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Jonathan Vanian

Jonathan Vanian

2 years ago

What is Terra? Your guide to the hot cryptocurrency

With cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ether, and Dogecoin gyrating in value over the past few months, many people are looking at so-called stablecoins like Terra to invest in because of their more predictable prices.

Terraform Labs, which oversees the Terra cryptocurrency project, has benefited from its rising popularity. The company said recently that investors like Arrington Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Pantera Capital have pledged $150 million to help it incubate various crypto projects that are connected to Terra.

Terraform Labs and its partners have built apps that operate on the company’s blockchain technology that helps keep a permanent and shared record of the firm’s crypto-related financial transactions.

Here’s what you need to know about Terra and the company behind it.

What is Terra?

Terra is a blockchain project developed by Terraform Labs that powers the startup’s cryptocurrencies and financial apps. These cryptocurrencies include the Terra U.S. Dollar, or UST, that is pegged to the U.S. dollar through an algorithm.

Terra is a stablecoin that is intended to reduce the volatility endemic to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Some stablecoins, like Tether, are pegged to more conventional currencies, like the U.S. dollar, through cash and cash equivalents as opposed to an algorithm and associated reserve token.

To mint new UST tokens, a percentage of another digital token and reserve asset, Luna, is “burned.” If the demand for UST rises with more people using the currency, more Luna will be automatically burned and diverted to a community pool. That balancing act is supposed to help stabilize the price, to a degree.

“Luna directly benefits from the economic growth of the Terra economy, and it suffers from contractions of the Terra coin,” Terraform Labs CEO Do Kwon said.

Each time someone buys something—like an ice cream—using UST, that transaction generates a fee, similar to a credit card transaction. That fee is then distributed to people who own Luna tokens, similar to a stock dividend.

Who leads Terra?

The South Korean firm Terraform Labs was founded in 2018 by Daniel Shin and Kwon, who is now the company’s CEO. Kwon is a 29-year-old former Microsoft employee; Shin now heads the Chai online payment service, a Terra partner. Kwon said many Koreans have used the Chai service to buy goods like movie tickets using Terra cryptocurrency.

Terraform Labs does not make money from transactions using its crypto and instead relies on outside funding to operate, Kwon said. It has raised $57 million in funding from investors like HashKey Digital Asset Group, Divergence Digital Currency Fund, and Huobi Capital, according to deal-tracking service PitchBook. The amount raised is in addition to the latest $150 million funding commitment announced on July 16.

What are Terra’s plans?

Terraform Labs plans to use Terra’s blockchain and its associated cryptocurrencies—including one pegged to the Korean won—to create a digital financial system independent of major banks and fintech-app makers. So far, its main source of growth has been in Korea, where people have bought goods at stores, like coffee, using the Chai payment app that’s built on Terra’s blockchain. Kwon said the company’s associated Mirror trading app is experiencing growth in China and Thailand.

Meanwhile, Kwon said Terraform Labs would use its latest $150 million in funding to invest in groups that build financial apps on Terra’s blockchain. He likened the scouting and investing in other groups as akin to a “Y Combinator demo day type of situation,” a reference to the popular startup pitch event organized by early-stage investor Y Combinator.

The combination of all these Terra-specific financial apps shows that Terraform Labs is “almost creating a kind of bank,” said Ryan Watkins, a senior research analyst at cryptocurrency consultancy Messari.

In addition to cryptocurrencies, Terraform Labs has a number of other projects including the Anchor app, a high-yield savings account for holders of the group’s digital coins. Meanwhile, people can use the firm’s associated Mirror app to create synthetic financial assets that mimic more conventional ones, like “tokenized” representations of corporate stocks. These synthetic assets are supposed to be helpful to people like “a small retail trader in Thailand” who can more easily buy shares and “get some exposure to the upside” of stocks that they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to obtain, Kwon said. But some critics have said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission may eventually crack down on synthetic stocks, which are currently unregulated.

What do critics say?

Terra still has a long way to go to catch up to bigger cryptocurrency projects like Ethereum.

Most financial transactions involving Terra-related cryptocurrencies have originated in Korea, where its founders are based. Although Terra is becoming more popular in Korea thanks to rising interest in its partner Chai, it’s too early to say whether Terra-related currencies will gain traction in other countries.

Terra’s blockchain runs on a “limited number of nodes,” said Messari’s Watkins, referring to the computers that help keep the system running. That helps reduce latency that may otherwise slow processing of financial transactions, he said.

