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Jussi Luukkonen, MBA

Jussi Luukkonen, MBA

10 months ago

Is Apple Secretly Building A Disruptive Tsunami?

More on Technology

Jano le Roux

Jano le Roux

10 months ago

Apple Quietly Introduces A Revolutionary Savings Account That Kills Banks

Would you abandon your bank for Apple?

Apple

Banks are struggling.

  • not as a result of inflation

  • not due to the economic downturn.

  • not due to the conflict in Ukraine.

But because they’re underestimating Apple.

Slowly but surely, Apple is looking more like a bank.

An easy new savings account like Apple

Apple

Apple has a new savings account.

Apple says Apple Card users may set up and manage savings straight in Wallet.

  • No more charges

  • Colorfully high yields

  • With no minimum balance

  • No minimal down payments

Most consumer-facing banks will have to match Apple's offer or suffer disruption.

Users may set it up from their iPhones without traveling to a bank or filling out paperwork.

It’s built into the iPhone in your pocket.

So now more waiting for slow approval processes.

Once the savings account is set up, Apple will automatically transfer all future Daily Cash into it. Users may also add these cash to an Apple Cash card in their Apple Wallet app and adjust where Daily Cash is paid at any time.

Apple

Apple Pay and Apple Wallet VP Jennifer Bailey:

Savings enables Apple Card users to grow their Daily Cash rewards over time, while also saving for the future.

Bailey says Savings adds value to Apple Card's Daily Cash benefit and offers another easy-to-use tool to help people lead healthier financial lives.

Transfer money from a linked bank account or Apple Cash to a Savings account. Users can withdraw monies to a connected bank account or Apple Cash card without costs.

Once set up, Apple Card customers can track their earnings via Wallet's Savings dashboard. This dashboard shows their account balance and interest.

This product targets younger people as the easiest way to start a savings account on the iPhone.

Why would a Gen Z account holder travel to the bank if their iPhone could be their bank?

Using this concept, Apple will transform the way we think about banking by 2030.

Two other nightmares keep bankers awake at night

Apple revealed two new features in early 2022 that banks and payment gateways hated.

  • Tap to Pay with Apple

  • Late Apple Pay

They startled the industry.

Tap To Pay converts iPhones into mobile POS card readers. Apple Pay Later is pushing the BNPL business in a consumer-friendly direction, hopefully ending dodgy lending practices.

Tap to Pay with Apple

iPhone POS

Apple

Millions of US merchants, from tiny shops to huge establishments, will be able to accept Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets with a tap.

No hardware or payment terminal is needed.

Revolutionary!

Stripe has previously launched this feature.

Tap to Pay on iPhone will provide companies with a secure, private, and quick option to take contactless payments and unleash new checkout experiences, said Bailey.

Apple's solution is ingenious. Brilliant!

Bailey says that payment platforms, app developers, and payment networks are making it easier than ever for businesses of all sizes to accept contactless payments and thrive.

I admire that Apple is offering this up to third-party services instead of closing off other functionalities.

Slow POS terminals, farewell.

Late Apple Pay

Pay Apple later.

Apple

Apple Pay Later enables US consumers split Apple Pay purchases into four equal payments over six weeks with no interest or fees.

The Apple ecosystem integration makes this BNPL scheme unique. Nonstick. No dumb forms.

Frictionless.

Just double-tap the button.

Apple Pay Later was designed with users' financial well-being in mind. Apple makes it easy to use, track, and pay back Apple Pay Later from Wallet.

Apple Pay Later can be signed up in Wallet or when using Apple Pay. Apple Pay Later can be used online or in an app that takes Apple Pay and leverages the Mastercard network.

Apple Pay Order Tracking helps consumers access detailed receipts and order tracking in Wallet for Apple Pay purchases at participating stores.

Bad BNPL suppliers, goodbye.

Most bankers will be caught in Apple's eye playing mini golf in high-rise offices.

The big problem:

  • Banks still think about features and big numbers just like other smartphone makers did not too long ago.

  • Apple thinks about effortlessnessseamlessness, and frictionlessness that just work through integrated hardware and software.

