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Sammy Abdullah

Sammy Abdullah

21 years ago

How to properly price SaaS

More on Entrepreneurship/Creators

Kaitlin Fritz

Kaitlin Fritz

2 months ago

The Entrepreneurial Chicken and Egg

University entrepreneurship is like a Willy Wonka Factory of ideas. Classes, roommates, discussions, and the cafeteria all inspire new ideas. I've seen people establish a business without knowing its roots.

Chicken or egg? On my mind: I've asked university founders around the world whether the problem or solution came first.

The Problem

One African team I met started with the “instant noodles” problem in their academic ecosystem. Many of us have had money issues in college, which may have led to poor nutritional choices.

Many university students in a war-torn country ate quick noodles or pasta for dinner.

Noodles required heat, water, and preparation in the boarding house. Unreliable power from one hot plate per blue moon. What's healthier, easier, and tastier than sodium-filled instant pots?

BOOM. They were fixing that. East African kids need affordable, nutritious food.

This is a real difficulty the founders faced every day with hundreds of comrades.

This sparked their serendipitous entrepreneurial journey and became their business's cornerstone.

The Solution

I asked a UK team about their company idea. They said the solution fascinated them.

The crew was fiddling with social media algorithms. Why are some people more popular? They were studying platforms and social networks, which offered a way for them.

Solving a problem? Yes. Long nights of university research lead them to it. Is this like world hunger? Social media influencers confront this difficulty regularly.

It made me ponder something. Is there a correct response?

In my heart, yes, but in my head…maybe?

I believe you should lead with empathy and embrace the problem, not the solution. Big or small, businesses should solve problems. This should be your focus. This is especially true when building a social company with an audience in mind.

Philosophically, invention and innovation are occasionally accidental. Also not penalized. Think about bugs and the creation of Velcro, or the inception of Teflon. They tackle difficulties we overlook. The route to the problem may look different, but there is a path there.

There's no golden ticket to the Chicken-Egg debate, but I'll keep looking this summer.

Emils Uztics

Emils Uztics

2 months ago

This billionaire created a side business that brings around $90,000 per month.

Dharmesh Shah, the co-founder of Hubspot. Photo credit: The Hustle.

Dharmesh Shah co-founded HubSpot. WordPlay reached $90,000 per month in revenue without utilizing any of his wealth.

His method:

Take Advantage Of An Established Trend

Remember Wordle? Dharmesh was instantly hooked. As was the tech world.

Wordle took the world by the storm. Photo credit: Rock Paper Shotgun

HubSpot's co-founder noted inefficiencies in a recent My First Million episode. He wanted to play daily. Dharmesh, a tinkerer and software engineer, decided to design a word game.

He's a billionaire. How could he?

  1. Wordle had limitations in his opinion;

  2. Dharmesh is fundamentally a developer. He desired to start something new and increase his programming knowledge;

  3. This project may serve as an excellent illustration for his son, who had begun learning about software development.

Better It Up

Building a new Wordle wasn't successful.

WordPlay lets you play with friends and family. You could challenge them and compare the results. It is a built-in growth tool.

WordPlay features:

  • the capacity to follow sophisticated statistics after creating an account;

  • continuous feedback on your performance;

  • Outstanding domain name (wordplay.com).

Project Development

WordPlay has 9.5 million visitors and 45 million games played since February.

HubSpot co-founder credits tremendous growth to flywheel marketing, pushing the game through his own following.

With Flywheel marketing, each action provides a steady stream of inertia.

Choosing an exploding specialty and making sharing easy also helped.

Shah enabled Google Ads on the website to test earning potential. Monthly revenue was $90,000.

That's just Google Ads. If monetization was the goal, a specialized ad network like Ezoic could double or triple the amount.

Wordle was a great buy for The New York Times at $1 million.

Jenn Leach

Jenn Leach

3 months ago

How Much I Got Paid by YouTube for a 68 Million Views Video

My nameless, faceless channel case study

Photo by Sanni Sahil on Unsplash

The Numbers

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:

YouTube

A year ago, the video was released.

YouTubeYouTube

What I earned

I'll stop stalling. Here's a screenshot of my YouTube statistics page displaying Adsense profits.

YouTube

YouTube Adsense made me ZERO dollars.

OMG!

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.

Sponsorships

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.

Last word

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.

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caroline sinders

caroline sinders

3 months ago

Holographic concerts are the AI of the Future.

the Uncanny Valley of ABBA Voyage

A few days ago, I was discussing dall-e with two art and tech pals. One artist acquaintance said she knew a frightened illustrator. Would the ability to create anything with a click derail her career? The artist feared this. My curator friend smiled and said this has always been a dread among artists. When the camera was invented, didn't painters say this? Even in the Instagram era, painting exists.

