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4 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.
30 days ago
400 articles later, nobody bothered to read them.
Writing for readers:
14 years of daily writing.
I post practically everything on social media. I authored hundreds of articles, thousands of tweets, and numerous volumes to almost no one.
Tens of thousands of readers regularly praise me.
I despised writing. I'm stuck now.
I've learned what readers like and what doesn't.
Here are some essential guidelines for writing with impact:
Readers won't understand your work if you can't.
Though obvious, this slipped me up. Share your truths.
Stories engage human brains.
Showing the journey of a person from worm to butterfly inspires the human spirit.
Overthinking hinders powerful writing.
The best ideas come from inner understanding in between thoughts.
Avoid writing to find it. Write.
Writing a masterpiece isn't motivating.
Write for five minutes to simplify. Step-by-step, entertaining, easy steps.
Good writing requires a willingness to make mistakes.
So write loads of garbage that you can edit into a good piece.
A courageous story will move readers. Personal experience is best.
Go where few dare.
Templates, outlines, and boundaries help.
Limitations enhance writing.
Excellent writing is straightforward and readable, removing all the unnecessary fat.
Use five words instead of nine.
Use ordinary words instead of uncommon ones.
Readers desire relatability.
Too much perfection will turn it off.
Write to solve an issue if you can't think of anything to write.
Instead, read to inspire. Best authors read.
Every tweet, thread, and novel must have a central idea.
What's its point?
This can make writing confusing.
️ Don't direct your reader.
Readers quit reading. Demonstrate, describe, and relate.
Even if no one responds, have fun. If you hate writing it, the reader will too.
5 months ago
What TikTok Paid Me in 2021 with 100,000 Followers
I thought it would be interesting to share how much TikTok paid me in 2021.
Oh, you get paid by TikTok?
They compensate thousands of creators. My Tik Tok account
I launched my account in March 2020 and generally post about money, finance, and side hustles.
TikTok creators are paid in several ways.
Fund for TikTok creators
Sponsorships (aka brand deals)
My own creations
Only one, the TikTok Creator Fund, pays me.
The TikTok Creator Fund: What Is It?
TikTok's initiative pays creators.
YouTube's Shorts Fund, Snapchat Spotlight, and other platforms have similar programs.
Creator Fund doesn't pay everyone. Some prerequisites are:
age requirement of at least 18 years
In the past 30 days, there must have been 100,000 views.
a minimum of 10,000 followers
If you qualify, you can apply using your TikTok account, and once accepted, your videos can earn money.
My earnings from the TikTok Creator Fund
Since 2020, I've made $273.65. My 2021 payment is $77.36.
I made between $4.91 to around $13 payout each time I got paid.
TikTok reportedly pays 3 to 5 cents per thousand views.
To live off the Creator Fund, you'd need billions of monthly views.
Top personal finance creator Sara Finance has millions (if not billions) of views and over 700,000 followers yet only received $3,000 from the TikTok Creator Fund.
Goals for 2022
TikTok pays me in different ways, as listed above.
My largest TikTok account isn't my only one.
In 2022, I'll revamp my channel.
It's been a tumultuous year on TikTok for my account, from getting shadow-banned to being banned from the Creator Fund to being accepted back (not at my wish).
What I've experienced isn't rare. I've read about other creators' experiences.
So, some quick goals for this account…
200,000 fans by the year 2023
Consistent monthly income of $5,000
two brand deals each month
For now, that's all.
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3 months ago
I gave up climbing the corporate ladder once I realized how deeply unhappy everyone at the top was.
Restructuring and layoffs cause career reevaluation. Your career can benefit.
Once you become institutionalized, the corporate ladder is all you know.
You're bubbled. Extremists term it the corporate Matrix. I'm not so severe because the business world brainwashed me, too.
This boosted my corporate career.
Until I hit bottom.
15 months later, I view my corporate life differently. You may wish to advance professionally. Read this before you do.
Your happiness in the workplace may be deceptive.
I've been fortunate to spend time with corporate aces.
Working for 2.5 years in banking social media gave me some of these experiences. Earlier in my career, I recorded interviews with business leaders.
