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Victoria Kurichenko

Victoria Kurichenko

2 months ago

What Happened After I Posted an AI-Generated Post on My Website

More on Marketing

Karo Wanner

Karo Wanner

4 months ago

This is how I started my Twitter account.

My 12-day results look good.

Twitter seemed for old people and politicians.

I thought the platform would die soon like Facebook.

The platform's growth stalled around 300m users between 2015 and 2019.

In 2020, Twitter grew and now has almost 400m users.

Niharikaa Kaur Sodhi built a business on Twitter while I was away, despite its low popularity.

When I read about the success of Twitter users in the past 2 years, I created an account and a 3-month strategy.

I'll see if it's worth starting Twitter in 2022.

Late or perfect? I'll update you. Track my Twitter growth. You can find me here.

My Twitter Strategy

My Twitter goal is to build a community and recruit members for Mindful Monday.

I believe mindfulness is the only way to solve problems like poverty, inequality, and the climate crisis.

The power of mindfulness is my mission.

Mindful Monday is your weekly reminder to live in the present moment. I send mindfulness tips every Monday.

My Twitter profile promotes Mindful Monday and encourages people to join.

What I paid attention to:

  • I designed a brand-appropriate header to promote Mindful Monday.

  • Choose a profile picture. People want to know who you are.

  • I added my name as I do on Medium, Instagram, and emails. To stand out and be easily recognized, add an emoji if appropriate. Add what you want to be known for, such as Health Coach, Writer, or Newsletter.

  • People follow successful, trustworthy people. Describe any results you have. This could be views, followers, subscribers, or major news outlets. Create!

  • Tell readers what they'll get by following you. Can you help?

  • Add CTA to your profile. Your Twitter account's purpose. Give instructions. I placed my sign-up link next to the CTA to promote Mindful Monday. Josh Spector recommended this. (Thanks! Bonus tip: If you don't want the category to show in your profile, e.g. Entrepreneur, go to edit profile, edit professional profile, and choose 'Other'

Here's my Twitter:

I'm no expert, but I tried. Please share any additional Twitter tips and suggestions in the comments.

To hide your Revue newsletter subscriber count:

Join Revue. Select 'Hide Subscriber Count' in Account settings > Settings > Subscriber Count. Voila!

How frequently should you tweet?

1 to 20 Tweets per day, but consistency is key.

Stick to a daily tweet limit. Start with less and be consistent than the opposite.

I tweet 3 times per day. That's my comfort zone. Larger accounts tweet 5–7 times daily.

Do what works for you and that is the right amount.

Twitter is a long-term game, so plan your tweets for a year.

How to Batch Your Tweets?

Sunday batchs.

Sunday evenings take me 1.5 hours to create all my tweets for the week.

Use a word document and write down your posts. Podcasts, books, my own articles inspire me.

When I have a good idea or see a catchy Tweet, I take a screenshot.

To not copy but adapt.

Two pillars support my content:

  1. (90% ~ 29 tweets per week) Inspirational quotes, mindfulness tips, zen stories, mistakes, myths, book recommendations, etc.

  2. (10% 2 tweets per week) I share how I grow Mindful Monday with readers. This pillar promotes MM and behind-the-scenes content.

Second, I schedule all my Tweets using TweetDeck. I tweet at 7 a.m., 5 p.m., and 6 p.m.

Include Twitter Threads in your content strategy

Tweets are blog posts. In your first tweet, you include a headline, then tweet your content.

That’s how you create a series of connected Tweets.

What’s the point? You have more room to convince your reader you're an expert.

Add a call-to-action to your thread.

  • Follow for more like this

  • Newsletter signup (share your link)

  • Ask for retweet

One thread per week is my goal. 

I'll schedule threads with Typefully. In the free version, you can schedule one Tweet, but that's fine.

Pin a thread to the top of your profile if it leads to your newsletter. So new readers see your highest-converting content first.

Tweet Medium posts

I also tweet Medium articles.

I schedule 1 weekly repost for 5 weeks after each publication. I share the same article daily for 5 weeks.

Every time I tweet, I include a different article quote, so even if the link is the same, the quote adds value.

Engage Other Experts

When you first create your account, few people will see it. Normal.

If you comment on other industry accounts, you can reach their large audience.

First, you need 50 to 100 followers. Here's my beginner tip.

15 minutes a day or when I have downtime, I comment on bigger accounts in my niche.

My 12-Day Results

Now let's look at the first data.

I had 32 followers on March 29. 12 followers in 11 days. I have 52 now.

Not huge, but growing rapidly.

Let's examine impressions/views.

As a newbie, I gained 4,300 impressions/views in 12 days. On Medium, I got fewer views.

The 1,6k impressions per day spike comes from a larger account I mentioned the day before. First, I was shocked to see the spike and unsure of its origin.

