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Sammy Abdullah

Sammy Abdullah

2 months ago

SaaS payback period data

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Athirah Syamimi

Athirah Syamimi

2 months ago

Here's How I Built A Business Offering Unlimited Design Services in Just One Weekend.

Weekend project: limitless design service. It was fun to see whether I could start a business quickly.

I use no-code apps to save time and resources.

TL;DR I started a business utilizing EditorX for my website, Notion for client project management, and a few favors to finish my portfolio.

First step: research (Day 1)

I got this concept from a Kimp Instagram ad. The Minimalist Hustler Daily newsletter mentioned a similar and cheaper service (Graphically).

I Googled other unlimited design companies. Many provide different costs and services. Some supplied solely graphic design, web development, or copywriting.

Step 2: Brainstorming (Day 1)

I did something simple.

  • What benefits and services to provide

  • Price to charge

Since it's a one-person performance (for now), I'm focusing on graphic design. I can charge less.

So I don't overwhelm myself and can accommodate budget-conscious clientele.

Step 3: Construction (Day 1 & 2)

This project includes a management tool, a website, and a team procedure.

I built a project management tool and flow first. Once I had the flow and a Notion board, I tested it with design volunteers. They fake-designed while I built the website.

Tool for Project Management

I modified a Notion template. My goal is to keep clients and designers happy.

Screenshot of project management board in Notion

Team Approach

My sister, my partner, and I kept this business lean. I tweaked the Notion board to make the process smooth. By the end of Sunday, I’d say it’s perfect!

Website

I created the website after they finished the fake design demands. EditorX's drag-and-drop builder attracted me. I didn't need to learn code, and there are templates.

I used a template wireframe.

This project's hardest aspect is developing the site. It's my first time using EditorX and I'm no developer.

People answer all your inquiries in a large community forum.

As a first-time user developing a site in two days, I think I performed OK. Here's the site for feedback.

Screenshot of deuxcreators.com homepage

4th step: testing (Day 2)

Testing is frustrating because it works or doesn't. My testing day was split in two.

  • testing the workflow from payment to onboarding to the website

  • the demand being tested

It's working so far. If someone gets the trial, they can request design work.

I've gotten a couple of inquiries about demand. I’ll be working with them as a start.

Completion

Finally! I built my side project in one weekend. It's too early to tell if this is successful. I liked that I didn't squander months of resources testing out an idea.

Tim Denning

Tim Denning

5 months ago

Elon Musk’s Rich Life Is a Nightmare 

I'm sure you haven't read about Elon's other side.

Elon divorced badly.

Nobody's surprised.

Imagine you're a parent. Someone isn't home year-round. What's next?

That’s what happened to YOLO Elon.

He can do anything. He can intervene in wars, shoot his mouth off, bang anyone he wants, avoid tax, make cool tech, buy anything his ego desires, and live anywhere exotic.

Few know his billionaire backstory. I'll tell you so you don't worship his lifestyle. It’s a cult.

Only his career succeeds. His life is a nightmare otherwise.

Psychopaths' schedule

Elon has said he works 120-hour weeks.

As he told the reporter about his job, he choked up, which was unusual for him.

His crazy workload and lack of sleep forced him to scold innocent Wall Street analysts. Later, he apologized. 

In the same interview, he admits he hadn't taken more than a week off since 2001, when he was bedridden with malaria. Elon stays home after a near-death experience.

He's rarely outside.

Elon says he sometimes works 3 or 4 days straight.

He admits his crazy work schedule has cost him time with his kids and friends.

Elon's a slave

Elon's birthday description made him emotional.

Elon worked his entire birthday.

"No friends, nothing," he said, stuttering.

His brother's wedding in Catalonia was 48 hours after his birthday. That meant flying there from Tesla's factory prison.

He arrived two hours before the big moment, barely enough time to eat and change, let alone see his brother.

Elon had to leave after the bouquet was tossed to a crowd of billionaire lovers. He missed his brother's first dance with his wife.

Shocking.

He went straight to Tesla's prison.

The looming health crisis

Elon was asked if overworking affected his health.

Not great. Friends are worried.

Now you know why Elon tweets dumb things. Working so hard has probably caused him mental health issues.

Mental illness removed my reality filter. You do stupid things because you're tired.

Astronauts pelted Elon

Elon's overwork isn't the first time his life has made him emotional.

When asked about Neil Armstrong and Gene Cernan criticizing his SpaceX missions, he got emotional. Elon's heroes.