But the tradeoff is that Terra is less “decentralized” than other blockchain platforms like Ethereum, which is powered by thousands of interconnected computing nodes worldwide. That could make Terra less appealing to some blockchain purists.

More on Web3 & Crypto

mbvissers.eth

mbvissers.eth

1 year ago

Why does every smart contract seem to implement ERC165?

Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

ERC165 (or EIP-165) is a standard utilized by various open-source smart contracts like Open Zeppelin or Aavegotchi.

What's it? You must implement? Why do we need it? I'll describe the standard and answer any queries.

What is ERC165

ERC165 detects and publishes smart contract interfaces. Meaning? It standardizes how interfaces are recognized, how to detect if they implement ERC165, and how a contract publishes the interfaces it implements. How does it work?

Why use ERC165? Sometimes it's useful to know which interfaces a contract implements, and which version.

Identifying interfaces

An interface function's selector. This verifies an ABI function. XORing all function selectors defines an interface in this standard. The following code demonstrates.

// SPDX-License-Identifier: UNLICENCED
pragma solidity >=0.8.0 <0.9.0;

interface Solidity101 {
    function hello() external pure;
    function world(int) external pure;
}

contract Selector {
    function calculateSelector() public pure returns (bytes4) {
        Solidity101 i;
        return i.hello.selector ^ i.world.selector;
        // Returns 0xc6be8b58
    }

    function getHelloSelector() public pure returns (bytes4) {
        Solidity101 i;
        return i.hello.selector;
        // Returns 0x19ff1d21
    }

    function getWorldSelector() public pure returns (bytes4) {
        Solidity101 i;
        return i.world.selector;
        // Returns 0xdf419679
    }
}

This code isn't necessary to understand function selectors and how an interface's selector can be determined from the functions it implements.

Run that sample in Remix to see how interface function modifications affect contract function output.

Contracts publish their implemented interfaces.

We can identify interfaces. Now we must disclose the interfaces we're implementing. First, import IERC165 like so.

pragma solidity ^0.4.20;

interface ERC165 {
    /// @notice Query if a contract implements an interface
    /// @param interfaceID The interface identifier, as specified in ERC-165
    /// @dev Interface identification is specified in ERC-165. 
    /// @return `true` if the contract implements `interfaceID` and
    ///  `interfaceID` is not 0xffffffff, `false` otherwise
    function supportsInterface(bytes4 interfaceID) external view returns (bool);
}

We still need to build this interface in our smart contract. ERC721 from OpenZeppelin is a good example.

// SPDX-License-Identifier: MIT
// OpenZeppelin Contracts (last updated v4.5.0) (token/ERC721/ERC721.sol)

pragma solidity ^0.8.0;

import "./IERC721.sol";
import "./extensions/IERC721Metadata.sol";
import "../../utils/introspection/ERC165.sol";
// ...

contract ERC721 is Context, ERC165, IERC721, IERC721Metadata {
  // ...

  function supportsInterface(bytes4 interfaceId) public view virtual override(ERC165, IERC165) returns (bool) {
    return
      interfaceId == type(IERC721).interfaceId ||
      interfaceId == type(IERC721Metadata).interfaceId ||
      super.supportsInterface(interfaceId);
  }
  
  // ...
}

I deleted unnecessary code. The smart contract imports ERC165, IERC721 and IERC721Metadata. The is keyword at smart contract declaration implements all three.

Kind (interface).

Note that type(interface).interfaceId returns the same as the interface selector.

We override supportsInterface in the smart contract to return a boolean that checks if interfaceId is the same as one of the implemented contracts.

Super.supportsInterface() calls ERC165 code. Checks if interfaceId is IERC165.

function supportsInterface(bytes4 interfaceId) public view virtual override returns (bool) {
    return interfaceId == type(IERC165).interfaceId;
}

So, if we run supportsInterface with an interfaceId, our contract function returns true if it's implemented and false otherwise. True for IERC721, IERC721Metadata, andIERC165.

Conclusion

I hope this post has helped you understand and use ERC165 and why it's employed.

Have a great day, thanks for reading!

William Brucee

William Brucee

1 year ago

This person is probably Satoshi Nakamoto.

illustration by Cryptotactic.io

Who founded bitcoin is the biggest mystery in technology today, not how it works.

On October 31, 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto posted a whitepaper to a cryptography email list. Still confused by the mastermind who changed monetary history.