These results are promising given the effort required to be consistent on Twitter.

Let's see how my journey progresses. I'll keep you posted.

Tweeters, Does this content strategy make sense? What's wrong? Comment below.

Let's support each other on Twitter. Here's me.

Which Twitter strategy works for you in 2022?


This post is a summary. Read the full article here

Jenn Leach

Jenn Leach

3 months ago

This clever Instagram marketing technique increased my sales to $30,000 per month.

No Paid Ads Required

Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

I had an online store. After a year of running the company alongside my 9-to-5, I made enough to resign.

That day was amazing.

This Instagram marketing plan helped the store succeed.

How did I increase my sales to five figures a month without using any paid advertising?

I used customer event marketing.

I'm not sure this term exists. I invented it to describe what I was doing.

Instagram word-of-mouth, fan engagement, and interaction drove sales.

If a customer liked or disliked a product, the buzz would drive attention to the store.

I used customer-based events to increase engagement and store sales.

Success!

Here are the weekly Instagram customer events I coordinated while running my business:

  • Be the Buyer Days

  • Flash sales

  • Mystery boxes

Be the Buyer Days: How do they work?

Be the Buyer Days are exactly that.

You choose a day to share stock selections with social media followers.

This is an easy approach to engaging customers and getting fans enthusiastic about new releases.

First, pick a handful of items you’re considering ordering. I’d usually pick around 3 for Be the Buyer Day.

Then I'd poll the crowd on Instagram to vote on their favorites.

This was before Instagram stories, polls, and all the other cool features Instagram offers today. I think using these tools now would make this event even better.

I'd ask customers their favorite back then.

The growing comments excited customers.

Then I'd declare the winner, acquire the products, and start selling it.

How do flash sales work?

I mostly ran flash sales.

You choose a limited number of itemsdd for a few-hour sale.

We wanted most sales to result in sold-out items.

When an item sells out, it contributes to the sensation of scarcity and can inspire customers to visit your store to buy a comparable product, join your email list, become a fan, etc.

We hoped they'd act quickly.

I'd hold flash deals twice a week, which generated scarcity and boosted sales.

The store had a few thousand Instagram followers when I started flash deals.

Each flash sale item would make $400 to $600.

$400 x 3= $1,200

That's $1,200 on social media!

Twice a week, you'll make roughly $10K a month from Instagram.

$1,200/day x 8 events/month=$9,600

Flash sales did great.

We held weekly flash deals and sent social media and email reminders. That’s about it!

How are mystery boxes put together?

All you do is package a box of store products and sell it as a mystery box on TikTok or retail websites.

A $100 mystery box would cost $30.

You're discounting high-value boxes.

This is a clever approach to get rid of excess inventory and makes customers happy.

It worked!

Be the Buyer Days, flash deals, and mystery boxes helped build my company without paid advertisements.

All companies can use customer event marketing. Involving customers and providing an engaging environment can boost sales.

Try it!

Jon Brosio

Jon Brosio

2 months ago

You can learn more about marketing from these 8 copywriting frameworks than from a college education.

Email, landing pages, and digital content

Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels

Today's most significant skill:

Copywriting.

Unfortunately, most people don't know how to write successful copy because they weren't taught in school.

I've been obsessed with copywriting for two years. I've read 15 books, completed 3 courses, and studied internet's best digital entrepreneurs.

Here are 8 copywriting frameworks that educate more than a four-year degree.

1. Feature — Advantage — Benefit (F.A.B)

This is the most basic copywriting foundation. Email marketing, landing page copy, and digital video ads can use it.

F.A.B says:

  • How it works (feature)

  • which is helpful (advantage)

  • What's at stake (benefit)

The Hustle uses this framework on their landing page to convince people to sign up:

Courtesy | Thehustle.co

2. P. A. S. T. O. R.

This framework is for longer-form copywriting. PASTOR uses stories to engage with prospects. It explains why people should buy this offer.

PASTOR means:

  • Problem

  • Amplify

  • Story

  • Testimonial

  • Offer

  • Response

Dan Koe's landing page is a great example. It shows PASTOR frame-by-frame.

Courtesy | Dan Koe

3. Before — After — Bridge

Before-after-bridge is a copywriting framework that draws attention and shows value quickly.

This framework highlights:

  • where you are

  • where you want to be

  • how to get there

Works great for: Email threads/landing pages

Zain Kahn utilizes this framework to write viral threads.

Courtesy | Zain Kahn

4. Q.U.E.S.T

QUEST is about empathetic writing. You know their issues, obstacles, and headaches. This allows coverups.

QUEST:

  • Qualifies

  • Understands

  • Educates

  • Stimulates

  • Transitions

Tom Hirst's landing page uses the QUEST framework.

