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Matthew Royse

Matthew Royse

1 year ago

7 ways to improve public speaking

More on Personal Growth

Datt Panchal

Datt Panchal

1 year ago

The Learning Habit

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The Habit of Learning implies constantly learning something new. One daily habit will make you successful. Learning will help you succeed.

Most successful people continually learn. Success requires this behavior. Daily learning.

Success loves books. Books offer expert advice. Everything is online today. Most books are online, so you can skip the library. You must download it and study for 15-30 minutes daily. This habit changes your thinking.

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Typical Successful People

  • Warren Buffett reads 500 pages of corporate reports and five newspapers for five to six hours each day.

  • Each year, Bill Gates reads 50 books.

  • Every two weeks, Mark Zuckerberg reads at least one book.

  • According to his brother, Elon Musk studied two books a day as a child and taught himself engineering and rocket design.

Learning & Making Money Online

No worries if you can't afford books. Everything is online. YouTube, free online courses, etc.

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How can you create this behavior in yourself?

1) Consider what you want to know

Before learning, know what's most important. So, move together.

Set a goal and schedule learning.

After deciding what you want to study, create a goal and plan learning time.

3) GATHER RESOURCES

Get the most out of your learning resources. Online or offline.

Tim Denning

Tim Denning

1 year 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.

Photo by Humberto Chavez on Unsplash

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.

Zero autonomy

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.

Tim Denning

Tim Denning

1 year ago

In this recession, according to Mark Cuban, you need to outwork everyone

Here’s why that’s baloney

Image Credit-MarkCuban

Mark Cuban popularized entrepreneurship.

Shark Tank (which made Mark famous) made starting a business glamorous to attract more entrepreneurs. First off

This isn't an anti-billionaire rant.

Mark Cuban has done excellent. He's a smart, principled businessman. I enjoy his Web3 work. But Mark's work and productivity theories are absurd.

You don't need to outwork everyone in this recession to live well.

You won't be able to outwork me.

Yuck! Mark's words made me gag.

Why do boys think working is a football game where the winner wins a Super Bowl trophy? To outwork you.

Hard work doesn't equal intelligence.

Highly clever professionals spend 4 hours a day in a flow state, then go home to relax with family.

If you don't put forth the effort, someone else will.

- Mark.

He'll burn out. He's delusional and doesn't understand productivity. Boredom or disconnection spark our best thoughts.

TikTok outlaws boredom.

In a spare minute, we check our phones because we can't stand stillness.

All this work p*rn makes things worse. When is it okay to feel again? Because I can’t feel anything when I’m drowning in work and haven’t had a holiday in 2 years.

Your rivals are actively attempting to undermine you.

Ohhh please Mark…seriously.

This isn't a Tom Hanks war film. Relax. Not everyone is a rival. Only yourself is your competitor. To survive the recession, be better than a year ago.

If you get rich, great. If not, there's more to life than Lambos and angel investments.

Some want to relax and enjoy life. No competition. We witness people with lives trying to endure the recession and record-high prices.

This fictitious rival worsens life and work.

Image Credit-MarkCuban

If you are truly talented, you will motivate others to work more diligently and effectively.

No Mark. Soz.

If you're a good leader, you won't brag about working hard and treating others like cogs. Treat them like humans. You'll have EQ.

Silly statements like this are caused by an out-of-control ego. No longer watch Shark Tank.

Ego over humanity.

Good leaders will urge people to keep together during the recession. Good leaders support those who are laid off and need a reference.

Not harder, quicker, better. That created my mental health problems 10 years ago.

Truth: we want to work less.

The promotion of entrepreneurship is ludicrous.

Marvel superheroes. Seriously, relax Max.

I used to write about entrepreneurship, then I quit. Many WeWork Adam Neumanns. Carelessness.

I now utilize the side hustle title when writing about online company or entrepreneurship. Humanizes.

Stop glorifying. Thinking we'll all be Elon Musks who send rockets to Mars is delusional. Most of us won't create companies employing hundreds.

