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Matthew Royse

Matthew Royse

1 year ago

These 10 phrases are unprofessional at work.

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Simon Ash

Simon Ash

1 year ago

The Three Most Effective Questions for Ongoing Development

The Traffic Light Approach to Reviewing Personal, Team and Project Development

Photo by Tim Gouw via Pexels

What needs improvement? If you want to improve, you need to practice your sport, musical instrument, habit, or work project. You need to assess your progress.

Continuous improvement is the foundation of focused practice and a growth mentality. Not just individually. High-performing teams pursue improvement. Right? Why is it hard?

As a leadership coach, senior manager, and high-level athlete, I've found three key questions that may unlock high performance in individuals and teams.

Problems with Reviews

Reviewing and improving performance is crucial, however I hate seeing review sessions in my diary. I rarely respond to questionnaire pop-ups or emails. Why?

Time constrains. Requests to fill out questionnaires often state they will take 10–15 minutes, but I can think of a million other things to do with that time. Next, review overload. Businesses can easily request comments online. No matter what you buy, someone will ask for your opinion. This bombardment might make feedback seem bad, which is bad.

The problem is that we might feel that way about important things like personal growth and work performance. Managers and team leaders face a greater challenge.

When to Conduct a Review

We must be wise about reviewing things that matter to us. Timing and duration matter. Reviewing the experience as quickly as possible preserves information and sentiments. Time must be brief. The review's importance and size will determine its length. We might only take a few seconds to review our morning coffee, but we might require more time for that six-month work project.

These post-event reviews should be supplemented by periodic reflection. Journaling can help with daily reflections, but I also like to undertake personal reviews every six months on vacation or at a retreat.

As an employee or line manager, you don't want to wait a year for a performance assessment. Little and frequently is best, with a more formal and in-depth assessment (typically with a written report) in 6 and 12 months.

The Easiest Method to Conduct a Review Session

I follow Einstein's review process:

“Make things as simple as possible but no simpler.”

Thus, it should be brief but deliver the necessary feedback. Quality critique is hard to receive if the process is overly complicated or long.

I have led or participated in many review processes, from strategic overhauls of big organizations to personal goal coaching. Three key questions guide the process at either end:

  • What ought to stop being done?

  • What should we do going forward?

  • What should we do first?

Following the Rule of 3, I compare it to traffic lights. Red, amber, and green lights:

  • Red What ought should we stop?

  • Amber What ought to we keep up?

  • Green Where should we begin?

This approach is easy to understand and self-explanatory, however below are some examples under each area.

Red What ought should we stop?

As a team or individually, we must stop doing things to improve.

Sometimes they're bad. If we want to lose weight, we should avoid sweets. If a team culture is bad, we may need to stop unpleasant behavior like gossiping instead of having difficult conversations.

Not all things we should stop are wrong. Time matters. Since it is finite, we sometimes have to stop nice things to focus on the most important. Good to Great author Jim Collins famously said:

“Don’t let the good be the enemy of the great.”

Prioritizing requires this idea. Thus, decide what to stop to prioritize.

Amber What ought to we keep up?

Should we continue with the amber light? It helps us decide what to keep doing during review. Many items fall into this category, so focus on those that make the most progress.

Which activities have the most impact? Which behaviors create the best culture? Success-building habits?

Use these questions to find positive momentum. These are the fly-wheel motions, according to Jim Collins. The Compound Effect author Darren Hardy says:

“Consistency is the key to achieving and maintaining momentum.”

What can you do consistently to reach your goal?

Green Where should we begin?

Finally, green lights indicate new beginnings. Red/amber difficulties may be involved. Stopping a red issue may give you more time to do something helpful (in the amber).

This green space inspires creativity. Kolbs learning cycle requires active exploration to progress. Thus, it's crucial to think of new approaches, try them out, and fail if required.

This notion underpins lean start-build, up's measure, learn approach and agile's trying, testing, and reviewing. Try new things until you find what works. Thomas Edison, the lighting legend, exclaimed:

“There is a way to do it better — find it!”

