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Thomas Tcheudjio

Thomas Tcheudjio

1 year ago

If you don't crush these 3 metrics, skip the Series A.

More on Entrepreneurship/Creators

Victoria Kurichenko

Victoria Kurichenko

1 year ago

Updates From Google For Content Producers What You Should Know Is This

People-first update.

Image credit: Shutterstock. Image edited in Canva

Every Google upgrade causes website owners to panic.

Some have just recovered from previous algorithm tweaks and resumed content development.

If you follow Google's Webmaster rules, you shouldn't fear its adjustments.

Everyone has a view of them. Miscommunication and confusion result.

Now, for some (hopefully) exciting news.

Google tweeted on August 18, 2022 about a fresh content update.

This change is another Google effort to remove low-quality, repetitive, and AI-generated content.

The algorithm generates and analyzes search results, not humans.

Google spends a lot to teach its algorithm what searchers want. Intent isn't always clear.

Google's content update aims to:

“… ensure people see more original, helpful content written by people, for people, in search results.”

Isn't it a noble goal?

However, what does it mean for content creators and website owners?

How can you ensure you’re creating content that will be successful after the updates roll out?

Let's first define people-first content.

What does "people-first-content" mean?

If asked, I'd say information written to answer queries and solve problems.

Like others, I read it from the term.

Content creators and marketers disagree. They need more information to follow recommendations.

Google gives explicit instructions for creating people-first content.

According to Google, if you answer yes to the following questions, you have a people-first attitude.

  1. Do you have customers who might find your content useful if they contacted you directly?

  2. Does your content show the breadth of your knowledge?

  3. Do you have a niche or a focus for your website?

  4. After reading your content, will readers learn something new to aid them in achieving their goals?

  5. Are readers happy after reading your content?

  6. Have you been adhering to Google's fundamental updates and product reviews?

As an SEO writer, I'm not scared.

I’ve been following these rules consciously while creating content for my website. That’s why it’s been steadily growing despite me publishing just one or two stories a month.

If you avoid AI-generated text and redundant, shallow material, your website won't suffer.

If you use unscrupulous methods to boost your website's traffic, including link buying or keyword stuffing, stop. Google is getting smarter and will find and punish your site eventually.

For those who say, “SEO is no longer working,” I dedicated the whole paragraph below.

This does not imply that SEO is obsolete.

Google:

“People-first content creators focus on creating satisfying content, while also utilizing SEO best practices to bring searchers additional value.”

The official helpful content update page lists two people-first content components:

  • meeting user needs

  • best practices for SEO

Always read official guidelines, not unsolicited suggestions.

SEO will work till search engines die.

How to use the update

Google said the changes will arrive in August 2022.

They pledged to post updates on Google's search ranking updates page.

Google also tweets this info. If you haven't followed it already, I recommend it.

Ranking adjustments could take two weeks and will affect English searches internationally initially.

Google affirmed plans to extend to other languages.

If you own a website, monitor your rankings and traffic to see if it's affected.

Greg Lim

Greg Lim

1 year ago

How I made $160,000 from non-fiction books

I've sold over 40,000 non-fiction books on Amazon and made over $160,000 in six years while writing on the side.

I have a full-time job and three young sons; I can't spend 40 hours a week writing. This article describes my journey.

I write mainly tech books:

Thanks to my readers, many wrote positive evaluations. Several are bestsellers.

A few have been adopted by universities as textbooks:

My books' passive income allows me more time with my family.

Knowing I could quit my job and write full time gave me more confidence. And I find purpose in my work (i am in christian ministry).

I'm always eager to write. When work is a dread or something bad happens, writing gives me energy. Writing isn't scary. In fact, I can’t stop myself from writing!

Writing has also established my tech authority. Universities use my books, as I've said. Traditional publishers have asked me to write books.

These mindsets helped me become a successful nonfiction author:

1. You don’t have to be an Authority

Yes, I have computer science experience. But I'm no expert on my topics. Before authoring "Beginning Node.js, Express & MongoDB," my most profitable book, I had no experience with those topics. Node was a new server-side technology for me. Would that stop me from writing a book? It can. I liked learning a new technology. So I read the top three Node books, took the top online courses, and put them into my own book (which makes me know more than 90 percent of people already).