They're why he started the company, and they mocked his work. In another interview, we see how Elon’s business obsession has knifed him in the heart.

Once you have a company, you must feed, nurse, and care for it, even if it destroys you.
"Yep," Elon says, tearing up.

In the same interview, he's asked how Tesla survived the 2008 recession. Elon stopped the interview because he was crying. When Tesla and SpaceX filed for bankruptcy in 2008, he nearly had a nervous breakdown. He called them his "children."

All the time, he's risking everything.

Jack Raines explains best:

Too much money makes you a slave to your net worth.

Elon's emotions are admirable. It's one of the few times he seems human, not like an alien Cyborg.

Stop idealizing Elon's lifestyle

Building a side business that becomes a billion-dollar unicorn startup is a nightmare.

"Billionaire" means financially wealthy but otherwise broke. A rich life includes more than business and money.


This post is a summary. Read full article here

cdixon

cdixon

5 months ago

2000s Toys, Secrets, and Cycles

During the dot-com bust, I started my internet career. People used the internet intermittently to check email, plan travel, and do research. The average internet user spent 30 minutes online a day, compared to 7 today. To use the internet, you had to "log on" (most people still used dial-up), unlike today's always-on, high-speed mobile internet. In 2001, Amazon's market cap was $2.2B, 1/500th of what it is today. A study asked Americans if they'd adopt broadband, and most said no. They didn't see a need to speed up email, the most popular internet use. The National Academy of Sciences ranked the internet 13th among the 100 greatest inventions, below radio and phones. The internet was a cool invention, but it had limited uses and wasn't a good place to build a business. 

A small but growing movement of developers and founders believed the internet could be more than a read-only medium, allowing anyone to create and publish. This is web 2. The runner up name was read-write web. (These terms were used in prominent publications and conferences.) 

Web 2 concepts included letting users publish whatever they want ("user generated content" was a buzzword), social graphs, APIs and mashups (what we call composability today), and tagging over hierarchical navigation. Technical innovations occurred. A seemingly simple but important one was dynamically updating web pages without reloading. This is now how people expect web apps to work. Mobile devices that could access the web were niche (I was an avid Sidekick user). 

The contrast between what smart founders and engineers discussed over dinner and on weekends and what the mainstream tech world took seriously during the week was striking. Enterprise security appliances, essentially preloaded servers with security software, were a popular trend. Many of the same people would talk about "serious" products at work, then talk about consumer internet products and web 2. It was tech's biggest news. Web 2 products were seen as toys, not real businesses. They were hobbies, not work-related. 

There's a strong correlation between rich product design spaces and what smart people find interesting, which took me some time to learn and led to blog posts like "The next big thing will start out looking like a toy" Web 2's novel product design possibilities sparked dinner and weekend conversations. Imagine combining these features. What if you used this pattern elsewhere? What new product ideas are next? This excited people. "Serious stuff" like security appliances seemed more limited. 

The small and passionate web 2 community also stood out. I attended the first New York Tech meetup in 2004. Everyone fit in Meetup's small conference room. Late at night, people demoed their software and chatted. I have old friends. Sometimes I get asked how I first met old friends like Fred Wilson and Alexis Ohanian. These topics didn't interest many people, especially on the east coast. We were friends. Real community. Alex Rampell, who now works with me at a16z, is someone I met in 2003 when a friend said, "Hey, I met someone else interested in consumer internet." Rare. People were focused and enthusiastic. Revolution seemed imminent. We knew a secret nobody else did. 

My web 2 startup was called SiteAdvisor. When my co-founders and I started developing the idea in 2003, web security was out of control. Phishing and spyware were common on Internet Explorer PCs. SiteAdvisor was designed to warn users about security threats like phishing and spyware, and then, using web 2 concepts like user-generated reviews, add more subjective judgments (similar to what TrustPilot seems to do today). This staged approach was common at the time; I called it "Come for the tool, stay for the network." We built APIs, encouraged mashups, and did SEO marketing. 

Yahoo's 2005 acquisitions of Flickr and Delicious boosted web 2 in 2005. By today's standards, the amounts were small, around $30M each, but it was a signal. Web 2 was assumed to be a fun hobby, a way to build cool stuff, but not a business. Yahoo was a savvy company that said it would make web 2 a priority. 

As I recall, that's when web 2 started becoming mainstream tech. Early web 2 founders transitioned successfully. Other entrepreneurs built on the early enthusiasts' work. Competition shifted from ideation to execution. You had to decide if you wanted to be an idealistic indie bar band or a pragmatic stadium band. 

