Worth mentioning I: Content generation, Flywheels, Network effects, what customers want?, Instagram bots

This is a small experiment. When I read posts that I really like I will compile them in groups of five, write a small paragraph for each link and post it here. So let’s start with the first of its kind.

The GaryVee Content Model This is the most insightful presentation I’ve seen in a long time. It contains the content creation of Gary Vaynerchuk is a well-explained way with insightful examples. The top-down pyramid consists of one big piece of content that then is chopped and adapted for each of the social media platforms.

Advantage Flywheels In this context flywheels are self-reinforcing loops that improve your business. E.g. More customers -> lower costs -> because of the lower costs you get more customers. In this post, there is a nice explanation with some real-world examples.

The Network Effects Manual: 14 Different Network Effects (and counting) This is a great post with network strategies. Interesting, maybe for reference but nothing extremely new. If you don’t have much time check the first video on the post.

Want to Know What Your Customers Want? Go to Amazon and YouTube This article contains simple information to gather ideas for your product. It basically consists of watching youtube videos and learn from them. But also using amazon to do research.

How I Eat For Free in NYC Using Python, Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and Instagram I’m a sucker for automation and this post is lit. I loved the explanation on how to automate an Instagram account, I disliked the fact that he used it to get free food…

New Year’s Resolutions 2020: Focusing on the right habits

For eight years I’ve been setting public goals for myself. With more or less success I’ve also been evaluating the outcomes without exception. From these reviews come the feedback I crave to keep improving and tweaking to adapt myself. From last year’s review, one of the main conclusions was that I need some more focus and planning. I’m satisfied because I achieved a fair amount of goals, but I missed many of the optional or less relevant ones. So, this year I will focus on fewer goals, mostly bounded to a few months but with a higher amount of required time. What I won’t change is the use of the SMART criteria. SMART goals come from project planning vocabulary and it stands for Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, and Time-bound.

January

Every journey starts with a single step.
– Chinese proverb

The month of January will be a little convoluted. During these days I will ultimate the details for Australia, say goodbye to friends and wrap up some of my work. I plan some more swimming and climbing with friends. The main goal is obtaining a climbing license. On the business side: put up a webpage with the book summaries and aim for 50 visits/day by the end of the month.
Book to read: Zig Ziglar on selling

February, March and April

I will be posted in Perth (Australia). During that time my work goal is to get comfortable with Tensorflow and Keras. But man shall not live by bread alone; therefore, I intend to learn scuba diving, surfing, and dancing (potentially bachata or swing). I shall visit the surroundings but right now it is still unclear exactly what. I will regularly join a toastmasters club in the city. During this period I will also work on my business ideas. I will prepare myself by doing market analysis consolidating each of the ideas until I understand and make sense in my head. After that, I will craft a strategy on how to approach decision-makers to turn the ideas into something worthy.

Books to read: Small giants, getting to yes, the snowball

May

This is my vacation month. During this time I want to visit the most important landmarks in Australia and maybe some other countries nearby. The first contact about my business ideas will take place.
Book to read: the inevitable

June, July and August

Back to real life in Copenhagen. Some catching up with friends will happen. I will find someone that helps me to improve my running biomechanics. I will get a wet suit and swim in open water. By the end of summer, I shall finish a small triathlon. By now I should have already spoken with some key people about my ideas and build relevant contacts.
Books to read: The intelligent investor, grow rich, how Asia works

Spetember

After summer, the bad weather will arrive and people will sell their bikes. I will buy a racing bike and start building muscle for this sport. I also expect to keep working on my business ideas and start elucidating patterns.
Book to read: Endure

October, November and December

During autumn and early winter training outdoors will become complicated. However, some degree of training will be performed. Maybe some trips to visit family and friends will occur. In the last trimester of the year, I will add some more steam to the business ideas to have a more clear picture of what to plan for the following year.
Books to read: thinking in bets, never split the difference, see you at the top.

All year goals!

Habits do not require deadlines, they are a long term commitment not bound to a goal. Those activities that deem to be recurrent across months will be placed here.

Even though by the end of 2019 I failed a little bit at it, I want to improve the quality of my inputs and outputs. That means watching less random TV shows, visiting less random websites, focusing on things that really spark joy and focus one a thing at a time. Along those lines, I want to strengthen my self-discipline . I want to plan more things and reduce my thoughts of do I feel like doing X when the time comes. That also includes act on the tough calls without much time dilation.

I am going to spend at least five minutes a day meditating. No matter how much late I run, or how much work I have to do, there are 5 minutes a day that I can take and meditate. To clear my mind. To stop the world. Another five minutes of yoga/stretching a day. When I wake up, before going to bed, when I arrive at work or when I get home.

To end my resolutions I would like to do something for you. For those that read these lines. I propose myself to write in the blog for at least once a month about new insights that I gain or something I want to remember but also something that may be useful for you.

Remember aim for the stars, be happy and when in doubt choose the adventure.
That being said…

Happy new year!

2019 resolutions revised

This blog entered a new phase during 2019. I started writing in English and the first post was the new year’s resolutions. Like I did with the previous years, now it’s time to review the goals I set up for myself and evaluate them. I should say that on one side I’m happy because I achieved most of the main goals; however, I did add quite a lot of “side quests” that I miserably failed at. But from failures one learns, for next year’s resolutions I intend to amend the mistakes and build a better resolutions list.