Courtesy | Tom Hirst

5. The 4P’s model

The 4P’s approach pushes your prospect to action. It educates and persuades quickly.

4Ps:

  • The problem the visitor is dealing with

  • The promise that will help them

  • The proof the promise works

  • push towards action

Mark Manson is a bestselling author, digital creator, and pop-philosopher. He's also a great copywriter, and his membership offer uses the 4P’s framework.

Courtesy | Mark Manson

6. Problem — Agitate — Solution (P.A.S)

Up-and-coming marketers should understand problem-agitate-solution copywriting. Once you understand one structure, others are easier. It drives passion and presents a clear solution.

PAS outlines:

  • The issue the visitor is having

  • It then intensifies this issue through emotion.

  • finally offers an answer to that issue (the offer)

The customer's story loops. Nicolas Cole and Dickie Bush use PAS to promote Ship 30 for 30.

Courtesy | ship30for30.com

7. Star — Story — Solution (S.S.S)

PASTOR + PAS = star-solution-story. Like PAS, it employs stories to persuade.

S.S.S. is effective storytelling:

  • Star: (Person had a problem)

  • Story: (until they had a breakthrough)

  • Solution: (That created a transformation)

Ali Abdaal is a YouTuber with a great S.S.S copy.

Courtesy | Ali Abdaal

8. Attention — Interest — Desire — Action

AIDA is another classic. This copywriting framework is great for fast-paced environments (think all digital content on Linkedin, Twitter, Medium, etc.).

It works with:

  • Page landings

  • writing on thread

  • Email

It's a good structure since it's concise, attention-grabbing, and action-oriented.

Shane Martin, Twitter's creator, uses this approach to create viral content.

Courtesy | Shane Martin

TL;DR

8 copywriting frameworks that teach marketing better than a four-year degree

  • Feature-advantage-benefit

  • Before-after-bridge

  • Star-story-solution

  • P.A.S.T.O.R

  • Q.U.E.S.T

  • A.I.D.A

  • P.A.S

  • 4P’s

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Looi Qin En

Looi Qin En

1 month ago

I polled 52 product managers to find out what qualities make a great Product Manager

Great technology opens up an universe of possibilities.

Need a friend? WhatsApp, Telegram, Slack, etc.

Traveling? AirBnB, Expedia, Google Flights, etc.

Money transfer? Use digital banking, e-wallet, or crypto applications

Products inspire us. How do we become great?

I asked product managers in my network:

What does it take to be a great product manager?

52 product managers from 40+ prominent IT businesses in Southeast Asia responded passionately. Many of the PMs I've worked with have built fantastic products, from unicorns (Lazada, Tokopedia, Ovo) to incumbents (Google, PayPal, Experian, WarnerMedia) to growing (etaily, Nium, Shipper).

TL;DR:

  • Soft talents are more important than hard skills. Technical expertise was hardly ever stressed by product managers, and empathy was mentioned more than ten times. Janani from Xendit expertly recorded the moment. A superb PM must comprehend that their empathy for the feelings of their users must surpass all logic and data.

  • Constant attention to the needs of the user. Many people concur that the closer a PM gets to their customer/user, the more likely it is that the conclusion will be better. There were almost 30 references to customers and users. Focusing on customers has the advantage because it is hard to overshoot, as Rajesh from Lazada puts it best.

  • Setting priorities is invaluable. Prioritization is essential because there are so many problems that a PM must deal with every day. My favorite quotation on this is from Rakuten user Yee Jie. Viki, A competent product manager extinguishes fires. A good product manager lets things burn and then prioritizes.

This summary isn't enough to capture what excellent PMs claim it requires. Read below!

What qualities make a successful product manager?

Themed quotes are alphabetized by author.

Embrace your user/customer

Aeriel Dela Paz, Rainmaking Venture Architect, ex-GCash Product Head

Great PMs know what customers need even when they don’t say it directly. It’s about reading between the lines and going through the numbers to address that need.

Anders Nordahl, OrkestraSCS's Product Manager

Understanding the vision of your customer is as important as to get the customer to buy your vision

Angel Mendoza, MetaverseGo's Product Head

Most people think that to be a great product manager, you must have technical know-how. It’s textbook and I do think it is helpful to some extent, but for me the secret sauce is EMPATHY — the ability to see and feel things from someone else’s perspective. You can’t create a solution without deeply understanding the problem.

Senior Product Manager, Tokopedia

Focus on delivering value and helping people (consumer as well as colleague) and everything else will follow

Darren Lau, Deloitte Digital's Head of Customer Experience

Start with the users, and work backwards. Don’t have a solution looking for a problem

Darryl Tan, Grab Product Manager

I would say that a great product manager is able to identify the crucial problems to solve through strong user empathy and synthesis of insights

Diego Perdana, Kitalulus Senior Product Manager

I think to be a great product manager you need to be obsessed with customer problems and most important is solve the right problem with the right solution

Senior Product Manager, AirAsia

Lot of common sense + Customer Obsession. The most important role of a Product manager is to bring clarity of a solution. Your product is good if it solves customer problems. Your product is great if it solves an eco-system problem and disrupts the business in a positive way.

