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Liz Martin

Liz Martin

1 year ago

A Search Engine From Apple?

More on Technology

Nicolas Tresegnie

Nicolas Tresegnie

1 year ago

Launching 10 SaaS applications in 100 days

Photo by Mauro Sbicego / Unsplash

Apocodes helps entrepreneurs create SaaS products without writing code. This post introduces micro-SaaS and outlines its basic strategy.

Strategy

Vision and strategy differ when starting a startup.

  • The company's long-term future state is outlined in the vision. It establishes the overarching objectives the organization aims to achieve while also justifying its existence. The company's future is outlined in the vision.

  • The strategy consists of a collection of short- to mid-term objectives, the accomplishment of which will move the business closer to its vision. The company gets there through its strategy.

The vision should be stable, but the strategy must be adjusted based on customer input, market conditions, or previous experiments.

Begin modestly and aim high.

Be truthful. It's impossible to automate SaaS product creation from scratch. It's like climbing Everest without running a 5K. Physical rules don't prohibit it, but it would be suicide.

Apocodes 5K equivalent? Two options:

  • (A) Create a feature that includes every setting option conceivable. then query potential clients “Would you choose us to build your SaaS solution if we offered 99 additional features of the same caliber?” After that, decide which major feature to implement next.

  • (B) Build a few straightforward features with just one or two configuration options. Then query potential clients “Will this suffice to make your product?” What's missing if not? Finally, tweak the final result a bit before starting over.

(A) is an all-or-nothing approach. It's like training your left arm to climb Mount Everest. My right foot is next.

(B) is a better method because it's iterative and provides value to customers throughout.

Focus on a small market sector, meet its needs, and expand gradually. Micro-SaaS is Apocode's first market.

What is micro-SaaS.

Micro-SaaS enterprises have these characteristics:

  • A limited range: They address a specific problem with a small number of features.

  • A small group of one to five individuals.

  • Low external funding: The majority of micro-SaaS companies have Total Addressable Markets (TAM) under $100 million. Investors find them unattractive as a result. As a result, the majority of micro-SaaS companies are self-funded or bootstrapped.

  • Low competition: Because they solve problems that larger firms would rather not spend time on, micro-SaaS enterprises have little rivalry.

  • Low upkeep: Because of their simplicity, they require little care.

  • Huge profitability: Because providing more clients incurs such a small incremental cost, high profit margins are possible.

Micro-SaaS enterprises created with no-code are Apocode's ideal first market niche.

We'll create our own micro-SaaS solutions to better understand their needs. Although not required, we believe this will improve community discussions.

The challenge

In 100 days (September 12–December 20, 2022), we plan to build 10 micro-SaaS enterprises using Apocode.

They will be:

  • Self-serve: Customers will be able to use the entire product experience without our manual assistance.

  • Real: They'll deal with actual issues. They won't be isolated proofs of concept because we'll keep up with them after the challenge.

  • Both free and paid options: including a free plan and a free trial period. Although financial success would be a good result, the challenge's stated objective is not financial success.

This will let us design Apocodes features, showcase them, and talk to customers.

(Edit: The first micro-SaaS was launched!)

Follow along

If you want to follow the story of Apocode or our progress in this challenge, you can subscribe here.

If you are interested in using Apocode, sign up here.

If you want to provide feedback, discuss the idea further or get involved, email me at nicolas.tresegnie@gmail.com

Gareth Willey

Gareth Willey

1 year 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.

CyberPunkMetalHead

CyberPunkMetalHead

1 year ago

I made ChatGPT copy itself.

OpenAI's ChatGPT is an amazing AI-powered chatbot. It can write poetry, stories, and marketing campaigns, and it's also adept at coding. ChatGPT's coding is so amazing that it replicated itself. What happened:

Me: Hi

Hello! Can I help? I'll answer any inquiries you have.

Me: Build a python and flask AI chatbot that responds to user messages on the frontend.