OK.

The true epidemic is glorification. fewer selfies Little birdy needs less bank account screenshots. Less Uber talk.

We're exhausted.

Fun, ego-free business can transform the world. Take a relax pill.

Work as if someone were attempting to take everything from you.

I've seen people lose everything.

Myself included. My 20s startup failed. I was almost bankrupt. I thought I'd never recover. Nope.

Best thing ever.

Losing everything reveals your true self. Unintelligent entrepreneur egos perish instantly. Regaining humility revitalizes relationships.

Money's significance shifts. Stop chasing it like a puppy with a bone.

Fearing loss is unfounded.

Here is a more effective approach than outworking nobody.

(You'll thrive in the recession and become wealthy.)

Smarter work

Overworking is donkey work.

You don't want to be a career-long overworker. Instead than wasting time, write down what you do. List tasks and processes.

Keep doing/outsource the list. Step-by-step each task. Continuously systematize.

Then recruit a digital employee like Zapier or a virtual assistant in the same country.

Intelligent, not difficult.

If your big break could burn in hell, diversify like it will.

People err by focusing on one chance.

Chances can vanish. All-in risky. Instead of working like a Mark Cuban groupie, diversify your income.

If you're employed, your customer is your employer.

Sell the same abilities twice and add 2-3 contract clients. Reduce your hours at your main job and take on more clients.

Leave brand loyalty behind

Mark desires his employees' worship.

That's stupid. When times are bad, layoffs multiply. The problem is the false belief that companies care. No. A business maximizes profit and pays you the least.

To care or overpay is anti-capitalist (that run the world). Be honest.

I was a banker. Then the bat virus hit and jobs disappeared faster than I urinate after a night of drinking.

Start being disloyal now since your company will cheerfully replace you with a better applicant. Meet recruiters and hiring managers on LinkedIn. Whenever something goes wrong at work, act.

Loyalty to self and family. Nobody.

Outwork this instead

Mark doesn't suggest outworking inflation instead of people.

Inflation erodes your time on earth. If you ignore inflation, you'll work harder for less pay every minute.

Financial literacy beats inflation.

Get a side job and earn money online

So you can stop outworking everyone.

Internet leverages time. Same effort today yields exponential results later. There are still whole places not online.

Instead of working forever, generate money online.

Final Words

Overworking is stupid. Don't listen to wealthy football jocks.

Work isn't everything. Prioritize diversification, internet income streams, boredom, and financial knowledge throughout the recession.

That’s how to get wealthy rather than burnout-rich.

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middlemarch.eth

middlemarch.eth

1 year ago

ERC721R: A new ERC721 contract for random minting so people don’t snipe all the rares!

That is, how to snipe all the rares without using ERC721R!

Introduction: Blessed and Lucky 

Mphers was the first mfers derivative, and as a Phunks derivative, I wanted one.

I wanted an alien. And there are only 8 in the 6,969 collection. I got one!

In case it wasn't clear from the tweet, I meant that I was lucky to have figured out how to 100% guarantee I'd get an alien without any extra luck.
Read on to find out how I did it, how you can too, and how developers can avoid it!
How to make rare NFTs without luck.

# How to mint rare NFTs without needing luck

The key to minting a rare NFT is knowing the token's id ahead of time.

For example, once I knew my alien was #4002, I simply refreshed the mint page until #3992 was minted, and then mint 10 mphers.

How did I know #4002 was extraterrestrial? Let's go back.

First, go to the mpher contract's Etherscan page and look up the tokenURI of a previously issued token, token #1:

As you can see, mphers creates metadata URIs by combining the token id and an IPFS hash.

This method gives you the collection's provenance in every URI, and while that URI can be changed, it affects everyone and is public.

Consider a token URI without a provenance hash, like https://mphers.art/api?tokenId=1.
As a collector, you couldn't be sure the devs weren't changing #1's metadata at will.
The API allows you to specify “if #4002 has not been minted, do not show any information about it”, whereas IPFS does not allow this.