Failure is acceptable, but if you want to fail forward, look back on what you've done.

John Maxwell concurred with Edison:

“Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward”

A good review procedure lets us accomplish that. To avoid failure, we must act, experiment, and reflect.

Use the traffic light system to prioritize queries. Ask:

  • Red What needs to stop?

  • Amber What should continue to occur?

  • Green What might be initiated?

Take a moment to reflect on your day. Check your priorities with these three questions. Even if merely to confirm your direction, it's a terrific exercise!

Theo Seeds

Theo Seeds

1 year ago

The nine novels that have fundamentally altered the way I view the world

I read 53 novels last year and hope to do so again.

Books are best if you love learning. You get a range of perspectives, unlike podcasts and YouTube channels where you get the same ones.

Book quality varies. I've read useless books. Most books teach me something.

These 9 novels have changed my outlook in recent years. They've made me rethink what I believed or introduced me to a fresh perspective that changed my worldview.

You can order these books yourself. Or, read my summaries to learn what I've synthesized.

Enjoy!

Fooled By Randomness

Nassim Taleb worked as a Wall Street analyst. He used options trading to bet on unlikely events like stock market crashes.

Using financial models, investors predict stock prices. The models assume constant, predictable company growth.

These models base their assumptions on historical data, so they assume the future will be like the past.

Fooled By Randomness argues that the future won't be like the past. We often see impossible market crashes like 2008's housing market collapse. The world changes too quickly to use historical data: by the time we understand how it works, it's changed.

Most people don't live to see history unfold. We think our childhood world will last forever. That goes double for stable societies like the U.S., which hasn't seen major turbulence in anyone's lifetime.

Fooled By Randomness taught me to expect the unexpected. The world is deceptive and rarely works as we expect. You can't always trust your past successes or what you've learned.

Antifragile

More Taleb. Some things, like the restaurant industry and the human body, improve under conditions of volatility and turbulence.

We didn't have a word for this counterintuitive concept until Taleb wrote Antifragile. The human body (which responds to some stressors, like exercise, by getting stronger) and the restaurant industry both benefit long-term from disorder (when economic turbulence happens, bad restaurants go out of business, improving the industry as a whole).

Many human systems are designed to minimize short-term variance because humans don't understand it. By eliminating short-term variation, we increase the likelihood of a major disaster.

Once, we put out every forest fire we found. Then, dead wood piled up in forests, causing catastrophic fires.

We don't like price changes, so politicians prop up markets with stimulus packages and printing money. This leads to a bigger crash later. Two years ago, we printed a ton of money for stimulus checks, and now we have double-digit inflation.

Antifragile taught me how important Plan B is. A system with one or two major weaknesses will fail. Make large systems redundant, foolproof, and change-responsive.

Reality is broken

We dread work. Work is tedious. Right?

Wrong. Work gives many people purpose. People are happiest when working. (That's why some are workaholics.)

Factory work saps your soul, office work is boring, and working for a large company you don't believe in and that operates unethically isn't satisfying.

Jane McGonigal says in Reality Is Broken that meaningful work makes us happy. People love games because they simulate good work. McGonigal says work should be more fun.

Some think they'd be happy on a private island sipping cocktails all day. That's not true. Without anything to do, most people would be bored. Unemployed people are miserable. Many retirees die within 2 years, much more than expected.

Instead of complaining, find meaningful work. If you don't like your job, it's because you're in the wrong environment. Find the right setting.

The Lean Startup

Before the airplane was invented, Harvard scientists researched flying machines. Who knew two North Carolina weirdos would beat them?

The Wright Brothers' plane design was key. Harvard researchers were mostly theoretical, designing an airplane on paper and trying to make it fly in theory. They'd build it, test it, and it wouldn't fly.

The Wright Brothers were different. They'd build a cheap plane, test it, and it'd crash. Then they'd learn from their mistakes, build another plane, and it'd crash.

They repeated this until they fixed all the problems and one of their planes stayed aloft.

