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Taher Batterywala

Taher Batterywala

2 months ago

Do You Have Focus Issues? Use These 5 Simple Habits

More on Productivity

Niharikaa Kaur Sodhi

Niharikaa Kaur Sodhi

2 months ago

The Only Paid Resources I Turn to as a Solopreneur

Image by the author

4 Pricey Tools That Are Valuable

I pay based on ROI (return on investment).

If a $20/month tool or $500 online course doubles my return, I'm in.

Investing helps me build wealth.

Canva Pro

I initially refused to pay.

My course content needed updating a few months ago. My Google Docs text looked cleaner and more professional in Canva.

I've used it to:

  • product cover pages

  • eBook covers

  • Product page infographics

See my Google Sheets vs. Canva product page graph.

Google Sheets vs Canva

Yesterday, I used it to make a LinkedIn video thumbnail. It took less than 5 minutes and improved my video.

Image by the author via canva

In 30 hours, the video had 39,000 views.

Here's more.

HypeFury

Hypefury rocks!

It builds my brand as I sleep. What else?

Because I'm traveling this weekend, I planned tweets for 10 days. It took me 80 minutes.

So while I travel or am absent, my content mill keeps producing.

Also I like:

  • I can reach hundreds of people thanks to auto-DMs. I utilize it to advertise freebies; for instance, leave an emoji remark to receive my checklist. And they automatically receive a message in their DM.

  • Scheduled Retweets: By appearing in a different time zone, they give my tweet a second chance.

It helps me save time and expand my following, so that's my favorite part.

It’s also super neat:

Image by the author

Zoom Pro

My course involves weekly and monthly calls for alumni.

Google Meet isn't great for group calls. The interface isn't great.

Zoom Pro is expensive, and the monthly payments suck, but it's necessary.

It gives my students a smooth experience.

Previously, we'd do 40-minute meetings and then reconvene.

Zoom's free edition limits group calls to 40 minutes.

This wouldn't be a good online course if I paid hundreds of dollars.

So I felt obligated to help.

YouTube Premium

My laptop has an ad blocker.

I bought an iPad recently.

When you're self-employed and work from home, the line between the two blurs. My bed is only 5 steps away!

When I read or watched videos on my laptop, I'd slide into work mode. Only option was to view on phone, which is awkward.

YouTube premium handles it. No more advertisements and I can listen on the move.

3 Expensive Tools That Aren't Valuable

Marketing strategies are sometimes aimed to make you feel you need 38474 cool features when you don’t.

Certain tools are useless.

I found it useless.

Depending on your needs. As a writer and creator, I get no return.

They could for other jobs.

Shield Analytics

It tracks LinkedIn stats, like:

  • follower growth

  • trend chart for impressions

  • Engagement, views, and comment stats for posts

  • and much more.

Middle-tier creator costs $12/month.

I got a 25% off coupon but canceled my free trial before writing this. It's not worth the discount.

Why?

LinkedIn provides free analytics. See:

Screenshot by the author

Not thorough and won't show top posts.

I don't need to see my top posts because I love experimenting with writing.

Slack Premium

Slack was my classroom. Slack provided me a premium trial during the prior cohort.

I skipped it.

Sure, voice notes are better than a big paragraph. I didn't require pro features.

Marketing methods sometimes make you think you need 38474 amazing features. Don’t fall for it.

Calendly Pro

This may be worth it if you get many calls.

I avoid calls. During my 9-5, I had too many pointless calls.

I don't need:

  • ability to schedule calls for 15, 30, or 60 minutes: I just distribute each link separately.

  • I have a Gumroad consultation page with a payment option.

  • follow-up emails: I hardly ever make calls, so

  • I just use one calendar, therefore I link to various calendars.

I'll admit, the integrations are cool. Not for me.

If you're a coach or consultant, the features may be helpful. Or book meetings.

Conclusion

Investing is spending to make money.

Use my technique — put money in tools that help you make money. This separates it from being an investment instead of an expense.

Try free versions of these tools before buying them since everyone else is.