These people have titles like Chief General Manager and Head Of. New titles brought life-changing salaries.
They seemed happy.
I’d pass them in the hallway and they’d smile or shake my hand. I dreamt of having their life.
The ominous pattern
Unfiltered talks with some of them revealed a different world.
They acted well. They were skilled at smiling and saying the correct things. All had the same dark pattern, though.
Something felt off.
I found my conversations with them were generally for their benefit. They hoped my online antics as a writer/coach would shed light on their dilemma.
They'd tell me they wanted more. When you're one position away from CEO, it's hard not to wonder if this next move will matter.
What really displeased corporate ladder chasers
Before ascending further, consider these.
As you rise in a company, your days get busier.
Many people and initiatives need supervision. Everyone expects you to know business details. Weak when you don't. A poor leader is fired during the next restructuring and left to pursue their corporate ambition.
Full calendars leave no time for reflection. You can't have a coffee with a friend or waste a day.
You’re always on call. It’s a roll call kinda life.
Unable to express oneself freely
My 8 years of LinkedIn writing helped me meet these leaders.
I didn't think they'd care. Mistake.
Corporate leaders envied me because they wanted to talk freely again without corporate comms or a PR firm directing them what to say.
They couldn't share their flaws or inspiring experiences.
They wanted to.
Every day they were muzzled eroded by their business dream.
Limited family time
Top leaders had families.
They've climbed the corporate ladder. Nothing excellent happens overnight.
Corporate dreamers rarely saw their families.
Late meetings, customer functions, expos, training, leadership days, team days, town halls, and product demos regularly occurred after work.
Or they had to travel interstate or internationally for work events. They used bags and motel showers.
Initially, they said business class flights and hotels were nice. They'd get bored. 5-star hotels become monotonous.
No hotel beats home.
One leader said he hadn't seen his daughter much. They used to Facetime, but now that he's been gone so long, she rarely wants to talk to him.
So they iPad-parented.
You're miserable without your family.
Held captive by other job titles
Going up the business ladder seems like a battle.
Leaders compete for business gains and corporate advancement.
I saw shocking filthy tricks. Leaders would lie to seem nice.
Captives included top officials.
A different section every week. If they ran technology, the Head of Sales would argue their CRM cost millions. Or an Operations chief would battle a product team over support requests.
After one conflict, another began.
Corporate echelons are antagonistic. Huge pay and bonuses guarantee bad behavior.
Overly centered on revenue
As you rise, revenue becomes more prevalent. Most days, you'd believe revenue was everything. Here’s the problem…
Numbers drain us.
Unless you're a closet math nerd, contemplating and talking about numbers drains your creativity.
Revenue will never substitute impact.
Incapable of taking risks
Corporate success requires taking fewer risks.
Risks can cause dismissal. Risks can interrupt business. Keep things moving so you may keep getting paid your enormous salary and bonus.
Restructuring or layoffs are inevitable. All corporate climbers experience it.
On this fateful day, a small few realize the game they’ve been trapped in and escape. Most return to play for a new company, but it takes time.
Addiction keeps them trapped. You know nothing else. The rest is strange.
You start to think “I’m getting old” or “it’s nearly retirement.” So you settle yet again for the trappings of the corporate ladder game to nowhere.
Should you climb the corporate ladder?
Let me end on a surprising note.
Young people should ascend the corporate ladder. It teaches you business skills and helps support your side gig and (potential) online business.
Don't get trapped, shackled, or muzzled.
Your ideas and creativity become stifled after too much gaming play.
Corporate success won't bring happiness.
Find fulfilling employment that matters. That's it.
5 months ago
The nine novels that have fundamentally altered the way I view the world
I read 53 novels last year and hope to do so again.
Books are best if you love learning. You get a range of perspectives, unlike podcasts and YouTube channels where you get the same ones.
Book quality varies. I've read useless books. Most books teach me something.
These 9 novels have changed my outlook in recent years. They've made me rethink what I believed or introduced me to a fresh perspective that changed my worldview.
You can order these books yourself. Or, read my summaries to learn what I've synthesized.
Fooled By Randomness
Nassim Taleb worked as a Wall Street analyst. He used options trading to bet on unlikely events like stock market crashes.