Edward Xie, Mastercard Managing Consultant, ex-Shopee Product Manager

Perfect your product, but be prepared to compromise for right users

AVP Product, Shipper

For me, a great product manager need to be rational enough to find the business opportunities while obsessing the customers.

Janani Gopalakrishnan is a senior product manager of a stealth firm.

While as a good PM it’s important to be data-driven, to be a great PM one needs to understand that their empathy for their users’ emotions must exceed all logic and data. Great PMs also make these product discussions thrive within the team by intently listening to all the members thoughts and influence the team’s skin in the game positively.

Director, Product Management, Indeed

Great product managers put their users first. They discover problems that matter most to their users and inspire their team to find creative solutions.

Grab's Senior Product Manager Lakshay Kalra

Product management is all about finding and solving most important user problems

Quipper's Mega Puji Saraswati

First of all, always remember the value of “user first” to solve what user really needs (the main problem) for guidance to arrange the task priority and develop new ideas. Second, ownership. Treat the product as your “2nd baby”, and the team as your “2nd family”. Third, maintain a good communication, both horizontally and vertically. But on top of those, always remember to have a work — life balance, and know exactly the priority in life :)

Senior Product Manager, Prosa.AI Miswanto Miswanto

A great Product Manager is someone who can be the link between customer needs with the readiness and flexibility of the team. So that it can provide, build, and produce a product that is useful and helps the community to carry out their daily activities. And He/She can improve product quality ongoing basis or continuous to help provide solutions for users or our customer.

Lead Product Manager, Tokopedia, Oriza Wahyu Utami

Be a great listener, be curious and be determined. every great product manager have the ability to listen the pain points and understand the problems, they are always curious on the users feedback, and they also very determined to look for the solutions that benefited users and the business.

99 Group CPO Rajesh Sangati

The advantage of focusing on customers: it’s impossible to overshoot

Ray Jang, founder of Scenius, formerly of ByteDance

The difference between good and great product managers is that great product managers are willing to go the unsexy and unglamorous extra mile by rolling up their sleeves and ironing out all minutiae details of the product such that when the user uses the product, they can’t help but say “This was made for me.”

BCG Digital Ventures' Sid Narayanan

Great product managers ensure that what gets built and shipped is at the intersection of what creates value for the customer and for the business that’s building the product…often times, especially in today’s highly liquid funding environment, the unit economics, aka ensuring that what gets shipped creates value for the business and is sustainable, gets overlooked

Stephanie Brownlee, BCG Digital Ventures Product Manager

There is software in the world that does more harm than good to people and society. Great Product Managers build products that solve problems not create problems

Experiment constantly

Delivery Hero's Abhishek Muralidharan

Embracing your failure is the key to become a great Product Manager

DeliveryHero's Anuraag Burman

Product Managers should be thick skinned to deal with criticism and the stomach to take risk and face failures.

DataSpark Product Head Apurva Lawale

Great product managers enjoy the creative process with their team to deliver intuitive user experiences to benefit users.

Dexter Zhuang, Xendit Product Manager

The key to creating winning products is building what customers want as quickly as you can — testing and learning along the way.

PayPal's Jay Ko

To me, great product managers always remain relentlessly curious. They are empathetic leaders and problem solvers that glean customer insights into building impactful products

Home Credit Philippines' Jedd Flores

Great Product Managers are the best dreamers; they think of what can be possible for the customers, for the company and the positive impact that it will have in the industry that they’re part of

Set priorities first, foremost, foremost.

HBO Go Product Manager Akshay Ishwar

Good product managers strive to balance the signal to noise ratio, Great product managers know when to turn the dials for each up exactly

Zuellig Pharma's Guojie Su

Have the courage to say no. Managing egos and request is never easy and rejecting them makes it harder but necessary to deliver the best value for the customers.

Ninja Van's John Prawira

(1) PMs should be able to ruthlessly prioritize. In order to be effective, PMs should anchor their product development process with their north stars (success metrics) and always communicate with a purpose. (2) User-first when validating assumptions. PMs should validate assumptions early and often to manage risk when leading initiatives with a focus on generating the highest impact to solving a particular user pain-point. We can’t expect a product/feature launch to be perfect (there might be bugs or we might not achieve our success metric — which is where iteration comes in), but we should try our best to optimize on user-experience earlier on.

Nium Product Manager Keika Sugiyama

I’d say a great PM holds the ability to balance ruthlessness and empathy at the same time. It’s easier said than done for sure!