Mistakes are considered bad. On the African savannah, one mistake meant death. Even today, if you make a costly mistake at work, you'll be fired as a scapegoat. Most people avoid failing.

In reality, making mistakes is the best way to learn.

Eric Reis offers an unintuitive recipe in The Lean Startup: come up with a hypothesis, test it, and fail. Then, try again with a new hypothesis. Keep trying, learning from each failure.

This is a great startup strategy. Startups are new businesses. Startups face uncertainty. Run lots of low-cost experiments to fail, learn, and succeed.

Don't fear failing. Low-cost failure is good because you learn more from it than you lose. As long as your worst-case scenario is acceptable, risk-taking is good.

The Sovereign Individual

Today, nation-states rule the world. The UN recognizes 195 countries, and they claim almost all land outside of Antarctica.

We agree. For the past 2,000 years, much of the world's territory was ungoverned.

Why today? Because technology has created incentives for nation-states for most of the past 500 years. The logic of violence favors nation-states, according to James Dale Davidson, author of the Sovereign Individual. Governments have a lot to gain by conquering as much territory as possible, so they do.

Not always. During the Dark Ages, Europe was fragmented and had few central governments. Partly because of armor. With armor, a sword, and a horse, you couldn't be stopped. Large states were hard to form because they rely on the threat of violence.

When gunpowder became popular in Europe, violence changed. In a world with guns, assembling large armies and conquest are cheaper.

James Dale Davidson says the internet will make nation-states obsolete. Most of the world's wealth will be online and in people's heads, making capital mobile.

Nation-states rely on predatory taxation of the rich to fund large militaries and welfare programs.

When capital is mobile, people can live anywhere in the world, Davidson says, making predatory taxation impossible. They're not bound by their job, land, or factory location. Wherever they're treated best.

Davidson says that over the next century, nation-states will collapse because they won't have enough money to operate as they do now. He imagines a world of small city-states, like Italy before 1900. (or Singapore today).

We've already seen some movement toward a more Sovereign Individual-like world. The pandemic proved large-scale remote work is possible, freeing workers from their location. Many cities and countries offer remote workers incentives to relocate.

Many Western businesspeople live in tax havens, and more people are renouncing their US citizenship due to high taxes. Increasing globalization has led to poor economic conditions and resentment among average people in the West, which is why politicians like Trump and Sanders rose to popularity with angry rhetoric, even though Obama rose to popularity with a more hopeful message.

The Sovereign Individual convinced me that the future will be different than Nassim Taleb's. Large countries like the U.S. will likely lose influence in the coming decades, while Portugal, Singapore, and Turkey will rise. If the trend toward less freedom continues, people may flee the West en masse.

So a traditional life of college, a big firm job, hard work, and corporate advancement may not be wise. Young people should learn as much as possible and develop flexible skills to adapt to the future.

Sapiens

Sapiens is a history of humanity, from proto-humans in Ethiopia to our internet society today, with some future speculation.

Sapiens views humans (and Homo sapiens) as a unique species on Earth. We were animals 100,000 years ago. We're slowly becoming gods, able to affect the climate, travel to every corner of the Earth (and the Moon), build weapons that can kill us all, and wipe out thousands of species.

Sapiens examines what makes Homo sapiens unique. Humans can believe in myths like religion, money, and human-made entities like countries and LLCs.

These myths facilitate large-scale cooperation. Ants from the same colony can cooperate. Any two humans can trade, though. Even if they're not genetically related, large groups can bond over religion and nationality.

Combine that with intelligence, and you have a species capable of amazing feats.

Sapiens may make your head explode because it looks at the world without presupposing values, unlike most books. It questions things that aren't usually questioned and says provocative things.

It also shows how human history works. It may help you understand and predict the world. Maybe.

The 4-hour Workweek

Things can be done better.

Tradition, laziness, bad bosses, or incentive structures cause complacency. If you're willing to make changes and not settle for the status quo, you can do whatever you do better and achieve more in less time.

The Four-Hour Work Week advocates this. Tim Ferriss explains how he made more sales in 2 hours than his 8-hour-a-day colleagues.