Using financial models, investors predict stock prices. The models assume constant, predictable company growth.
These models base their assumptions on historical data, so they assume the future will be like the past.
Fooled By Randomness argues that the future won't be like the past. We often see impossible market crashes like 2008's housing market collapse. The world changes too quickly to use historical data: by the time we understand how it works, it's changed.
Most people don't live to see history unfold. We think our childhood world will last forever. That goes double for stable societies like the U.S., which hasn't seen major turbulence in anyone's lifetime.
Fooled By Randomness taught me to expect the unexpected. The world is deceptive and rarely works as we expect. You can't always trust your past successes or what you've learned.
More Taleb. Some things, like the restaurant industry and the human body, improve under conditions of volatility and turbulence.
We didn't have a word for this counterintuitive concept until Taleb wrote Antifragile. The human body (which responds to some stressors, like exercise, by getting stronger) and the restaurant industry both benefit long-term from disorder (when economic turbulence happens, bad restaurants go out of business, improving the industry as a whole).
Many human systems are designed to minimize short-term variance because humans don't understand it. By eliminating short-term variation, we increase the likelihood of a major disaster.
Once, we put out every forest fire we found. Then, dead wood piled up in forests, causing catastrophic fires.
We don't like price changes, so politicians prop up markets with stimulus packages and printing money. This leads to a bigger crash later. Two years ago, we printed a ton of money for stimulus checks, and now we have double-digit inflation.
Antifragile taught me how important Plan B is. A system with one or two major weaknesses will fail. Make large systems redundant, foolproof, and change-responsive.
Reality is broken
We dread work. Work is tedious. Right?
Wrong. Work gives many people purpose. People are happiest when working. (That's why some are workaholics.)
Factory work saps your soul, office work is boring, and working for a large company you don't believe in and that operates unethically isn't satisfying.
Jane McGonigal says in Reality Is Broken that meaningful work makes us happy. People love games because they simulate good work. McGonigal says work should be more fun.
Some think they'd be happy on a private island sipping cocktails all day. That's not true. Without anything to do, most people would be bored. Unemployed people are miserable. Many retirees die within 2 years, much more than expected.
Instead of complaining, find meaningful work. If you don't like your job, it's because you're in the wrong environment. Find the right setting.
The Lean Startup
Before the airplane was invented, Harvard scientists researched flying machines. Who knew two North Carolina weirdos would beat them?
The Wright Brothers' plane design was key. Harvard researchers were mostly theoretical, designing an airplane on paper and trying to make it fly in theory. They'd build it, test it, and it wouldn't fly.
The Wright Brothers were different. They'd build a cheap plane, test it, and it'd crash. Then they'd learn from their mistakes, build another plane, and it'd crash.
They repeated this until they fixed all the problems and one of their planes stayed aloft.
Mistakes are considered bad. On the African savannah, one mistake meant death. Even today, if you make a costly mistake at work, you'll be fired as a scapegoat. Most people avoid failing.
In reality, making mistakes is the best way to learn.
Eric Reis offers an unintuitive recipe in The Lean Startup: come up with a hypothesis, test it, and fail. Then, try again with a new hypothesis. Keep trying, learning from each failure.
This is a great startup strategy. Startups are new businesses. Startups face uncertainty. Run lots of low-cost experiments to fail, learn, and succeed.
Don't fear failing. Low-cost failure is good because you learn more from it than you lose. As long as your worst-case scenario is acceptable, risk-taking is good.
The Sovereign Individual
Today, nation-states rule the world. The UN recognizes 195 countries, and they claim almost all land outside of Antarctica.
We agree. For the past 2,000 years, much of the world's territory was ungoverned.
Why today? Because technology has created incentives for nation-states for most of the past 500 years. The logic of violence favors nation-states, according to James Dale Davidson, author of the Sovereign Individual. Governments have a lot to gain by conquering as much territory as possible, so they do.
Not always. During the Dark Ages, Europe was fragmented and had few central governments. Partly because of armor. With armor, a sword, and a horse, you couldn't be stopped. Large states were hard to form because they rely on the threat of violence.