Let me know what you think Apple’s next power moves in the banking industry could be.

Paul DelSignore

Paul DelSignore

6 months ago

The stunning new free AI image tool is called Leonardo AI.

Leonardo—The New Midjourney?

screen cap from Leonardo.ai website app

Users are comparing the new cowboy to Midjourney.

Leonardo.AI creates great photographs and has several unique capabilities I haven't seen in other AI image systems.

Midjourney's quality photographs are evident in the community feed.

screen cap from Leonardo.ai website community

Create Pictures Using Models

You can make graphics using platform models when you first enter the app (website):

Luma, Leonardo creative, Deliberate 1.1.

screen cap from Leonardo.ai website app

Clicking a model displays its description and samples:

screen cap from Leonardo.ai website app

Click Generate With This Model.

Then you can add your prompt, alter models, photos, sizes, and guide scale in a sleek UI.

screen cap from Leonardo.ai website app

Changing Pictures

Leonardo's Canvas editor lets you change created images by hovering over them:

Made by author on Leonardo.ai

The editor opens with masking, erasing, and picture download.

screen cap from Leonardo.ai website app

Develop Your Own Models

I've never seen anything like Leonardo's model training feature.

Upload a handful of similar photographs and save them as a model for future images. Share your model with the community.

screen cap from Leonardo.ai website app

You can make photos using your own model and a community-shared set of fine-tuned models:

screen cap from Leonardo.ai website app

Obtain Leonardo access

Leonardo is currently free.

Visit Leonardo.ai and click "Get Early Access" to receive access.

screen cap from Leonardo.ai

Add your email to receive a link to join the discord channel. Simply describe yourself and fill out a form to join the discord channel.

Please go to 👑│introductions to make an introduction and ✨│priority-early-access will be unlocked, you must fill out a form and in 24 hours or a little more (due to demand), the invitation will be sent to you by email.

I got access in two hours, so hopefully you can too.

Last Words

I know there are many AI generative platforms, some free and some expensive, but Midjourney produces the most artistically stunning images and art.

Leonardo is the closest I've seen to Midjourney, but Midjourney is still the leader.

It's free now.

Leonardo's fine-tuned model selections, model creation, image manipulation, and output speed and quality make it a great AI image toolbox addition.

Liz Martin

Liz Martin

1 year ago

A Search Engine From Apple?

Apple's search engine has long been rumored. Recent Google developments may confirm the rumor. Is Apple about to become Google's biggest rival?

Here's a video:

People noted Apple's changes in 2020. AppleBot, a web crawler that downloads and caches Internet content, was more active than in the last five years.

Apple hired search engine developers, including ex-Googlers, such as John Giannandrea, Google's former search chief.

Apple also changed the way iPhones search. With iOS 14, Apple's search results arrived before Google's.

These facts fueled rumors that Apple was developing a search engine.

Apple and Google Have a Contract

Many skeptics said Apple couldn't compete with Google. This didn't affect the company's competitiveness.

Apple is the only business with the resources and scale to be a Google rival, with 1.8 billion active devices and a $2 trillion market cap.

Still, people doubted that due to a license deal. Google pays Apple $8 to $12 billion annually to be the default iPhone and iPad search engine.

Apple can't build an independent search product under this arrangement.

Why would Apple enter search if it's being paid to stay out?

Ironically, this partnership has many people believing Apple is getting into search.

A New Default Search Engine May Be Needed

Google was sued for antitrust in 2020. It is accused of anticompetitive and exclusionary behavior. Justice wants to end Google's monopoly.

Authorities could restrict Apple and Google's licensing deal due to its likely effect on market competitiveness. Hence Apple needs a new default search engine.

Apple Already Has a Search Engine

The company already has a search engine, Spotlight.

Since 2004, Spotlight has aired. It was developed to help users find photos, documents, apps, music, and system preferences.

Apple's search engine could do more than organize files, texts, and apps.

Spotlight Search was updated in 2014 with iOS 8. Web, App Store, and iTunes searches became available. You could find nearby places, movie showtimes, and news.

