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Amelia Winger-Bearskin

Amelia Winger-Bearskin

3 months ago

Reasons Why AI-Generated Images Remind Me of Nightmares

More on Technology

Ben "The Hosk" Hosking

Ben "The Hosk" Hosking

1 month ago

The Yellow Cat Test Is Typically Failed by Software Developers.

Believe what you see, what people say

Photo by Артем from Pexels

It’s sad that we never get trained to leave assumptions behind. - Sebastian Thrun

Many problems in software development are not because of code but because developers create the wrong software. This isn't rare because software is emergent and most individuals only realize what they want after it's built.

Inquisitive developers who pass the yellow cat test can improve the process.

Carpenters measure twice and cut the wood once. Developers are rarely so careful.

The Yellow Cat Test

Game of Thrones made dragons cool again, so I am reading The Game of Thrones book.

The yellow cat exam is from Syrio Forel, Arya Stark's fencing instructor.

Syrio tells Arya he'll strike left when fencing. He hits her after she dodges left. Arya says “you lied”. Syrio says his words lied, but his eyes and arm told the truth.

Arya learns how Syrio became Bravos' first sword.

“On the day I am speaking of, the first sword was newly dead, and the Sealord sent for me. Many bravos had come to him, and as many had been sent away, none could say why. When I came into his presence, he was seated, and in his lap was a fat yellow cat. He told me that one of his captains had brought the beast to him, from an island beyond the sunrise. ‘Have you ever seen her like?’ he asked of me.

“And to him I said, ‘Each night in the alleys of Braavos I see a thousand like him,’ and the Sealord laughed, and that day I was named the first sword.”

Arya screwed up her face. “I don’t understand.”

Syrio clicked his teeth together. “The cat was an ordinary cat, no more. The others expected a fabulous beast, so that is what they saw. How large it was, they said. It was no larger than any other cat, only fat from indolence, for the Sealord fed it from his own table. What curious small ears, they said. Its ears had been chewed away in kitten fights. And it was plainly a tomcat, yet the Sealord said ‘her,’ and that is what the others saw. Are you hearing?” Reddit discussion.

Development teams should not believe what they are told.

We created an appointment booking system. We thought it was an appointment-booking system. Later, we realized the software's purpose was to book the right people for appointments and discourage the unneeded ones.

The first 3 months of the project had half-correct requirements and software understanding.

Open your eyes

“Open your eyes is all that is needed. The heart lies and the head plays tricks with us, but the eyes see true. Look with your eyes, hear with your ears. Taste with your mouth. Smell with your nose. Feel with your skin. Then comes the thinking afterwards, and in that way, knowing the truth” Syrio Ferel

We must see what exists, not what individuals tell the development team or how developers think the software should work. Initial criteria cover 50/70% and change.

Developers build assumptions problems by assuming how software should work. Developers must quickly explain assumptions.

When a development team's assumptions are inaccurate, they must alter the code, DevOps, documentation, and tests.

It’s always faster and easier to fix requirements before code is written.

First-draft requirements can be based on old software. Development teams must grasp corporate goals and consider needs from many angles.

Testers help rethink requirements. They look at how software requirements shouldn't operate.

Technical features and benefits might misdirect software projects.

The initiatives that focused on technological possibilities developed hard-to-use software that needed extensive rewriting following user testing.

Software development

High-level criteria are different from detailed ones.

  • The interpretation of words determines their meaning.

  • Presentations are lofty, upbeat, and prejudiced.

  • People's perceptions may be unclear, incorrect, or just based on one perspective (half the story)

  • Developers can be misled by requirements, circumstances, people, plans, diagrams, designs, documentation, and many other things.

Developers receive misinformation, misunderstandings, and wrong assumptions. The development team must avoid building software with erroneous specifications.

Once code and software are written, the development team changes and fixes them.

Developers create software with incomplete information, they need to fill in the blanks to create the complete picture.

Conclusion

Yellow cats are often inaccurate when communicating requirements.

Before writing code, clarify requirements, assumptions, etc.

Everyone will pressure the development team to generate code rapidly, but this will slow down development.

Code changes are harder than requirements.

VIP Graphics

VIP Graphics

3 months ago

Leaked pitch deck for Metas' new influencer-focused live-streaming service

As part of Meta's endeavor to establish an interactive live-streaming platform, the company is testing with influencers.