Web 2 was booming in 2007 Facebook passed 10M users, Twitter grew and got VC funding, and Google bought YouTube. The 2008 financial crisis tested entrepreneurs' resolve. Smart people predicted another great depression as tech funding dried up. 

Many people struggled during the recession. 2008-2011 was a golden age for startups. By 2009, talented founders were flooding Apple's iPhone app store. Mobile apps were booming. Uber, Venmo, Snap, and Instagram were all founded between 2009 and 2011. Social media (which had replaced web 2), cloud computing (which enabled apps to scale server side), and smartphones converged. Even if social, cloud, and mobile improve linearly, the combination could improve exponentially. 

This chart shows how I view product and financial cycles. Product and financial cycles evolve separately. The Nasdaq index is a proxy for the financial sentiment. Financial sentiment wildly fluctuates. 

Next row shows iconic startup or product years. Bottom-row product cycles dictate timing. Product cycles are more predictable than financial cycles because they follow internal logic. In the incubation phase, enthusiasts build products for other enthusiasts on nights and weekends. When the right mix of technology, talent, and community knowledge arrives, products go mainstream. (I show the biggest tech cycles in the chart, but smaller ones happen, like web 2 in the 2000s and fintech and SaaS in the 2010s.) 

Tech has changed since the 2000s. Few tech giants dominate the internet, exerting economic and cultural influence. In the 2000s, web 2 was ignored or dismissed as trivial. Entrenched interests respond aggressively to new movements that could threaten them. Creative patterns from the 2000s continue today, driven by enthusiasts who see possibilities where others don't. Know where to look. Crypto and web 3 are where I'd start. 

Today's negative financial sentiment reminds me of 2008. If we face a prolonged downturn, we can learn from 2008 by preserving capital and focusing on the long term. Keep an eye on the product cycle. Smart people are interested in things with product potential. This becomes true. Toys become necessities. Hobbies become mainstream. Optimists build the future, not cynics.


Full article is available here

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Eric Esposito

5 months ago

$100M in NFT TV shows from Fox

Image

Fox executives will invest $100 million in NFT-based TV shows. Fox brought in "Rick and Morty" co-creator Dan Harmon to create "Krapopolis"

Fox's Blockchain Creative Labs (BCL) will develop these NFT TV shows with Bento Box Entertainment. BCL markets Fox's WWE "Moonsault" NFT.

Fox said it would use the $100 million to build a "creative community" and "brand ecosystem." The media giant mentioned using these funds for NFT "benefits."

"Krapopolis" will be a Greek-themed animated comedy, per Rarity Sniper. Initial reports said NFT buyers could collaborate on "character development" and get exclusive perks.

Fox Entertainment may drop "Krapopolis" NFTs on Ethereum, according to new reports. Fox says it will soon release more details on its NFT plans for "Krapopolis."

Media Giants Favor "NFT Storytelling"

"Krapopolis" is one of the largest "NFT storytelling" experiments due to Dan Harmon's popularity and Fox Entertainment's reach. Many celebrities have begun exploring Web3 for TV shows.

Mila Kunis' animated sitcom "The Gimmicks" lets fans direct the show. Any "Gimmick" NFT holder could contribute to episode plots.

"The Gimmicks" lets NFT holders write fan fiction about their avatars. If show producers like what they read, their NFT may appear in an episode.

Rob McElhenney recently launched "Adimverse," a Web3 writers' community. Anyone with a "Adimverse" NFT can collaborate on creative projects and share royalties.

Many blue-chip NFTs are appearing in movies and TV shows. Coinbase will release Bored Ape Yacht Club shorts at NFT. NYC. Reese Witherspoon is working on a World of Women NFT series.

PFP NFT collections have Hollywood media partners. Guy Oseary manages Madonna's World of Women and Bored Ape Yacht Club collections. The Doodles signed with Billboard's Julian Holguin and the Cool Cats with CAA.

Web3 and NFTs are changing how many filmmakers tell stories.

ANDREW SINGER

ANDREW SINGER

7 months ago

Crypto seen as the ‘future of money’ in inflation-mired countries

Crypto as the ‘future of money' in inflation-stricken nations

Citizens of devalued currencies “need” crypto. “Nice to have” in the developed world.

According to Gemini's 2022 Global State of Crypto report, cryptocurrencies “evolved from what many considered a niche investment into an established asset class” last year.

More than half of crypto owners in Brazil (51%), Hong Kong (51%), and India (54%), according to the report, bought cryptocurrency for the first time in 2021.

