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Nikhil Vemu

Nikhil Vemu

1 year ago

7 Mac Tips You Never Knew You Needed

More on Technology

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

Duane Michael

Duane Michael

1 year ago

Don't Fall Behind: 7 Subjects You Must Understand to Keep Up with Technology

As technology develops, you should stay up to date

Photo by Martin Shreder on Unsplash

You don't want to fall behind, do you? This post covers 7 tech-related things you should know.

You'll learn how to operate your computer (and other electronic devices) like an expert and how to leverage the Internet and social media to create your brand and business. Read on to stay relevant in today's tech-driven environment.

You must learn how to code.

Future-language is coding. It's how we and computers talk. Learn coding to keep ahead.

Try Codecademy or Code School. There are also numerous free courses like Coursera or Udacity, but they take a long time and aren't necessarily self-paced, so it can be challenging to find the time.

Artificial intelligence (AI) will transform all jobs.

Our skillsets must adapt with technology. AI is a must-know topic. AI will revolutionize every employment due to advances in machine learning.

Here are seven AI subjects you must know.

What is artificial intelligence?

How does artificial intelligence work?

What are some examples of AI applications?

How can I use artificial intelligence in my day-to-day life?

What jobs have a high chance of being replaced by artificial intelligence and how can I prepare for this?

Can machines replace humans? What would happen if they did?

How can we manage the social impact of artificial intelligence and automation on human society and individual people?

Blockchain Is Changing the Future

Few of us know how Bitcoin and blockchain technology function or what impact they will have on our lives. Blockchain offers safe, transparent, tamper-proof transactions.

It may alter everything from business to voting. Seven must-know blockchain topics:

  1. Describe blockchain.

  2. How does the blockchain function?

  3. What advantages does blockchain offer?

  4. What possible uses for blockchain are there?

  5. What are the dangers of blockchain technology?

  6. What are my options for using blockchain technology?

  7. What does blockchain technology's future hold?

Cryptocurrencies are here to stay

Cryptocurrencies employ cryptography to safeguard transactions and manage unit creation. Decentralized cryptocurrencies aren't controlled by governments or financial institutions.

Photo by Kanchanara on Unsplash

Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency, was launched in 2009. Cryptocurrencies can be bought and sold on decentralized exchanges.

Bitcoin is here to stay.

Bitcoin isn't a fad, despite what some say. Since 2009, Bitcoin's popularity has grown. Bitcoin is worth learning about now. Since 2009, Bitcoin has developed steadily.

With other cryptocurrencies emerging, many people are wondering if Bitcoin still has a bright future. Curiosity is natural. Millions of individuals hope their Bitcoin investments will pay off since they're popular now.

Thankfully, they will. Bitcoin is still running strong a decade after its birth. Here's why.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is no longer just a trendy term.

IoT consists of internet-connected physical items. These items can share data. IoT is young but developing fast.

20 billion IoT-connected devices are expected by 2023. So much data! All IT teams must keep up with quickly expanding technologies. Four must-know IoT topics:

  1. Recognize the fundamentals: Priorities first! Before diving into more technical lingo, you should have a fundamental understanding of what an IoT system is. Before exploring how something works, it's crucial to understand what you're working with.

  2. Recognize Security: Security does not stand still, even as technology advances at a dizzying pace. As IT professionals, it is our duty to be aware of the ways in which our systems are susceptible to intrusion and to ensure that the necessary precautions are taken to protect them.

  3. Be able to discuss cloud computing: The cloud has seen various modifications over the past several years once again. The use of cloud computing is also continually changing. Knowing what kind of cloud computing your firm or clients utilize will enable you to make the appropriate recommendations.

  4. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)/Mobile Device Management (MDM) is a topic worth discussing (MDM). The ability of BYOD and MDM rules to lower expenses while boosting productivity among employees who use these services responsibly is a major factor in their continued growth in popularity.

IoT Security is key

As more gadgets connect, they must be secure. IoT security includes securing devices and encrypting data. Seven IoT security must-knows:

  1. fundamental security ideas

  2. Authorization and identification

  3. Cryptography

  4. electronic certificates

  5. electronic signatures

  6. Private key encryption

  7. Public key encryption

Final Thoughts

With so much going on in the globe, it can be hard to stay up with technology. We've produced a list of seven tech must-knows.