ShopBack product manager Li Cai

Great product managers are like great Directors of movies. They do not create great products/movies by themselves. They deliver it by Defining, Prioritising, Energising the team to deliver what customers love.

Quincus' Michael Lim

A great product manager, keeps a pulse on the company’s big picture, identifies key problems, and discerns its rightful prioritization, is able to switch between the macro perspective to micro specifics, and communicates concisely with humility that influences naturally for execution

Mathieu François-Barseghian, SVP, Citi Ventures

“You ship your org chart”. This is Conway’s Law short version (1967!): the fundamental socio-technical driver behind innovation successes (Netflix) and failures (your typical bank). The hype behind micro-services is just another reflection of Conway’s Law

Mastercard's Regional Product Manager Nikhil Moorthy

A great PM should always look to build products which are scalable & viable , always keep the end consumer journey in mind. Keeping things simple & having a MVP based approach helps roll out products faster. One has to test & learn & then accordingly enhance / adapt, these are key to success

Rendy Andi, Tokopedia Product Manager

Articulate a clear vision and the path to get there, Create a process that delivers the best results and Be serious about customers.

Senior Product Manager, DANA Indonesia

Own the problem, not the solution — Great PMs are outstanding problem preventers. Great PMs are discerning about which problems to prevent, which problems to solve, and which problems not to solve

Tat Leong Seah, LionsBot International Senior UX Engineer, ex-ViSenze Product Manager

Prioritize outcomes for your users, not outputs of your system” or more succinctly “be agile in delivering value; not features”

Senior Product Manager, Rakuten Viki

A good product manager puts out fires. A great product manager lets fires burn and prioritize from there

acquire fundamental soft skills

Oracle NetSuite's Astrid April Dominguez

Personally, i believe that it takes grit, empathy, and optimistic mindset to become a great PM

Ovo Lead Product Manager Boy Al Idrus

Contrary to popular beliefs, being a great product manager doesn’t have anything to do with technicals, it sure plays a part but most important weapons are: understanding pain points of users, project management, sympathy in leadership and business critical skills; these 4 aspects would definitely help you to become a great product manager.

PwC Product Manager Eric Koh

Product managers need to be courageous to be successful. Courage is required to dive deep, solving big problems at its root and also to think far and dream big to achieve bold visions for your product

Ninja Van's Product Director

In my opinion the two most important ingredients to become a successful product manager is: 1. Strong critical thinking 2. Strong passion for the work. As product managers, we typically need to solve very complex problems where the answers are often very ambiguous. The work is tough and at times can be really frustrating. The 2 ingredients I mentioned earlier will be critical towards helping you to slowly discover the solution that may become a game changer.

PayPal's Lead Product Manager

A great PM has an eye of a designer, the brain of an engineer and the tongue of a diplomat

Product Manager Irene Chan

A great Product Manager is able to think like a CEO of the company. Visionary with Agile Execution in mind

Isabella Yamin, Rakuten Viki Product Manager

There is no one model of being a great product person but what I’ve observed from people I’ve had the privilege working with is an overflowing passion for the user problem, sprinkled with a knack for data and negotiation

Google product manager Jachin Cheng

Great product managers start with abundant intellectual curiosity and grow into a classic T-shape. Horizontally: generalists who range widely, communicate fluidly and collaborate easily cross-functionally, connect unexpected dots, and have the pulse both internally and externally across users, stakeholders, and ecosystem players. Vertically: deep product craftsmanship comes from connecting relentless user obsession with storytelling, business strategy with detailed features and execution, inspiring leadership with risk mitigation, and applying the most relevant tools to solving the right problems.

Jene Lim, Experian's Product Manager

3 Cs and 3 Rs. Critical thinking , Customer empathy, Creativity. Resourcefulness, Resilience, Results orientation.

Nirenj George, Envision Digital's Security Product Manager

A great product manager is someone who can lead, collaborate and influence different stakeholders around the product vision, and should be able to execute the product strategy based on customer insights, as well as take ownership of the product roadmap to create a greater impact on customers.

Grab's Lead Product Manager

Product Management is a multi-dimensional role that looks very different across each product team so each product manager has different challenges to deal with but what I have found common among great product managers is ability to create leverage through their efforts to drive outsized impacts for their products. This leverage is built using data with intuition, building consensus with stakeholders, empowering their teams and focussed efforts on needle moving work.

NCS Product Manager Umar Masagos

To be a great product manager, one must master both the science and art of Product Management. On one hand, you need have a strong understanding of the tools, metrics and data you need to drive your product. On the other hand, you need an in-depth understanding of your organization, your target market and target users, which is often the more challenging aspect to master.