The study found that inflation and currency devaluation are powerful drivers of crypto adoption, especially in emerging market (EM) countries:

“Respondents in countries that have seen a 50% or greater devaluation of their currency against the USD over the last decade were more than 5 times as likely to plan to purchase crypto in the coming year.”

Between 2011 and 2021, the real lost 218 percent of its value against the dollar, and 45 percent of Brazilians surveyed by Gemini said they planned to buy crypto in 2019.

The rand (South Africa's currency) has fallen 103 percent in value over the last decade, second only to the Brazilian real, and 32 percent of South Africans expect to own crypto in the coming year. Mexico and India, the third and fourth highest devaluation countries, followed suit.

Compared to the US dollar, Hong Kong and the UK currencies have not devalued in the last decade. Meanwhile, only 5% and 8% of those surveyed in those countries expressed interest in buying crypto.

What can be concluded? Noah Perlman, COO of Gemini, sees various crypto use cases depending on one's location. 

‘Need to have' investment in countries where the local currency has devalued against the dollar, whereas in the developed world it is still seen as a ‘nice to have'.

Crypto as money substitute

As an adjunct professor at New York University School of Law, Winston Ma distinguishes between an asset used as an inflation hedge and one used as a currency replacement.

Unlike gold, he believes Bitcoin (BTC) is not a “inflation hedge”. They acted more like growth stocks in 2022. “Bitcoin correlated more closely with the S&P 500 index — and Ether with the NASDAQ — than gold,” he told Cointelegraph. But in the developing world, things are different:

“Inflation may be a primary driver of cryptocurrency adoption in emerging markets like Brazil, India, and Mexico.”

According to Justin d'Anethan, institutional sales director at the Amber Group, a Singapore-based digital asset firm, early adoption was driven by countries where currency stability and/or access to proper banking services were issues. Simply put, he said, developing countries want alternatives to easily debased fiat currencies.

“The larger flows may still come from institutions and developed countries, but the actual users may come from places like Lebanon, Turkey, Venezuela, and Indonesia.”

“Inflation is one of the factors that has and continues to drive adoption of Bitcoin and other crypto assets globally,” said Sean Stein Smith, assistant professor of economics and business at Lehman College.

But it's only one factor, and different regions have different factors, says Stein Smith. As a “instantaneously accessible, traceable, and cost-effective transaction option,” investors and entrepreneurs increasingly recognize the benefits of crypto assets. Other places promote crypto adoption due to “potential capital gains and returns”.

According to the report, “legal uncertainty around cryptocurrency,” tax questions, and a general education deficit could hinder adoption in Asia Pacific and Latin America. In Africa, 56% of respondents said more educational resources were needed to explain cryptocurrencies.

Not only inflation, but empowering our youth to live better than their parents without fear of failure or allegiance to legacy financial markets or products, said Monica Singer, ConsenSys South Africa lead. Also, “the issue of cash and remittances is huge in Africa, as is the issue of social grants.”

Money's future?

The survey found that Brazil and Indonesia had the most cryptocurrency ownership. In each country, 41% of those polled said they owned crypto. Only 20% of Americans surveyed said they owned cryptocurrency.

These markets are more likely to see cryptocurrencies as the future of money. The survey found:

“The majority of respondents in Latin America (59%) and Africa (58%) say crypto is the future of money.”
Brazil (66%), Nigeria (63%), Indonesia (61%), and South Africa (57%). Europe and Australia had the fewest believers, with Denmark at 12%, Norway at 15%, and Australia at 17%.

Will the Ukraine conflict impact adoption?

The poll was taken before the war. Will the devastating conflict slow global crypto adoption growth?

With over $100 million in crypto donations directly requested by the Ukrainian government since the war began, Stein Smith says the war has certainly brought crypto into the mainstream conversation.

“This real-world demonstration of decentralized money's power could spur wider adoption, policy debate, and increased use of crypto as a medium of exchange.”
But the war may not affect all developing nations. “The Ukraine war has no impact on African demand for crypto,” Others loom larger. “Yes, inflation, but also a lack of trust in government in many African countries, and a young demographic very familiar with mobile phones and the internet.”

A major success story like Mpesa in Kenya has influenced the continent and may help accelerate crypto adoption. Creating a plan when everyone you trust fails you is directly related to the African spirit, she said.

On the other hand, Ma views the Ukraine conflict as a sort of crisis check for cryptocurrencies. For those in emerging markets, the Ukraine-Russia war has served as a “stress test” for the cryptocurrency payment rail, he told Cointelegraph.