Journalists and bloggers have tried in vain to uncover bitcoin's creator. Some candidates self-nominated. We're still looking for the mystery's perpetrator because none of them have provided proof.

One person. I'm confident he invented bitcoin. Let's assess Satoshi Nakamoto before I reveal my pick. Or what he wants us to know.

Satoshi's P2P Foundation biography says he was born in 1975. He doesn't sound or look Japanese. First, he wrote the whitepaper and subsequent articles in flawless English. His sleeping habits are unusual for a Japanese person.

Stefan Thomas, a Bitcoin Forum member, displayed Satoshi's posting timestamps. Satoshi Nakamoto didn't publish between 2 and 8 p.m., Japanese time. Satoshi's identity may not be real.

Why would he disguise himself?

There is a legitimate explanation for this

Phil Zimmermann created PGP to give dissidents an open channel of communication, like Pretty Good Privacy. US government seized this technology after realizing its potential. Police investigate PGP and Zimmermann.

This technology let only two people speak privately. Bitcoin technology makes it possible to send money for free without a bank or other intermediary, removing it from government control.

How much do we know about the person who invented bitcoin?

Here's what we know about Satoshi Nakamoto now that I've covered my doubts about his personality.

Satoshi Nakamoto first appeared with a whitepaper on metzdowd.com. On Halloween 2008, he presented a nine-page paper on a new peer-to-peer electronic monetary system.

Using the nickname satoshi, he created the bitcointalk forum. He kept developing bitcoin and created bitcoin.org. Satoshi mined the genesis block on January 3, 2009.

Satoshi Nakamoto worked with programmers in 2010 to change bitcoin's protocol. He engaged with the bitcoin community. Then he gave Gavin Andresen the keys and codes and transferred community domains. By 2010, he'd abandoned the project.

The bitcoin creator posted his goodbye on April 23, 2011. Mike Hearn asked Satoshi if he planned to rejoin the group.

“I’ve moved on to other things. It’s in good hands with Gavin and everyone.”

Nakamoto Satoshi

The man who broke the banking system vanished. Why?

illustration by Cryptotactic.io

Satoshi's wallets held 1,000,000 BTC. In December 2017, when the price peaked, he had over US$19 billion. Nakamoto had the 44th-highest net worth then. He's never cashed a bitcoin.

This data suggests something happened to bitcoin's creator. I think Hal Finney is Satoshi Nakamoto .

Hal Finney had ALS and died in 2014. I suppose he created the future of money, then he died, leaving us with only rumors about his identity.

Hal Finney, who was he?

Hal Finney graduated from Caltech in 1979. Student peers voted him the smartest. He took a doctoral-level gravitational field theory course as a freshman. Finney's intelligence meets the first requirement for becoming Satoshi Nakamoto.

Students remember Finney holding an Ayn Rand book. If he'd read this, he may have developed libertarian views.

His beliefs led him to a small group of freethinking programmers. In the 1990s, he joined Cypherpunks. This action promoted the use of strong cryptography and privacy-enhancing technologies for social and political change. Finney helped them achieve a crypto-anarchist perspective as self-proclaimed privacy defenders.

Zimmermann knew Finney well.

Hal replied to a Cypherpunk message about Phil Zimmermann and PGP. He contacted Phil and became PGP Corporation's first member, retiring in 2011. Satoshi Nakamoto quit bitcoin in 2011.

Finney improved the new PGP protocol, but he had to do so secretly. He knew about Phil's PGP issues. I understand why he wanted to hide his identity while creating bitcoin.

Why did he pretend to be from Japan?

His envisioned persona was spot-on. He resided near scientist Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto. Finney could've assumed Nakamoto's identity to hide his. Temple City has 36,000 people, so what are the chances they both lived there? A cryptographic genius with the same name as Bitcoin's creator: coincidence?

Things went differently, I think.

I think Hal Finney sent himself Satoshis messages. I know it's odd. If you want to conceal your involvement, do as follows. He faked messages and transferred the first bitcoins to himself to test the transaction mechanism, so he never returned their money.

Hal Finney created the first reusable proof-of-work system. The bitcoin protocol. In the 1990s, Finney was intrigued by digital money. He invented CRypto cASH in 1993.

Legacy

Hal Finney's contributions should not be forgotten. Even if I'm wrong and he's not Satoshi Nakamoto, we shouldn't forget his bitcoin contribution. He helped us achieve a better future.