M1 product manager Wei Jiao Keong

A great product manager is multi-faceted. First, you need to have the ability to see the bigger picture, yet have a keen eye for detail. Secondly, you are empathetic and is able to deliver products with exceptional user experience while being analytical enough to achieve business outcomes. Lastly, you are highly resourceful and independent yet comfortable working cross-functionally.

Yudha Utomo, ex-Senior Product Manager, Tokopedia

A great Product Manager is essentially an effective note-taker. In order to achieve the product goals, It is PM’s job to ensure objective has been clearly conveyed, efforts are assessed, and tasks are properly tracked and managed. PM can do this by having top-notch documentation skills.

Karthik Rajan

Karthik Rajan

4 months ago

11 Cooking Hacks I Wish I Knew Earlier 

Quick, easy and tasty (and dollops of parenting around food).

My wife and mom are both great mothers. They're super-efficient planners. They soak and ferment food. My 104-year-old grandfather loved fermented foods.

When I'm hungry and need something fast, I waffle to the pantry. Like most people, I like to improvise. I wish I knew these 11 hacks sooner.

1. The world's best pasta sauce only has 3 ingredients.

You watch recipe videos with prepped ingredients. In reality, prepping and washing take time. The food's taste isn't guaranteed. The raw truth at a sublime level is not talked about often.

Sometimes a radical recipe comes along that's so easy and tasty, you're dumbfounded. The Classic Italian Cook Book has a pasta recipe.

One 28-ounce can of whole, peeled tomatoes, one medium peeled onion, and 5 tablespoons of butter. And salt to taste.

Combine everything in a single pot and simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered. Stir occasionally. Toss the onion halves after 45 minutes and pour the sauce over pasta. Finish!

This simple recipe fights our deepest fears.

Salt to taste! Customized to perfection, no frills.

2. Reheating rice with ice. Magical.

Most of the world eats rice. I was raised in south India. My grandfather farmed rice in the Cauvery river delta.

The problem with rice With growing kids, you can't cook just enough. Leftovers are a norm. Microwaves help most people. Ice cubes are the frosting.

Before reheating rice in the microwave, add an ice cube. The ice will steam the rice, making it fluffy and delicious again.

3. Pineapple leaf 

if it comes off easy, it is ripe enough to cut. No rethinking.

My daughter loves pineapples like her dad. One daddy task is cutting them. Sharing immediate results is therapeutic.

Timing the cut has been the most annoying part over the years. The pineapple leaf tip reveals the fruitiness inside. Always loved it.

4. Magic knife words (rolling and curling)

Cutting hand: Roll the blade's back, not its tip, to cut.

Other hand: If you can’t see your finger tips, you can’t cut them. So curl your fingers.

I dislike that schools don't teach financial literacy or cutting skills.

My wife and I used scissors differently for 25 years. We both used the thumb. My index finger, her middle. We googled the difference when I noticed it and laughed. She's right.

This video teaches knifing skills:


5. Best advice about heat

If it's done in the pan, it's overdone on the plate.

This simple advice stands out when we worry about ingredients and proportions.

6. The truth about pasta water

Pasta water should be sea-salty.

Properly seasoning food separates good from great. Salt depends is a good line.

Want delicious pasta? Well, then kind of a lot, to be perfectly honest.

7. Clean as you go

Clean blender as you go by blending water and dish soap.

I find clean as you go easier than clean afterwords. This easy tip is gold.

8. Clean as you go (bis)

Microwave a bowl of water, vinegar, and a toothpick for 5 minutes.

2 cups water, 2 tablespoons vinegar, and a toothpick to prevent overflow.

5-minute microwave. Let the steam work for another 2 minutes. Sponge-off dirt and food. Simple.

9 and 10. Tools,tools, tools

Immersion blender and pressure cooker save time and money.

Narrative: I experienced fatherly pride. My middle-schooler loves science. We discussed boiling. I spoke. Water doesn't need 100°C to boil. She looked confused. 100 degrees assume something. The world around the water is a normal room. Changing water pressure affects its boiling point. This saves energy. Pressure cooker magic.

I captivated her. She's into science and sustainable living.

Whistling is a subliminal form of self-expression when done right. Pressure cookers remind me of simple pleasures.

Your handiness depends on your home tools. Immersion blenders are great for pre- and post-cooking. It eliminates chopping and washing. Second to the dishwasher, in my opinion.

11. One pepper is plenty

A story I share with my daughters.

Once, everyone thought about spice (not spicy). More valuable than silk. One of the three mighty oceans was named after a source country. Columbus sailed the wrong way and found America. The explorer called the natives after reaching his spice destination.

It was pre-internet days. His Google wasn't working.

My younger daughter listens in awe. Strong roots. Image cast. She can contextualize one of the ocean names.