When art and technology collide, there's room for innovation, experimentation, and fear — especially if the technology replicates or replaces art making. What is art's future with dall-e? How does technology affect music, beyond visual art? Recently, I saw "ABBA Voyage," a holographic ABBA concert in London.

"Abba voyage?" my phone asked in early March. A Gen X friend I met through a fashion blogging ring texted me.

"What's abba Voyage?" I asked while opening my front door with keys and coffee.

We're going! Marti, visiting London, took me to a show.

"Absolutely no ABBA songs here." I responded.

My parents didn't play ABBA much, so I don't know much about them. Dad liked Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Deep Purple, and New Orleans jazz. Marti told me ABBA Voyage was a holographic ABBA show with a live band.

The show was fun, extraordinary fun. Nearly everyone on the dance floor wore wigs, ankle-breaking platforms, sequins, and bellbottoms. I saw some millennials and Zoomers among the boomers.

I was intoxicated by the experience.

Automatons date back to the 18th-century mechanical turk. The mechanical turk was a chess automaton operated by a person. The mechanical turk seemed to perform like a human without human intervention, but it required a human in the loop to work properly.

Humans have used non-humans in entertainment for centuries, such as puppets, shadow play, and smoke and mirrors. A show can have animatronic, technological, and non-technological elements, and a live show can blur real and illusion. From medieval puppet shows to mechanical turks to AI filters, bots, and holograms, entertainment has evolved over time.

I'm not a hologram skeptic, but I'm skeptical of technology, especially since I work with it. I love live performances, I love hearing singers breathe, forget lines, and make jokes. Live shows are my favorite because I love watching performers make mistakes or interact with the audience. ABBA Voyage was different.

Marti and I traveled to Manchester after ABBA Voyage to see Liam Gallagher. Similar but different vibe. Similar in that thousands dressed up for the show. ABBA's energy was dizzying. 90s chic replaced sequins in the crowd. Doc Martens, nylon jackets, bucket hats, shaggy hair. The Charlatans and Liam Gallagher opened and closed, respectively. Fireworks. Incredible. People went crazy. Yelling exhausted my voice.

This week in music featured AI-enabled holograms and a decades-old rocker. Both are warm and gooey in our memories.

After seeing both, I'm wondering if we need AI hologram shows. Why? Is it good?

Like everything tech-related, my answer is "maybe." Because context and performance matter. Liam Gallagher and ABBA both had great, different shows.

For a hologram to work, it must be impossible and big. It must be big, showy, and improbable to justify a hologram. It must feel...expensive, like a stadium pop show. According to a quick search, ABBA broke up on bad terms. Reuniting is unlikely. This is also why Prince or Tupac hologram shows work. We can only engage with their legacy through covers or...holograms.

I drove around listening to the radio a few weeks ago. "Dreaming of You" by Selena played. Selena's music defined my childhood. I sang along and turned up the volume (or as loud as my husband would allow me while driving on the highway).

I discovered Selena's music six months after her death, so I never saw her perform live. My babysitter Melissa played me her album after I moved to Houston. Melissa took me to see the Selena movie five times when it came out. I quickly wore out my VHS copy. I constantly sang "Bibi Bibi Bom Bom" and "Como la Flor." I love Selena. A Selena hologram? Yes, probably.

Instagram advertised a cellist's Arthur Russell tribute show. Russell is another deceased artist I love. I almost walked down the aisle to "This is How We Walk on the Moon," but our cellist couldn't find it. Instead, I walked to Magnetic Fields' "The Book of Love." I "discovered" Russell after a friend introduced me to his music a few years ago.

I use these as analogies for the Liam Gallagher and ABBA concerts.

You have no idea how much I'd pay to see a hologram of Selena's 1995 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo concert. Arthur Russell's hologram is unnecessary. Russell's work was intimate and performance-based. We can't separate his life from his legacy; popular audiences overlooked his genius. He died of AIDS broke. Like Selena, he died prematurely. Given his music and history, another performer would be a better choice than a hologram. He's no Selena. Selena could have rivaled Beyonce.

Pop shows' size works for holograms. Along with ABBA holograms, there was an anime movie and a light show that would put Tron to shame. ABBA created a tourable stadium show. The event was lavish, expensive, and well-planned. Pop, unlike rock, isn't gritty. Liam Gallagher hologram? No longer impossible, it wouldn't work. He's touring. I'm not sure if a rockstar alone should be rendered as a hologram; it was the show that made ABBA a hologram.