When gunpowder became popular in Europe, violence changed. In a world with guns, assembling large armies and conquest are cheaper.
James Dale Davidson says the internet will make nation-states obsolete. Most of the world's wealth will be online and in people's heads, making capital mobile.
Nation-states rely on predatory taxation of the rich to fund large militaries and welfare programs.
When capital is mobile, people can live anywhere in the world, Davidson says, making predatory taxation impossible. They're not bound by their job, land, or factory location. Wherever they're treated best.
Davidson says that over the next century, nation-states will collapse because they won't have enough money to operate as they do now. He imagines a world of small city-states, like Italy before 1900. (or Singapore today).
We've already seen some movement toward a more Sovereign Individual-like world. The pandemic proved large-scale remote work is possible, freeing workers from their location. Many cities and countries offer remote workers incentives to relocate.
Many Western businesspeople live in tax havens, and more people are renouncing their US citizenship due to high taxes. Increasing globalization has led to poor economic conditions and resentment among average people in the West, which is why politicians like Trump and Sanders rose to popularity with angry rhetoric, even though Obama rose to popularity with a more hopeful message.
The Sovereign Individual convinced me that the future will be different than Nassim Taleb's. Large countries like the U.S. will likely lose influence in the coming decades, while Portugal, Singapore, and Turkey will rise. If the trend toward less freedom continues, people may flee the West en masse.
So a traditional life of college, a big firm job, hard work, and corporate advancement may not be wise. Young people should learn as much as possible and develop flexible skills to adapt to the future.
Sapiens is a history of humanity, from proto-humans in Ethiopia to our internet society today, with some future speculation.
Sapiens views humans (and Homo sapiens) as a unique species on Earth. We were animals 100,000 years ago. We're slowly becoming gods, able to affect the climate, travel to every corner of the Earth (and the Moon), build weapons that can kill us all, and wipe out thousands of species.
Sapiens examines what makes Homo sapiens unique. Humans can believe in myths like religion, money, and human-made entities like countries and LLCs.
These myths facilitate large-scale cooperation. Ants from the same colony can cooperate. Any two humans can trade, though. Even if they're not genetically related, large groups can bond over religion and nationality.
Combine that with intelligence, and you have a species capable of amazing feats.
Sapiens may make your head explode because it looks at the world without presupposing values, unlike most books. It questions things that aren't usually questioned and says provocative things.
It also shows how human history works. It may help you understand and predict the world. Maybe.
The 4-hour Workweek
Things can be done better.
Tradition, laziness, bad bosses, or incentive structures cause complacency. If you're willing to make changes and not settle for the status quo, you can do whatever you do better and achieve more in less time.
The Four-Hour Work Week advocates this. Tim Ferriss explains how he made more sales in 2 hours than his 8-hour-a-day colleagues.
By firing 2 of his most annoying customers and empowering his customer service reps to make more decisions, he was able to leave his business and travel to Europe.
Ferriss shows how to escape your 9-to-5, outsource your life, develop a business that feeds you with little time, and go on mini-retirement adventures abroad.
Don't accept the status quo. Instead, level up. Find a way to improve your results. And try new things.
Why Nations Fail
Nogales, Arizona and Mexico were once one town. The US/Mexico border was arbitrarily drawn.
Both towns have similar cultures and populations. Nogales, Arizona is well-developed and has a high standard of living. Nogales, Mexico is underdeveloped and has a low standard of living. Whoa!
Why Nations Fail explains how government-created institutions affect country development. Strong property rights, capitalism, and non-corrupt governments promote development. Countries without capitalism, strong property rights, or corrupt governments don't develop.
Successful countries must also embrace creative destruction. They must offer ordinary citizens a way to improve their lot by creating value for others, not reducing them to slaves, serfs, or peasants. Authors say that ordinary people could get rich on trading expeditions in 11th-century Venice.
East and West Germany and North and South Korea have different economies because their citizens are motivated differently. It explains why Chile, China, and Singapore grow so quickly after becoming market economies.
People have spent a lot of money on third-world poverty. According to Why Nations Fail, education and infrastructure aren't the answer. Developing nations must adopt free-market economic policies.