I struggle with spices in daily life. Combinations are mind-boggling. I have more spices than Columbus. Flavor explosion has repercussions. You must closely follow the recipe without guarantees. Best aha. Double down on one spice and move on. If you like it, it's great.

I naturally gravitate towards cumin soups, fennel dishes, mint rice, oregano pasta, basil thai curry and cardamom pudding.

Variety enhances life. Each of my dishes is unique.

To each their own comfort food and nostalgic memories.

Happy living!

Nabil Alouani

Nabil Alouani

1 day ago

Why Cryptocurrency Is Not Dead Despite the FTX Scam

A fraud, free-market, antifragility tale

Crypto's only rival is public opinion.

In less than a week, mainstream media, bloggers, and TikTokers turned on FTX's founder.

While some were surprised, almost everyone with a keyboard and a Twitter account predicted the FTX collapse. These financial oracles should have warned the 1.2 million people Sam Bankman-Fried duped.

After happening, unexpected events seem obvious to our brains. It's a bug and a feature because it helps us cope with disasters and makes our reasoning suck.

Nobody predicted the FTX debacle. Bloomberg? Politicians. Non-famous. No cryptologists. Who?

When FTX imploded, taking billions of dollars with it, an outrage bomb went off, and the resulting shockwave threatens the crypto market's existence.

As someone who lost more than $78,000 in a crypto scam in 2020, I can only understand people’s reactions.  When the dust settles and rationality returns, we'll realize this is a natural occurrence in every free market.

What specifically occurred with FTX? (Skip if you are aware.)

FTX is a cryptocurrency exchange where customers can trade with cash. It reached #3 in less than two years as the fastest-growing platform of its kind.

FTX's performance helped make SBF the crypto poster boy. Other reasons include his altruistic public image, his support for the Democrats, and his company Alameda Research.

Alameda Research made a fortune arbitraging Bitcoin.

Arbitrage trading uses small price differences between two markets to make money. Bitcoin costs $20k in Japan and $21k in the US. Alameda Research did that for months, making $1 million per day.

Later, as its capital grew, Alameda expanded its trading activities and began investing in other companies.

Let's now discuss FTX.

SBF's diabolic master plan began when he used FTX-created FTT coins to inflate his trading company's balance sheets. He used inflated Alameda numbers to secure bank loans.

SBF used money he printed himself as collateral to borrow billions for capital. Coindesk exposed him in a report.

One of FTX's early investors tweeted that he planned to sell his FTT coins over the next few months. This would be a minor event if the investor wasn't Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ).

The crypto space saw a red WARNING sign when CZ cut ties with FTX. Everyone with an FTX account and a brain withdrew money. Two events followed. FTT fell from $20 to $4 in less than 72 hours, and FTX couldn't meet withdrawal requests, spreading panic.

SBF reassured FTX users on Twitter. Good assets.

He lied.

SBF falsely claimed FTX had a liquidity crunch. At the time of his initial claims, FTX owed about $8 billion to its customers. Liquidity shortages are usually minor. To get cash, sell assets. In the case of FTX, the main asset was printed FTT coins.

Sam wouldn't get out of trouble even if he slashed the discount (from $20 to $4) and sold every FTT. He'd flood the crypto market with his homemade coins, causing the price to crash.

SBF was trapped. He approached Binance about a buyout, which seemed good until Binance looked at FTX's books.

The original tweet has been removed.

Binance's tweet ended SBF, and he had to apologize, resign as CEO, and file for bankruptcy.

Bloomberg estimated Sam's net worth to be zero by the end of that week. 0!

But that's not all. Twitter investigations exposed fraud at FTX and Alameda Research. SBF used customer funds to trade and invest in other companies.

Thanks to the Twitter indie reporters who made the mainstream press look amateurish. Some Twitter detectives didn't sleep for 30 hours to find answers. Others added to existing threads. Memes were hilarious.

One question kept repeating in my bald head as I watched the Blue Bird. Sam, WTF?

Then I understood.

SBF wanted that FTX becomes a bank.

Think about this. FTX seems healthy a few weeks ago. You buy 2 bitcoins using FTX. You'd expect the platform to take your dollars and debit your wallet, right?

No. They give I-Owe-Yous.

FTX records owing you 2 bitcoins in its internal ledger but doesn't credit your account. Given SBF's tricks, I'd bet on nothing.

What happens if they don't credit my account with 2 bitcoins? Your money goes into FTX's capital, where SBF and his friends invest in marketing, political endorsements, and buying other companies.

Over its two-year existence, FTX invested in 130 companies. Once they make a profit on their purchases, they'll pay you and keep the rest.

One detail makes their strategy dumb. If all FTX customers withdraw at once, everything collapses.

Financially savvy people think FTX's collapse resembles a bank run, and they're right. SBF designed FTX to operate like a bank.