CGPT:

from flask import Flask, request, jsonify

import openai
openai.api_key = "YOUR_API_KEY"

@app.route('/chatbot', methods=['POST'])
def chatbot():
    user_message = request.get_json()['message']
    response = chatbot_response(user_message)
    return jsonify({'response': response})


def chatbot_response(user_message):
    response = openai.Completion.create(
        engine="text-davinci-002",
        prompt=user_message,
        max_tokens=1024,
        n = 1,
        temperature=0.5
    )
    return response['choices'][0]['text']

if __name__ == '__main__':
    app.run()

To integrate a chatbot with a frontend, use Flask to serve an HTML page with a form for user messages and the chatbot's answer. AJAX can submit the form to the /chatbot route, and JavaScript can show the chatbot's response.

I imported code snippets at the top of the file.

Let's add a frontend interface, I said.

CGPT:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
    <title>AI Chatbot</title>
</head>
<body>
    <h1>AI Chatbot</h1>
    <form id="chatbot-form">
        <label for="message">Message:</label><br>
        <input type="text" id="message" name="message"><br>
        <input type="submit" value="Submit">
    </form> 
    <div id="chatbot-response"></div>

    <script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/3.5.1/jquery.min.js"></script>
    <script>
        $(document).ready(function() {
            $("#chatbot-form").submit(function(e) {
                e.preventDefault();
                var userMessage = $("#message").val();
                $.ajax({
                    type: "POST",
                    url: "/chatbot",
                    data: JSON.stringify({message: userMessage}),
                    contentType: "application/json; charset=utf-8",
                    dataType: "json",
                    success: function(response) {
                        $("#chatbot-response").text(response.response);
                    }
                });
            });
        });
    </script>
</body>
</html>

To serve this HTML page using Flask, build a new route that returns the page as a GET response.

So far, so good.

Looked quite basic so I got chatGPT to add some tailwind to the project.

Me: Tailwind the chatbot.html page, please. Give it a futuristic style with purple and neon

After a few more prompts, Talk GPT aligned the form to the center, changed some colors, and added padding.

CGPT:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
    <title>AI Chatbot</title>
    <link href="https://unpkg.com/tailwindcss@^1.0/dist/tailwind.min.css" rel="stylesheet">
</head>
<body class="bg-black flex flex-col justify-center items-center">
    <h1 class="sm:text-center text-purple-500">AI Chatbot</h1>
    <form id="chatbot-form" class="border-purple-500 bg-purple-800 rounded">
        <label for="message">Message:</label><br>
        <input type="text" id="message" name="message" class="min-w-30 rounded"><br>
        <input type="submit" value="Submit" class="bg-purple-500 border-red-500 transform hover:scale-110 rounded">
    </form> 
    <div class="flex justify-center">
        <div id="chatbot-response" class="text-white rounded"></div>
    </div>

    <script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/3.5.1/jquery.min.js"></script>
    <script>
        var colors = ['red', 'orange', 'yellow', 'green', 'blue', 'indigo', 'violet'];
        var colorIndex = 0;
        
        $(document).ready(function() {
            setInterval(function() {
                $("#chatbot-form").css('border-color', colors[colorIndex]);
                colorIndex = (colorIndex + 1) % colors.length;
            }, 1000);

            $("#chatbot-form").submit(function(e) {
                e.preventDefault();
                var userMessage = $("#message").val();
                $.ajax({
                    type: "POST",
                    url: "/chatbot",
                    data: JSON.stringify({message: userMessage}),
                    contentType: "application/json; charset=utf-8",
                    dataType: "json",
                    success: function(response) {
                        $("#chatbot-response").text(response.response);
                    }
                });
            });
        });
    </script>
</body>
</html>

Improved:

A few more prompts like “Add more vertical and horizontal padding to the submit button and vertical margin, and vertically align this file's body.”

The result:

Is it effective? Now, I'll chat with ChatGPT's AI Chatbot. I intervened minimally throughout construction. Chat GPT created numerous files, connected and interacted with its own API, and presented the user request response on the front end by itself.

Me to AI Chatbot: Hey, can you give me 6 name suggestions for a black horse?

Me to AI Chatbot: Write a poem in the style of Jim Morrison. Make sure to mention cacti and black holes

ChatGPTs Chatbot:

In the desert night, I am confronted by cacti, 
Their arms reaching out, As if to grab me and take me away. 
The stars in the sky, Beckon me to come, 
To a world of black holes, Where I can be free. 
I am in a trance, My body and mind, 
In a state of limbo, As I wander the night. 
I hear a voice, Calling me to the unknown, 
I cannot resist, The lure of the black hole. 
The cacti watch, As I take my leave, 
To a place of mystery, Where I can find peace.