Darshak Rana

Darshak Rana

7 months ago

17 Google Secrets 99 Percent of People Don't Know 

What can't Google do?
Seriously, nothing! Google rocks.
Google is a major player in online tools and services. We use it for everything, from research to entertainment.
Did I say entertain yourself?
Yes, with so many features and options, it can be difficult to fully utilize Google.

#1. Drive Google Mad

You can make Google's homepage dance if you want to be silly.
Just type “Google Gravity” into Google.com. Then select I'm lucky.
See the page unstick before your eyes!

#2 Play With Google Image

Google isn't just for work.
Then have fun with it!
You can play games right in your search results. When you need a break, google “Solitaire” or “Tic Tac Toe”. 

#3. Do a Barrel Roll

Need a little more excitement in your life? Want to see Google dance?
Type “Do a barrel roll” into the Google search bar.
Then relax and watch your screen do a 360. 

#4  No Internet?  No issue!

This is a fun trick to use when you have no internet.
If your browser shows a “No Internet” page, simply press Space.
Boom!
We have dinosaurs! Now use arrow keys to save your pixelated T-Rex from extinction.

#5 Google Can Help

Play this Google coin flip game to see if you're lucky.
Enter “Flip a coin” into the search engine.
You'll see a coin flipping animation. If you get heads or tails, click it. 

#6. Think with Google

My favorite Google find so far is the “Think with Google” website.
Think with Google is a website that offers marketing insights, research, and case studies.
I highly recommend it to entrepreneurs, small business owners, and anyone interested in online marketing. 

#7. Google Can Read Images!

This is a cool Google trick that few know about.
You can search for images by keyword or upload your own by clicking the camera icon on Google Images.
Google will then show you all of its similar images.

Caution: You should be fine with your uploaded images being public. 

#8. Modify the Google Logo!

Clicking on the “I'm Feeling Lucky” button on Google.com takes you to a random Google Doodle.
Each year, Google creates a Doodle to commemorate holidays, anniversaries, and other occasions.

#9. What is my IP?

Simply type “What is my IP” into Google to find out.
Your IP address will appear on the results page.

#10. Send a Self-Destructing Email With Gmail, 

Create a new message in Gmail. Find an icon that resembles a lock and a clock near the SEND button. That's where the Confidential Mode is.
By clicking it, you can set an expiration date for your email. Expiring emails are automatically deleted from both your and the recipient's inbox.

#11. Blink, Google Blink!

This is a unique Google trick.
Type “blink HTML” into Google. The words “blink HTML” will appear and then disappear.
The text is displayed for a split second before being deleted.
To make this work, Google reads the HTML code and executes the “blink” command. 

#12. The Answer To Everything

This is for all Douglas Adams fans.
The answer to life, the universe, and everything is 42, according to Google.
An allusion to Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, in which Ford Prefect seeks to understand life, the universe, and everything.

#13. Google in 1998

It's a blast!
Type “Google in 1998” into Google. "I'm feeling lucky"
You'll be taken to an old-school Google homepage.
It's a nostalgic trip for long-time Google users. 

#14. Scholarships and Internships

Google can help you find college funding!
Type “scholarships” or “internships” into Google.
The number of results will surprise you. 

#15. OK, Google. Dice!

To roll a die, simply type “Roll a die” into Google.
On the results page is a virtual dice that you can click to roll. 

#16. Google has secret codes!

Hit the nine squares on the right side of your Google homepage to go to My Account. Then Personal Info.
You can add your favorite language to the “General preferences for the web” tab. 

#17. Google Terminal 

You can feel like a true hacker.
Just type “Google Terminal” into Google.com. "I'm feeling lucky"
Voila~!
You'll be taken to an old-school computer terminal-style page.
You can then type commands to see what happens.

Have you tried any of these activities? Tell me in the comments.

Read full article here

The woman

The woman

3 months ago

I received a $2k bribe to replace another developer in an interview

I can't believe they’d even think it works!

Photo by Brett Jordan

Developers are usually interviewed before being hired, right? Every organization wants candidates who meet their needs. But they also want to avoid fraud.