Nikhil Vemu

Nikhil Vemu

1 year ago

7 Mac Apps That Are Exorbitantly Priced But Totally Worth It

Photo by Jack Carter on Unsplash

Wish you more bang for your buck

By ‘Cost a Bomb’ I didn’t mean to exaggerate. It’s an idiom that means ‘To be very expensive’. In fact, no app on the planet costs a bomb lol.

So, to the point.

Chronicle

(Freemium. For Pro, $24.99 | Available on Setapp)

Credit: LittleFin LLC

You probably have trouble keeping track of dozens of bills and subscriptions each month.

Try Chronicle.

Easy-to-use app

  • Add payment due dates and receive reminders,

  • Save payment documentation,

  • Analyze your spending by season, year, and month.

  • Observe expenditure trends and create new budgets.

Best of all, Chronicle features an integrated browser for fast payment and logging.

iOS and macOS sync.

SoundSource

($39 for lifetime)

Background Music, a free macOS program, was featured in #6 of this post last month.

It controls per-app volume, stereo balance, and audio over its max level.

Credit: Rogue Amoeba Software Inc.

Background Music is fully supported. Additionally,

  • Connect various speakers to various apps (Wow! ),

  • change the audio sample rate for each app,

  • To facilitate access, add a floating SoundSource window.

  • Use its blocks in Shortcuts app,

  • On the menu bar, include meters for output/input devices and running programs.

PixelSnap

($39 for lifetime | Available on Setapp)

Credit: MTW

This software is heaven for UI designers.

It aids you.

  • quickly calculate screen distances (in pixels) ,

Credit: MTW
  • Drag an area around an object to determine its borders,

Credit: MTW
  • Measure the distances between the additional guides,

Credit: MTW
  • screenshots should be pixel-perfect.

What’s more.

You can

  • Adapt your tolerance for items with poor contrast and shadows.

  • Use your Touch Bar to perform important tasks, if you have one.

Mate Translation

($3.99 a month / $29.99 a year | Available on Setapp)

Credit: Gikken

Mate Translate resembles a roided-up version of BarTranslate, which I wrote about in #1 of this piece last month.

If you translate often, utilize Mate Translate on macOS and Safari.

I'm really vocal about it.

It stays on the menu bar, and is accessible with a click or ⌥+shift+T hotkey.

It lets you

  • Translate in 103 different languages,

  • To translate text, double-click or right-click on it.

  • Totally translate websites. Additionally, Netflix subtitles,

  • Listen to their pronunciation to see how close it is to human.

iPhone and Mac sync Mate-ing history.

Swish

($16 for lifetime | Available on Setapp)

Swish is awesome!

Swipe, squeeze, tap, and hold movements organize chaotic desktop windows. Swish operates with mouse and trackpad.

Some gestures:

• Pinch Once: Close an app
• Pinch Twice: Quit an app
• Swipe down once: Minimise an app
• Pinch Out: Enter fullscreen mode
• Tap, Hold, & Swipe: Arrange apps in grids
and many more...

Credit: Christian Renninger

After getting acquainted to the movements, your multitasking will improve.

Unite

($24.99 for lifetime | Available on Setapp)

It turns webapps into macOS apps. The end.

Unite's functionality is a million times better.

Credit: BZG Apps LLC & Binyamin Goldman
  • Provide extensive customization (incl. its icon, light and dark modes)

  • make menu bar applications,

  • Get badges for web notifications and automatically refresh websites,

  • Replace any dock icon in the window with it (Wow!) by selecting that portion of the window.

This will help know weather or stock prices easily. (Credit: BZG Apps LLC & Binyamin Goldman)
  • Use PiP (Picture-in-Picture) on video sites that support it.

  • Delete advertising,

  • Throughout macOS, use floating windows

and many more…

I feel $24.99 one-off for this tool is a great deal, considering all these features. What do you think?

https://www.bzgapps.com/unite

CleanShot X

(Basic: $29 one-off. Pro: $8/month | Available on Setapp)

Credit: MTW

CleanShot X can achieve things the macOS screenshot tool cannot. Complete screenshot toolkit.

CleanShot X, like Pixel Snap 2 (#3), is fantastic.