I didn't have to worry about using too much jargon because I was learning as I wrote. An expert forgets a beginner's hardship.

"The fellow learner can aid more than the master since he knows less," says C.S. Lewis. The problem he must explain is recent. The expert has forgotten.”

2. Solve a micro-problem (Niching down)

I didn't set out to write a definitive handbook. I found a market with several challenges and wrote one book. Ex:

3. Piggy Backing Trends

The above topics may still be a competitive market. E.g.  Angular, React.   To stand out, include the latest technologies or trends in your book. Learn iOS 15 instead of iOS programming. Instead of personal finance, what about personal finance with NFTs.

Even though you're a newbie author, your topic is well-known.

4. Publish short books

My books are known for being direct. Many people like this:

Your reader will appreciate you cutting out the fluff and getting to the good stuff. A reader can finish and review your book.

Second, short books are easier to write. Instead of creating a 500-page book for $50 (which few will buy), write a 100-page book that answers a subset of the problem and sell it for less. (You make less, but that's another subject). At least it got published instead of languishing. Less time spent creating a book means less time wasted if it fails. Write a small-bets book portfolio like Daniel Vassallo!

Third, it's $2.99-$9.99 on Amazon (gets 70 percent royalties for ebooks). Anything less receives 35% royalties. $9.99 books have 20,000–30,000 words. If you write more and charge more over $9.99, you get 35% royalties. Why not make it a $9.99 book?

(This is the ebook version.) Paperbacks cost more. Higher royalties allow for higher prices.

5. Validate book idea

Amazon will tell you if your book concept, title, and related phrases are popular. See? Check its best-sellers list.

150,000 is preferable. It sells 2–3 copies daily. Consider your rivals. Profitable niches have high demand and low competition.

Don't be afraid of competitive niches. First, it shows high demand. Secondly, what are the ways you can undercut the completion? Better book? Or cheaper option? There was lots of competition in my NodeJS book's area. None received 4.5 stars or more. I wrote a NodeJS book. Today, it's a best-selling Node book.

What’s Next

So long. Part II follows. Meanwhile, I will continue to write more books!

Follow my journey on Twitter.


This post is a summary. Read full article here

Ben Chino

Ben Chino

1 year ago

100-day SaaS buildout.

We're opening up Maki through a series of Medium posts. We'll describe what Maki is building and how. We'll explain how we built a SaaS in 100 days. This isn't a step-by-step guide to starting a business, but a product philosophy to help you build quickly.

Focus on end-users.

This may seem obvious, but it's important to talk to users first. When we started thinking about Maki, we interviewed 100 HR directors from SMBs, Next40 scale-ups, and major Enterprises to understand their concerns. We initially thought about the future of employment, but most of their worries centered on Recruitment. We don't have a clear recruiting process, it's time-consuming, we recruit clones, we don't support diversity, etc. And as hiring managers, we couldn't help but agree.

Co-create your product with your end-users.

We went to the drawing board, read as many books as possible (here, here, and here), and when we started getting a sense for a solution, we questioned 100 more operational HR specialists to corroborate the idea and get a feel for our potential answer. This confirmed our direction to help hire more objectively and efficiently.

Survey findings

Back to the drawing board, we designed our first flows and screens. We organized sessions with certain survey respondents to show them our early work and get comments. We got great input that helped us build Maki, and we met some consumers. Obsess about users and execute alongside them.

Using whiteboards

Don’t shoot for the moon, yet. Make pragmatic choices first.

Once we were convinced, we began building. To launch a SaaS in 100 days, we needed an operating principle that allowed us to accelerate while still providing a reliable, secure, scalable experience. We focused on adding value and outsourced everything else. Example:

Concentrate on adding value. Reuse existing bricks.

When determining which technology to use, we looked at our strengths and the future to see what would last. Node.js for backend, React for frontend, both with typescript. We thought this technique would scale well since it would attract more talent and the surrounding mature ecosystem would help us go quicker.