Holograms, like AI, are part of the future of entertainment, but not all of it. Because only modern interpretations of Arthur Russell's work reveal his legacy. That's his legacy.

the ABBA holograms onstage, performing

Large-scale arena performers may use holograms in the future, but the experience must be impossible. A teacher once said that the only way to convey emotion in opera is through song, and I feel the same way about holograms, AR, VR, and mixed reality. A story's impossibility must make sense, like in opera. Impossibility and bombastic performance must be present for an immersive element to "work." ABBA was an impossible and improbable experience, which made it magical. It helped the holographic show work.

Marti told me about ABBA Voyage. She said it was a great concert. Marti has worked in music since the 1990s. She's a music expert; she's seen many shows.

Ai isn't a god or sentient, and the ABBA holograms aren't real. The renderings were glassy-eyed, flat, and robotic, like the Polar Express or the Jaws shark. Even today, the uncanny valley is insurmountable. We know it's not real because it's not about reality. It was about a suspended moment and performance feelings.

I knew this was impossible, an 'unreal' experience, but the emotions I felt were real, like watching a movie or tv show. Perhaps this is one of the better uses of AI, like CGI and special effects, like the beauty of entertainment- we were enraptured and entertained for hours. I've been playing ABBA since then.

The woman

The woman

2 months ago

Why Google's Hiring Process is Brilliant for Top Tech Talent

Without a degree and experience, you can get a high-paying tech job.

Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

Most organizations follow this hiring rule: you chat with HR, interview with your future boss and other senior managers, and they make the final hiring choice.

If you've ever applied for a job, you know how arduous it can be. A newly snapped photo and a glossy resume template can wear you out. Applying to Google can change this experience.

According to an Universum report, Google is one of the world's most coveted employers. It's not simply the search giant's name and reputation that attract candidates, but its role requirements or lack thereof.

Candidates no longer need a beautiful resume, cover letter, Ivy League laurels, or years of direct experience. The company requires no degree or experience.

Elon Musk started it. He employed the two-hands test to uncover talented non-graduates. The billionaire eliminated the requirement for experience.

Google is deconstructing traditional employment with programs like the Google Project Management Degree, a free online and self-paced professional credential course.

Google's hiring is interesting. After its certification course, applicants can work in project management. Instead of academic degrees and experience, the company analyzes coursework.

Google finds the best project managers and technical staff in exchange. Google uses three strategies to find top talent.

Chase down the innovators

Google eliminates restrictions like education, experience, and others to find the polar bear amid the snowfall. Google's free project management education makes project manager responsibilities accessible to everyone.

Many jobs don't require a degree. Overlooking individuals without a degree can make it difficult to locate a candidate who can provide value to a firm.

Firsthand knowledge follows the same rule. A lack of past information might be an employer's benefit. This is true for creative teams or businesses that prefer to innovate.

Or when corporations conduct differently from the competition. No-experience candidates can offer fresh perspectives. Fast Company reports that people with no sales experience beat those with 10 to 15 years of experience.

Give the aptitude test first priority.

Google wants the best candidates. Google wouldn't be able to receive more applications if it couldn't screen them for fit. Its well-organized online training program can be utilized as a portfolio.

Google learns a lot about an applicant through completed assignments. It reveals their ability, leadership style, communication capability, etc. The course mimics the job to assess candidates' suitability.

Basic screening questions might provide information to compare candidates. Any size small business can use screening questions and test projects to evaluate prospective employees.

Effective training for employees

Businesses must train employees regardless of their hiring purpose. Formal education and prior experience don't guarantee success. Maintaining your employees' professional knowledge gaps is key to their productivity and happiness. Top-notch training can do that. Learning and development are key to employee engagement, says Bob Nelson, author of 1,001 Ways to Engage Employees.

Google's online certification program isn't available everywhere. Improving the recruiting process means emphasizing aptitude over experience and a degree. Instead of employing new personnel and having them work the way their former firm trained them, train them how you want them to function.

If you want to know more about Google’s recruiting process, we recommend you watch the movie “Internship.”

Cammi Pham

Cammi Pham

2 months ago

7 Scientifically Proven Things You Must Stop Doing To Be More Productive

Smarter work yields better results.

Tim Gouw on Unsplash

17-year-old me worked and studied 20 hours a day. During school breaks, I did coursework and ran a nonprofit at night. Long hours earned me national campaigns, A-list opportunities, and a great career. As I aged, my thoughts changed. Working harder isn't necessarily the key to success.

In some cases, doing less work might lead to better outcomes.