This search engine has subsequently been updated and improved. Spotlight added rich search results last year.

If you search for a TV show, movie, or song, photos and carousels will appear at the top of the page.

This resembles Google's rich search results.

When Will the Apple Search Engine Be Available?

When will Apple's search launch? Robert Scoble says it's near.

Scoble tweeted a number of hints before this year's Worldwide Developer Conference.

Scoble bases his prediction on insider information and deductive reasoning. January 2023 is expected.

Will you use Apple's search engine?

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Jenn Leach

Jenn Leach

1 year ago

In November, I made an effort to pitch 10 brands per day. Here's what I discovered.

Photo by Nubelson Fernandes on Unsplash

I pitched 10 brands per workday for a total of 200.

How did I do?

It was difficult.

I've never pitched so much.

What did this challenge teach me?

  • the superiority of quality over quantity

  • When you need help, outsource

  • Don't disregard burnout in order to complete a challenge because it exists.

First, pitching brands for brand deals requires quality. Find firms that align with your brand to expose to your audience.

If you associate with any company, you'll lose audience loyalty. I didn't lose sight of that, but I couldn't resist finishing the task.

Outsourcing.

Delegating work to teammates is effective.

I wish I'd done it.

Three people can pitch 200 companies a month significantly faster than one.

One person does research, one to two do outreach, and one to two do follow-up and negotiating.

Simple.

In 2022, I'll outsource everything.

Burnout.

I felt this, so I slowed down at the end of the month.

Thanksgiving week in November was slow.

I was buying and decorating for Christmas. First time putting up outdoor holiday lights was fun.

Much was happening.

I'm not perfect.

I'm being honest.

The Outcomes

Less than 50 brands pitched.

Result: A deal with 3 brands.

I hoped for 4 brands with reaching out to 200 companies, so three with under 50 is wonderful.

That’s a 6% conversion rate!

Whoo-hoo!

I needed 2%.

Here's a screenshot from one of the deals I booked.

These companies fit my company well. Each campaign is different, but I've booked $2,450 in brand work with a couple of pending transactions for December and January.

$2,450 in brand work booked!

How did I do? You tell me.

Is this something you’d try yourself?

Jim Clyde Monge

Jim Clyde Monge

1 year ago

Can You Sell Images Created by AI?

Image by Author

Some AI-generated artworks sell for enormous sums of money.

But can you sell AI-Generated Artwork?

Simple answer: yes.

However, not all AI services enable allow usage and redistribution of images.

Let's check some of my favorite AI text-to-image generators:

Dall-E2 by OpenAI

The AI art generator Dall-E2 is powerful. Since it’s still in beta, you can join the waitlist here.

OpenAI DOES NOT allow the use and redistribution of any image for commercial purposes.

Here's the policy as of April 6, 2022.

OpenAI Content Policy

Here are some images from Dall-E2’s webpage to show its art quality.

Dall-E2 Homepage

Several Reddit users reported receiving pricing surveys from OpenAI.

This suggests the company may bring out a subscription-based tier and a commercial license to sell images soon.

MidJourney

I like Midjourney's art generator. It makes great AI images. Here are some samples:

Community feed from MidJourney

Standard Licenses are available for $10 per month.

Standard License allows you to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, and/or sell copies of the images, except for blockchain technologies.

If you utilize or distribute the Assets using blockchain technology, you must pay MidJourney 20% of revenue above $20,000 a month or engage in an alternative agreement.

Here's their copyright and trademark page.

MidJourney Copyright and Trademark

Dream by Wombo

Dream is one of the first public AI art generators.

This AI program is free, easy to use, and Wombo gives a royalty-free license to copy or share artworks.

Users own all artworks generated by the tool. Including all related copyrights or intellectual property rights.

Screenshot by Author

Here’s Wombos' intellectual property policy.

Wombo Terms of Service

Final Reflections

AI is creating a new sort of art that's selling well. It’s becoming popular and valued, despite some skepticism.

Now that you know MidJourney and Wombo let you sell AI-generated art, you need to locate buyers. There are several ways to achieve this, but that’s for another story.