Maki's tech

We explored for ways to bootstrap services while setting down strong foundations that might support millions of users. We built our backend services on NestJS so we could extend into microservices later. Hasura, a GraphQL APIs engine, automates Postgres data exposing through a graphQL layer. MUI's ready-to-use components powered our design-system. We used well-maintained open-source projects to speed up certain tasks.

We outsourced important components of our platform (Auth0 for authentication, Stripe for billing, SendGrid for notifications) because, let's face it, we couldn't do better. We choose to host our complete infrastructure (SQL, Cloud run, Logs, Monitoring) on GCP to simplify our work between numerous providers.

Focus on your business, use existing bricks for the rest. For the curious, we'll shortly publish articles detailing each stage.

Most importantly, empower people and step back.

We couldn't have done this without the incredible people who have supported us from the start. Since Powership is one of our key values, we provided our staff the power to make autonomous decisions from day one. Because we believe our firm is its people, we hired smart builders and let them build.

Maki Camp 2 team

Nicolas left Spendesk to create scalable interfaces using react-router, react-queries, and MUI. JD joined Swile and chose Hasura as our GraphQL engine. Jérôme chose NestJS to build our backend services. Since then, Justin, Ben, Anas, Yann, Benoit, and others have followed suit.

If you consider your team a collective brain, you should let them make decisions instead of directing them what to do. You'll make mistakes, but you'll go faster and learn faster overall.

Invest in great talent and develop a strong culture from the start. Here's how to establish a SaaS in 100 days.

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shivsak

shivsak

1 year ago

A visual exploration of the REAL use cases for NFTs in the Future

In this essay, I studied REAL NFT use examples and their potential uses.

Knowledge of the Hype Cycle

Gartner's Hype Cycle.

It proposes 5 phases for disruptive technology.

1. Technology Trigger: the emergence of potentially disruptive technology.

2. Peak of Inflated Expectations: Early publicity creates hype. (Ex: 2021 Bubble)

3. Trough of Disillusionment: Early projects fail to deliver on promises and the public loses interest. I suspect NFTs are somewhere around this trough of disillusionment now.

4. Enlightenment slope: The tech shows successful use cases.

5. Plateau of Productivity: Mainstream adoption has arrived and broader market applications have proven themselves. Here’s a more detailed visual of the Gartner Hype Cycle from Wikipedia.

In the speculative NFT bubble of 2021, @beeple sold Everydays: the First 5000 Days for $69 MILLION in 2021's NFT bubble.

@nbatopshot sold millions in video collectibles.

This is when expectations peaked.

Let's examine NFTs' real-world applications.

Watch this video if you're unfamiliar with NFTs.

Online Art

Most people think NFTs are rich people buying worthless JPEGs and MP4s.

Digital artwork and collectibles are revolutionary for creators and enthusiasts.

NFT Profile Pictures

You might also have seen NFT profile pictures on Twitter.

My profile picture is an NFT I coined with @skogards factoria app, which helps me avoid bogus accounts.

Profile pictures are a good beginning point because they're unique and clearly yours.

NFTs are a way to represent proof-of-ownership. It’s easier to prove ownership of digital assets than physical assets, which is why artwork and pfps are the first use cases.

They can do much more.

NFTs can represent anything with a unique owner and digital ownership certificate. Domains and usernames.

Usernames & Domains

@unstoppableweb, @ensdomains, @rarible sell NFT domains.

NFT domains are transferable, which is a benefit.

Godaddy and other web2 providers have difficult-to-transfer domains. Domains are often leased instead of purchased.

Tickets

NFTs can also represent concert tickets and event passes.

There's a limited number, and entry requires proof.

NFTs can eliminate the problem of forgery and make it easy to verify authenticity and ownership.

NFT tickets can be traded on the secondary market, which allows for:

  1. marketplaces that are uniform and offer the seller and buyer security (currently, tickets are traded on inefficient markets like FB & craigslist)

  2. unbiased pricing

  3. Payment of royalties to the creator

4. Historical ticket ownership data implies performers can airdrop future passes, discounts, etc.

5. NFT passes can be a fandom badge.

The $30B+ online tickets business is increasing fast.