It's possible to look up the metadata of any token, whether or not it's been minted.
Simply replace the trailing “1” with your desired id.


Mpher #4002

These files contain all the information about the mpher with the specified id. For my alien, we simply search all metadata files for the string “alien mpher.”

Take a look at the 6,969 meta-data files I'm using OpenSea's IPFS gateway, but you could use ipfs.io or something else.


Use curl to download ten files at once. Downloading thousands of files quickly can lead to duplicates or errors. But with a little tweaking, you should be able to get everything (and dupes are fine for our purposes).
Now that you have everything in one place, grep for aliens:


The numbers are the file names that contain “alien mpher” and thus the aliens' ids.
The entire process takes under ten minutes. This technique works on many NFTs currently minting.

In practice, manually minting at the right time to get the alien is difficult, especially when tokens mint quickly. Then write a bot to poll totalSupply() every second and submit the mint transaction at the exact right time.

You could even look for the token you need in the mempool before it is minted, and get your mint into the same block!

However, in my experience, the “big” approach wins 95% of the time—but not 100%.
“Am I being set up all along?”

Is a question you might ask yourself if you're new to this.
It's disheartening to think you had no chance of minting anything that someone else wanted.
But, did you have no opportunity? You had an equal chance as everyone else!
Take me, for instance: I figured this out using open-source tools and free public information. Anyone can do this, and not understanding how a contract works before minting will lead to much worse issues.

The mpher mint was fair.

While a fair game, “snipe the alien” may not have been everyone's cup of tea.
People may have had more fun playing the “mint lottery” where tokens were distributed at random and no one could gain an advantage over someone simply clicking the “mint” button.

How might we proceed?
Minting For Fashion Hats Punks, I wanted to create a random minting experience without sacrificing fairness. In my opinion, a predictable mint beats an unfair one. Above all, participants must be equal.

Sadly, the most common method of creating a random experience—the post-mint “reveal”—is deeply unfair. It works as follows:

  • During the mint, token metadata is unavailable. Instead, tokenURI() returns a blank JSON file for each id.
  • An IPFS hash is updated once all tokens are minted.
  • You can't tell how the contract owner chose which token ids got which metadata, so it appears random.

Because they alone decide who gets what, the person setting the metadata clearly has a huge unfair advantage over the people minting. Unlike the mpher mint, you have no chance of winning here.
But what if it's a well-known, trusted, doxxed dev team? Are reveals okay here?
No! No one should be trusted with such power. Even if someone isn't consciously trying to cheat, they have unconscious biases. They might also make a mistake and not realize it until it's too late, for example.

You should also not trust yourself. Imagine doing a reveal, thinking you did it correctly (nothing is 100%! ), and getting the rarest NFT. Isn't that a tad odd Do you think you deserve it? An NFT developer like myself would hate to be in this situation.

Reveals are bad*

UNLESS they are done without trust, meaning everyone can verify their fairness without relying on the developers (which you should never do).
An on-chain reveal powered by randomness that is verifiably outside of anyone's control is the most common way to achieve a trustless reveal (e.g., through Chainlink).

Tubby Cats did an excellent job on this reveal, and I highly recommend their contract and launch reflections. Their reveal was also cool because it was progressive—you didn't have to wait until the end of the mint to find out.

In his post-launch reflections, @DefiLlama stated that he made the contract as trustless as possible, removing as much trust as possible from the team.

In my opinion, everyone should know the rules of the game and trust that they will not be changed mid-stream, while trust minimization is critical because smart contracts were designed to reduce trust (and it makes it impossible to hack even if the team is compromised). This was a huge mistake because it limited our flexibility and our ability to correct mistakes.

And @DefiLlama is a superstar developer. Imagine how much stress maximizing trustlessness will cause you!

That leaves me with a bad solution that works in 99 percent of cases and is much easier to implement: random token assignments.

Introducing ERC721R: A fully compliant IERC721 implementation that picks token ids at random.