The NPE (new product experimentation team) has been testing Super since late 2020.

Super by Meta leaked pitch deck: Facebook’s new livestreaming platform for influencers & sponsors

Bloomberg defined Super as a Cameo-inspired FaceTime-like gadget in 2020. The tool has evolved into a Twitch-like live streaming application.

Less than 100 creators have utilized Super: Creators can request access on Meta's website. Super isn't an Instagram, Facebook, or Meta extension.

“It’s a standalone project,” the spokesperson said about Super. “Right now, it’s web only. They have been testing it very quietly for about two years. The end goal [of NPE projects] is ultimately creating the next standalone project that could be part of the Meta family of products.” The spokesperson said the outreach this week was part of a drive to get more creators to test Super.

A 2021 pitch deck from Super reveals the inner workings of Meta.

The deck gathered feedback on possible sponsorship models, with mockups of brand deals & features. Meta reportedly paid creators $200 to $3,000 to test Super for 30 minutes.

Meta's pitch deck for Super live streaming was leaked.

What were the slides in the pitch deck for Metas Super?

Embed not supported: see full deck & article here →

View examples of Meta's pitch deck for Super:

Product Slides, first

Super by Meta leaked pitch deck — Product Slide: Facebook’s new livestreaming platform for influencers & sponsors

The pitch deck begins with Super's mission:

Super is a Facebook-incubated platform which helps content creators connect with their fans digitally, and for super fans to meet and support their favorite creators. In the spirit of Late Night talk shows, we feature creators (“Superstars”), who are guests at a live, hosted conversation moderated by a Host.

This slide (and most of the deck) is text-heavy, with few icons, bullets, and illustrations to break up the content. Super's online app status (which requires no download or installation) might be used as a callout (rather than paragraph-form).

Super by Meta leaked pitch deck — Product Slide: Facebook’s new livestreaming platform for influencers & sponsors

Meta's Super platform focuses on brand sponsorships and native placements, as shown in the slide above.

One of our theses is the idea that creators should benefit monetarily from their Super experiences, and we believe that offering a menu of different monetization strategies will enable the right experience for each creator. Our current focus is exploring sponsorship opportunities for creators, to better understand what types of sponsor placements will facilitate the best experience for all Super customers (viewers, creators, and advertisers).

Colorful mockups help bring Metas vision for Super to life.

2. Slide Features

Super's pitch deck focuses on the platform's features. The deck covers pre-show, pre-roll, and post-event for a Sponsored Experience.

  • Pre-show: active 30 minutes before the show's start

  • Pre-roll: Play a 15-minute commercial for the sponsor before the event (auto-plays once)

  • Meet and Greet: This event can have a branding, such as Meet & Greet presented by [Snickers]

  • Super Selfies: Makers and followers get a digital souvenir to post on social media.

  • Post-Event: Possibility to draw viewers' attention to sponsored content/links during the after-show

Almost every screen displays the Sponsor logo, link, and/or branded background. Viewers can watch sponsor video while waiting for the event to start.

Slide 3: Business Model

Meta's presentation for Super is incomplete without numbers. Super's first slide outlines the creator, sponsor, and Super's obligations. Super does not charge creators any fees or commissions on sponsorship earnings.

Super by Meta leaked pitch deck — Pricing Slide: Facebook’s new livestreaming platform for influencers & sponsors

How to make a great pitch deck

We hope you can use the Super pitch deck to improve your business. Bestpitchdeck.com/super-meta is a bookmarkable link.

You can also use one of our expert-designed templates to generate a pitch deck.

Our team has helped close $100M+ in agreements and funding for premier companies and VC firms. Use our presentation templates, one-pagers, or financial models to launch your pitch.

Every pitch must be audience-specific. Our team has prepared pitch decks for various sectors and fundraising phases.

Software Pitch Deck & SaaS Investor Presentation Template by VIP.graphics

Pitch Deck Software VIP.graphics produced a popular SaaS & Software Pitch Deck based on decks that closed millions in transactions & investments for orgs of all sizes, from high-growth startups to Fortune 100 enterprises. This easy-to-customize PowerPoint template includes ready-made features and key slides for your software firm.