Of course, the next question I gave it was to build a chatbot!

Me: Build a python and flask AI chatbot that responds to user messages on the frontend.

ChatbotGPTs:

import os from flask 
import Flask, request, jsonify 
from chatterbot 
import ChatBot 
from chatterbot.trainers 
import ListTrainer 

# Create a new chatbot 
bot = ChatBot( 
  "My Bot", 
  storage_adapter="chatterbot.storage.SQLStorageAdapter", 
  logic_adapters=[ 
    "chatterbot.logic.BestMatch", 
    { "import_path": "chatterbot.logic.BestMatch", 
      "statement_comparison_function": "chatterbot.comparisons.levenshtein_distance", 
       "response_selection_method": "chatterbot.response_selection.get_first_response" } 
    ], 
    database_uri="sqlite:///database.sqlite3" ) 

# Train the chatbot with a few sample conversations 
conversation = [ "Hello", "Hi there!", "How are you doing?", "I'm doing great.", "That is good to hear", "Thank you.", "You're welcome." ] 
trainer = ListTrainer(bot) trainer.train(conversation) 

# Create a Flask app 
app = Flask(__name__) 

# Define a route for the default URL 
@app.route("/") def index(): return "<h1>Chatbot</h1>" 

# Define a route for the /get_response URL 
@app.route("/get_response", methods=["POST"]) 

def get_response(): 
# Get the user's message 
user_message = request.form["user_message"] 
# Get the bot's response 
bot_response = bot.get_response(user_message) 
# Return the bot's response 
return str(bot_response) 
# Run the Flask 
app if __name__ == "__main__": app.run()

No matter how many times I tried, the second generation always used chatterbot instead of the ChatGPT API. Even when I told it to use the ChatGPT API, it didn't.

ChatGTP's ability to reproduce or construct other machine learning algorithms is interesting and possibly terrifying. Nothing prevents ChatGPT from replicating itself ad infinitum throughout the Internet other than a lack of desire. This may be the first time a machine repeats itself, so I've preserved the project as a reference. Adding a requirements.txt file and python env for easier deployment is the only change to the code.

I hope you enjoyed this.

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Chris Newman

Chris Newman

1 year ago

Clean Food: Get Over Yourself If You Want to Save the World.

From Salt Bae, via Facebook

I’m a permaculture farmer. I want to create food-producing ecosystems. My hope is a world with easy access to a cuisine that nourishes consumers, supports producers, and leaves the Earth joyously habitable.

Permaculturists, natural farmers, plantsmen, and foodies share this ambition. I believe this group of green thumbs, stock-folk, and food champions is falling to tribalism, forgetting that rescuing the globe requires saving all of its inhabitants, even those who adore cheap burgers and Coke. We're digging foxholes and turning folks who disagree with us or don't understand into monsters.

Take Dr. Daphne Miller's comments at the end of her Slow Money Journal interview:

“Americans are going to fall into two camps when all is said and done: People who buy cheap goods, regardless of quality, versus people who are willing and able to pay for things that are made with integrity. We are seeing the limits of the “buying cheap crap” approach.”

This is one of the most judgmental things I've read outside the Bible. Consequences:

  • People who purchase inexpensive things (food) are ignorant buffoons who prefer to choose fair trade coffee over fuel as long as the price is correct.

  • It all depends on your WILL to buy quality or cheaply. Both those who are WILLING and those who ARE NOT exist. And able, too.

  • People who are unwilling and unable are purchasing garbage. You're giving your kids bad food. Both the Earth and you are being destroyed by your actions. Your camp is the wrong one. You’re garbage! Disgrace to you.

Dr. Miller didn't say it, but words are worthless until interpreted. This interpretation depends on the interpreter's economic, racial, political, religious, family, and personal history. Complementary language insults another. Imagine how that Brown/Harvard M.D.'s comment sounds to a low-income household with no savings.

This just went from “cheap burger” to “political statement of blue-collar solidarity.” Thanks, Clean Food, for digging your own grave.