ERC721R implements the opposite of a reveal: we mint token ids randomly and assign metadata deterministically.
This allows us to reveal all metadata prior to minting while reducing snipe chances.
Then import the contract and use this code:

What is ERC721R and how does it work

First, a disclaimer: ERC721R isn't truly random. In this sense, it creates the same “game” as the mpher situation, where minters compete to exploit the mint. However, ERC721R is a much more difficult game.
To game ERC721R, you need to be able to predict a hash value using these inputs:

This is impossible for a normal person because it requires knowledge of the block timestamp of your mint, which you do not have.

To do this, a miner must set the timestamp to a value in the future, and whatever they do is dependent on the previous block's hash, which expires in about ten seconds when the next block is mined.

This pseudo-randomness is “good enough,” but if big money is involved, it will be gamed. Of course, the system it replaces—predictable minting—can be manipulated.
The token id is chosen in a clever implementation of the Fisher–Yates shuffle algorithm that I copied from CryptoPhunksV2.

Consider first the naive solution: (a 10,000 item collection is assumed):

  1. Make an array with 0–9999.
  2. To create a token, pick a random item from the array and use that as the token's id.
  3. Remove that value from the array and shorten it by one so that every index corresponds to an available token id.

This works, but it uses too much gas because changing an array's length and storing a large array of non-zero values is expensive.

How do we avoid them both? What if we started with a cheap 10,000-zero array? Let's assign an id to each index in that array.

Assume we pick index #6500 at random—#6500 is our token id, and we replace the 0 with a 1.

But what if we chose #6500 again? A 1 would indicate #6500 was taken, but then what? We can't just "roll again" because gas will be unpredictable and high, especially later mints.

This allows us to pick a token id 100% of the time without having to keep a separate list. Here's how it works:

  1. Make a 10,000 0 array.
  2. Create a 10,000 uint numAvailableTokens.
  3. Pick a number between 0 and numAvailableTokens. -1
  4. Think of #6500—look at index #6500. If it's 0, the next token id is #6500. If not, the value at index #6500 is your next token id (weird!)
  5. Examine the array's last value, numAvailableTokens — 1. If it's 0, move the value at #6500 to the end of the array (#9999 if it's the first token). If the array's last value is not zero, update index #6500 to store it.
  6. numAvailableTokens is decreased by 1.
  7. Repeat 3–6 for the next token id.

So there you go! The array stays the same size, but we can choose an available id reliably. The Solidity code is as follows:


GitHub url

Unfortunately, this algorithm uses more gas than the leading sequential mint solution, ERC721A.

This is most noticeable when minting multiple tokens in one transaction—a 10 token mint on ERC721R costs 5x more than on ERC721A. That said, ERC721A has been optimized much further than ERC721R so there is probably room for improvement.

Conclusion

Listed below are your options:

  • ERC721A: Minters pay lower gas but must spend time and energy devising and executing a competitive minting strategy or be comfortable with worse minting results.
  • ERC721R: Higher gas, but the easy minting strategy of just clicking the button is optimal in all but the most extreme cases. If miners game ERC721R it’s the worst of both worlds: higher gas and a ton of work to compete.
  • ERC721A + standard reveal: Low gas, but not verifiably fair. Please do not do this!
  • ERC721A + trustless reveal: The best solution if done correctly, highly-challenging for dev, potential for difficult-to-correct errors.

Did I miss something? Comment or tweet me @dumbnamenumbers.
Check out the code on GitHub to learn more! Pull requests are welcome—I'm sure I've missed many gas-saving opportunities.

Thanks!

Read the original post here

Sanjay Priyadarshi

Sanjay Priyadarshi

1 year ago

A 19-year-old dropped out of college to build a $2,300,000,000 company in 2 years.

His success was unforeseeable.

2014 saw Facebook's $2.3 billion purchase of Oculus VR.

19-year-old Palmer Luckey founded Oculus. He quit journalism school. His parents worried about his college dropout.

Facebook bought Oculus VR in less than 2 years.