Accelerator Pitch Deck The Accelerator Pitch Deck template is for early-stage founders seeking funding from pitch contests, accelerators, incubators, angels, or VC companies. Winning a pitch contest or getting into a top accelerator demands a strategic investor pitch.

Pitch Deck Template Series Startup and founder pitch deck template: Workable, smart slides. This pitch deck template is for companies, entrepreneurs, and founders raising seed or Series A finance.

M&A Pitch Deck Perfect Pitch Deck is a template for later-stage enterprises engaging more sophisticated conversations like M&A, late-stage investment (Series C+), or partnerships & funding. Our team prepared this presentation to help creators confidently pitch to investment banks, PE firms, and hedge funds (and vice versa).

Browse our growing variety of industry-specific pitch decks.

Shalitha Suranga

Shalitha Suranga

1 month ago

The Top 5 Mathematical Concepts Every Programmer Needs to Know

Using math to write efficient code in any language

Photo by Emile Perron on Unsplash, edited with Canva

Programmers design, build, test, and maintain software. Employ cases and personal preferences determine the programming languages we use throughout development. Mobile app developers use JavaScript or Dart. Some programmers design performance-first software in C/C++.

A generic source code includes language-specific grammar, pre-implemented function calls, mathematical operators, and control statements. Some mathematical principles assist us enhance our programming and problem-solving skills.

We all use basic mathematical concepts like formulas and relational operators (aka comparison operators) in programming in our daily lives. Beyond these mathematical syntaxes, we'll see discrete math topics. This narrative explains key math topics programmers must know. Master these ideas to produce clean and efficient software code.

Expressions in mathematics and built-in mathematical functions

A source code can only contain a mathematical algorithm or prebuilt API functions. We develop source code between these two ends. If you create code to fetch JSON data from a RESTful service, you'll invoke an HTTP client and won't conduct any math. If you write a function to compute the circle's area, you conduct the math there.

When your source code gets more mathematical, you'll need to use mathematical functions. Every programming language has a math module and syntactical operators. Good programmers always consider code readability, so we should learn to write readable mathematical expressions.

Linux utilizes clear math expressions.

A mathematical expression/formula in the Linux codebase, a screenshot by the author

Inbuilt max and min functions can minimize verbose if statements.

Reducing a verbose nested-if with the min function in Neutralinojs, a screenshot by the author

How can we compute the number of pages needed to display known data? In such instances, the ceil function is often utilized.

import math as m
results = 102
items_per_page = 10 
pages = m.ceil(results / items_per_page)
print(pages)

Learn to write clear, concise math expressions.

Combinatorics in Algorithm Design

Combinatorics theory counts, selects, and arranges numbers or objects. First, consider these programming-related questions. Four-digit PIN security? what options exist? What if the PIN has a prefix? How to locate all decimal number pairs?

Combinatorics questions. Software engineering jobs often require counting items. Combinatorics counts elements without counting them one by one or through other verbose approaches, therefore it enables us to offer minimum and efficient solutions to real-world situations. Combinatorics helps us make reliable decision tests without missing edge cases. Write a program to see if three inputs form a triangle. This is a question I commonly ask in software engineering interviews.

Graph theory is a subfield of combinatorics. Graph theory is used in computerized road maps and social media apps.

Logarithms and Geometry Understanding

Geometry studies shapes, angles, and sizes. Cartesian geometry involves representing geometric objects in multidimensional planes. Geometry is useful for programming. Cartesian geometry is useful for vector graphics, game development, and low-level computer graphics. We can simply work with 2D and 3D arrays as plane axes.

GetWindowRect is a Windows GUI SDK geometric object.

GetWindowRect outputs an LPRECT geometric object, a screenshot by the author

High-level GUI SDKs and libraries use geometric notions like coordinates, dimensions, and forms, therefore knowing geometry speeds up work with computer graphics APIs.

How does exponentiation's inverse function work? Logarithm is exponentiation's inverse function. Logarithm helps programmers find efficient algorithms and solve calculations. Writing efficient code involves finding algorithms with logarithmic temporal complexity. Programmers prefer binary search (O(log n)) over linear search (O(n)). Git source specifies O(log n):

The Git codebase defines a function with logarithmic time complexity, a screenshot by the author

Logarithms aid with programming math. Metas Watchman uses a logarithmic utility function to find the next power of two.