Dr. Miller's comment reflects the echo chamber into which nearly all clean food advocates speak. It asks easy questions and accepts non-solutions like raising food prices and eating less meat. People like me have cultivated an insular world unencumbered by challenges beyond the margins. We may disagree about technical details in rotationally-grazing livestock, but we short circuit when asked how our system could supply half the global beef demand. Most people have never seriously considered this question. We're so loved and affirmed that challenging ourselves doesn't seem necessary. Were generals insisting we don't need to study the terrain because God is on our side?

“Yes, the $8/lb ground beef is produced the way it should be. Yes, it’s good for my body. Yes it’s good for the Earth. But it’s eight freaking dollars, and my kid needs braces and protein. Bye Felicia, we’re going to McDonald’s.”

-Bobby Q. Homemaker

Funny clean foodies. People don't pay enough for food; they should value it more. Turn the concept of buying food with integrity into a wedge and drive it into the heart of America, dividing the willing and unwilling.

We go apeshit if you call our products high-end.

I've heard all sorts of gaslighting to defend a $10/lb pork chop as accessible (things I’ve definitely said in the past):

  • At Whole Foods, it costs more.

  • The steak at the supermarket is overly affordable.

  • Pay me immediately or the doctor gets paid later.

I spoke with Timbercreek Market and Local Food Hub in front of 60 people. We were asked about local food availability.

They came to me last, after my co-panelists gave the same responses I would have given two years before.

I grumbled, "Our food is inaccessible." Nope. It's beyond the wallets of nearly everyone, and it's the biggest problem with sustainable food systems. We're criminally unserious about being leaders in sustainability until we propose solutions beyond economic relativism, wishful thinking, and insisting that vulnerable, distracted people do all the heavy lifting of finding a way to afford our food. And until we talk about solutions, all this preserve the world? False.

The room fell silent as if I'd revealed a terrible secret. Long, thunderous applause followed my other remarks. But I’m probably not getting invited back to any VNRLI events.

I make pricey cuisine. It’s high-end. I have customers who really have to stretch to get it, and they let me know it. They're forgoing other creature comforts to help me make a living and keep the Earth of my grandmothers alive, and they're doing it as an act of love. They believe in us and our work.

I remember it when I'm up to my shoulders in frigid water, when my vehicle stinks of four types of shit, when I come home covered in blood and mud, when I'm hauling water in 100-degree heat, when I'm herding pigs in a rainstorm and dodging lightning bolts to close the chickens. I'm reminded I'm not alone. Their enthusiasm is worth more than money; it helps me make a life and a living. I won't label that gift less than it is to make my meal seem more accessible.

Not everyone can sacrifice.

Let's not pretend we want to go back to peasant fare, despite our nostalgia. Industrial food has leveled what rich and poor eat. How food is cooked will be the largest difference between what you and a billionaire eat. Rich and poor have access to chicken, pork, and beef. You might be shocked how recently that wasn't the case. This abundance, particularly of animal protein, has helped vulnerable individuals.

Especially when the mutton’s nice and lean (image from The Spruce)

Industrial food causes environmental damage, chronic disease, and distribution inequities. Clean food promotes non-industrial, artisan farming. This creates a higher-quality, more expensive product than the competition; we respond with aggressive marketing and the "people need to value food more" shtick geared at consumers who can spend the extra money.

The guy who is NOT able is rendered invisible by clean food's elitist marketing, which is bizarre given a.) clean food insists it's trying to save the world, yet b.) MOST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD ARE THAT GUY. No one can help him except feel-good charities. That's crazy.

Also wrong: a foodie telling a kid he can't eat a 99-cent fast food hamburger because it lacks integrity. Telling him how easy it is to save his ducketts and maybe have a grass-fed house burger at the end of the month as a reward, but in the meantime get your protein from canned beans you can't bake because you don't have a stove and, even if you did, your mom works two jobs and moonlights as an Uber driver so she doesn't have time to heat that shitup anyway.

A wealthy person's attitude toward the poor is indecent. It's 18th-century Versailles.

“Let them eat cake. Oh, it’s not organic? Let them starve!”

Human rights include access to nutritious food without social or environmental costs. As a food-forest-loving permaculture farmer, I no longer balk at the concept of cultured beef and hydroponics. My food is out of reach for many people, but access to decent food shouldn't be. Cultures and hydroponics could scale to meet the clean food affordability gap without externalities. If technology can deliver great, affordable beef without environmental negative effects, I can't reject it because it's new, unusual, or might endanger my business.