By firing 2 of his most annoying customers and empowering his customer service reps to make more decisions, he was able to leave his business and travel to Europe.

Ferriss shows how to escape your 9-to-5, outsource your life, develop a business that feeds you with little time, and go on mini-retirement adventures abroad.

Don't accept the status quo. Instead, level up. Find a way to improve your results. And try new things.

Why Nations Fail

Nogales, Arizona and Mexico were once one town. The US/Mexico border was arbitrarily drawn.

Both towns have similar cultures and populations. Nogales, Arizona is well-developed and has a high standard of living. Nogales, Mexico is underdeveloped and has a low standard of living. Whoa!

Why Nations Fail explains how government-created institutions affect country development. Strong property rights, capitalism, and non-corrupt governments promote development. Countries without capitalism, strong property rights, or corrupt governments don't develop.

Successful countries must also embrace creative destruction. They must offer ordinary citizens a way to improve their lot by creating value for others, not reducing them to slaves, serfs, or peasants. Authors say that ordinary people could get rich on trading expeditions in 11th-century Venice.

East and West Germany and North and South Korea have different economies because their citizens are motivated differently. It explains why Chile, China, and Singapore grow so quickly after becoming market economies.

People have spent a lot of money on third-world poverty. According to Why Nations Fail, education and infrastructure aren't the answer. Developing nations must adopt free-market economic policies.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk is the world's richest man, but that’s not a good way to describe him. Elon Musk is the world's richest man, which is like calling Steve Jobs a turtleneck-wearer or Benjamin Franklin a printer.

Elon Musk does cool sci-fi stuff to help humanity avoid existential threats.

Oil will run out. We've delayed this by developing better extraction methods. We only have so much nonrenewable oil.

Our society is doomed if it depends on oil. Elon Musk invested heavily in Tesla and SolarCity to speed the shift to renewable energy.

Musk worries about AI: we'll build machines smarter than us. We won't be able to stop these machines if something goes wrong, just like cows can't fight humans. Neuralink: we need to be smarter to compete with AI when the time comes.

If Earth becomes uninhabitable, we need a backup plan. Asteroid or nuclear war could strike Earth at any moment. We may not have much time to react if it happens in a few days. We must build a new civilization while times are good and resources are plentiful.

Short-term problems dominate our politics, but long-term issues are more important. Long-term problems can cause mass casualties and homelessness. Musk demonstrates how to think long-term.

The main reason people are impressed by Elon Musk, and why Ashlee Vances' biography influenced me so much, is that he does impossible things.

Electric cars were once considered unprofitable, but Tesla has made them mainstream. SpaceX is the world's largest private space company.

People lack imagination and dismiss ununderstood ideas as impossible. Humanity is about pushing limits. Don't worry if your dreams seem impossible. Try it.

Thanks for reading.

Tim Denning

Tim Denning

1 year ago

I gave up climbing the corporate ladder once I realized how deeply unhappy everyone at the top was.

Restructuring and layoffs cause career reevaluation. Your career can benefit.

Photo by Humberto Chavez on Unsplash

Once you become institutionalized, the corporate ladder is all you know.

You're bubbled. Extremists term it the corporate Matrix. I'm not so severe because the business world brainwashed me, too.

This boosted my corporate career.

Until I hit bottom.

15 months later, I view my corporate life differently. You may wish to advance professionally. Read this before you do.

Your happiness in the workplace may be deceptive.

I've been fortunate to spend time with corporate aces.

Working for 2.5 years in banking social media gave me some of these experiences. Earlier in my career, I recorded interviews with business leaders.

These people have titles like Chief General Manager and Head Of. New titles brought life-changing salaries.

They seemed happy.

I’d pass them in the hallway and they’d smile or shake my hand. I dreamt of having their life.

The ominous pattern

Unfiltered talks with some of them revealed a different world.

They acted well. They were skilled at smiling and saying the correct things. All had the same dark pattern, though.

Something felt off.