Elon Musk is the world's richest man, but that’s not a good way to describe him. Elon Musk is the world's richest man, which is like calling Steve Jobs a turtleneck-wearer or Benjamin Franklin a printer.
Elon Musk does cool sci-fi stuff to help humanity avoid existential threats.
Oil will run out. We've delayed this by developing better extraction methods. We only have so much nonrenewable oil.
Our society is doomed if it depends on oil. Elon Musk invested heavily in Tesla and SolarCity to speed the shift to renewable energy.
Musk worries about AI: we'll build machines smarter than us. We won't be able to stop these machines if something goes wrong, just like cows can't fight humans. Neuralink: we need to be smarter to compete with AI when the time comes.
If Earth becomes uninhabitable, we need a backup plan. Asteroid or nuclear war could strike Earth at any moment. We may not have much time to react if it happens in a few days. We must build a new civilization while times are good and resources are plentiful.
Short-term problems dominate our politics, but long-term issues are more important. Long-term problems can cause mass casualties and homelessness. Musk demonstrates how to think long-term.
The main reason people are impressed by Elon Musk, and why Ashlee Vances' biography influenced me so much, is that he does impossible things.
Electric cars were once considered unprofitable, but Tesla has made them mainstream. SpaceX is the world's largest private space company.
People lack imagination and dismiss ununderstood ideas as impossible. Humanity is about pushing limits. Don't worry if your dreams seem impossible. Try it.
Thanks for reading.
5 months ago
Flywheels and Funnels
Traditional sales organizations used the concept of a sales “funnel” to describe the process through which potential customers move, ending up with sales at the end. Winners today have abandoned that way of thinking in favor of building flywheels — business models in which every element reinforces every other.
Ah, the marketing funnel…
Prospective clients go through a predictable set of experiences, students learn in business school marketing classes. It looks like this:
Understanding the funnel helps evaluate sales success indicators. Gail Goodwin, former CEO of small business direct mail provider Constant Contact, said managing the pipeline was key to escaping the sluggish SaaS ramp of death.
Like the funnel concept. To predict how well your business will do, measure how many potential clients are aware of it (awareness) and how many take the next step. If 1,000 people heard about your offering and 10% showed interest, you'd have 100 at that point. If 50% of these people made buyer-like noises, you'd know how many were, etc. It helped model buying trends.
TV, magazine, and radio advertising are pricey for B2C enterprises. Traditional B2B marketing involved armies of sales reps, which was expensive and a barrier to entry.
Cracks in the funnel model
Digital has exposed the funnel's limitations. Hubspot was born at a time when buyers and sellers had huge knowledge asymmetries, according to co-founder Brian Halligan. Those selling a product could use the buyer's lack of information to become a trusted partner.
As the world went digital, getting information and comparing offerings became faster, easier, and cheaper. Buyers didn't need a seller to move through a funnel. Interactions replaced transactions, and the relationship didn't end with a sale.
Instead, buyers and sellers interacted in a constant flow. In many modern models, the sale is midway through the process (particularly true with subscription and software-as-a-service models). Example:
You're creating a winding journey with many touch points, not a funnel (and lots of opportunities for customers to get lost).
From winding journey to flywheel
Beyond this revised view of an interactive customer journey, a company can create what Jim Collins famously called a flywheel. Imagine rolling a heavy disc on its axis. The first few times you roll it, you put in a lot of effort for a small response. The same effort yields faster turns as it gains speed. Over time, the flywheel gains momentum and turns without your help.
Modern digital organizations have created flywheel business models, in which any additional force multiplies throughout the business. The flywheel becomes a force multiplier, according to Collins.
Amazon is a famous flywheel example. Collins explained the concept to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at a corporate retreat in 2001. In The Everything Store, Brad Stone describes in his book The Everything Store how he immediately understood Amazon's levers.
The result (drawn on a napkin):
Low prices and a large selection of products attracted customers, while a focus on customer service kept them coming back, increasing traffic. Third-party sellers then increased selection. Low-cost structure supports low-price commitment. It's brilliant! Every wheel turn creates acceleration.
Where from here?
Flywheel over sales funnel! Consider these business terms.