There are cheaters in every field. Only two come to mind for the hiring process:

  • Lying on a resume.

  • Cheating on an online test.

Recently, I observed another one. One of my coworkers invited me to replace another developer during an online interview! I was astonished, but it’s not new.

The specifics

My ex-colleague recently texted me. No one from your former office will ever approach you after a year unless they need something.

Which was the case. My coworker said his wife needed help as a programmer. I was glad someone asked for my help, but I'm still a junior programmer.

Then he informed me his wife was selected for a fantastic job interview. He said he could help her with the online test, but he needed someone to help with the online interview.

Okay, I guess. Preparing for an online interview is beneficial. But then he said she didn't need to be ready. She needed someone to take her place.

I told him it wouldn't work. Every remote online interview I've ever seen required an open camera.

What followed surprised me. She'd ask to turn off the camera, he said.

I asked why.

He told me if an applicant is unwell, the interviewer may consider an off-camera interview. His wife will say she's sick and prefers no camera.

The plan left me speechless. I declined politely. He insisted and promised $2k if she got the job.

I felt insulted and told him if he persisted, I'd inform his office. I was furious. Later, I apologized and told him to stop.

I'm not sure what they did after that

I'm not sure if they found someone or listened to me. They probably didn't. How would she do the job if she even got it?

It's an internship, he said. With great pay, though. What should an intern do?

I suggested she do the interview alone. Even if she failed, she'd gain confidence and valuable experience.

Conclusion

Many interviewees cheat. My profession is vital to me, thus I'd rather improve my abilities and apply honestly. It's part of my identity.

Am I truthful? Most professionals are not. They fabricate their CVs. Often.

When you support interview cheating, you encourage more cheating! When someone cheats, another qualified candidate may not obtain the job.

One day, that could be you or me.

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VIP Graphics

VIP Graphics

3 months ago

Leaked pitch deck for Metas' new influencer-focused live-streaming service

As part of Meta's endeavor to establish an interactive live-streaming platform, the company is testing with influencers.

The NPE (new product experimentation team) has been testing Super since late 2020.

Super by Meta leaked pitch deck: Facebook’s new livestreaming platform for influencers & sponsors

Bloomberg defined Super as a Cameo-inspired FaceTime-like gadget in 2020. The tool has evolved into a Twitch-like live streaming application.

Less than 100 creators have utilized Super: Creators can request access on Meta's website. Super isn't an Instagram, Facebook, or Meta extension.

“It’s a standalone project,” the spokesperson said about Super. “Right now, it’s web only. They have been testing it very quietly for about two years. The end goal [of NPE projects] is ultimately creating the next standalone project that could be part of the Meta family of products.” The spokesperson said the outreach this week was part of a drive to get more creators to test Super.

A 2021 pitch deck from Super reveals the inner workings of Meta.

The deck gathered feedback on possible sponsorship models, with mockups of brand deals & features. Meta reportedly paid creators $200 to $3,000 to test Super for 30 minutes.

Meta's pitch deck for Super live streaming was leaked.

What were the slides in the pitch deck for Metas Super?

Embed not supported: see full deck & article here →

View examples of Meta's pitch deck for Super:

Product Slides, first

Super by Meta leaked pitch deck — Product Slide: Facebook’s new livestreaming platform for influencers & sponsors

The pitch deck begins with Super's mission:

Super is a Facebook-incubated platform which helps content creators connect with their fans digitally, and for super fans to meet and support their favorite creators. In the spirit of Late Night talk shows, we feature creators (“Superstars”), who are guests at a live, hosted conversation moderated by a Host.

This slide (and most of the deck) is text-heavy, with few icons, bullets, and illustrations to break up the content. Super's online app status (which requires no download or installation) might be used as a callout (rather than paragraph-form).

Super by Meta leaked pitch deck — Product Slide: Facebook’s new livestreaming platform for influencers & sponsors

Meta's Super platform focuses on brand sponsorships and native placements, as shown in the slide above.