I found my conversations with them were generally for their benefit. They hoped my online antics as a writer/coach would shed light on their dilemma.

They'd tell me they wanted more. When you're one position away from CEO, it's hard not to wonder if this next move will matter.

What really displeased corporate ladder chasers

Before ascending further, consider these.

Zero autonomy

As you rise in a company, your days get busier.

Many people and initiatives need supervision. Everyone expects you to know business details. Weak when you don't. A poor leader is fired during the next restructuring and left to pursue their corporate ambition.

Full calendars leave no time for reflection. You can't have a coffee with a friend or waste a day.

You’re always on call. It’s a roll call kinda life.

Unable to express oneself freely

My 8 years of LinkedIn writing helped me meet these leaders.

I didn't think they'd care. Mistake.

Corporate leaders envied me because they wanted to talk freely again without corporate comms or a PR firm directing them what to say.

They couldn't share their flaws or inspiring experiences.

They wanted to.

Every day they were muzzled eroded by their business dream.

Limited family time

Top leaders had families.

They've climbed the corporate ladder. Nothing excellent happens overnight.

Corporate dreamers rarely saw their families.

Late meetings, customer functions, expos, training, leadership days, team days, town halls, and product demos regularly occurred after work.

Or they had to travel interstate or internationally for work events. They used bags and motel showers.

Initially, they said business class flights and hotels were nice. They'd get bored. 5-star hotels become monotonous.

No hotel beats home.

One leader said he hadn't seen his daughter much. They used to Facetime, but now that he's been gone so long, she rarely wants to talk to him.

So they iPad-parented.

You're miserable without your family.

Held captive by other job titles

Going up the business ladder seems like a battle.

Leaders compete for business gains and corporate advancement.

I saw shocking filthy tricks. Leaders would lie to seem nice.

Captives included top officials.

A different section every week. If they ran technology, the Head of Sales would argue their CRM cost millions. Or an Operations chief would battle a product team over support requests.

After one conflict, another began.

Corporate echelons are antagonistic. Huge pay and bonuses guarantee bad behavior.

Overly centered on revenue

As you rise, revenue becomes more prevalent. Most days, you'd believe revenue was everything. Here’s the problem…

Numbers drain us.

Unless you're a closet math nerd, contemplating and talking about numbers drains your creativity.

Revenue will never substitute impact.

Incapable of taking risks

Corporate success requires taking fewer risks.

Risks can cause dismissal. Risks can interrupt business. Keep things moving so you may keep getting paid your enormous salary and bonus.

Restructuring or layoffs are inevitable. All corporate climbers experience it.

On this fateful day, a small few realize the game they’ve been trapped in and escape. Most return to play for a new company, but it takes time.

Addiction keeps them trapped. You know nothing else. The rest is strange.

You start to think “I’m getting old” or “it’s nearly retirement.” So you settle yet again for the trappings of the corporate ladder game to nowhere.

Should you climb the corporate ladder?

Let me end on a surprising note.

Young people should ascend the corporate ladder. It teaches you business skills and helps support your side gig and (potential) online business.

Don't get trapped, shackled, or muzzled.

Your ideas and creativity become stifled after too much gaming play.

Corporate success won't bring happiness.

Find fulfilling employment that matters. That's it.

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Bart Krawczyk

Bart Krawczyk

1 year ago

Understanding several Value Proposition kinds will help you create better goods.

Fixing problems isn't enough.

Numerous articles and how-to guides on value propositions focus on fixing consumer concerns.

Contrary to popular opinion, addressing customer pain rarely suffices. Win your market category too.

Graphic provided by the author.

Core Value Statement

Value proposition usually means a product's main value.

Its how your product solves client problems. The product's core.

Graphic provided by the author.

Answering these questions creates a relevant core value proposition:

  • What tasks is your customer trying to complete? (Jobs for clients)

  • How much discomfort do they feel while they perform this? (pains)

  • What would they like to see improved or changed? (gains)

After that, you create products and services that alleviate those pains and give value to clients.