Why is your farm needed if cultured beef and hydroponics can feed the world? Permaculture food forests with trees, perennial plants, and animals are crucial to economically successful environmental protection. No matter how advanced technology gets, we still need clean air, water, soil, greenspace, and food.

Clean Food cultivated in/on live soil, minimally processed, and eaten close to harvest is part of the answer, not THE solution. Clean food advocates must recognize the conflicts at the intersection of environmental, social, and economic sustainability, the disproportionate effects of those conflicts on the poor and lower-middle classes, and the immorality and impracticality of insisting vulnerable people address those conflicts on their own and judging them if they don't.

Our clients, relatives, friends, and communities need an honest assessment of our role in a sustainable future. If we're serious about preserving the world, we owe honesty to non-customers. We owe our goal and sanity to honesty. Future health and happiness of the world left to the average person's pocketbook and long-term moral considerations is a dismal proposition with few parallels.

Let's make soil and grow food. Let the lab folks do their thing. We're all interdependent.

Sammy Abdullah

Sammy Abdullah

1 year ago

SaaS payback period data

It's ok and even desired to be unprofitable if you're gaining revenue at a reasonable cost and have 100%+ net dollar retention, meaning you never lose customers and expand them. To estimate the acceptable cost of new SaaS revenue, we compare new revenue to operating loss and payback period. If you pay back the customer acquisition cost in 1.5 years and never lose them (100%+ NDR), you're doing well.

To evaluate payback period, we compared new revenue to net operating loss for the last 73 SaaS companies to IPO since October 2017. (55 out of 73). Here's the data. 1/(new revenue/operating loss) equals payback period. New revenue/operating loss equals cost of new revenue.

Payback averages a year. 55 SaaS companies that weren't profitable at IPO got a 1-year payback. Outstanding. If you pay for a customer in a year and never lose them (100%+ NDR), you're establishing a valuable business. The average was 1.3 years, which is within the 1.5-year range.

New revenue costs $0.96 on average. These SaaS companies lost $0.96 every $1 of new revenue last year. Again, impressive. Average new revenue per operating loss was $1.59.

Loss-in-operations definition. Operating loss revenue COGS S&M R&D G&A (technical point: be sure to use the absolute value of operating loss). It's wrong to only consider S&M costs and ignore other business costs. Operating loss and new revenue are measured over one year to eliminate seasonality.

Operating losses are desirable if you never lose a customer and have a quick payback period, especially when SaaS enterprises are valued on ARR. The payback period should be under 1.5 years, the cost of new income < $1, and net dollar retention 100%.

Jeff John Roberts

Jeff John Roberts

1 year ago

Jack Dorsey and  Jay-Z Launch 'Bitcoin Academy' in Brooklyn rapper's home

The new Bitcoin Academy will teach Jay-Marcy Z's Houses neighbors "What is Cryptocurrency."
Jay-Z grew up in Brooklyn's Marcy Houses. The rapper and Block CEO Jack Dorsey are giving back to his hometown by creating the Bitcoin Academy.

The Bitcoin Academy will offer online and in-person classes, including "What is Money?" and "What is Blockchain?"
The program will provide participants with a mobile hotspot and a small amount of Bitcoin for hands-on learning.

Students will receive dinner and two evenings of instruction until early September. The Shawn Carter Foundation will help with on-the-ground instruction.

Jay-Z and Dorsey announced the program Thursday morning. It will begin at Marcy Houses but may be expanded.

Crypto Blockchain Plug and Black Bitcoin Billionaire, which has received a grant from Block, will teach the classes.

Jay-Z, Dorsey reunite

Jay-Z and Dorsey have previously worked together to promote a Bitcoin and crypto-based future.

In 2021, Dorsey's Block (then Square) acquired the rapper's streaming music service Tidal, which they propose using for NFT distribution.

Dorsey and Jay-Z launched an endowment in 2021 to fund Bitcoin development in Africa and India.

Dorsey is funding the new Bitcoin Academy out of his own pocket (as is Jay-Z), but he's also pushed crypto-related charitable endeavors at Block, including a $5 million fund backed by corporate Bitcoin interest.


This post is a summary. Read full article here