Palmer Luckey started Anduril Industries. Palmer has raised $385 million with Anduril.

The Oculus journey began in a trailer

Palmer Luckey, 19, owned the trailer.

Luckey had his trailer customized. The trailer had all six of Luckey's screens. In the trailer's remaining area, Luckey conducted hardware tests.

At 16, he became obsessed with virtual reality. Virtual reality was rare at the time.

Luckey didn't know about VR when he started.

Previously, he liked "portabilizing" mods. Hacking ancient game consoles into handhelds.

In his city, fewer portabilizers actively traded.

Luckey started "ModRetro" for other portabilizers. Luckey was exposed to VR headsets online.

Luckey:

“Man, ModRetro days were the best.”

Palmer Luckey used VR headsets for three years. His design had 50 prototypes.

Luckey used to work at the Long Beach Sailing Center for minimum salary, servicing diesel engines and cleaning boats.

Luckey worked in a USC Institute for Creative Technologies mixed reality lab in July 2011. (ICT).

Luckey cleaned the lab, did reports, and helped other students with VR projects.

Luckey's lab job was dull.

Luckey chose to work in the lab because he wanted to engage with like-minded folks.

By 2012, Luckey had a prototype he hoped to share globally. He made cheaper headsets than others.

Luckey wanted to sell an easy-to-assemble virtual reality kit on Kickstarter.

He realized he needed a corporation to do these sales legally. He started looking for names. "Virtuality," "virtual," and "VR" are all taken.

Hence, Oculus.

If Luckey sold a hundred prototypes, he would be thrilled since it would boost his future possibilities.

John Carmack, legendary game designer

Carmack has liked sci-fi and fantasy since infancy.

Carmack loved imagining intricate gaming worlds.

His interest in programming and computer science grew with age.

He liked graphics. He liked how mismatching 0 and 1 might create new colors and visuals.

Carmack played computer games as a teen. He created Shadowforge in high school.

He founded Id software in 1991. When Carmack created id software, console games were the best-sellers.

Old computer games have weak graphics. John Carmack and id software developed "adaptive tile refresh."

This technique smoothed PC game scrolling. id software launched 3-D, Quake, and Doom using "adaptive tile refresh."

These games made John Carmack a gaming star. Later, he sold Id software to ZeniMax Media.

How Palmer Luckey met Carmack

In 2011, Carmack was thinking a lot about 3-D space and virtual reality.

He was underwhelmed by the greatest HMD on the market. Because of their flimsiness and latency.

His disappointment was partly due to the view (FOV). Best HMD had 40-degree field of view.

Poor. The best VR headset is useless with a 40-degree FOV.

Carmack intended to show the press Doom 3 in VR. He explored VR headsets and internet groups for this reason.

Carmack identified a VR enthusiast in the comments section of "LEEP on the Cheap." "PalmerTech" was the name.

Carmack approached PalmerTech about his prototype. He told Luckey about his VR demos, so he wanted to see his prototype.

Carmack got a Rift prototype. Here's his May 17 tweet.

John Carmack tweeted an evaluation of the Luckey prototype.

Dan Newell, a Valve engineer, and Mick Hocking, a Sony senior director, pre-ordered Oculus Rift prototypes with Carmack's help.

Everyone praised Luckey after Carmack demoed Rift.

Palmer Luckey received a job offer from Sony.

  • It was a full-time position at Sony Computer Europe.

  • He would run Sony’s R&D lab.

  • The salary would be $70k.

Who is Brendan Iribe?

Brendan Iribe started early with Startups. In 2004, he and Mike Antonov founded Scaleform.

Scaleform created high-performance middleware. This package allows 3D Flash games.

In 2011, Iribe sold Scaleform to Autodesk for $36 million.

How Brendan Iribe discovered Palmer Luckey.

Brendan Iribe's friend Laurent Scallie.

Laurent told Iribe about a potential opportunity.

Laurent promised Iribe VR will work this time. Laurent introduced Iribe to Luckey.

Iribe was doubtful after hearing Laurent's statements. He doubted Laurent's VR claims.