Value Proposition by Category

Your product belongs to a market category and must follow its regulations, regardless of its value proposition.

Creating a new market category is challenging. Fitting into customers' product perceptions is usually better than trying to change them.

New product users simplify market categories. Products are labeled.

Your product will likely be associated with a collection of products people already use.

Example: IT experts will use your communication and management app.

If your target clients think it's an advanced mail software, they'll compare it to others and expect things like:

  • comprehensive calendar

  • spam detectors

  • adequate storage space

  • list of contacts

  • etc.

If your target users view your product as a task management app, things change. You can survive without a contact list, but not status management.

Graphic provided by the author.

Find out what your customers compare your product to and if it fits your value offer. If so, adapt your product plan to dominate this market. If not, try different value propositions and messaging to put the product in the right context.

Finished Value Proposition

A comprehensive value proposition is when your solution addresses user problems and wins its market category.

Graphic provided by the author.

Addressing simply the primary value proposition may produce a valuable and original product, but it may struggle to cross the chasm into the mainstream market. Meeting expectations is easier than changing views.

Without a unique value proposition, you will drown in the red sea of competition.

To conclude:

  1. Find out who your target consumer is and what their demands and problems are.

  2. To meet these needs, develop and test a primary value proposition.

  3. Speak with your most devoted customers. Recognize the alternatives they use to compare you against and the market segment they place you in.

  4. Recognize the requirements and expectations of the market category.

  5. To meet or surpass category standards, modify your goods.

Great products solve client problems and win their category.

Caleb Naysmith

Caleb Naysmith

1 year ago   Draft

A Myth: Decentralization

It’s simply not conceivable, or at least not credible.

Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash

One of the most touted selling points of Crypto has always been this grandiose idea of decentralization. Bitcoin first arose in 2009 after the housing crisis and subsequent crash that came with it. It aimed to solve this supposed issue of centralization. Nobody “owns” Bitcoin in theory, so the idea then goes that it won’t be subject to the same downfalls that led to the 2008 crash or similarly speculative events that led to the 2008 disaster. The issue is the banks, not the human nature associated with the greedy individuals running them.

Subsequent blockchains have attempted to fix many of the issues of Bitcoin by increasing capacity, decreasing the costs and processing times associated with Bitcoin, and expanding what can be done with their blockchains. Since nobody owns Bitcoin, it hasn’t really been able to be expanded on. You have people like Vitalk Buterin, however, that actively work on Ethereum though.

The leap from Bitcoin to Ethereum was a massive leap toward centralization, and the trend has only gotten worse. In fact, crypto has since become almost exclusively centralized in recent years.

Decentralization is only good in theory

It’s a good idea. In fact, it’s a wonderful idea. However, like other utopian societies, individuals misjudge human nature and greed. In a perfect world, decentralization would certainly be a wonderful idea because sure, people may function as their own banks, move payments immediately, remain anonymous, and so on. However, underneath this are a couple issues:

  • You can already send money instantaneously today.

  • They are not decentralized.

  • Decentralization is a bad idea.

  • Being your own bank is a stupid move.

Let’s break these down. Some are quite simple, but lets have a look.

Sending money right away

One thing with crypto is the idea that you can send payments instantly. This has pretty much been entirely solved in current times. You can transmit significant sums of money instantly for a nominal cost and it’s instantaneously cleared. Venmo was launched in 2009 and has since increased to prominence, and currently is on most people's phones. I can directly send ANY amount of money quickly from my bank to another person's Venmo account.

Comparing that with ETH and Bitcoin, Venmo wins all around. I can send money to someone for free instantly in dollars and the only fee paid is optional depending on when you want it.

Both Bitcoin and Ethereum are subject to demand. If the blockchains have a lot of people trying to process transactions fee’s go up, and the time that it takes to receive your crypto takes longer. When Ethereum gets bad, people have reported spending several thousand of dollars on just 1 transaction.