Allows

  • Scroll to capture a long page,

  • screen recording,

    With webcam on,
    • With mic and system audio,
    • Highlighting mouse clicks and hotkeys.

  • Maintain floating screenshots for reference

  • While capturing, conceal desktop icons and notifications.

  • Recognize text in screenshots (OCR),

  • You may upload and share screenshots using the built-in cloud.

These are just 6 in 50+ features, and you’re already saying Wow!

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Sam Hickmann

Sam Hickmann

1 year ago

Token taxonomy: Utility vs Security vs NFT

Let's examine the differences between the three main token types and their functions.

As Ethereum grew, the term "token" became a catch-all term for all assets built on the Ethereum blockchain. However, different tokens were grouped based on their applications and features, causing some confusion. Let's examine the modification of three main token types: security, utility, and non-fungible.

Utility tokens

They provide a specific utility benefit (or a number of such). A utility token is similar to a casino chip, a table game ticket, or a voucher. Depending on the terms of issuing, they can be earned and used in various ways. A utility token is a type of token that represents a tool or mechanism required to use the application in question. Like a service, a utility token's price is determined by supply and demand. Tokens can also be used as a bonus or reward mechanism in decentralized systems: for example, if you like someone's work, give them an upvote and they get a certain number of tokens. This is a way for authors or creators to earn money indirectly.

The most common way to use a utility token is to pay with them instead of cash for discounted goods or services.

Utility tokens are the most widely used by blockchain companies. Most cryptocurrency exchanges accept fees in native utility tokens.

Utility tokens can also be used as a reward. Companies tokenize their loyalty programs so that points can be bought and sold on blockchain exchanges. These tokens are widely used in decentralized companies as a bonus system. You can use utility tokens to reward creators for their contributions to a platform, for example. It also allows members to exchange tokens for specific bonuses and rewards on your site.

Unlike security tokens, which are subject to legal restrictions, utility tokens can be freely traded.

Security tokens

Security tokens are essentially traditional securities like shares, bonds, and investment fund units in a crypto token form.

The key distinction is that security tokens are typically issued by private firms (rather than public companies) that are not listed on stock exchanges and in which you can not invest right now. Banks and large venture funds used to be the only sources of funding. A person could only invest in private firms if they had millions of dollars in their bank account. Privately issued security tokens outperform traditional public stocks in terms of yield. Private markets grew 50% faster than public markets over the last decade, according to McKinsey Private Equity Research.

A security token is a crypto token whose value is derived from an external asset or company. So it is governed as security (read about the Howey test further in this article). That is, an ownership token derives its value from the company's valuation, assets on the balance sheet, or dividends paid to token holders.

Why are Security Tokens Important?

Cryptocurrency is a lucrative investment. Choosing from thousands of crypto assets can mean the difference between millionaire and bankrupt. Without security tokens, crypto investing becomes riskier and generating long-term profits becomes difficult. These tokens have lower risk than other cryptocurrencies because they are backed by real assets or business cash flows. So having them helps to diversify a portfolio and preserve the return on investment in riskier assets.

Security tokens open up new funding avenues for businesses. As a result, investors can invest in high-profit businesses that are not listed on the stock exchange.

The distinction between utility and security tokens isn't as clear as it seems. However, this increases the risk for token issuers, especially in the USA. The Howey test is the main pillar regulating judicial precedent in this area.

What is a Howey Test?

An "investment contract" is determined by the Howey Test, a lawsuit settled by the US Supreme Court. If it does, it's a security and must be disclosed and registered under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

If the SEC decides that a cryptocurrency token is a security, a slew of issues arise. In practice, this ensures that the SEC will decide when a token can be offered to US investors and if the project is required to file a registration statement with the SEC.

Due to the Howey test's extensive wording, most utility tokens will be classified as securities, even if not intended to be. Because of these restrictions, most ICOs are not available to US investors. When asked about ICOs in 2018, then-SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said they were securities. The given statement adds to the risk. If a company issues utility tokens without registering them as securities, the regulator may impose huge fines or even criminal charges.

What other documents regulate tokens?

Securities Act (1993) or Securities Exchange Act (1934) in the USA; MiFID directive and Prospectus Regulation in the EU. These laws require registering the placement of security tokens, limiting their transfer, but protecting investors.

