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Pat Vieljeux

Pat Vieljeux

5 months ago

The three-year business plan is obsolete for startups.

More on Entrepreneurship/Creators

Victoria Kurichenko

Victoria Kurichenko

5 months ago

Updates From Google For Content Producers What You Should Know Is This

People-first update.

Image credit: Shutterstock. Image edited in Canva

Every Google upgrade causes website owners to panic.

Some have just recovered from previous algorithm tweaks and resumed content development.

If you follow Google's Webmaster rules, you shouldn't fear its adjustments.

Everyone has a view of them. Miscommunication and confusion result.

Now, for some (hopefully) exciting news.

Google tweeted on August 18, 2022 about a fresh content update.

This change is another Google effort to remove low-quality, repetitive, and AI-generated content.

The algorithm generates and analyzes search results, not humans.

Google spends a lot to teach its algorithm what searchers want. Intent isn't always clear.

Google's content update aims to:

“… ensure people see more original, helpful content written by people, for people, in search results.”

Isn't it a noble goal?

However, what does it mean for content creators and website owners?

How can you ensure you’re creating content that will be successful after the updates roll out?

Let's first define people-first content.

What does "people-first-content" mean?

If asked, I'd say information written to answer queries and solve problems.

Like others, I read it from the term.

Content creators and marketers disagree. They need more information to follow recommendations.

Google gives explicit instructions for creating people-first content.

According to Google, if you answer yes to the following questions, you have a people-first attitude.

  1. Do you have customers who might find your content useful if they contacted you directly?

  2. Does your content show the breadth of your knowledge?

  3. Do you have a niche or a focus for your website?

  4. After reading your content, will readers learn something new to aid them in achieving their goals?

  5. Are readers happy after reading your content?

  6. Have you been adhering to Google's fundamental updates and product reviews?

As an SEO writer, I'm not scared.

I’ve been following these rules consciously while creating content for my website. That’s why it’s been steadily growing despite me publishing just one or two stories a month.

If you avoid AI-generated text and redundant, shallow material, your website won't suffer.

If you use unscrupulous methods to boost your website's traffic, including link buying or keyword stuffing, stop. Google is getting smarter and will find and punish your site eventually.

For those who say, “SEO is no longer working,” I dedicated the whole paragraph below.

This does not imply that SEO is obsolete.

Google:

“People-first content creators focus on creating satisfying content, while also utilizing SEO best practices to bring searchers additional value.”

The official helpful content update page lists two people-first content components:

  • meeting user needs

  • best practices for SEO

Always read official guidelines, not unsolicited suggestions.

SEO will work till search engines die.

How to use the update

Google said the changes will arrive in August 2022.

They pledged to post updates on Google's search ranking updates page.

Google also tweets this info. If you haven't followed it already, I recommend it.

Ranking adjustments could take two weeks and will affect English searches internationally initially.

Google affirmed plans to extend to other languages.

If you own a website, monitor your rankings and traffic to see if it's affected.

SAHIL SAPRU

SAHIL SAPRU

4 months ago

Growth tactics that grew businesses from 1 to 100

Source: Freshworks

Everyone wants a scalable startup.

Innovation helps launch a startup. The secret to a scalable business is growth trials (from 1 to 100).

Growth marketing combines marketing and product development for long-term growth.

Today, I'll explain growth hacking strategies popular startups used to scale.

1/ A Facebook user's social value is proportional to their friends.

Facebook built its user base using content marketing and paid ads. Mark and his investors feared in 2007 when Facebook's growth stalled at 90 million users.

Chamath Palihapitiya was brought in by Mark.

The team tested SEO keywords and MAU chasing. The growth team introduced “people you may know

This feature reunited long-lost friends and family. Casual users became power users as the retention curve flattened.

Growth Hack Insights: With social network effect the value of your product or platform increases exponentially if you have users you know or can relate with.

2/ Airbnb - Focus on your value propositions

Airbnb nearly failed in 2009. The company's weekly revenue was $200 and they had less than 2 months of runway.

Enter Paul Graham. The team noticed a pattern in 40 listings. Their website's property photos sucked.