David Z. Morris

1 year ago

FTX's crash was no accident, it was a crime

Sam Bankman Fried (SDBF) is a legendary con man. But the NYT might not tell you that...

Since SBF's empire was revealed to be a lie, mainstream news organizations and commentators have failed to give readers a straightforward assessment. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal have uncovered many key facts about the scandal, but they have also soft-peddled Bankman-Fried's intent and culpability.

It's clear that the FTX crypto exchange and Alameda Research committed fraud to steal money from users and investors. That’s why a recent New York Times interview was widely derided for seeming to frame FTX’s collapse as the result of mismanagement rather than malfeasance. A Wall Street Journal article lamented FTX's loss of charitable donations, bolstering Bankman's philanthropic pose. Matthew Yglesias, court chronicler of the neoliberal status quo, seemed to whitewash his own entanglements by crediting SBF's money with helping Democrats in 2020 – sidestepping the likelihood that the money was embezzled.

Many outlets have called what happened to FTX a "bank run" or a "run on deposits," but Bankman-Fried insists the company was overleveraged and disorganized. Both attempts to frame the fallout obscure the core issue: customer funds misused.

Because banks lend customer funds to generate returns, they can experience "bank runs." If everyone withdraws at once, they can experience a short-term cash crunch but there won't be a long-term problem.

Crypto exchanges like FTX aren't banks. They don't do bank-style lending, so a withdrawal surge shouldn't strain liquidity. FTX promised customers it wouldn't lend or use their crypto.

Alameda's balance sheet blurs SBF's crypto empire.

The funds were sent to Alameda Research, where they were apparently gambled away. This is massive theft. According to a bankruptcy document, up to 1 million customers could be affected.

In less than a month, reporting and the bankruptcy process have uncovered a laundry list of decisions and practices that would constitute financial fraud if FTX had been a U.S.-regulated entity, even without crypto-specific rules. These ploys may be litigated in U.S. courts if they enabled the theft of American property.

The list is very, very long.

The many crimes of Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX

At the heart of SBF's fraud are the deep and (literally) intimate ties between FTX and Alameda Research, a hedge fund he co-founded. An exchange makes money from transaction fees on user assets, but Alameda trades and invests its own funds.

Bankman-Fried called FTX and Alameda "wholly separate" and resigned as Alameda's CEO in 2019. The two operations were closely linked. Bankman-Fried and Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison were romantically linked.

These circumstances enabled SBF's sin.  Within days of FTX's first signs of weakness, it was clear the exchange was funneling customer assets to Alameda for trading, lending, and investing. Reuters reported on Nov. 12 that FTX sent $10 billion to Alameda. As much as $2 billion was believed to have disappeared after being sent to Alameda. Now the losses look worse.

It's unclear why those funds were sent to Alameda or when Bankman-Fried betrayed his depositors. On-chain analysis shows most FTX to Alameda transfers occurred in late 2021, and bankruptcy filings show both lost $3.7 billion in 2021.

SBF's companies lost millions before the 2022 crypto bear market. They may have stolen funds before Terra and Three Arrows Capital, which killed many leveraged crypto players.

FTT loans and prints

CoinDesk's report on Alameda's FTT holdings ignited FTX and Alameda Research. FTX created this instrument, but only a small portion was traded publicly; FTX and Alameda held the rest. These holdings were illiquid, meaning they couldn't be sold at market price. Bankman-Fried valued its stock at the fictitious price.

FTT tokens were reportedly used as collateral for loans, including FTX loans to Alameda. Close ties between FTX and Alameda made the FTT token harder or more expensive to use as collateral, reducing the risk to customer funds.

This use of an internal asset as collateral for loans between clandestinely related entities is similar to Enron's 1990s accounting fraud. These executives served 12 years in prison.

Alameda's margin liquidation exemption

Alameda Research had a "secret exemption" from FTX's liquidation and margin trading rules, according to legal filings by FTX's new CEO.

FTX, like other crypto platforms and some equity or commodity services, offered "margin" or loans for trades. These loans are usually collateralized, meaning borrowers put up other funds or assets. If a margin trade loses enough money, the exchange will sell the user's collateral to pay off the initial loan.

Keeping asset markets solvent requires liquidating bad margin positions. Exempting Alameda would give it huge advantages while exposing other FTX users to hidden risks. Alameda could have kept losing positions open while closing out competitors. Alameda could lose more on FTX than it could pay back, leaving a hole in customer funds.