NFT-based ticketing projects:

Gaming Assets

NFTs also help in-game assets.

Imagine someone spending five years collecting a rare in-game blade, then outgrowing or quitting the game. Gamers value that collectible.

The gaming industry is expected to make $200 BILLION in revenue this year, a significant portion of which comes from in-game purchases.

Royalties on secondary market trading of gaming assets encourage gaming businesses to develop NFT-based ecosystems.

Digital assets are the start. On-chain NFTs can represent real-world assets effectively.

Real estate has a unique owner and requires ownership confirmation.

Real Estate

Tokenizing property has many benefits.

1. Can be fractionalized to increase access, liquidity

2. Can be collateralized to increase capital efficiency and access to loans backed by an on-chain asset

3. Allows investors to diversify or make bets on specific neighborhoods, towns or cities +++

I've written about this thought exercise before.

I made an animated video explaining this.

We've just explored NFTs for transferable assets. But what about non-transferrable NFTs?

SBTs are Soul-Bound Tokens. Vitalik Buterin (Ethereum co-founder) blogged about this.

NFTs are basically verifiable digital certificates.

Diplomas & Degrees

That fits Degrees & Diplomas. These shouldn't be marketable, thus they can be non-transferable SBTs.

Anyone can verify the legitimacy of on-chain credentials, degrees, abilities, and achievements.

The same goes for other awards.

For example, LinkedIn could give you a verified checkmark for your degree or skills.

Authenticity Protection

NFTs can also safeguard against counterfeiting.

Counterfeiting is the largest criminal enterprise in the world, estimated to be $2 TRILLION a year and growing.

Anti-counterfeit tech is valuable.

This is one of @ORIGYNTech's projects.

Identity

Identity theft/verification is another real-world problem NFTs can handle.

In the US, 15 million+ citizens face identity theft every year, suffering damages of over $50 billion a year.

This isn't surprising considering all you need for US identity theft is a 9-digit number handed around in emails, documents, on the phone, etc.

Identity NFTs can fix this.

  • NFTs are one-of-a-kind and unforgeable.

  • NFTs offer a universal standard.

  • NFTs are simple to verify.

  • SBTs, or non-transferrable NFTs, are tied to a particular wallet.

  • In the event of wallet loss or theft, NFTs may be revoked.

This could be one of the biggest use cases for NFTs.

Imagine a global identity standard that is standardized across countries, cannot be forged or stolen, is digital, easy to verify, and protects your private details.

Since your identity is more than your government ID, you may have many NFTs.

@0xPolygon and @civickey are developing on-chain identity.

Memberships

NFTs can authenticate digital and physical memberships.

Voting

NFT IDs can verify votes.

If you remember 2020, you'll know why this is an issue.

Online voting's ease can boost turnout.

Informational property

NFTs can protect IP.

This can earn creators royalties.

NFTs have 2 important properties:

  • Verifiability IP ownership is unambiguously stated and publicly verified.

  • Platforms that enable authors to receive royalties on their IP can enter the market thanks to standardization.

Content Rights

Monetization without copyrighting = more opportunities for everyone.

This works well with the music.

Spotify and Apple Music pay creators very little.

Crowdfunding

Creators can crowdfund with NFTs.

NFTs can represent future royalties for investors.

This is particularly useful for fields where people who are not in the top 1% can’t make money. (Example: Professional sports players)

Mirror.xyz allows blog-based crowdfunding.

Financial NFTs

This introduces Financial NFTs (fNFTs). Unique financial contracts abound.

Examples:

  • a person's collection of assets (unique portfolio)

  • A loan contract that has been partially repaid with a lender

  • temporal tokens (ex: veCRV)

Legal Agreements

Not just financial contracts.

NFT can represent any legal contract or document.

Messages & Emails

What about other agreements? Verbal agreements through emails and messages are likewise unique, but they're easily lost and fabricated.

Health Records

Medical records or prescriptions are another types of documentation that has to be verified but isn't.

Medical NFT examples:

  • Immunization records

  • Covid test outcomes

  • Prescriptions

  • health issues that may affect one's identity

  • Observations made via health sensors

Existing systems of proof by paper / PDF have photoshop-risk.