Why?

Because these photos were taken with regular smartphones. Users didn't like the first impression.

Graham suggested traveling to New York to rent a camera, meet with property owners, and replace amateur photos with high-resolution ones.

A week later, the team's weekly revenue doubled to $400, indicating they were on track.

Growth Hack Insights: When selling an “online experience” ensure that your value proposition is aesthetic enough for users to enjoy being associated with them.

3/ Zomato - A company's smartphone push ensured growth.

Zomato delivers food. User retention was a challenge for the founders. Indian food customers are notorious for switching brands at the drop of a hat.

Zomato wanted users to order food online and repeat orders throughout the week.

Zomato created an attractive website with “near me” keywords for SEO indexing.

Zomato gambled to increase repeat orders. They only allowed mobile app food orders.

Zomato thought mobile apps were stickier. Product innovations in search/discovery/ordering or marketing campaigns like discounts/in-app notifications/nudges can improve user experience.

Zomato went public in 2021 after users kept ordering food online.

Growth Hack Insights: To improve user retention try to build platforms that build user stickiness. Your product and marketing team will do the rest for them.

4/ Hotmail - Signaling helps build premium users.

Ever sent or received an email or tweet with a sign — sent from iPhone?

Hotmail did it first! One investor suggested Hotmail add a signature to every email.

Overnight, thousands joined the company. Six months later, the company had 1 million users.

When serving an existing customer, improve their social standing. Signaling keeps the top 1%.

5/ Dropbox - Respect loyal customers

Dropbox is a company that puts people over profits. The company prioritized existing users.

Dropbox rewarded loyal users by offering 250 MB of free storage to anyone who referred a friend. The referral hack helped Dropbox get millions of downloads in its first few months.

Growth Hack Insights: Think of ways to improve the social positioning of your end-user when you are serving an existing customer. Signaling goes a long way in attracting the top 1% to stay.

These experiments weren’t hacks. Hundreds of failed experiments and user research drove these experiments. Scaling up experiments is difficult.

Contact me if you want to grow your startup's user base.

Keagan Stokoe

Keagan Stokoe

2 months ago

Generalists Create Startups; Specialists Scale Them

There’s a funny part of ‘Steve Jobs’ by Walter Isaacson where Jobs says that Bill Gates was more a copier than an innovator:

“Bill is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which is why I think he’s more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology. He just shamelessly ripped off other people’s ideas….He’d be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger.”

Gates lacked flavor. Nobody ever got excited about a Microsoft launch, despite their good products. Jobs had the world's best product taste. Apple vs. Microsoft.

A CEO's core job functions are all driven by taste: recruiting, vision, and company culture all require good taste. Depending on the type of company you want to build, know where you stand between Microsoft and Apple.

How can you improve your product judgment? How to acquire taste?

Test and refine

Product development follows two parallel paths: the ‘customer obsession’ path and the ‘taste and iterate’ path.

The customer obsession path involves solving customer problems. Lean Startup frameworks show you what to build at each step.

Taste-and-iterate doesn't involve the customer. You iterate internally and rely on product leaders' taste and judgment.

Creative Selection by Ken Kocienda explains this method. In Creative Selection, demos are iterated and presented to product leaders. Your boss presents to their boss, and so on up to Steve Jobs. If you have good product taste, you can be a panelist.

The iPhone follows this path. Before seeing an iPhone, consumers couldn't want one. Customer obsession wouldn't have gotten you far because iPhone buyers didn't know they wanted one.

In The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Ben Horowitz writes:

“It turns out that is exactly what product strategy is all about — figuring out the right product is the innovator’s job, not the customer’s job. The customer only knows what she thinks she wants based on her experience with the current product. The innovator can take into account everything that’s possible, but often must go against what she knows to be true. As a result, innovation requires a combination of knowledge, skill, and courage.“

One path solves a problem the customer knows they have, and the other doesn't. Instead of asking a person what they want, observe them and give them something they didn't know they needed.

It's much harder. Apple is the world's most valuable company because it's more valuable. It changes industries permanently.