Benjamin Lin

Benjamin Lin

1 year ago

I sold my side project for $20,000: 6 lessons I learned

How I monetized and sold an abandoned side project for $20,000

Unfortunately, there was no real handshake as the sale was transacted entirely online

The Origin Story

I've always wanted to be an entrepreneur but never succeeded. I often had business ideas, made a landing page, and told my buddies. Never got customers.

In April 2021, I decided to try again with a new strategy. I noticed that I had trouble acquiring an initial set of customers, so I wanted to start by acquiring a product that had a small user base that I could grow.

I found a SaaS marketplace called MicroAcquire.com where you could buy and sell SaaS products. I liked Shareit.video, an online Loom-like screen recorder.

Shareit.video didn't generate revenue, but 50 people visited daily to record screencasts.

Purchasing a Failed Side Project

I eventually bought Shareit.video for $12,000 from its owner.

$12,000 was probably too much for a website without revenue or registered users.

I thought time was most important. I could have recreated the website, but it would take months. $12,000 would give me an organized code base and a working product with a few users to monetize.

You should always ask yourself the build vs buy decision when starting a new project

I considered buying a screen recording website and trying to grow it versus buying a new car or investing in crypto with the $12K.

Buying the website would make me a real entrepreneur, which I wanted more than anything.

Putting down so much money would force me to commit to the project and prevent me from quitting too soon.

A Year of Development

I rebranded the website to be called RecordJoy and worked on it with my cousin for about a year. Within a year, we made $5000 and had 3000 users.

We spent $3500 on ads, hosting, and software to run the business.

AppSumo promoted our $120 Life Time Deal in exchange for 30% of the revenue.

We put RecordJoy on maintenance mode after 6 months because we couldn't find a scalable user acquisition channel.

We improved SEO and redesigned our landing page, but nothing worked.

Growth flatlined, so we put the project on maintenance mode

Despite not being able to grow RecordJoy any further, I had already learned so much from working on the project so I was fine with putting it on maintenance mode. RecordJoy still made $500 a month, which was great lunch money.

Getting Taken Over

One of our customers emailed me asking for some feature requests and I replied that we weren’t going to add any more features in the near future. They asked if we'd sell.

We got on a call with the customer and I asked if he would be interested in buying RecordJoy for 15k. The customer wanted around $8k but would consider it.

Since we were negotiating with one buyer, we put RecordJoy on MicroAcquire to see if there were other offers.

Everything is negotiable, including how long the buyer can remain an exclusive buyer and what the payment schedule should be.

We quickly received 10+ offers. We got 18.5k. There was also about $1000 in AppSumo that we could not withdraw, so we agreed to transfer that over for $600 since about 40% of our sales on AppSumo usually end up being refunded.

Lessons Learned

First, create an acquisition channel

We couldn't discover a scalable acquisition route for RecordJoy. If I had to start another project, I'd develop a robust acquisition channel first. It might be LinkedIn, Medium, or YouTube.

Purchase Power of the Buyer Affects Acquisition Price

Some of the buyers we spoke to were individuals looking to buy side projects, as well as companies looking to launch a new product category. Individual buyers had less budgets than organizations.

Customers of AppSumo vary.

AppSumo customers value lifetime deals and low prices, which may not be a good way to build a business with recurring revenue. Designed for AppSumo users, your product may not connect with other users.

Try to increase acquisition trust

Acquisition often fails. The buyer can go cold feet, cease communicating, or run away with your stuff. Trusting the buyer ensures a smooth asset exchange. First acquisition meeting was unpleasant and price negotiation was tight. In later meetings, we spent the first few minutes trying to get to know the buyer’s motivations and background before jumping into the negotiation, which helped build trust.

Operating expenses can reduce your earnings.

Monitor operating costs. We were really happy when we withdrew the $5000 we made from AppSumo and Stripe until we realized that we had spent $3500 in operating fees. Spend money on software and consultants to help you understand what to build.

Don't overspend on advertising

We invested $1500 on Google Ads but made little money. For a side project, it’s better to focus on organic traffic from SEO rather than paid ads unless you know your ads are going to have a positive ROI.