I tried to include most use scenarios, but this is just the beginning.

NFTs have many innovative uses.

For example: @ShaanVP minted an NFT called “5 Minutes of Fame” 👇

Here are 2 Twitter threads about NFTs:

  1. This piece of gold by @chriscantino

2. This conversation between @punk6529 and @RaoulGMI on @RealVision“The World According to @punk6529

If you're wondering why NFTs are better than web2 databases for these use scenarios, see this Twitter thread I wrote:

If you liked this, please share it.

Nicolas Tresegnie

Nicolas Tresegnie

1 year ago

Launching 10 SaaS applications in 100 days

Photo by Mauro Sbicego / Unsplash

Apocodes helps entrepreneurs create SaaS products without writing code. This post introduces micro-SaaS and outlines its basic strategy.

Strategy

Vision and strategy differ when starting a startup.

  • The company's long-term future state is outlined in the vision. It establishes the overarching objectives the organization aims to achieve while also justifying its existence. The company's future is outlined in the vision.

  • The strategy consists of a collection of short- to mid-term objectives, the accomplishment of which will move the business closer to its vision. The company gets there through its strategy.

The vision should be stable, but the strategy must be adjusted based on customer input, market conditions, or previous experiments.

Begin modestly and aim high.

Be truthful. It's impossible to automate SaaS product creation from scratch. It's like climbing Everest without running a 5K. Physical rules don't prohibit it, but it would be suicide.

Apocodes 5K equivalent? Two options:

  • (A) Create a feature that includes every setting option conceivable. then query potential clients “Would you choose us to build your SaaS solution if we offered 99 additional features of the same caliber?” After that, decide which major feature to implement next.

  • (B) Build a few straightforward features with just one or two configuration options. Then query potential clients “Will this suffice to make your product?” What's missing if not? Finally, tweak the final result a bit before starting over.

(A) is an all-or-nothing approach. It's like training your left arm to climb Mount Everest. My right foot is next.

(B) is a better method because it's iterative and provides value to customers throughout.

Focus on a small market sector, meet its needs, and expand gradually. Micro-SaaS is Apocode's first market.

What is micro-SaaS.

Micro-SaaS enterprises have these characteristics:

  • A limited range: They address a specific problem with a small number of features.

  • A small group of one to five individuals.

  • Low external funding: The majority of micro-SaaS companies have Total Addressable Markets (TAM) under $100 million. Investors find them unattractive as a result. As a result, the majority of micro-SaaS companies are self-funded or bootstrapped.

  • Low competition: Because they solve problems that larger firms would rather not spend time on, micro-SaaS enterprises have little rivalry.

  • Low upkeep: Because of their simplicity, they require little care.

  • Huge profitability: Because providing more clients incurs such a small incremental cost, high profit margins are possible.

Micro-SaaS enterprises created with no-code are Apocode's ideal first market niche.

We'll create our own micro-SaaS solutions to better understand their needs. Although not required, we believe this will improve community discussions.

The challenge

In 100 days (September 12–December 20, 2022), we plan to build 10 micro-SaaS enterprises using Apocode.

They will be:

  • Self-serve: Customers will be able to use the entire product experience without our manual assistance.

  • Real: They'll deal with actual issues. They won't be isolated proofs of concept because we'll keep up with them after the challenge.

  • Both free and paid options: including a free plan and a free trial period. Although financial success would be a good result, the challenge's stated objective is not financial success.

This will let us design Apocodes features, showcase them, and talk to customers.

(Edit: The first micro-SaaS was launched!)

Follow along

If you want to follow the story of Apocode or our progress in this challenge, you can subscribe here.

If you are interested in using Apocode, sign up here.

If you want to provide feedback, discuss the idea further or get involved, email me at nicolas.tresegnie@gmail.com

Charlie Brown

Charlie Brown

1 year ago

What Happens When You Sell Your House, Never Buying It Again, Reverse the American Dream

Homeownership isn't the only life pattern.

Photo by Karlie Mitchell on Unsplash

Want to irritate people?

My party trick is to say I used to own a house but no longer do.