If you want to build superior products, use the iPhone of your industry.

How to Improve Your Taste

I. Work for a company that has taste.

People with the best taste in products, markets, and people are rewarded for building great companies. Tasteful people know quality even when they can't describe it. Taste isn't writable. It's feel-based.

Moving into a community that's already doing what you want to do may be the best way to develop entrepreneurial taste. Most company-building knowledge is tacit.

Joining a company you want to emulate allows you to learn its inner workings. It reveals internal patterns intuitively. Many successful founders come from successful companies.

Consumption determines taste. Excellence will refine you. This is why restauranteurs visit the world's best restaurants and serious painters visit Paris or New York. Joining a company with good taste is beneficial.

2. Possess a wide range of interests

“Edwin Land of Polaroid talked about the intersection of the humanities and science. I like that intersection. There’s something magical about that place… The reason Apple resonates with people is that there’s a deep current of humanity in our innovation. I think great artists and great engineers are similar, in that they both have a desire to express themselves.” — Steve Jobs

I recently discovered Edwin Land. Jobs modeled much of his career after Land's. It makes sense that Apple was inspired by Land.

A Triumph of Genius: Edwin Land, Polaroid, and the Kodak Patent War notes:

“Land was introverted in person, but supremely confident when he came to his ideas… Alongside his scientific passions, lay knowledge of art, music, and literature. He was a cultured person growing even more so as he got older, and his interests filtered into the ethos of Polaroid.”

Founders' philosophies shape companies. Jobs and Land were invested. It showed in the products their companies made. Different. His obsession was spreading Microsoft software worldwide. Microsoft's success is why their products are bland and boring.

Experience is important. It's probably why startups are built by generalists and scaled by specialists.

Jobs combined design, typography, storytelling, and product taste at Apple. Some of the best original Mac developers were poets and musicians. Edwin Land liked broad-minded people, according to his biography. Physicist-musicians or physicist-photographers.

Da Vinci was a master of art, engineering, architecture, anatomy, and more. He wrote and drew at the same desk. His genius is remembered centuries after his death. Da Vinci's statue would stand at the intersection of humanities and science.

We find incredibly creative people here. Superhumans. Designers, creators, and world-improvers. These are the people we need to navigate technology and lead world-changing companies. Generalists lead.

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Nitin Sharma

Nitin Sharma

7 days ago

Web3 Terminology You Should Know

The easiest online explanation.

Photo by Hammer & Tusk on Unsplash

Web3 is growing. Crypto companies are growing.

Instagram, Adidas, and Stripe adopted cryptocurrency.

Source: Polygon

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies made web3 famous.

Most don't know where to start. Cryptocurrency, DeFi, etc. are investments.

Since we don't understand web3, I'll help you today.

Let’s go.

1. Web3

It is the third generation of the web, and it is built on the decentralization idea which means no one can control it.

There are static webpages that we can only read on the first generation of the web (i.e. Web 1.0).

Web 2.0 websites are interactive. Twitter, Medium, and YouTube.

Each generation controlled the website owner. Simply put, the owner can block us. However, data breaches and selling user data to other companies are issues.

They can influence the audience's mind since they have control.

Assume Twitter's CEO endorses Donald Trump. Result? Twitter would have promoted Donald Trump with tweets and graphics, enhancing his chances of winning.

We need a decentralized, uncontrollable system.

And then there’s Web3.0 to consider. As Bitcoin and Ethereum values climb, so has its popularity. Web3.0 is uncontrolled web evolution. It's good and bad.

Dapps, DeFi, and DAOs are here. It'll all be explained afterwards.

2. Cryptocurrencies:

No need to elaborate.

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, and Dogecoin are cryptocurrencies. It's digital money used for payments and other uses.

Programs must interact with cryptocurrencies.

3. Blockchain:

Blockchain facilitates bitcoin transactions, investments, and earnings.

This technology governs Web3. It underpins the web3 environment.

Let us delve much deeper.

Blockchain is simple. However, the name expresses the meaning.

Blockchain is a chain of blocks.

Let's use an image if you don't understand.