These transactions take place via “miners” bundling and confirming transactions, then recording them on the blockchain to confirm that the transaction did indeed happen. They charge fees to do this and are also paid in Bitcoin/ETH. When a transaction is confirmed, it's then sent to the other users wallet. This within itself is subject to lots of controversy because each transaction needs to be confirmed 6 times, this takes massive amounts of power, and most of the power is wasted because this is an adversarial system in which the person that mines the transaction gets paid, and everyone else is out of luck. Also, these could theoretically be subject to a “51% attack” in which anyone with over 51% of the mining hash rate could effectively control all of the transactions, and reverse transactions while keeping the BTC resulting in “double spending”.

There are tons of other issues with this, but essentially it means: They rely on these third parties to confirm the transactions. Without people confirming these transactions, Bitcoin stalls completely, and if anyone becomes too dominant they can effectively control bitcoin.

Not to mention, these transactions are in Bitcoin and ETH, not dollars. So, you need to convert them to dollars still, and that's several more transactions, and likely to take several days anyway as the centralized exchange needs to send you the money by traditional methods.

They are not distributed

That takes me to the following point. This isn’t decentralized, at all. Bitcoin is the closest it gets because Satoshi basically closed it to new upgrades, although its still subject to:

  • Whales

  • Miners

It’s vital to realize that these are often the same folks. While whales aren’t centralized entities typically, they can considerably effect the price and outcome of Bitcoin. If the largest wallets holding as much as 1 million BTC were to sell, it’d effectively collapse the price perhaps beyond repair. However, Bitcoin can and is pretty much controlled by the miners. Further, Bitcoin is more like an oligarchy than decentralized. It’s been effectively used to make the rich richer, and both the mining and price is impacted by the rich. The overwhelming minority of those actually using it are retail investors. The retail investors are basically never the ones generating money from it either.

As far as ETH and other cryptos go, there is realistically 0 case for them being decentralized. Vitalik could not only kill it but even walking away from it would likely lead to a significant decline. It has tons of issues right now that Vitalik has promised to fix with the eventual Ethereum 2.0., and stepping away from it wouldn’t help.

Most tokens as well are generally tied to some promise of future developments and creators. The same is true for most NFT projects. The reason 99% of crypto and NFT projects fail is because they failed to deliver on various promises or bad dev teams, or poor innovation, or the founders just straight up stole from everyone. I could go more in-depth than this but go find any project and if there is a dev team, company, or person tied to it then it's likely, not decentralized. The success of that project is directly tied to the dev team, and if they wanted to, most hold large wallets and could sell it all off effectively killing the project. Not to mention, any crypto project that doesn’t have a locked contract can 100% be completely rugged and they can run off with all of the money.

Decentralization is undesirable

Even if they were decentralized then it would not be a good thing. The graphic above indicates this is effectively a rich person’s unregulated playground… so it’s exactly like… the very issue it tried to solve?

Not to mention, it’s supposedly meant to prevent things like 2008, but is regularly subjected to 50–90% drawdowns in value? Back when Bitcoin was only known in niche parts of the dark web and illegal markets, it would regularly drop as much as 90% and has a long history of massive drawdowns.

The majority of crypto is blatant scams, and ALL of crypto is a “zero” or “negative” sum game in that it relies on the next person buying for people to make money. This is not a good thing. This has yet to solve any issues around what caused the 2008 crisis. Rather, it seemingly amplified all of the bad parts of it actually. Crypto is the ultimate speculative asset and realistically has no valuation metric. People invest in Apple because it has revenue and cash on hand. People invest in crypto purely for speculation. The lack of regulation or accountability means this is amplified to the most extreme degree where anything goes: Fraud, deception, pump and dumps, scams, etc. This results in a pure speculative madhouse where, unsurprisingly, only the rich win. Not only that but the deck is massively stacked in against the everyday investor because you can’t do a pump and dump without money.

At the heart of all of this is still the same issues: greed and human nature. However, in setting out to solve the issues that allowed 2008 to happen, they made something that literally took all of the bad parts of 2008 and then amplified it. 2008, similarly, was due to greed and human nature but was allowed to happen due to lack of oversite, rich people's excessive leverage over the poor, and excessive speculation. Crypto trades SOLELY on human emotion, has 0 oversite, is pure speculation, and the power dynamic is just as bad or worse.