The exemption is criminal in multiple ways. FTX was fraudulently marketed overall. Instead of a level playing field, there were many customers.

Above them all, with shotgun poised, was Alameda Research.

Alameda front-running FTX listings

Argus says there's circumstantial evidence that Alameda Research had insider knowledge of FTX's token listing plans. Alameda was able to buy large amounts of tokens before the listing and sell them after the price bump.

If true, these claims would be the most brazenly illegal of Alameda and FTX's alleged shenanigans. Even if the tokens aren't formally classified as securities, insider trading laws may apply.

In a similar case this year, an OpenSea employee was charged with wire fraud for allegedly insider trading. This employee faces 20 years in prison for front-running monkey JPEGs.

Huge loans to executives

Alameda Research reportedly lent FTX executives $4.1 billion, including massive personal loans. Bankman-Fried received $1 billion in personal loans and $2.3 billion for an entity he controlled, Paper Bird. Nishad Singh, director of engineering, was given $543 million, and FTX Digital Markets co-CEO Ryan Salame received $55 million.

FTX has more smoking guns than a Texas shooting range, but this one is the smoking bazooka – a sign of criminal intent. It's unclear how most of the personal loans were used, but liquidators will have to recoup the money.

The loans to Paper Bird were even more worrisome because they created another related third party to shuffle assets. Forbes speculates that some Paper Bird funds went to buy Binance's FTX stake, and Paper Bird committed hundreds of millions to outside investments.

FTX Inner Circle: Who's Who

That included many FTX-backed VC funds. Time will tell if this financial incest was criminal fraud. It fits Bankman-pattern Fried's of using secret flows, leverage, and funny money to inflate asset prices.

FTT or loan 'bailouts'

Also. As the crypto bear market continued in 2022, Bankman-Fried proposed bailouts for bankrupt crypto lenders BlockFi and Voyager Digital. CoinDesk was among those deceived, welcoming SBF as a J.P. Morgan-style sector backstop.

In a now-infamous interview with CNBC's "Squawk Box," Bankman-Fried referred to these decisions as bets that may or may not pay off.

But maybe not. Bloomberg's Matt Levine speculated that FTX backed BlockFi with FTT money. This Monopoly bailout may have been intended to hide FTX and Alameda liabilities that would have been exposed if BlockFi went bankrupt sooner. This ploy has no name, but it echoes other corporate frauds.

Secret bank purchase

Alameda Research invested $11.5 million in the tiny Farmington State Bank, doubling its net worth. As a non-U.S. entity and an investment firm, Alameda should have cleared regulatory hurdles before acquiring a U.S. bank.

In the context of FTX, the bank's stake becomes "ominous." Alameda and FTX could have done more shenanigans with bank control. Compare this to the Bank for Credit and Commerce International's failed attempts to buy U.S. banks. BCCI was even nefarious than FTX and wanted to buy U.S. banks to expand its money-laundering empire.

The mainstream's mistakes

These are complex and nuanced forms of fraud that echo traditional finance models. This obscurity helped Bankman-Fried masquerade as an honest player and likely kept coverage soft after the collapse.

Bankman-Fried had a scruffy, nerdy image, like Mark Zuckerberg and Adam Neumann. In interviews, he spoke nonsense about an industry full of jargon and complicated tech. Strategic donations and insincere ideological statements helped him gain political and social influence.

SBF' s'Effective' Altruism Blew Up FTX

Bankman-Fried has continued to muddy the waters with disingenuous letters, statements, interviews, and tweets since his con collapsed. He's tried to portray himself as a well-intentioned but naive kid who made some mistakes. This is a softer, more pernicious version of what Trump learned from mob lawyer Roy Cohn. Bankman-Fried doesn't "deny, deny, deny" but "confuse, evade, distort."

It's mostly worked. Kevin O'Leary, who plays an investor on "Shark Tank," repeats Bankman-SBF's counterfactuals.  O'Leary called Bankman-Fried a "savant" and "probably one of the most accomplished crypto traders in the world" in a Nov. 27 interview with Business Insider, despite recent data indicating immense trading losses even when times were good.

O'Leary's status as an FTX investor and former paid spokesperson explains his continued affection for Bankman-Fried despite contradictory evidence. He's not the only one promoting Bankman-Fried. The disgraced son of two Stanford law professors will defend himself at Wednesday's DealBook Summit.