I no longer wish to own a home, not because I lost it or because I'm moving.

It was a long-term plan. It was more deliberate than buying a home. Many people are committed for this reason.

Poppycock.

Anyone who told me that owning a house (or striving to do so) is a must is wrong.

Because, URGH.

One pattern for life is to own a home, but there are millions of others.

You can afford to buy a home? Go, buddy.

You think you need 1,000 square feet (or more)? You think it's non-negotiable in life?

Nope.

It's insane that society forces everyone to own real estate, regardless of income, wants, requirements, or situation. As if this trade brings happiness, stability, and contentment.

Take it from someone who thought this for years: drywall isn't happy. Living your way brings contentment.

That's in real estate. It may also be renting a small apartment in a city that makes your soul sing, but you can't afford the downpayment or mortgage payments.

Living or traveling abroad is difficult when your life savings are connected to something that eats your money the moment you sign.

#vanlife, which seems like torment to me, makes some people feel alive.

I've seen co-living, vacation rental after holiday rental, living with family, and more work.

Insisting that home ownership is the only path in life is foolish and reduces alternative options.

How little we question homeownership is a disgrace.

No one challenges a homebuyer's motives. We congratulate them, then that's it.

When you offload one, you must answer every question, even if you have a loose screw.

  • Why do you want to sell?

  • Do you have any concerns about leaving the market?

  • Why would you want to renounce what everyone strives for?

  • Why would you want to abandon a beautiful place like that?

  • Why would you mismanage your cash in such a way?

  • But surely it's only temporary? RIGHT??

Incorrect questions. Buying a property requires several inquiries.

  • The typical American has $4500 saved up. When something goes wrong with the house (not if, it’s never if), can you actually afford the repairs?

  • Are you certain that you can examine a home in less than 15 minutes before committing to buying it outright and promising to pay more than twice the asking price on a 30-year 7% mortgage?

  • Are you certain you're ready to leave behind friends, family, and the services you depend on in order to acquire something?

  • Have you thought about the connotation that moving to a suburb, which more than half of Americans do, means you will be dependent on a car for the rest of your life?

Plus:

Are you sure you want to prioritize home ownership over debt, employment, travel, raising kids, and daily routines?

Homeownership entails that. This ex-homeowner says it will rule your life from the time you put the key in the door.

This isn't questioned. We don't question enough. The holy home-ownership grail was set long ago, and we don't challenge it.

Many people question after signing the deeds. 70% of homeowners had at least one regret about buying a property, including the expense.

Exactly. Tragic.

Homes are different from houses

We've been fooled into thinking home ownership will make us happy.

Some may agree. No one.

Bricks and brick hindered me from living the version of my life that made me most comfortable, happy, and steady.

I'm spending the next month in a modest apartment in southern Spain. Even though it's late November, today will be 68 degrees. My spouse and I will soon meet his visiting parents. We'll visit a Sherry store. We'll eat, nap, walk, and drink Sherry. Writing. Jerez means flamenco.

That's my home. This is such a privilege. Living a fulfilling life brings me the contentment that buying a home never did.

I'm happy and comfortable knowing I can make almost all of my days good. Rejecting home ownership is partly to blame.

I'm broke like most folks. I had to choose between home ownership and comfort. I said, I didn't find them together.

Feeling at home trumps owning brick-and-mortar every day.

The following is the reality of what it's like to turn the American Dream around.

Leaving the housing market.

Sometimes I wish I owned a home.

I miss having my own yard and bed. My kitchen, cookbooks, and pizza oven are missed.

But I rarely do.

Someone else's life plan pushed home ownership on me. I'm grateful I figured it out at 35. Many take much longer, and some never understand homeownership stinks (for them).

It's confusing. People will think you're dumb or suicidal.

If you read what I write, you'll know. You'll realize that all you've done is choose to live intentionally. Find a home beyond four walls and a picket fence.

Miss? As I said, they're not home. If it were, a pizza oven, a good mattress, and a well-stocked kitchen would bring happiness.

No.

If you can afford a house and desire one, more power to you.

There are other ways to discover home. Find calm and happiness. For fun.

For it, look deeper than your home's foundation.