But since Laurent took the name John Carmack, Iribe thought he should look at Luckey Innovation. Iribe was hooked on virtual reality after reading Palmer Luckey stories.

He asked Scallie about Palmer Luckey.

Iribe convinced Luckey to start Oculus with him

First meeting between Palmer Luckey and Iribe.

The Iribe team wanted Luckey to feel comfortable.

Iribe sought to convince Luckey that launching a company was easy. Iribe told Luckey anyone could start a business.

Luckey told Iribe's staff he was homeschooled from childhood. Luckey took self-study courses.

Luckey had planned to launch a Kickstarter campaign and sell kits for his prototype. Many companies offered him jobs, nevertheless.

He's considering Sony's offer.

Iribe advised Luckey to stay independent and not join a firm. Iribe asked Luckey how he could raise his child better. No one sees your baby like you do?

Iribe's team pushed Luckey to stay independent and establish a software ecosystem around his device.

After conversing with Iribe, Luckey rejected every job offer and merger option.

Iribe convinced Luckey to provide an SDK for Oculus developers.

After a few months. Brendan Iribe co-founded Oculus with Palmer Luckey. Luckey trusted Iribe and his crew, so he started a corporation with him.

Crowdfunding

Brendan Iribe and Palmer Luckey launched a Kickstarter.

Gabe Newell endorsed Palmer's Kickstarter video.

Gabe Newell wants folks to trust Palmer Luckey since he's doing something fascinating and answering tough questions.

Mark Bolas and David Helgason backed Palmer Luckey's VR Kickstarter video.

Luckey introduced Oculus Rift during the Kickstarter campaign. He introduced virtual reality during press conferences.

Oculus' Kickstarter effort was a success. Palmer Luckey felt he could raise $250,000.

Oculus raised $2.4 million through Kickstarter. Palmer Luckey's virtual reality vision was well-received.

Mark Zuckerberg's Oculus discovery

Brendan Iribe and Palmer Luckey hired the right personnel after a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Oculus needs a lot of money for engineers and hardware. They needed investors' money.

Series A raised $16M.

Next, Andreessen Horowitz partner Brain Cho approached Iribe.

Cho told Iribe that Andreessen Horowitz could invest in Oculus Series B if the company solved motion sickness.

Mark Andreessen was Iribe's dream client.

Marc Andreessen and his partners gave Oculus $75 million.

Andreessen introduced Iribe to Zukerberg. Iribe and Zukerberg discussed the future of games and virtual reality by phone.

Facebook's Oculus demo

Iribe showed Zuckerberg Oculus.

Mark was hooked after using Oculus. The headset impressed him.

The whole Facebook crew who saw the demo said only one thing.

“Holy Crap!”

This surprised them all.

Mark Zuckerberg was impressed by the team's response. Mark Zuckerberg met the Oculus team five days after the demo.

First meeting Palmer Luckey.

Palmer Luckey is one of Mark's biggest supporters and loves Facebook.

Oculus Acquisition

Zuckerberg wanted Oculus.

Brendan Iribe had requested for $4 billion, but Mark wasn't interested.

Facebook bought Oculus for $2.3 billion after months of drama.

After selling his company, how does Palmer view money?

Palmer loves the freedom money gives him. Money frees him from small worries.

Money has allowed him to pursue things he wouldn't have otherwise.

“If I didn’t have money I wouldn’t have a collection of vintage military vehicles…You can have nice hobbies that keep you relaxed when you have money.”

He didn't start Oculus to generate money. His virtual reality passion spanned years.

He didn't have to lie about how virtual reality will transform everything until he needed funding.

The company's success was an unexpected bonus. He was merely passionate about a good cause.

After Oculus' $2.3 billion exit, what changed?

Palmer didn't mind being rich. He did similar things.

After Facebook bought Oculus, he moved to Silicon Valley and lived in a 12-person shared house due to high rents.

Palmer might have afforded a big mansion, but he prefers stability and doing things because he wants to, not because he has to.