“These emerging markets may see the greatest future gains in crypto adoption.”
Inflation and currency devaluation are persistent global concerns. In such places, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are now seen as the “future of money.” Not in the developed world, but that could change with better regulation and education. Inflation and its impact on cash holdings are waking up even Western nations.

Read original post here.

Aparna Jain

Aparna Jain

16 days ago

Negative Effects of Working for a FAANG Company

Consider yourself lucky if your last FAANG interview was rejected.

Image by Author- Royalty free image enhanced in Canva

FAANG—Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google

(I know its manga now, but watch me not care)

These big companies offer many benefits.

  1. large salaries and benefits

  2. Prestige

  3. high expectations for both you and your coworkers.

However, these jobs may have major drawbacks that only become apparent when you're thrown to the wolves, so it's up to you whether you see them as drawbacks or opportunities.

I know most college graduates start working at big tech companies because of their perceived coolness.

I've worked in these companies for years and can tell you what to expect if you get a job here.

Little fish in a vast ocean

The most obvious. Most billion/trillion-dollar companies employ thousands.

You may work on a small, unnoticed product part.

Directors and higher will sometimes make you redo projects they didn't communicate well without respecting your time, talent, or will to work on trivial stuff that doesn't move company needles.

Peers will only say, "Someone has to take out the trash," even though you know company resources are being wasted.

The power imbalance is frustrating.

What you can do about it

Know your WHY. Consider long-term priorities. Though riskier, I stayed in customer-facing teams because I loved building user-facing products.

This increased my impact. However, if you enjoy helping coworkers build products, you may be better suited for an internal team.

I told the Directors and Vice Presidents that their actions could waste Engineering time, even though it was unpopular. Some were receptive, some not.

I kept having tough conversations because they were good for me and the company.

However, some of my coworkers praised my candor but said they'd rather follow the boss.

An outdated piece of technology can take years to update.

Apple introduced Swift for iOS development in 2014. Most large tech companies adopted the new language after five years.

This is frustrating if you want to learn new skills and increase your market value.

Knowing that my lack of Swift practice could hurt me if I changed jobs made writing verbose Objective C painful.

What you can do about it

  1. Work on the new technology in side projects; one engineer rewrote the Lyft app in Swift over the course of a weekend and promoted its adoption throughout the entire organization.

  2. To integrate new technologies and determine how to combine legacy and modern code, suggest minor changes to the existing codebase.

Most managers spend their entire day in consecutive meetings.

After their last meeting, the last thing they want is another meeting to discuss your career goals.

Sometimes a manager has 15-20 reports, making it hard to communicate your impact.

Misunderstandings and stress can result.

Especially when the manager should focus on selfish parts of the team. Success won't concern them.

What you can do about it

  1. Tell your manager that you are a self-starter and that you will pro-actively update them on your progress, especially if they aren't present at the meetings you regularly attend.

  2. Keep being proactive and look for mentorship elsewhere if you believe your boss doesn't have enough time to work on your career goals.

  3. Alternately, look for a team where the manager has more authority to assist you in making career decisions.

After a certain point, company loyalty can become quite harmful.

Because big tech companies create brand loyalty, too many colleagues stayed in unhealthy environments.

When you work for a well-known company and strangers compliment you, it's fun to tell your friends.

Work defines you. This can make you stay too long even though your career isn't progressing and you're unhappy.

Google may become your surname.

Workplaces are not families.

If you're unhappy, don't stay just because they gave you the paycheck to buy your first home and make you feel like you owe your life to them.

Many employees stayed too long. Though depressed and suicidal.

What you can do about it

  1. Your life is not worth a company.

  2. Do you want your job title and workplace to be listed on your gravestone? If not, leave if conditions deteriorate.

  3. Recognize that change can be challenging. It's difficult to leave a job you've held for a number of years.

  4. Ask those who have experienced this change how they handled it.

You still have a bright future if you were rejected from FAANG interviews.

Rejections only lead to amazing opportunities. If you're young and childless, work for a startup.

Companies may pay more than FAANGs. Do your research.

Ask recruiters and hiring managers tough questions about how the company and teams prioritize respectful working hours and boundaries for workers.

I know many 15-year-olds who have a lifelong dream of working at Google, and it saddens me that they're chasing a name on their resume instead of excellence.

This article is not meant to discourage you from working at these companies, but to share my experience about what HR/managers will never mention in interviews.

Read both sides before signing the big offer letter.