A utility function that uses ceil, a screenshot by the author

Employing Mathematical Data Structures

Programmers must know data structures to develop clean, efficient code. Stack, queue, and hashmap are computer science basics. Sets and graphs are discrete arithmetic data structures. Most computer languages include a set structure to hold distinct data entries. In most computer languages, graphs can be represented using neighboring lists or objects.

Using sets as deduped lists is powerful because set implementations allow iterators. Instead of a list (or array), store WebSocket connections in a set.

Most interviewers ask graph theory questions, yet current software engineers don't practice algorithms. Graph theory challenges become obligatory in IT firm interviews.

Recognizing Applications of Recursion

A function in programming isolates input(s) and output(s) (s). Programming functions may have originated from mathematical function theories. Programming and math functions are different but similar. Both function types accept input and return value.

Recursion involves calling the same function inside another function. In its implementation, you'll call the Fibonacci sequence. Recursion solves divide-and-conquer software engineering difficulties and avoids code repetition. I recently built the following recursive Dart code to render a Flutter multi-depth expanding list UI:

Recursion is not the natural linear way to solve problems, hence thinking recursively is difficult. Everything becomes clear when a mathematical function definition includes a base case and recursive call.

Conclusion

Every codebase uses arithmetic operators, relational operators, and expressions. To build mathematical expressions, we typically employ log, ceil, floor, min, max, etc. Combinatorics, geometry, data structures, and recursion help implement algorithms. Unless you operate in a pure mathematical domain, you may not use calculus, limits, and other complex math in daily programming (i.e., a game engine). These principles are fundamental for daily programming activities.

Master the above math fundamentals to build clean, efficient code.

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Jennifer Tieu

Jennifer Tieu

8 months ago

Why I Love Azuki


Azuki Banner (www.azuki.com)

Disclaimer: This is my personal viewpoint. I'm not on the Azuki team. Please keep in mind that I am merely a fan, community member, and holder. Please do your own research and pardon my grammar. Thanks!

Azuki has changed my view of NFTs.

When I first entered the NFT world, I had no idea what to expect. I liked the idea. So I invested in some projects, fought for whitelists, and discovered some cool NFTs projects (shout-out to CATC). I lost more money than I earned at one point, but I hadn't invested excessively (only put in what you can afford to lose). Despite my losses, I kept looking. I almost waited for the “ah-ha” moment. A NFT project that changed my perspective on NFTs. What makes an NFT project more than a work of art?

Answer: Azuki.

The Art

The Azuki art drew me in as an anime fan. It looked like something out of an anime, and I'd never seen it before in NFT.
The project was still new. The first two animated teasers were released with little fanfare, but I was impressed with their quality. You can find them on Instagram or in their earlier Tweets.

The teasers hinted that this project could be big and that the team could deliver. It was amazing to see Shao cut the Azuki posters with her katana. Especially at the end when she sheaths her sword and the music cues. Then the live action video of the young boy arranging the Azuki posters seemed movie-like. I felt like I was entering the Azuki story, brand, and dope theme.

The team did not disappoint with the Azuki NFTs. The level of detail in the art is stunning. There were Azukis of all genders, skin and hair types, and more. These 10,000 Azukis have so much representation that almost anyone can find something that resonates. Rather than me rambling on, I suggest you visit the Azuki gallery

The Team

If the art is meant to draw you in and be the project's face, the team makes it more. The NFT would be a JPEG without a good team leader. Not that community isn't important, but no community would rally around a bad team.

Because I've been rugged before, I'm very focused on the team when considering a project. While many project teams are anonymous, I try to find ones that are doxxed (public) or at least appear to be established. Unlike Azuki, where most of the Azuki team is anonymous, Steamboy is public. He is (or was) Overwatch's character art director and co-creator of Azuki. I felt reassured and could trust the project after seeing someone from a major game series on the team.

Then I tried to learn as much as I could about the team. Following everyone on Twitter, reading their tweets, and listening to recorded AMAs. I was impressed by the team's professionalism and dedication to their vision for Azuki, led by ZZZAGABOND.
I believe the phrase “actions speak louder than words” applies to Azuki. I can think of a few examples of what the Azuki team has done, but my favorite is ERC721A.

With ERC721A, Azuki has created a new algorithm that allows minting multiple NFTs for essentially the same cost as minting one NFT.