The graphic above explains blockchain. Think Blockchain. The block stores related data.

Here's more.

4. Smart contracts

Programmers and developers must write programs. Smart contracts are these blockchain apps.

That’s reasonable.

Decentralized web3.0 requires immutable smart contracts or programs.

5. NFTs

Blockchain art is NFT. Non-Fungible Tokens.

Explaining Non-Fungible Token may help.

Two sorts of tokens:

  1. These tokens are fungible, meaning they can be changed. Think of Bitcoin or cash. The token won't change if you sell one Bitcoin and acquire another.

  2. Non-Fungible Token: Since these tokens cannot be exchanged, they are exclusive. For instance, music, painting, and so forth.

Right now, Companies and even individuals are currently developing worthless NFTs.

The concept of NFTs is much improved when properly handled.

6. Dapp

Decentralized apps are Dapps. Instagram, Twitter, and Medium apps in the same way that there is a lot of decentralized blockchain app.

Curve, Yearn Finance, OpenSea, Axie Infinity, etc. are dapps.

7. DAOs

DAOs are member-owned and governed.

Consider it a company with a core group of contributors.

8. DeFi

We all utilize centrally regulated financial services. We fund these banks.

If you have $10,000 in your bank account, the bank can invest it and retain the majority of the profits.

We only get a penny back. Some banks offer poor returns. To secure a loan, we must trust the bank, divulge our information, and fill out lots of paperwork.

DeFi was built for such issues.

Decentralized banks are uncontrolled. Staking, liquidity, yield farming, and more can earn you money.

Web3 beginners should start with these resources.

Gareth Willey

Gareth Willey

1 month ago

I've had these five apps on my phone for a long time.

TOP APPS

Who survives spring cleaning?

Illustration by author. Mock-up by RawPixel.

Relax. Notion is off-limits. This topic is popular.

(I wrote about it 2 years ago, before everyone else did.) So).

These apps are probably new to you. I hope you find a new phone app after reading this.

Outdooractive

ViewRanger is Google Maps for outdoor enthusiasts.

This app has been so important to me as a freedom-loving long-distance walker and hiker.

Screenshots from Outdooractive.

This app shows nearby trails and right-of-ways on top of an Open Street Map.

Helpful detail and data. Any route's distance,

You can download and follow tons of routes planned by app users.

This has helped me find new routes and places a fellow explorer has tried.

Free with non-intrusive ads. Years passed before I subscribed. Pro costs £2.23/month.

This app is for outdoor lovers.

Google Files

New phones come with bloatware. These rushed apps are frustrating.

We must replace these apps. 2017 was Google's year.

Screenshots from Files.

Files is a file manager. It's quick, innovative, and clean. They've given people what they want.

It's easy to organize files, clear space, and clear cache.

I recommend Gallery by Google as a gallery app alternative. It's quick and easy.

Trainline

Screenshots by Trainline.

App for trains, buses, and coaches.

I've used this app for years. It did the basics well when I first used it.

Since then, it's improved. It's constantly adding features to make traveling easier and less stressful.

Split-ticketing helps me save hundreds a year on train fares. This app is only available in the UK and Europe.

This service doesn't link to a third-party site. Their app handles everything.

Not all train and coach companies use this app. All the big names are there, though.

Here's more on the app.

Battlefield: Mobile

Screenshot from home screen.

Play Store has 478,000 games. Few can turn my phone into a console.

Call of Duty Mobile and Asphalt 8/9 are examples.

Asphalt's loot boxes and ads make it unplayable. Call of Duty opens with a few ads. Close them to play without hassle.

This game uses all your phone's features to provide a high-quality, seamless experience. If my internet connection is good, I never experience lag or glitches.

The gameplay is energizing and intense, just like on consoles. Sometimes I'm too involved. I've thrown my phone in anger. I'm totally absorbed.

Customizability is my favorite. Since phones have limited screen space, we should only have the buttons we need, placed conveniently.

Size, opacity, and position are modifiable. Adjust audio, graphics, and textures. It's customizable.

This game has been on my phone for three years. It began well and has gotten better. When I think the creators can't do more, they do.