One of our theses is the idea that creators should benefit monetarily from their Super experiences, and we believe that offering a menu of different monetization strategies will enable the right experience for each creator. Our current focus is exploring sponsorship opportunities for creators, to better understand what types of sponsor placements will facilitate the best experience for all Super customers (viewers, creators, and advertisers).

Colorful mockups help bring Metas vision for Super to life.

2. Slide Features

Super's pitch deck focuses on the platform's features. The deck covers pre-show, pre-roll, and post-event for a Sponsored Experience.

  • Pre-show: active 30 minutes before the show's start

  • Pre-roll: Play a 15-minute commercial for the sponsor before the event (auto-plays once)

  • Meet and Greet: This event can have a branding, such as Meet & Greet presented by [Snickers]

  • Super Selfies: Makers and followers get a digital souvenir to post on social media.

  • Post-Event: Possibility to draw viewers' attention to sponsored content/links during the after-show

Almost every screen displays the Sponsor logo, link, and/or branded background. Viewers can watch sponsor video while waiting for the event to start.

Slide 3: Business Model

Meta's presentation for Super is incomplete without numbers. Super's first slide outlines the creator, sponsor, and Super's obligations. Super does not charge creators any fees or commissions on sponsorship earnings.

Super by Meta leaked pitch deck — Pricing Slide: Facebook’s new livestreaming platform for influencers & sponsors

How to make a great pitch deck

We hope you can use the Super pitch deck to improve your business. Bestpitchdeck.com/super-meta is a bookmarkable link.

You can also use one of our expert-designed templates to generate a pitch deck.

Our team has helped close $100M+ in agreements and funding for premier companies and VC firms. Use our presentation templates, one-pagers, or financial models to launch your pitch.

Every pitch must be audience-specific. Our team has prepared pitch decks for various sectors and fundraising phases.

Software Pitch Deck & SaaS Investor Presentation Template by VIP.graphics

Pitch Deck Software VIP.graphics produced a popular SaaS & Software Pitch Deck based on decks that closed millions in transactions & investments for orgs of all sizes, from high-growth startups to Fortune 100 enterprises. This easy-to-customize PowerPoint template includes ready-made features and key slides for your software firm.

Accelerator Pitch Deck The Accelerator Pitch Deck template is for early-stage founders seeking funding from pitch contests, accelerators, incubators, angels, or VC companies. Winning a pitch contest or getting into a top accelerator demands a strategic investor pitch.

Pitch Deck Template Series Startup and founder pitch deck template: Workable, smart slides. This pitch deck template is for companies, entrepreneurs, and founders raising seed or Series A finance.

M&A Pitch Deck Perfect Pitch Deck is a template for later-stage enterprises engaging more sophisticated conversations like M&A, late-stage investment (Series C+), or partnerships & funding. Our team prepared this presentation to help creators confidently pitch to investment banks, PE firms, and hedge funds (and vice versa).

Browse our growing variety of industry-specific pitch decks.

Neeramitra Reddy

Neeramitra Reddy

16 days ago

The best life advice I've ever heard could very well come from 50 Cent.

He built a $40M hip-hop empire from street drug dealing.

Free for creative use by PCMag

50 Cent was nearly killed by 9mm bullets.

Before 50 Cent, Curtis Jackson sold drugs.

He sold coke to worried addicts after being orphaned at 8.

Pursuing police. Murderous hustlers and gangs. Unwitting informers.

Despite his hard life, his hip-hop career was a success.

An assassination attempt ended his career at the start.

What sane producer would want to deal with a man entrenched in crime?

Most would have drowned in self-pity and drank themselves to death.

But 50 Cent isn't most people. Life on the streets had given him fearlessness.

“Having a brush with death, or being reminded in a dramatic way of the shortness of our lives, can have a positive, therapeutic effect. So it is best to make every moment count, to have a sense of urgency about life.” ― 50 Cent, The 50th Law

50 released a series of mixtapes that caught Eminem's attention and earned him a $50 million deal!

50 Cents turned death into life.

Things happen; that is life.