SBF's fraud and theft rival those of Bernie Madoff and Jho Low. Whether intentionally or through malign ineptitude, the fraud echoes Worldcom and Enron.

The Perverse Impacts of Anti-Money-Laundering

The principals in all of those scandals wound up either sentenced to prison or on the run from the law. Sam Bankman-Fried clearly deserves to share their fate.

Read the full article here.

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Solomon Ayanlakin

Solomon Ayanlakin

1 year ago

Metrics for product management and being a good leader

Never design a product without explicit metrics and tracking tools.

Imagine driving cross-country without a dashboard. How do you know your school zone speed? Low gas? Without a dashboard, you can't monitor your car. You can't improve what you don't measure, as Peter Drucker said. Product managers must constantly enhance their understanding of their users, how they use their product, and how to improve it for optimum value. Customers will only pay if they consistently acquire value from your product.

Product Management Metrics — Measuring the right metrics as a Product Leader by Solomon Ayanlakin

I’m Solomon Ayanlakin. I’m a product manager at CredPal, a financial business that offers credit cards and Buy Now Pay Later services. Before falling into product management (like most PMs lol), I self-trained as a data analyst, using Alex the Analyst's YouTube playlists and DannyMas' virtual data internship. This article aims to help product managers, owners, and CXOs understand product metrics, give a methodology for creating them, and execute product experiments to enhance them.

☝🏽Introduction

Product metrics assist companies track product performance from the user's perspective. Metrics help firms decide what to construct (feature priority), how to build it, and the outcome's success or failure. To give the best value to new and existing users, track product metrics.

Why should a product manager monitor metrics?

  • to assist your users in having a "aha" moment

  • To inform you of which features are frequently used by users and which are not

  • To assess the effectiveness of a product feature

  • To aid in enhancing client onboarding and retention

  • To assist you in identifying areas throughout the user journey where customers are satisfied or dissatisfied

  • to determine the percentage of returning users and determine the reasons for their return

📈 What Metrics Ought a Product Manager to Monitor?

What indicators should a product manager watch to monitor product health? The metrics to follow change based on the industry, business stage (early, growth, late), consumer needs, and company goals. A startup should focus more on conversion, activation, and active user engagement than revenue growth and retention. The company hasn't found product-market fit or discovered what features drive customer value.

Depending on your use case, company goals, or business stage, here are some important product metric buckets:

Popular Product Metric Buckets for Product Teams

All measurements shouldn't be used simultaneously. It depends on your business goals and what value means for your users, then selecting what metrics to track to see if they get it.

Some KPIs are more beneficial to track, independent of industry or customer type. To prevent recording vanity metrics, product managers must clearly specify the types of metrics they should track. Here's how to segment metrics:

  1. The North Star Metric, also known as the Focus Metric, is the indicator and aid in keeping track of the top value you provide to users.

  2. Primary/Level 1 Metrics: These metrics should either add to the north star metric or be used to determine whether it is moving in the appropriate direction. They are metrics that support the north star metric.

  3. These measures serve as leading indications for your north star and Level 2 metrics. You ought to have been aware of certain problems with your L2 measurements prior to the North star metric modifications.

North Star Metric

This is the key metric. A good north star metric measures customer value. It emphasizes your product's longevity. Many organizations fail to grow because they confuse north star measures with other indicators. A good focus metric should touch all company teams and be tracked forever. If a company gives its customers outstanding value, growth and success are inevitable. How do we measure this value?

A north star metric has these benefits:

  • Customer Obsession: It promotes a culture of customer value throughout the entire organization.

  • Consensus: Everyone can quickly understand where the business is at and can promptly make improvements, according to consensus.

  • Growth: It provides a tool to measure the company's long-term success. Do you think your company will last for a long time?

How can I pick a reliable North Star Metric?

Some fear a single metric. Ensure product leaders can objectively determine a north star metric. Your company's focus metric should meet certain conditions. Here are a few:

  1. A good focus metric should reflect value and, as such, should be closely related to the point at which customers obtain the desired value from your product. For instance, the quick delivery to your home is a value proposition of UberEats. The value received from a delivery would be a suitable focal metric to use. While counting orders is alluring, the quantity of successfully completed positive review orders would make a superior north star statistic. This is due to the fact that a client who placed an order but received a defective or erratic delivery is not benefiting from Uber Eats. By tracking core value gain, which is the number of purchases that resulted in satisfied customers, we are able to track not only the total number of orders placed during a specific time period but also the core value proposition.