I was ecstatic when the dev team announced it. This fascinates me as a self-taught developer. Azuki released a product that saves people money, improves the NFT space, and is open source. It showed their love for Azuki and the NFT community.

The Community

Community, community, community. It's almost a chant in the NFT space now. A community, like a team, can make or break a project. We are the project's consumers, shareholders, core, and lifeblood. The team builds the house, and we fill it. We stay for the community.
When I first entered the Azuki Discord, I was surprised by the calm atmosphere. There was no news about the project. No release date, no whitelisting requirements. No grinding or spamming either. People just wanted to hangout, get to know each other, and talk. It was nice. So the team could pick genuine people for their mintlist (aka whitelist).
But nothing fundamental has changed since the release. It has remained an authentic, fun, and helpful community. I'm constantly logging into Discord to chat with others or follow conversations. I see the community's openness to newcomers. Everyone respects each other (barring a few bad apples) and the variety of people passing through is fascinating. This human connection and interaction is what I enjoy about this place. Being a part of a group that supports a cause.
Finally, I want to thank the amazing Azuki mod team and the kissaten channel for their contributions.

The Brand

So, what sets Azuki apart from other projects? They are shaping a brand or identity. The Azuki website, I believe, best captures their vision. (This is me gushing over the site.)

If you go to the website, turn on the dope playlist in the bottom left. The playlist features a mix of Asian and non-Asian hip-hop and rap artists, with some lo-fi thrown in. The songs on the playlist change, but I think you get the vibe Azuki embodies just by turning on the music.
The Garden is our next stop where we are introduced to Azuki.

A brand.

We're creating a new brand together.
A metaverse brand. By the people.
A collection of 10,000 avatars that grant Garden membership. It starts with exclusive streetwear collabs, NFT drops, live events, and more. Azuki allows for a new media genre that the world has yet to discover. Let's build together an Azuki, your metaverse identity.
The Garden is a magical internet corner where art, community, and culture collide. The boundaries between the physical and digital worlds are blurring.
Try a Red Bean.

The text begins with Azuki's intention in the space. It's a community-made metaverse brand. Then it goes into more detail about Azuki's plans. Initiation of a story or journey. "Would you like to take the red bean and jump down the rabbit hole with us?" I love the Matrix red pill or blue pill play they used. (Azuki in Japanese means red bean.)

Morpheus, the rebel leader, offers Neo the choice of a red or blue pill in The Matrix. “You take the blue pill... After the story, you go back to bed and believe whatever you want. Your red pill... Let me show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” Aware that the red pill will free him from the enslaving control of the machine-generated dream world and allow him to escape into the real world, he takes it. However, living the “truth of reality” is harsher and more difficult.

It's intriguing and draws you in. Taking the red bean causes what? Where am I going? I think they did well in piqueing a newcomer's interest.
Not convinced by the Garden? Read the Manifesto. It reinforces Azuki's role.

Here comes a new wave…
And surfing here is different.
Breaking down barriers.
Building open communities.
Creating magic internet money with our friends.
To those who don’t get it, we tell them: gm.
They’ll come around eventually.
Here’s to the ones with the courage to jump down a peculiar rabbit hole.
One that pulls you away from a world that’s created by many and owned by few…
To a world that’s created by more and owned by all.
From The Garden come the human beans that sprout into your family.
We rise together.
We build together.
We grow together.
Ready to take the red bean?

Not to mention the Mindmap, it sets Azuki apart from other projects and overused Roadmaps. I like how the team recognizes that the NFT space is not linear. So many of us are still trying to figure it out. It is Azuki's vision to adapt to changing environments while maintaining their values. I admire their commitment to long-term growth.

Conclusion

To be honest, I have no idea what the future holds. Azuki is still new and could fail. But I'm a long-term Azuki fan. I don't care about quick gains. The future looks bright for Azuki. I believe in the team's output. I love being an Azuki.
Thank you! IKUZO!

Full post here

Aaron Dinin, PhD

Aaron Dinin, PhD

4 days ago

There Are Two Types of Entrepreneurs in the World Make sure you are aware of your type!

Know why it's important.

Photo by Brendan Church on Unsplash

The entrepreneur I was meeting with said, "I should be doing crypto, or maybe AI? Aren't those the hot spots? I should look there for a startup idea.”