Consider a hard-working small business owner. He can't beat his corporate rivals by working hard. Time's limited. An entrepreneur can work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but a rival can invest more money, create a staff, and put in more man hours. Why have small startups done what larger companies couldn't? Facebook paid $1 billion for 13-person Instagram. Snapchat, a 30-person startup, rejected Facebook and Google bids. Luck and efficiency each contributed to their achievement.

The key to success is not working hard. It’s working smart.

Being busy and productive are different. Busy doesn't always equal productive. Productivity is less about time management and more about energy management. Life's work. It's using less energy to obtain more rewards. I cut my work week from 80 to 40 hours and got more done. I value simplicity.

Here are seven activities I gave up in order to be more productive.

1. Give up working extra hours and boost productivity instead.

When did the five-day, 40-hour work week start? Henry Ford, Ford Motor Company founder, experimented with his workers in 1926.

He decreased their daily hours from 10 to 8, and shortened the work week from 6 days to 5. As a result, he saw his workers’ productivity increase.

According to a 1980 Business Roundtable report, Scheduled Overtime Effect on Construction Projects, the more you work, the less effective and productive you become.

Source: Calculating Loss of Productivity Due to Overtime Using Published Charts — Fact or Fiction

“Where a work schedule of 60 or more hours per week is continued longer than about two months, the cumulative effect of decreased productivity will cause a delay in the completion date beyond that which could have been realized with the same crew size on a 40-hour week.” Source: Calculating Loss of Productivity Due to Overtime Using Published Charts — Fact or Fiction

AlterNet editor Sara Robinson cited US military research showing that losing one hour of sleep per night for a week causes cognitive impairment equivalent to a.10 blood alcohol level. You can get fired for showing up drunk, but an all-nighter is fine.

Irrespective of how well you were able to get on with your day after that most recent night without sleep, it is unlikely that you felt especially upbeat and joyous about the world. Your more-negative-than-usual perspective will have resulted from a generalized low mood, which is a normal consequence of being overtired. More important than just the mood, this mind-set is often accompanied by decreases in willingness to think and act proactively, control impulses, feel positive about yourself, empathize with others, and generally use emotional intelligence. Source: The Secret World of Sleep: The Surprising Science of the Mind at Rest

To be productive, don't overwork and get enough sleep. If you're not productive, lack of sleep may be to blame. James Maas, a sleep researcher and expert, said 7/10 Americans don't get enough sleep.

Did you know?

  • Leonardo da Vinci slept little at night and frequently took naps.

  • Napoleon, the French emperor, had no qualms about napping. He splurged every day.

  • Even though Thomas Edison felt self-conscious about his napping behavior, he regularly engaged in this ritual.

  • President Franklin D. Roosevelt's wife Eleanor used to take naps before speeches to increase her energy.

  • The Singing Cowboy, Gene Autry, was known for taking regular naps in his dressing area in between shows.

  • Every day, President John F. Kennedy took a siesta after eating his lunch in bed.

  • Every afternoon, oil businessman and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller took a nap in his office.

  • It was unavoidable for Winston Churchill to take an afternoon snooze. He thought it enabled him to accomplish twice as much each day.

  • Every afternoon around 3:30, President Lyndon B. Johnson took a nap to divide his day into two segments.

  • Ronald Reagan, the 40th president, was well known for taking naps as well.

Source: 5 Reasons Why You Should Take a Nap Every Day — Michael Hyatt

Since I started getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night, I've been more productive and completed more work than when I worked 16 hours a day. Who knew marketers could use sleep?

2. Refrain from accepting too frequently

Pareto's principle states that 20% of effort produces 80% of results, but 20% of results takes 80% of effort. Instead of working harder, we should prioritize the initiatives that produce the most outcomes. So we can focus on crucial tasks. Stop accepting unproductive tasks.

The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say “no” to almost everything.” — Warren Buffett

What should you accept? Why say no? Consider doing a split test to determine if anything is worth your attention. Track what you do, how long it takes, and the consequences. Then, evaluate your list to discover what worked (or didn't) to optimize future chores.

Most of us say yes more often than we should, out of guilt, overextension, and because it's simpler than no. Nobody likes being awful.

Researchers separated 120 students into two groups for a 2012 Journal of Consumer Research study. One group was educated to say “I can't” while discussing choices, while the other used “I don't”.

The students who told themselves “I can’t eat X” chose to eat the chocolate candy bar 61% of the time. Meanwhile, the students who told themselves “I don’t eat X” chose to eat the chocolate candy bars only 36% of the time. This simple change in terminology significantly improved the odds that each person would make a more healthy food choice.