We want problems solved.

Every human has problems, whether it's Jeff Bezos swimming in his billions, Obama in his comfortable retirement home, or Dan Bilzerian with his hired bikini models.

All problems.

Problems churn through life. solve one, another appears.

It's harsh. Life's unfair. We can face reality or run from it.

The latter will worsen your issues.

“The firmer your grasp on reality, the more power you will have to alter it for your purposes.” — 50 Cent, The 50th Law

In a fantasy-obsessed world, 50 Cent loves reality.

Wish for better problem-solving skills rather than problem-free living.

Don't wish, work.

We All Have the True Power of Alchemy

Humans are arrogant enough to think the universe cares about them.

That things happen as if the universe notices our nanosecond existences.

Things simply happen. Period.

By changing our perspective, we can turn good things bad.

The alchemists' search for the philosopher's stone may have symbolized the ability to turn our lead-like perceptions into gold.

Negativity bias tints our perceptions.

Normal sparring broke your elbow? Rest and rethink your training. Fired? You can improve your skills and get a better job.

Consider Curtis if he had fallen into despair.

The legend we call 50 Cent wouldn’t have existed.

The Best Lesson in Life Ever?

Neither avoid nor fear your reality.

That simple sentence contains every self-help tip and life lesson on Earth.

When reality is all there is, why fear it? avoidance?

Or worse, fleeing?

To accept reality, we must eliminate the words should be, could be, wish it were, and hope it will be.

It is. Period.

Only by accepting reality's chaos can you shape your life.

“Behind me is infinite power. Before me is endless possibility, around me is boundless opportunity. My strength is mental, physical and spiritual.” — 50 Cent

Ashraful Islam

Ashraful Islam

1 year ago

Clean API Call With React Hooks

Photo by Juanjo Jaramillo on Unsplash

Calling APIs is the most common thing to do in any modern web application. When it comes to talking with an API then most of the time we need to do a lot of repetitive things like getting data from an API call, handling the success or error case, and so on.

When calling tens of hundreds of API calls we always have to do those tedious tasks. We can handle those things efficiently by putting a higher level of abstraction over those barebone API calls, whereas in some small applications, sometimes we don’t even care.

The problem comes when we start adding new features on top of the existing features without handling the API calls in an efficient and reusable manner. In that case for all of those API calls related repetitions, we end up with a lot of repetitive code across the whole application.

In React, we have different approaches for calling an API. Nowadays mostly we use React hooks. With React hooks, it’s possible to handle API calls in a very clean and consistent way throughout the application in spite of whatever the application size is. So let’s see how we can make a clean and reusable API calling layer using React hooks for a simple web application.

I’m using a code sandbox for this blog which you can get here.

import "./styles.css";
import React, { useEffect, useState } from "react";
import axios from "axios";

export default function App() {
  const [posts, setPosts] = useState(null);
  const [error, setError] = useState("");
  const [loading, setLoading] = useState(false);

  useEffect(() => {
    handlePosts();
  }, []);

  const handlePosts = async () => {
    setLoading(true);
    try {
      const result = await axios.get(
        "https://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com/posts"
      );
      setPosts(result.data);
    } catch (err) {
      setError(err.message || "Unexpected Error!");
    } finally {
      setLoading(false);
    }
  };

  return (
    <div className="App">
      <div>
        <h1>Posts</h1>
        {loading && <p>Posts are loading!</p>}
        {error && <p>{error}</p>}
        <ul>
          {posts?.map((post) => (
            <li key={post.id}>{post.title}</li>
          ))}
        </ul>
      </div>
    </div>
  );
}

I know the example above isn’t the best code but at least it’s working and it’s valid code. I will try to improve that later. For now, we can just focus on the bare minimum things for calling an API.

Here, you can try to get posts data from JsonPlaceholer. Those are the most common steps we follow for calling an API like requesting data, handling loading, success, and error cases.

If we try to call another API from the same component then how that would gonna look? Let’s see.