I shook my head. Yes, they're exciting, but that doesn't mean they're best for you and your business.

“There are different types of entrepreneurs?” he asked.

I said "obviously." Two types, actually. Knowing what type of entrepreneur you are helps you build the right startup.

The two types of businesspeople

The best way for me to describe the two types of entrepreneurs is to start by telling you exactly the kinds of entrepreneurial opportunities I never get excited about: future opportunities.

In the early 1990s, my older brother showed me the World Wide Web and urged me to use it. Unimpressed, I returned to my Super Nintendo.

My roommate tried to get me to join Facebook as a senior in college. I remember thinking, This is dumb. Who'll use it?

In 2011, my best friend tried to convince me to buy bitcoin and I laughed.

Heck, a couple of years ago I had to buy a new car, and I never even considered buying something that didn’t require fossilized dinosaur bones.

I'm no visionary. I don't anticipate the future. I focus on the present.

This tendency makes me a problem-solving entrepreneur. I identify entrepreneurial opportunities by spotting flaws and/or inefficiencies in the world and devising solutions.

There are other ways to find business opportunities. Visionary entrepreneurs also exist. I don't mean visionary in the hyperbolic sense that implies world-changing impact. I mean visionary as an entrepreneur who identifies future technological shifts that will change how people work and live and create new markets.

Problem-solving and visionary entrepreneurs are equally good. But the two approaches to building companies are very different. Knowing the type of entrepreneur you are will help you build a startup that fits your worldview.

What is the distinction?

Let's use some simple hypotheticals to compare problem-solving and visionary entrepreneurship.

Imagine a city office building without nearby restaurants. Those office workers love to eat. Sometimes they'd rather eat out than pack a lunch. As an entrepreneur, you can solve the lack of nearby restaurants. You'd open a restaurant near that office, say a pizza parlor, and get customers because you solved the lack of nearby restaurants. Problem-solving entrepreneurship.

Imagine a new office building in a developing area with no residents or workers. In this scenario, a large office building is coming. The workers will need to eat then. As a visionary entrepreneur, you're excited about the new market and decide to open a pizzeria near the construction to meet demand.

Both possibilities involve the same product. You opened a pizzeria. How you launched that pizza restaurant and what will affect its success are different.

Why is the distinction important?

Let's say you opened a pizzeria near an office. You'll probably get customers. Because people are nearby and demand isn't being met, someone from a nearby building will stop in within the first few days of your pizzeria's grand opening. This makes solving the problem relatively risk-free. You'll get customers unless you're a fool.

The market you're targeting existed before you entered it, so you're not guaranteed success. This means people in that market solved the lack of nearby restaurants. Those office workers are used to bringing their own lunches. Why should your restaurant change their habits? Even when they eat out, they're used to traveling far. They've likely developed pizza preferences.

To be successful with your problem-solving startup, you must convince consumers to change their behavior, which is difficult.

Unlike opening a pizza restaurant near a construction site. Once the building opens, workers won't have many preferences or standardized food-getting practices. Your pizza restaurant can become the incumbent quickly. You'll be the first restaurant in the area, so you'll gain a devoted following that makes your food a routine.

Great, right? It's easier than changing people's behavior. The benefit comes with a risk. Opening a pizza restaurant near a construction site increases future risk. What if builders run out of money? No one moves in? What if the building's occupants are the National Association of Pizza Haters? Then you've opened a pizza restaurant next to pizza haters.

Which kind of businessperson are you?

This isn't to say one type of entrepreneur is better than another. Each type of entrepreneurship requires different skills.

As my simple examples show, a problem-solving entrepreneur must operate in markets with established behaviors and habits. To be successful, you must be able to teach a market a new way of doing things.

Conversely, the challenge of being a visionary entrepreneur is that you have to be good at predicting the future and getting in front of that future before other people.

Both are difficult in different ways. So, smart entrepreneurs don't just chase opportunities. Smart entrepreneurs pursue opportunities that match their skill sets.

Ben Chino

Ben Chino

2 months ago

100-day SaaS buildout.

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

Focus on end-users.

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

Co-create your product with your end-users.

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

Survey findings

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

Using whiteboards

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

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

Concentrate on adding value. Reuse existing bricks.

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

Maki's tech

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

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

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

Most importantly, empower people and step back.

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

Maki Camp 2 team

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

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

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