Utility tokens have much less regulation. The Howey test determines whether a given utility token is a security. Tokens recognized as securities are now regulated as such. Having a legal opinion that your token isn't makes the implementation process much easier. Most countries don't have strict regulations regarding utility tokens except KYC (Know Your Client) and AML (Anti Money-Laundering).

As cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies evolve, more countries create UT regulations. If your company is based in the US, be aware of the Howey test and the Bank Secrecy Act. It classifies UTs and their issuance as money transmission services in most states, necessitating a license and strict regulations. Due to high regulatory demands, UT issuers try to avoid the United States as a whole. A new law separating utility tokens from bank secrecy act will be introduced in the near future, giving hope to American issuers.

The rest of the world has much simpler rules requiring issuers to create basic investor disclosures. For example, the latest European legislation (MiCA) allows businesses to issue utility tokens without regulator approval. They must also prepare a paper with all the necessary information for the investors.

A payment token is a utility token that is used to make a payment. They may be subject to electronic money laws. 

Because non-fungible tokens are a new instrument, there is no regulating paper yet. However, if the NFT is fractionalized, the smaller tokens acquired may be seen as securities.

NFT Tokens

Collectible tokens are also known as non-fungible tokens. Their distinctive feature is that they denote unique items such as artwork, merch, or ranks. Unlike utility tokens, which are fungible, meaning that two of the same tokens are identical, NFTs represent a unit of possession that is strictly one of a kind. In a way, NFTs are like baseball cards, each one unique and valuable.

As for today, the most recognizable NFT function is to preserve the fact of possession. Owning an NFT with a particular gif, meme, or sketch does not transfer the intellectual right to the possessor, but is analogous to owning an original painting signed by the author.

Collectible tokens can also be used as digital souvenirs, so to say. Businesses can improve their brand image by issuing their own branded NFTs, which represent ranks or achievements within the corporate ecosystem. Gamifying business ecosystems would allow people to connect with a brand and feel part of a community. 

Which type of tokens is right for you as a business to raise capital?

For most businesses, it's best to raise capital with security tokens by selling existing shares to global investors. Utility tokens aren't meant to increase in value over time, so leave them for gamification and community engagement. In a blockchain-based business, however, a utility token is often the lifeblood of the operation, and its appreciation potential is directly linked to the company's growth. You can issue multiple tokens at once, rather than just one type. It exposes you to various investors and maximizes the use of digital assets.

Which tokens should I buy?

There are no universally best tokens. Their volatility, industry, and risk-reward profile vary. This means evaluating tokens in relation to your overall portfolio and personal preferences: what industries do you understand best, what excites you, how do you approach taxes, and what is your planning horizon? To build a balanced portfolio, you need to know these factors.

Conclusion

The three most common types of tokens today are security, utility, and NFT. Security tokens represent stocks, mutual funds, and bonds. Utility tokens can be perceived as an inside-product "currency" or "ignition key" that grants you access to goods and services or empowers with other perks. NFTs are unique collectible units that identify you as the owner of something.

Tom Connor

Tom Connor

1 year ago

12 mental models that I use frequently

https://tomconnor.me/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/10x-Engineer-Mental-Models.pdf

https://tomconnor.me/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/10x-Engineer-Mental-Models.pdf

I keep returning to the same mental models and tricks after writing and reading about a wide range of topics.

Top 12 mental models

12.

Survival bias - We perceive the surviving population as remarkable, yet they may have gotten there through sheer grit.

Survivorship bias affects us in many situations. Our retirement fund; the unicorn business; the winning team. We often study and imitate the last one standing. This can lead to genuine insights and performance improvements, but it can also lead us astray because the leader may just be lucky.

Bullet hole density of returning planes — A strike anywhere else was fatal…

11.

The Helsinki Bus Theory - How to persevere Buss up!

Always display new work, and always be compared to others. Why? Easy. Keep riding. Stay on the fucking bus.

10.

Until it sticks… Turning up every day… — Artists teach engineers plenty. Quality work over a career comes from showing up every day and starting.

Austin Kleon

9.

WRAP decision making process (Heath Brothers)

Decision-making WRAP Model:

W — Widen your Options

R — Reality test your assumptions

A — Attain Distance

P — Prepare to be wrong or Right

8.

Systems for knowledge worker excellence - Todd Henry and Cal Newport write about techniques knowledge workers can employ to build a creative rhythm and do better work.