Professional

  1. Improve my presentation skills: I did improve. I kept going to the toastmasters where I’ve seen awesome people. I gained on presenting confidence. I did also realize that I require some proper practicing and deeper thinking while preparing the presentation because people will challange my ideas.
  2. Improve my writing dexterity: I’ve started doing paper writing and joined some very good english writing courses. I still feel a little weak on the punctuation but overall I improved.
  3. Start a business: I did a weak start and tried to implement a recurring party event. The first time went great, I got everyone on board. Despite me not being pushy it worked quite well the first time. The second event I got less people on board for various reasons and it lost a lot of steam. I came to realize how important are collaborations. I’m glad I tried, now I saw what I should improve. The most important is that I should be more “salesy”.
  4. Keep high standards for my inputs and output: I started and maintined quite strong vision for this. Towards the end of the year, when my workload decreased I lost focus and half returned to my previous habits.
  5. Get back to German: Miserably failed. I did and continue to watch some things in german, but it is passive only.
  6. Write a machine learning book: Failed at it. This approach did not work although the idea was not bad. I do not discard the idea for a further future.

Personal

  1. Improving my swimming crawling technique: I became quite fit on swimming. I learned to do open water swimming. I’m quite happy about it.
  2. Boost my weight lifting fitness: I became quite good at it, but because a change on the gym policies I stopped going there. I consider it accomplished.
  3. Improve my running: I run a half marathon with little preparation on 1h 57min. Not bad. I also increased my short distance running speed.
  4. Meditation: Started strong, abandon it, but started again at the end. I’ll give it a pass
  5. Read at least twelve books: I did! Although not all the ones that I proposed here.
  6. Keep cooking most of my meals and keep learning a recipe every month. I did cook most of my meals and I learned new and interesting recepies. Even though it was not my goal, I managed to start a cake club at work.

Extra resolutions

  1. Polish my salsa competence. Failed, I did not join any class and I could have went to more socials…
  2. Improve my tango I simply never went back.
  3. Visit a new country that I haven’t been yet. I give this one a pass because now in January I’m going to Australia and Oceania for four months! :D.
  4. Improve my self discipline. Interestingly I managed, although there is always room for improvement. The best thing I did was to sleep when I did not feel like doing anything.
  5. Go through one day on the weekend without technology. I mostly managed and I’m happy about it. It was not completely without IT but I kept the PC away.
  6. Improve my interpersonal skills by arguing more often. Even though I managed to get incredible things, I do not consider them negotiation or at least it was not what I had in mind for these lines.

12 months 12 challenges

  1. Free hugs: Failed…
  2. Cycle using a fat bike: Failed…
  3. Use a snowmobile: Failed…
  4. Use a jet ski: Failed…
  5. Brew my own beer: Failed… (but I have a kit to start practicing)
  6. Make my own wine: Failed…
  7. Do hang gliding: Failed… (but I have a voucher)
  8. Do paragliding: Failed…
  9. Go with dog sledding: Failed…
  10. Get a tattoo: Failed…
  11. Bungee jumping: Failed…
  12. Dye my hair in electric blue: Managed! Everyone liked it and was excited. I also liked it but it requires too much maintanance..

Countries are monopolies

Monopoly: the exclusive possession or control of the supply of or trade in a commodity or service.

Until recently you were trapped in the country you were born. However, things have changed. Now it is much easier to change countries, move assets, and even secede. Society is becoming more fluid. Borders too. Hopefully, the states will soon realize that coercion does not make things better. But right now, only few citizens realize and are able to stand up and leave.

To further develop the idea you may want to check Citizenship beyond the state from John Hoffman

AI competitions don’t produce useful models

Awesome post totally recommended: AI competitions don’t produce useful models

TLTR; From the upper average top performing models the one that has the best accuracy is not necessarily the best one. The blog post argues that the test set is not big enough to differentiate among the best models so in most of the cases what we find is which model actually better overfitted everything.

Competing together, not against each other

In many instances people think they should sink the other ships to win the race but that -as it turns out- this is not true. They think in this way because they are thinking about a zero-sum game. However, that is not always the case, there are many environments where you can benefit more from collaboration than competition.

There is the case when the technologies are mature enough that standardisation works for the competitors. Competitors will work together to create a technical standard (e.g. ISO). If the main players accept that that will mean that everyone accepted that to be the way to go, and they should focus the resources on other areas. Areas where the reward may be much bigger if they get it right.

Companies can also collaborate to increase the market for which they are competing. It may make more sense to work together to attract more customers than to fight for a small piece of the existing pie.

Companies may agree on certain aspects to prevent new players entering the market. That may be the taxi industry. Few companies are the ones who manage the taxis preventing anyone from offering the service.

Working together for a bigger goal. That may be that both companies have a common aim and agree to put differences aside so they are able to work together and achieve a greater glory than they could alone. In this case may be the Allies during the WWII, or now-a-days companies or governments to achieve the AI supremacy.

Sharing ideas and information may enhance the speed at which innovation happen. Different competitors could scratch each other’s back and play their strengths. Doing that may help the industry itself. It may also help to reduce the risks, so instead of investing large amounts of money in one project one could invest smaller amounts in more projects and still obtain results from all of them.

So not everything about competition is competing. You can collaborate and still profit equally if not more from the partnership.

How to estimate a market size using facebook?

It always fascinated me how could estimate the market size. Many times, you have this wonderful idea but it turns out that no-one was asking for it. So here I’m going to explain how to estimate the market size using available resources in a very “rule of thumb way”.

So, the reason why I’m using Facebook in this case is because, like it or not everyone is there, and the big brother knows everything about us. Where we live, age, sex, but also what we like, political orientation, and a long etc.

We can start by going to Facebook to create a new marketing campaign. You say you want to create an ad and you want to direct people to your website (traffic).

In here you next select the profile you want to target. Age, sex, location, but the important part are the interests and activities. There are possible elements to select like dancing but also more behavioural such as travellers.

Once you have defined the persona you will be able to see how many people fit those categories and therefore your potential audience. With all of these questions you will have defined the size of your market.