500: Internal Server Error

Now it’s going insane! For calling two simple APIs we’ve done a lot of duplication. On a top-level view, the component is doing nothing but just making two GET requests and handling the success and error cases. For each request, it’s maintaining three states which will periodically increase later if we’ve more calls.

Let’s refactor to make the code more reusable with fewer repetitions.

Step 1: Create a Hook for the Redundant API Request Codes

Most of the repetitions we have done so far are about requesting data, handing the async things, handling errors, success, and loading states. How about encapsulating those things inside a hook?

The only unique things we are doing inside handleComments and handlePosts are calling different endpoints. The rest of the things are pretty much the same. So we can create a hook that will handle the redundant works for us and from outside we’ll let it know which API to call.

500: Internal Server Error

Here, this request function is identical to what we were doing on the handlePosts and handleComments. The only difference is, it’s calling an async function apiFunc which we will provide as a parameter with this hook. This apiFunc is the only independent thing among any of the API calls we need.

With hooks in action, let’s change our old codes in App component, like this:

500: Internal Server Error

How about the current code? Isn’t it beautiful without any repetitions and duplicate API call handling things?

Let’s continue our journey from the current code. We can make App component more elegant. Now it knows a lot of details about the underlying library for the API call. It shouldn’t know that. So, here’s the next step…

Step 2: One Component Should Take Just One Responsibility

Our App component knows too much about the API calling mechanism. Its responsibility should just request the data. How the data will be requested under the hood, it shouldn’t care about that.

We will extract the API client-related codes from the App component. Also, we will group all the API request-related codes based on the API resource. Now, this is our API client:

import axios from "axios";

const apiClient = axios.create({
  // Later read this URL from an environment variable
  baseURL: "https://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com"
});

export default apiClient;

All API calls for comments resource will be in the following file:

import client from "./client";

const getComments = () => client.get("/comments");

export default {
  getComments
};

All API calls for posts resource are placed in the following file:

import client from "./client";

const getPosts = () => client.get("/posts");

export default {
  getPosts
};

Finally, the App component looks like the following:

import "./styles.css";
import React, { useEffect } from "react";
import commentsApi from "./api/comments";
import postsApi from "./api/posts";
import useApi from "./hooks/useApi";

export default function App() {
  const getPostsApi = useApi(postsApi.getPosts);
  const getCommentsApi = useApi(commentsApi.getComments);

  useEffect(() => {
    getPostsApi.request();
    getCommentsApi.request();
  }, []);

  return (
    <div className="App">
      {/* Post List */}
      <div>
        <h1>Posts</h1>
        {getPostsApi.loading && <p>Posts are loading!</p>}
        {getPostsApi.error && <p>{getPostsApi.error}</p>}
        <ul>
          {getPostsApi.data?.map((post) => (
            <li key={post.id}>{post.title}</li>
          ))}
        </ul>
      </div>
      {/* Comment List */}
      <div>
        <h1>Comments</h1>
        {getCommentsApi.loading && <p>Comments are loading!</p>}
        {getCommentsApi.error && <p>{getCommentsApi.error}</p>}
        <ul>
          {getCommentsApi.data?.map((comment) => (
            <li key={comment.id}>{comment.name}</li>
          ))}
        </ul>
      </div>
    </div>
  );
}

Now it doesn’t know anything about how the APIs get called. Tomorrow if we want to change the API calling library from axios to fetch or anything else, our App component code will not get affected. We can just change the codes form client.js This is the beauty of abstraction.

Apart from the abstraction of API calls, Appcomponent isn’t right the place to show the list of the posts and comments. It’s a high-level component. It shouldn’t handle such low-level data interpolation things.

So we should move this data display-related things to another low-level component. Here I placed those directly in the App component just for the demonstration purpose and not to distract with component composition-related things.

Final Thoughts

The React library gives the flexibility for using any kind of third-party library based on the application’s needs. As it doesn’t have any predefined architecture so different teams/developers adopted different approaches to developing applications with React. There’s nothing good or bad. We choose the development practice based on our needs/choices. One thing that is there beyond any choices is writing clean and maintainable codes.