Why should each individual be their own bank?

This is the last one, and it's short and basic. Why do we want people functioning as their own bank? Everything we do relies on another person. Without the internet, and internet providers there is no crypto. We don’t have people functioning as their own home and car manufacturers or internet service providers. Sure, you might specialize in some of these things, but masquerading as your own bank is a horrible idea.

I am not in the banking industry so I don’t know all the issues with banking. Most people aren’t in banking or crypto, so they don’t know the ENDLESS scams associated with it, and they are bound to lose their money eventually.

If you appreciate this article and want to read more from me and authors like me, without any limits, consider buying me a coffee: buymeacoffee.com/calebnaysmith

Nick Nolan

Nick Nolan

1 year ago

How to Make $1,037,100 in 4 Months with This Weird Website

One great idea might make you rich.

Author Screenshot | Source

Imagine having a million-dollar concept in college that made a million.

2005 precisely.

Alex Tew, 21, from Wiltshire, England, created The Million Dollar Homepage in August 2005. The idea is basic but beyond the ordinary, which is why it worked.

Alex built a 1,000,000-pixel webpage.

Each website pixel would cost $1. Since pixels are hard to discern, he sold 10x10 squares for $100.

He'd make a million if all the spots sold.

He may have thought about NFTs and the Metaverse decades ago.

MillionDollarHomepage.com launched in 2005.

Businesses and individuals could buy a website spot and add their logo, website link, and tagline. You bought an ad, but nobody visited the website.

If a few thousand people visited the website, it could drive traffic to your business's site.

Alex promised buyers the website would be up for 5 years, so it was a safe bet.

Alex's friend with a music website was the first to buy real estate on the site. Within two weeks, 4,700 pixels sold, and a tracker showed how many were sold and available.

Screenshot from: Source

Word-of-mouth marketing got the press's attention quickly. Everyone loves reading about new ways to make money, so it was a good news story.

By September, over 250,000 pixels had been sold, according to a BBC press release.

Alex and the website gained more media and public attention, so traffic skyrocketed. Two months after the site launched, 1,400 customers bought more than 500,000 pixels.

Businesses bought online real estate. They heard thousands visited the site, so they could get attention cheaply.

Unless you bought a few squares, I'm not sure how many people would notice your ad or click your link.

A sponge website owner emailed Alex:

“We tried Million Dollar Homepage because we were impressed at the level of ingenuity and the sheer simplicity of it. If we’re honest, we didn’t expect too much from it. Now, as a direct result, we are pitching for £18,000 GBP worth of new clients and have seen our site traffic increase over a hundred-fold. We’re even going to have to upgrade our hosting facility! It’s been exceptional.”

Web.archive.org screenshots show how the website changed.

GIF from web.archive.org

“The idea is to create something of an internet time capsule: a homepage that is unique and permanent. Everything on the internet keeps changing so fast, it will be nice to have something that stays solid and permanent for many years. You can be a part of that!” Alex Tew, 2005

The last 1,000 pixels were sold on January 1, 2006.

By then, the homepage had hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors. Alex put the last space on eBay due to high demand.

MillionDollarWeightLoss.com won the last pixels for $38,100, bringing revenue to $1,037,100 in 4 months.

Made in Canva

Many have tried to replicate this website's success. They've all failed.

This idea only worked because no one had seen this website before.

This winner won't be repeated, but it should inspire you to try something new and creative.

Still popular, you could buy one of the linked domains. You can't buy pixels, but you can buy an expired domain.

One link I clicked costs $59,888.

Screenshot from DomainMarket.com

You'd own a piece of internet history if you spent that much on a domain.

Someone bought stablesgallery.co.uk after the domain expired and restored it.

Many of the linked websites have expired or been redirected, but some still link to the original. I couldn't find sponge's website. Can you?

This is a great example of how a simple creative idea can go viral.

Comment on this amazing success story.