Next time you need to say no, utilize I don't to encourage saying no to unimportant things.

The 20-second rule is another wonderful way to avoid pursuits with little value. Add a 20-second roadblock to things you shouldn't do or bad habits you want to break. Delete social media apps from your phone so it takes you 20 seconds to find your laptop to access them. You'll be less likely to engage in a draining hobby or habit if you add an inconvenience.

Lower the activation energy for habits you want to adopt and raise it for habits you want to avoid. The more we can lower or even eliminate the activation energy for our desired actions, the more we enhance our ability to jump-start positive change. Source: The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work

3. Stop doing everything yourself and start letting people help you

I once managed a large community and couldn't do it alone. The community took over once I burned out. Members did better than I could have alone. I learned about community and user-generated content.

Consumers know what they want better than marketers. Octoly says user-generated videos on YouTube are viewed 10 times more than brand-generated videos. 51% of Americans trust user-generated material more than a brand's official website (16%) or media coverage (22%). (14 percent). Marketers should seek help from the brand community.

Source: Earned Media Rankings on YouTube — Octoly

Being a successful content marketer isn't about generating the best content, but cultivating a wonderful community.

We should seek aid when needed. We can't do everything. It's best to delegate work so you may focus on the most critical things. Instead of overworking or doing things alone, let others help.

Having friends or coworkers around can boost your productivity even if they can't help.

Just having friends nearby can push you toward productivity. “There’s a concept in ADHD treatment called the ‘body double,’ ” says David Nowell, Ph.D., a clinical neuropsychologist from Worcester, Massachusetts. “Distractable people get more done when there is someone else there, even if he isn’t coaching or assisting them.” If you’re facing a task that is dull or difficult, such as cleaning out your closets or pulling together your receipts for tax time, get a friend to be your body double. Source: Friendfluence: The Surprising Ways Friends Make Us Who We Are

4. Give up striving for perfection

Perfectionism hinders professors' research output. Dr. Simon Sherry, a psychology professor at Dalhousie University, did a study on perfectionism and productivity. Dr. Sherry established a link between perfectionism and productivity.

Perfectionism has its drawbacks.

  • They work on a task longer than necessary.

  • They delay and wait for the ideal opportunity. If the time is right in business, you are already past the point.

  • They pay too much attention to the details and miss the big picture.

Marketers await the right time. They miss out.

The perfect moment is NOW.

5. Automate monotonous chores instead of continuing to do them.

A team of five workers who spent 3%, 20%, 25%, 30%, and 70% of their time on repetitive tasks reduced their time spent to 3%, 10%, 15%, 15%, and 10% after two months of working to improve their productivity.

Source: Using Automation Software To Increase Business Productivity & Competitiveness -Tethys Solutions

Last week, I wrote a 15-minute Python program. I wanted to generate content utilizing Twitter API data and Hootsuite to bulk schedule it. Automation has cut this task from a day to five minutes. Whenever I do something more than five times, I try to automate it.

Automate monotonous chores without coding. Skills and resources are nice, but not required.  If you cannot build it, buy it.

People forget time equals money. Manual work is easy and requires little investigation. You can moderate 30 Instagram photographs for your UGC campaign. You need digital asset management software to manage 30,000 photographs and movies from five platforms. Filemobile helps individuals develop more user-generated content. You may buy software to manage rich media and address most internet difficulties.

Hire an expert if you can't find a solution. Spend money to make money, and time is your most precious asset.

Visit GitHub or Google Apps Script library, marketers. You may often find free, easy-to-use open source code.

6. Stop relying on intuition and start supporting your choices with data.

You may optimize your life by optimizing webpages for search engines.

Numerous studies might help you boost your productivity. Did you know individuals are most distracted from midday to 4 p.m.? This is what a Penn State psychology professor found. Even if you can't find data on a particular question, it's easy to run a split test and review your own results.

7. Stop working and spend some time doing absolutely nothing.

Most people don't know that being too focused can be destructive to our work or achievements. The Boston Globe's The Power of Lonely says solo time is excellent for the brain and spirit.

One ongoing Harvard study indicates that people form more lasting and accurate memories if they believe they’re experiencing something alone. Another indicates that a certain amount of solitude can make a person more capable of empathy towards others. And while no one would dispute that too much isolation early in life can be unhealthy, a certain amount of solitude has been shown to help teenagers improve their moods and earn good grades in school. Source: The Power of Lonely

Reflection is vital. We find solutions when we're not looking.

We don't become more productive overnight. It demands effort and practice. Waiting for change doesn't work. Instead, learn about your body and identify ways to optimize your energy and time for a happy existence.