  2. Focus metrics need to be quantifiable; they shouldn't only be feelings or states; they need to be actionable. A smart place to start is by counting how many times an activity has been completed.

  3. A great focus metric is one that can be measured within predetermined time limits; otherwise, you are not measuring at all. The company can improve that measure more quickly by having time-bound focus metrics. Measuring and accounting for progress over set time periods is the only method to determine whether or not you are moving in the right path. You can then evaluate your metrics for today and yesterday. It's generally not a good idea to use a year as a time frame. Ideally, depending on the nature of your organization and the measure you are focusing on, you want to take into account on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

  4. Everyone in the firm has the potential to affect it: A short glance at the well-known AAARRR funnel, also known as the Pirate Metrics, reveals that various teams inside the organization have an impact on the funnel. Ideally, the NSM should be impacted if changes are made to one portion of the funnel. Consider how the growth team in your firm is enhancing customer retention. This would have a good effect on the north star indicator because at this stage, a repeat client is probably being satisfied on a regular basis. Additionally, if the opposite were true and a client churned, it would have a negative effect on the focus metric.

  5. It ought to be connected to the business's long-term success: The direction of sustainability would be indicated by a good north star metric. A company's lifeblood is product demand and revenue, so it's critical that your NSM points in the direction of sustainability. If UberEats can effectively increase the monthly total of happy client orders, it will remain in operation indefinitely.

Many product teams make the mistake of focusing on revenue. When the bottom line is emphasized, a company's goal moves from giving value to extracting money from customers. A happy consumer will stay and pay for your service. Customer lifetime value always exceeds initial daily, monthly, or weekly revenue.

Great North Star Metrics Examples

Notable companies and their North star metrics

🥇 Basic/L1 Metrics:

The NSM is broad and focuses on providing value for users, while the primary metric is product/feature focused and utilized to drive the focus metric or signal its health. The primary statistic is team-specific, whereas the north star metric is company-wide. For UberEats' NSM, the marketing team may measure the amount of quality food vendors who sign up using email marketing. With quality vendors, more orders will be satisfied. Shorter feedback loops and unambiguous team assignments make L1 metrics more actionable and significant in the immediate term.

🥈 Supporting L2 metrics:

These are supporting metrics to the L1 and focus metrics. Location, demographics, or features are examples of L1 metrics. UberEats' supporting metrics might be the number of sales emails sent to food vendors, the number of opens, and the click-through rate. Secondary metrics are low-level and evident, and they relate into primary and north star measurements. UberEats needs a high email open rate to attract high-quality food vendors. L2 is a leading sign for L1.

Product Metrics for UberEats

Where can I find product metrics?

How can I measure in-app usage and activity now that I know what metrics to track? Enter product analytics. Product analytics tools evaluate and improve product management parameters that indicate a product's health from a user's perspective.

Various analytics tools on the market supply product insight. From page views and user flows through A/B testing, in-app walkthroughs, and surveys. Depending on your use case and necessity, you may combine tools to see how users engage with your product. Gainsight, MixPanel, Amplitude, Google Analytics, FullStory, Heap, and Pendo are product tools.

This article isn't sponsored and doesn't market product analytics tools. When choosing an analytics tool, consider the following:

  • Tools for tracking your Focus, L1, and L2 measurements

  • Pricing

  • Adaptations to include external data sources and other products

  • Usability and the interface

  • Scalability

  • Security

An investment in the appropriate tool pays off. To choose the correct metrics to track, you must first understand your business need and what value means to your users. Metrics and analytics are crucial for any tech product's growth. It shows how your business is doing and how to best serve users.

Tech With Dom

Tech With Dom

1 year ago

6 Awesome Desk Accessories You Must Have!

My Desk Setup

I'm gadget-obsessed. So I shared my top 6 desk gadgets.

These gadgets improve my workflow and are handy for working from home.

Without further ado...

Computer light bar Xiaomi Mi

Xiaomi Mi Monitor Light Bar

I've previously recommended the Xiaomi Mi Light Bar, and I still do. It's stylish and convenient.

The Mi bar is a monitor-mounted desk lamp. The lamp's hue and brightness can be changed with a stylish wireless remote.

Changeable hue and brightness make it ideal for late-night work.

Desk Mat 2.

Razer Goliathus Extended Chroma Mouse Mat

I wasn't planning to include a desk surface in this article, but I find it improves computer use.