You expect your bank to open a drawer with your name and put $1,000 in it when you deposit $1,000. They deposit $100 in your drawer and create an I-Owe-You for $900. What happens to $900?

Let's sum it up: It's boring and headache-inducing.

When you deposit money in a bank, they can keep 10% and lend the rest. Fractional Reserve Banking is a popular method. Fractional reserves operate within and across banks.

Image by Lukertina Sihombing from Research Gate.

Fractional reserve banking generates $10,000 for every $1,000 deposited. People will pay off their debt plus interest.

As long as banks work together and the economy grows, their model works well.

SBF tried to replicate the system but forgot two details. First, traditional banks need verifiable collateral like real estate, jewelry, art, stocks, and bonds, not digital coupons. Traditional banks developed a liquidity buffer. The Federal Reserve (or Central Bank) injects massive cash into troubled banks.

Massive cash injections come from taxpayers. You and I pay for bankers' mistakes and annual bonuses. Yes, you may think banking is rigged. It's rigged, but it's the best financial game in 150 years. We accept its flaws, including bailouts for too-big-to-fail companies.

Anyway.

SBF wanted Binance's bailout. Binance said no, which was good for the crypto market.

Free markets are resilient.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb coined the term antifragility.

“Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty. Yet, in spite of the ubiquity of the phenomenon, there is no word for the exact opposite of fragile. Let us call it antifragile. Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better.”

The easiest way to understand how antifragile systems behave is to compare them with other types of systems.

  • Glass is like a fragile system. It snaps when shocked.

  • Similar to rubber, a resilient system. After a stressful episode, it bounces back.

  • A system that is antifragile is similar to a muscle. As it is torn in the gym, it gets stronger.

Stress response of fragile, resilient, and antifragile systems.

Time-changed things are antifragile. Culture, tech innovation, restaurants, revolutions, book sales, cuisine, economic success, and even muscle shape. These systems benefit from shocks and randomness in different ways, but they all pay a price for antifragility.

Same goes for the free market and financial institutions. Taleb's book uses restaurants as an example and ends with a reference to the 2008 crash.

“Restaurants are fragile. They compete with each other. But the collective of local restaurants is antifragile for that very reason. Had restaurants been individually robust, hence immortal, the overall business would be either stagnant or weak and would deliver nothing better than cafeteria food — and I mean Soviet-style cafeteria food. Further, it [the overall business] would be marred with systemic shortages, with once in a while a complete crisis and government bailout.”

Imagine the same thing with banks.

Independent banks would compete to offer the best services. If one of these banks fails, it will disappear. Customers and investors will suffer, but the market will recover from the dead banks' mistakes.

This idea underpins a free market. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies say this when criticizing traditional banking.

The traditional banking system's components never die. When a bank fails, the Federal Reserve steps in with a big taxpayer-funded check. This hinders bank evolution. If you don't let banking cells die and be replaced, your financial system won't be antifragile.

The interdependence of banks (centralization) means that one bank's mistake can sink the entire fleet, which brings us to SBF's ultimate travesty with FTX.

FTX has left the cryptocurrency gene pool.

FTX should be decentralized and independent. The super-star scammer invested in more than 130 crypto companies and linked them, creating a fragile banking-like structure. FTX seemed to say, "We exist because centralized banks are bad." But we'll be good, unlike the centralized banking system.

FTX saved several companies, including BlockFi and Voyager Digital.

FTX wanted to be a crypto bank conglomerate and Federal Reserve. SBF wanted to monopolize crypto markets. FTX wanted to be in bed with as many powerful people as possible, so SBF seduced politicians and celebrities.

Worst? People who saw SBF's plan flaws praised him. Experts, newspapers, and crypto fans praised FTX. When billions pour in, it's hard to realize FTX was acting against its nature.

Then, they act shocked when they realize FTX's fall triggered a domino effect. Some say the damage could wipe out the crypto market, but that's wrong.

Cell death is different from body death.

FTX is out of the game despite its size. Unfit, it fell victim to market natural selection.

Next?

The challengers keep coming. The crypto economy will improve with each failure.

Free markets are antifragile because their fragile parts compete, fostering evolution. With constructive feedback, evolution benefits customers and investors.

FTX shows that customers don't like being scammed, so the crypto market's health depends on them. Charlatans and con artists are eliminated quickly or slowly.

Crypto isn't immune to collapse. Cryptocurrencies can go extinct like biological species. Antifragility isn't immortality. A few more decades of evolution may be enough for humans to figure out how to best handle money, whether it's bitcoin, traditional banking, gold, or something else.

Keep your BS detector on. Start by being skeptical of this article's finance-related claims. Even if you think you understand finance, join the conversation.

We build a better future through dialogue. So listen, ask, and share. When you think you can't find common ground with the opposing view, remember:

Sam Bankman-Fried lied.