“Taco Bell is never tasted so good as when you know you could afford to never eat taco bell again.”

Palmer's leadership shifted.

Palmer changed his leadership after selling Oculus.

When he launched his second company, he couldn't work on his passions.

“When you start a tech company you do it because you want to work on a technology, that is why you are interested in that space in the first place. As the company has grown, he has realized that if he is still doing optical design in the company it’s because he is being negligent about the hiring process.”

Once his startup grows, the founder's responsibilities shift. He must recruit better firm managers.

Recruiting talented people becomes the top priority. The founder must convince others of their influence.

A book that helped me write this:

The History of the Future: Oculus, Facebook, and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality — Blake Harris


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

Florian Wahl

Florian Wahl

1 year ago

An Approach to Product Strategy

I've been pondering product strategy and how to articulate it. Frameworks helped guide our thinking.

If your teams aren't working together or there's no clear path to victory, your product strategy may not be well-articulated or communicated (if you have one).

Before diving into a product strategy's details, it's important to understand its role in the bigger picture — the pieces that move your organization forward.

the overall picture

A product strategy is crucial, in my opinion. It's part of a successful product or business. It's the showpiece.

The Big Picture: Vision, Product Strategy, Goals, Roadmap

To simplify, we'll discuss four main components:

  1. Vision

  2. Product Management

  3. Goals

  4. Roadmap

Vision

Your company's mission? Your company/product in 35 years? Which headlines?

The vision defines everything your organization will do in the long term. It shows how your company impacted the world. It's your organization's rallying cry.

An ambitious but realistic vision is needed.

Without a clear vision, your product strategy may be inconsistent.

Product Management

Our main subject. Product strategy connects everything. It fulfills the vision.

In Part 2, we'll discuss product strategy.

Goals

This component can be goals, objectives, key results, targets, milestones, or whatever goal-tracking framework works best for your organization.

These product strategy metrics will help your team prioritize strategies and roadmaps.

Your company's goals should be unified. This fuels success.

Roadmap

The roadmap is your product strategy's timeline. It provides a prioritized view of your team's upcoming deliverables.

A roadmap is time-bound and includes measurable goals for your company. Your team's steps and capabilities for executing product strategy.

If your team has trouble prioritizing or defining a roadmap, your product strategy or vision is likely unclear.

Formulation of a Product Strategy

Now that we've discussed where your product strategy fits in the big picture, let's look at a framework.

Product Strategy Framework: Challenges, Decided Approach, Actions

A product strategy should include challenges, an approach, and actions.

Challenges

First, analyze the problems/situations you're solving. It can be customer- or company-focused.

The analysis should explain the problems and why they're important. Try to simplify the situation and identify critical aspects.

Some questions:

  • What issues are we attempting to resolve?

  • What obstacles—internal or otherwise—are we attempting to overcome?

  • What is the opportunity, and why should we pursue it, in your opinion?

Decided Method

Second, describe your approach. This can be a set of company policies for handling the challenge. It's the overall approach to the first part's analysis.

The approach can be your company's bets, the solutions you've found, or how you'll solve the problems you've identified.

Again, these questions can help:

  • What is the value that we hope to offer to our clients?

  • Which market are we focusing on first?

  • What makes us stand out? Our benefit over rivals?

Actions

Third, identify actions that result from your approach. Second-part actions should be these.

Coordinate these actions. You may need to add products or features to your roadmap, acquire new capabilities through partnerships, or launch new marketing campaigns. Whatever fits your challenges and strategy.

Final questions:

  • What skills do we need to develop or obtain?

  • What is the chosen remedy? What are the main outputs?

  • What else ought to be added to our road map?

Put everything together

… and iterate!

Strategy isn't one-and-done. Changes occur. Economies change. Competitors emerge. Customer expectations change.

One unexpected event can make strategies obsolete quickly. Muscle it. Review, evaluate, and course-correct your strategies with your teams. Quarterly works. In a new or unstable industry, more often.