The mouse feels smoother and is a better palm rest than wood or glass.

I'm currently using the overkill Razer Goliathus Extended Chroma RGB Gaming Surface, but I like RGB.

Using a desk surface or mat makes computer use more comfortable, and it's not expensive.

Third, the Logitech MX Master 3 Mouse

Logitech MX Master 3

The Logitech MX Master 3 or any from the MX Master series is my favorite mouse.

The side scroll wheel on these mice is a feature I've never seen on another mouse.

Side scroll wheels are great for spreadsheets and video editing. It would be hard for me to switch from my Logitech MX Master 3 to another mouse. Only gaming is off-limits.

Google Nest 4.

Google Nest Hub 2nd Generation

Without a smart assistant, my desk is useless. I'm currently using the second-generation Google Nest Hub, but I've also used the Amazon Echo Dot, Echo Spot, and Apple HomePod Mini.

As a Pixel 6 Pro user, the Nest Hub works best with my phone.

My Nest Hub plays news, music, and calendar events. It also lets me control lights and switches with my smartphone. It plays YouTube videos.

Google Pixel Stand, No. 5

Google Pixel Stand 2nd Generation

A wireless charger on my desk is convenient for charging my phone and other devices while I work. My desk has two wireless chargers. I have a Satechi aluminum fast charger and a second-generation Google Pixel Stand.

If I need to charge my phone and earbuds simultaneously, I use two wireless chargers. Satechi chargers are well-made and fast. Micro-USB is my only complaint.

The Pixel Stand converts compatible devices into a smart display for adjusting charging speeds and controlling other smart devices. My Pixel 6 Pro charges quickly. Here's my video review.

6. Anker Power Bank

Anker 65W Charger

Anker's 65W charger is my final recommendation. This online find was a must-have. This can charge my laptop and several non-wireless devices, perfect for any techie!

The charger has two USB-A ports and two USB-C ports, one with 45W and the other with 20W, so it can charge my iPad Pro and Pixel 6 Pro simultaneously.

Summary

These are some of my favorite office gadgets. My kit page has an updated list.

Links to the products mentioned in this article are in the appropriate sections. These are affiliate links.

You're up! Share the one desk gadget you can't live without and why.

Marcus Lu

Marcus Lu

1 year ago

The Brand Structure of U.S. Electric Vehicle Production

Will Tesla be able to maintain its lead in the EV market for very long?

This is one of the most pressing issues in the American auto sector today. One positive aspect of Tesla is the company's devoted customer base and recognizable name recognition (similar to Apple). It also invests more in research and development per vehicle than its rivals and has a head start in EV production.

Conversely, established automakers like Volkswagen are actively plotting their strategy to surpass Tesla. As the current market leaders, they have decades of experience in the auto industry and are spending billions to catch up.

We've visualized data from the EPA's 2022 Automotive Trends Report to bring you up to speed on this developing story.

Info for the Model Year of 2021

The full production data used in this infographic is for the 2021 model year, but it comes from a report for 2022.

Combined EV and PHEV output is shown in the table below (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle).

It is important to note that Toyota and Stellantis, the two largest legacy automakers in this dataset, only produced PHEVs. Toyota's first electric vehicle, the bZ4X, won't hit the market until 2023.

Stellantis seems to be falling even further behind, despite having enormous unrealized potential in its Jeep and Ram brands. Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said in a recent interview that the firm has budgeted $36 billion for electrification and software.

Legacy Brands with the Most Momentum

In the race to develop electric vehicles, some long-standing manufacturers have gotten the jump on their rivals.

Volkswagen, one of these storied manufacturers, has made a significant investment in electric vehicles (EVs) in the wake of the Dieselgate scandal. The company plans to roll out multiple EV models, including the ID.3 hatchback, ID.4 SUV, and ID. Buzz, with the goal of producing 22 million EVs by 2028. (an electric revival of the classic Microbus).

Even Ford is keeping up, having just announced an EV investment of $22 billion between 2021 and 2025. In November of 2022, the company manufactured their 150,000th Mustang Mach-E, and by the end of 2023, they hoped to have 270,000 of them in circulation.

Additionally, over 200,000 F-150 Lightnings have been reserved since Ford announced the truck. The Lightning is scheduled to have a production run of 15,000 in 2022, 55,000 in 2023, and 80,000 in 2024. Ford's main competitor in the electric pickup truck segment, Rivian, is on track to sell 25,000 vehicles by 2022.