Todd Henry's FRESH framework:

  1. Focus: Keep the start in mind as you wrap up.

  2. Relationships: close a loop that's open.

  3. Pruning is an energy.

  4. Set aside time to be inspired by stimuli.

  5. Hours: Spend time thinking.

7.

Black Box Thinking…..

BBT is learning from mistakes. Science has transformed the world because it constantly updates its theories in light of failures. Complexity guarantees failure. Do we learn or self-justify?

6.

The OODA Loop - Competitive advantage

OODA LOOP

O: Observe: collect the data. Figure out exactly where you are, what’s happening.

O: Orient: analyze/synthesize the data to form an accurate picture.

D: Decide: select an action from possible options

A: Action: execute the action, and return to step (1)

Boyd's approach indicates that speed and agility are about information processing, not physical reactions. They form feedback loops. More OODA loops improve speed.

5.

Know your Domain 

Leaders who try to impose order in a complex situation fail; those who set the stage, step back, and allow patterns to develop win.

https://vimeo.com/640941172?embedded=true&source=vimeo_logo&owner=11999906

4.

The Three Critical Gaps

  • Information Gap - The discrepancy between what we know and what we would like to know

  • Gap in Alignment - What individuals actually do as opposed to what we wish them to do

  • Effects Gap - the discrepancy between our expectations and the results of our actions

Adapted from Stephen Bungay

3.

Theory of Constraints — The Goal  - To maximize system production, maximize bottleneck throughput.

  • Goldratt creates a five-step procedure:

  1. Determine the restriction

  2. Improve the restriction.

  3. Everything else should be based on the limitation.

  4. Increase the restriction

  5. Go back to step 1 Avoid letting inertia become a limitation.

Any non-constraint improvement is an illusion.

2.

Serendipity and the Adjacent Possible - Why do several amazing ideas emerge at once? How can you foster serendipity in your work?

You need specialized abilities to reach to the edge of possibilities, where you can pursue exciting tasks that will change the world. Few people do it since it takes a lot of hard work. You'll stand out if you do.

Most people simply lack the comfort with discomfort required to tackle really hard things. At some point, in other words, there’s no way getting around the necessity to clear your calendar, shut down your phone, and spend several hard days trying to make sense of the damn proof.

1.

Boundaries of failure - Rasmussen's accident model.

Rasmussen’s System Model

Rasmussen modeled this. It has economic, workload, and performance boundaries.

The economic boundary is a company's profit zone. If the lights are on, you're within the economic boundaries, but there's pressure to cut costs and do more.

Performance limit reflects system capacity. Taking shortcuts is a human desire to minimize work. This is often necessary to survive because there's always more labor.

Both push operating points toward acceptable performance. Personal or process safety, or equipment performance.

If you exceed acceptable performance, you'll push back, typically forcefully.

Sam Hickmann

Sam Hickmann

1 year ago

What is this Fed interest rate everybody is talking about that makes or breaks the stock market?

The Federal Funds Rate (FFR) is the target interest rate set by the Federal Reserve System (Fed)'s policy-making body (FOMC). This target is the rate at which the Fed suggests commercial banks borrow and lend their excess reserves overnight to each other.

The FOMC meets 8 times a year to set the target FFR. This is supposed to promote economic growth. The overnight lending market sets the actual rate based on commercial banks' short-term reserves. If the market strays too far, the Fed intervenes.

Banks must keep a certain percentage of their deposits in a Federal Reserve account. A bank's reserve requirement is a percentage of its total deposits. End-of-day bank account balances averaged over two-week reserve maintenance periods are used to determine reserve requirements.

If a bank expects to have end-of-day balances above what's needed, it can lend the excess to another institution.

The FOMC adjusts interest rates based on economic indicators that show inflation, recession, or other issues that affect economic growth. Core inflation and durable goods orders are indicators.

In response to economic conditions, the FFR target has changed over time. In the early 1980s, inflation pushed it to 20%. During the Great Recession of 2007-2009, the rate was slashed to 0.15 percent to encourage growth.

Inflation picked up in May 2022 despite earlier rate hikes, prompting today's 0.75 percent point increase. The largest increase since 1994. It might rise to around 3.375% this year and 3.1% by the end of 2024.