then F(x) satisfies the condition!

Now, step back and notice what we did here. We converted a 100-step-long computation into a single equation with polynomials. Of course, proving the N'th Fibonacci number is not an especially useful task, especially since Fibonacci numbers have a closed form. But you can use exactly the same basic technique, just with some extra polynomials and some more complicated equations, to encode arbitrary computations with an arbitrarily large number of steps.

see part 3

Isobel Asher Hamilton

Isobel Asher Hamilton

6 months ago

$181 million in bitcoin buried in a dump. $11 million to get them back

$181 million in bitcoin buried in a dump

James Howells lost 8,000 bitcoins. He has $11 million to get them back.

His life altered when he threw out an iPhone-sized hard drive.

Howells, from the city of Newport in southern Wales, had two identical laptop hard drives squirreled away in a drawer in 2013. One was blank; the other had 8,000 bitcoins, currently worth around $181 million.

He wanted to toss out the blank one, but the drive containing the Bitcoin went to the dump.

He's determined to reclaim his 2009 stash.

Howells, 36, wants to arrange a high-tech treasure hunt for bitcoins. He can't enter the landfill.

James Howells lost 8,000 bitcoins

Newport's city council has rebuffed Howells' requests to dig for his hard drive for almost a decade, stating it would be expensive and environmentally destructive.

I got an early look at his $11 million idea to search 110,000 tons of trash. He expects submitting it to the council would convince it to let him recover the hard disk.

110,000 tons of trash, 1 hard drive

Finding a hard disk among heaps of trash may seem Herculean.

Former IT worker Howells claims it's possible with human sorters, robot dogs, and an AI-powered computer taught to find hard drives on a conveyor belt.

His idea has two versions, depending on how much of the landfill he can search.

His most elaborate solution would take three years and cost $11 million to sort 100,000 metric tons of waste. Scaled-down version costs $6 million and takes 18 months.

He's created a team of eight professionals in AI-powered sorting, landfill excavation, garbage management, and data extraction, including one who recovered Columbia's black box data.

The specialists and their companies would be paid a bonus if they successfully recovered the bitcoin stash.

Howells: "We're trying to commercialize this project."

Howells claimed rubbish would be dug up by machines and sorted near the landfill.

Human pickers and a Max-AI machine would sort it. The machine resembles a scanner on a conveyor belt.

Remi Le Grand of Max-AI told us it will train AI to recognize Howells-like hard drives. A robot arm would select candidates.

Howells has added security charges to his scheme because he fears people would steal the hard drive.

He's budgeted for 24-hour CCTV cameras and two robotic "Spot" canines from Boston Dynamics that would patrol at night and look for his hard drive by day.

Howells said his crew met in May at the Celtic Manor Resort outside Newport for a pitch rehearsal.

Richard Hammond's narrative swings from banal to epic.

Richard Hammond filmed the meeting and created a YouTube documentary on Howells.

Hammond said of Howells' squad, "They're committed and believe in him and the idea."

Hammond: "It goes from banal to gigantic." "If I were in his position, I wouldn't have the strength to answer the door."

Howells said trash would be cleaned and repurposed after excavation. Reburying the rest.

"We won't pollute," he declared. "We aim to make everything better."

The Newport, Wales, landfill from the air. Darren Britton / Wales News

After the project is finished, he hopes to develop a solar or wind farm on the dump site. The council is unlikely to accept his vision soon.

A council representative told us, "Mr. Howells can't convince us of anything." "His suggestions constitute a significant ecological danger, which we can't tolerate and are forbidden by our permit."

Will the recovered hard drive work?

The "platter" is a glass or metal disc that holds the hard drive's data. Howells estimates 80% to 90% of the data will be recoverable if the platter isn't damaged.

Phil Bridge, a data-recovery expert who consulted Howells, confirmed these numbers.

If the platter is broken, Bridge adds, data recovery is unlikely.

Bridge says he was intrigued by the proposal. "It's an intriguing case," he added. Helping him get it back and proving everyone incorrect would be a great success story.

Who'd pay?

Swiss and German venture investors Hanspeter Jaberg and Karl Wendeborn told us they would fund the project if Howells received council permission.

Jaberg: "It's a needle in a haystack and a high-risk investment."

Howells said he had no contract with potential backers but had discussed the proposal in Zoom meetings. "Until Newport City Council gives me something in writing, I can't commit," he added.

Suppose he finds the bitcoins.

Howells said he would keep 30% of the data, worth $54 million, if he could retrieve it.

A third would go to the recovery team, 30% to investors, and the remainder to local purposes, including gifting £50 ($61) in bitcoin to each of Newport's 150,000 citizens.

Howells said he opted to spend extra money on "professional firms" to help convince the council.

What if the council doesn't approve?

If Howells can't win the council's support, he'll sue, claiming its actions constitute a "illegal embargo" on the hard drive. "I've avoided that path because I didn't want to cause complications," he stated. I wanted to cooperate with Newport's council.

Howells never met with the council face-to-face. He mentioned he had a 20-minute Zoom meeting in May 2021 but thought his new business strategy would help.

He met with Jessica Morden on June 24. Morden's office confirmed meeting.

After telling the council about his proposal, he can only wait. "I've never been happier," he said. This is our most professional operation, with the best employees.

The "crypto proponent" buys bitcoin every month and sells it for cash.

Howells tries not to think about what he'd do with his part of the money if the hard disk is found functional. "Otherwise, you'll go mad," he added.


This post is a summary. Read the full article here.