If you play, read my tips for winning a Battle Royale.

Lightroom

Screenshots from Lightroom app.

As a photographer, I believe your best camera is on you. The phone.

2017 was a big year for this app. I've tried many photo-editing apps since then. This always wins.

The app is dull. I've never seen better photo editing on a phone.

Adjusting settings and sliders doesn't damage or compress photos. It's detailed.

This is important for phone photos, which are lower quality than professional ones.

Some tools are behind a £4.49/month paywall. Adobe must charge a subscription fee instead of selling licenses. (I'm still bitter about Creative Cloud's price)

Snapseed is my pick. Lightroom is where I do basic editing before moving to Snapseed. Snapseed review:

Screen recording of the powerful Snapseed app.

These apps are great. They cover basic and complex editing needs while traveling.

Final Reflections

I hope you downloaded one of these. Share your favorite apps. These apps are scarce.

Architectural Digest

Architectural Digest

7 months ago

Take a look at The One, a Los Angeles estate with a whopping 105,000 square feet of living area.

The interiors of the 105,000-square-foot property, which sits on a five-acre parcel in the wealthy Los Angeles suburb of Bel Air and is suitably titled The One, have been a well guarded secret. We got an intimate look inside this world-record-breaking property, as well as the creative and aesthetic geniuses behind it.

The estate appears to float above the city, surrounded on three sides by a moat and a 400-foot-long running track. Completed over eight years—and requiring 600 workers to build—the home was designed by architect Paul McClean and interior designer Kathryn Rotondi, who were enlisted by owner and developer Nile Niami to help it live up to its standard.
"This endeavor seemed both exhilarating and daunting," McClean says. However, the home's remarkable location and McClean's long-standing relationship with Niami persuaded him to "build something unique and extraordinary" rather than just take on the job.

And McClean has more than delivered.

The home's main entrance leads to a variety of meeting places with magnificent 360-degree views of the Pacific Ocean, downtown Los Angeles, and the San Gabriel Mountains, thanks to its 26-foot-high ceilings. There is water at the entrance area, as well as a sculpture and a bridge. "We often employ water in our design approach because it provides a sensory change that helps you acclimatize to your environment," McClean explains.

Niami wanted a neutral palette that would enable the environment and vistas to shine, so she used black, white, and gray throughout the house.

McClean has combined the home's inside with outside "to create that quintessential L.A. lifestyle but on a larger scale," he says, drawing influence from the local environment and history of Los Angeles modernism. "We separated the entertaining spaces from the living portions to make the house feel more livable. The former are on the lowest level, which serves as a plinth for the rest of the house and minimizes its apparent mass."

The home's statistics, in addition to its eye-catching style, are equally impressive. There are 42 bathrooms, 21 bedrooms, a 5,500-square-foot master suite, a 30-car garage gallery with two car-display turntables, a four-lane bowling alley, a spa level, a 30-seat movie theater, a "philanthropy wing (with a capacity of 200) for charity galas, a 10,000-square-foot sky deck, and five swimming pools.

Rotondi, the creator of KFR Design, collaborated with Niami on the interior design to create different spaces that flow into one another despite the house's grandeur. "I was especially driven to 'wow factor' components in the hospitality business," Rotondi says, citing top luxury hotel brands such as Aman, Bulgari, and Baccarat as sources of inspiration. Meanwhile, the home's color scheme, soft textures, and lighting are a nod to Niami and McClean's favorite Tom Ford boutique on Rodeo Drive.

The house boasts an extraordinary collection of art, including a butterfly work by Stephen Wilson on the lower level and a Niclas Castello bespoke panel in black and silver in the office, thanks to a cooperation between Creative Art Partners and Art Angels. There is also a sizable collection of bespoke furniture pieces from byShowroom.

A house of this size will never be erected again in Los Angeles, thanks to recently enacted city rules, so The One will truly be one of a kind. "For all of us, this project has been such a long and instructive trip," McClean says. "It was exciting to develop and approached with excitement, but I don't think any of us knew how much effort and time it would take to finish the project."