Whenever I encounter someone who tells me that they can’t figure out how to code, you didn’t grow up driving, you figured that out! Moreover, obviously not everyone should learn how to code, you should look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, what do I want to do everyday for the rest of your life? Do that.
According to the Coding Textbook by David Evans, there are two reasons why everyone should study computing:
Additionally the founder of Codecademy believes learning how to program is the best job security you have, and knowledge of code is the best way to improve the economy and the planet.
Being able to program or at least interpret code is going to be a much desired skill in the future and in the following 5-10 years it is going to be a very much under-supplied skillset.
I feel inspired by the culture firms possess today, most of the firms in the technology-industry, whether it is a start-up or a big corporation, seem to have a culture which puts its emphasis on creative talent and the people working at these firms seem to be working with something that is emotionally rewarding and something they can be proud of.
More importantly what they are doing. The amount of innovation and collaboration is just mind-blowing.
Just watching the Facebook Home “Funny Launch Day” commercial, how Mark clearly is not only promoting the Facebook Home, but also Facebook as an ideal workplace - where there is room for humour and the likes.
Marketing is being shifted, however we continue to do things like it is 2007. Banner ads, e-mail marketing, traditional media. For the last decades the marketing strategy has always been push, push, push. This has changed with the social media game. You need to connect, engage, create context, because that emotional bond you have with your customer is going to mean everything to you. An instance could be if you love a brand enough to follow it on Twitter and a competitive brand gives you a coupon offer, this competitive brand might get the initial purchase, but as your emotions lie with the first brand, this relationship will translate into far greater revenue in the long run.
TWITTER & THE SOCIAL MEDIA GAME
To begin with we all thought that Twitter was one of the dumbest things on Earth (from a marketing perspective), who is going to care that I am eating a pizza, going for a walk, and so on and so forth? No one, because that is not a part of the social media game, it is not about talking, all you need to do, in order to succeed in the social media game, is to wire your mouth shut and start using your big ears. Because that’s the game in play.
You need to know where your (potential) customers are, but more importantly where they are going. For instance why are you so obsessed about the ROI of social media, when the ROI of traditional media (such as a magazine) can’t guarantee that they are looking at that specific page where your ad is on. It is so easy to monitor social media and in the long run, you can build a relationship with your customers which, again, will translate in to far greater revenue in the long run. So essentially the ROI of social media more the ROI of emotions as the emotional attachment and relationship you create with your customers is what is going to mean something in the long run.
When I have a big project, goal or idea - not only in a business sense also as a person - I know what I want to achieve and then reverse-engineer from the end of the project and that is how I am wired, I think in the big picture and I believe that this is the root to success, that is what you need to do in your business.
As Gary Vaynerchuk says we live in The Thank You Economy, you need to think about what the customer is worth to you forever, instead of at the moment.
Sometimes I enjoy laying in the bed and listen to records. It gets the mind going.
I don’t know if you have seen some of my latest tweets, or if you even are following me on Twitter, but recently they have been hugely influenced by a bunch of very meaningful people to me. Some of them are more prevalent than others.
I would like to mention Gary Vaynerchuk.
First of all as the author of Crush It and The Thank You Economy I can’t emphasise enough how much he has changed me as a person and as a business. Gary has helped me on so many different scales, thus mentioning it all at once would be impossible and overwhelming. Having just finished the audiobook of his most recent book The Thank You Economy (he is actually the only person I like listening to in an audiobook, this is at least the only audiobook I actually have finished), he taught me two very important life-lessons. They are two phenomenons that only consist of one word each: care and hustle.
Not only did he talk about care and hustle, he talked about innovation, creativity and talent. I want to stop quick right there, this is something that is very near to me. I want to emphasise that this is how I think and how I believe the world is going to be shaped and what individuals as well as businesses needs in order to survive in the long run. We need innovation, creativity and talent and I try to advocate that in the public and as a person.
Over all he has taught me a lot, too much to mention in this brief post, I really appreciate that, so Gary Vaynerchuk if you read this, I want to thank you - a lot.
I would like to mention Steve Jobs.
This brings me to Steve Jobs, I own and I have read his biography - I bought it the day it was published. To put it clear: he is a true inspiration and motivation for me. Reading his biography, listening to interviews of his and general keynotes he has led me to believe that everything is possible; as long as you believe in yourself and your creativity and talent. You can do whatever you set yourself up to do. He wasn’t only innovative, creative and talented he had people skills and seemed to motivate people just as much as they were ready to be motivated.
He is a daily inspiration for me. He is inspiring me to do what I want to do and combined with Gary Vaynerchuk’s hustle and care I try to be the best, most talented, creative and innovative person I can be - at this stage of my life.
For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day in my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
He founded Apple, one of the most innovative, creative and talented companies (in my opinion) in the world. That speaks for itself.
I would like to mention Bill Gates.
I think that this man, Bill Gates, deserves a lot more recognition than he actually get. He founded Microsoft and created Windows, yes they might have come a bit off track lately, but they are constantly improving with the release of the Surface tablet and Windows 8 was a giant leap forward - they of course still have some major steps to take to become as dominant as they once was.
I Would Like to Mention Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg founder of Facebook. He saw where the train of Web 2.0 was going, he saw how the world was going to change and he is capable of changing his concepts and thus innovating the industry. We would probably all still be on some bad form of MySpace if it wasn’t for Mark Zuckerberg.
He is just an incredible inspiring person and he is constantly advocating change. He is an interesting character and at the age of 26 became the Time’s Person of The Year in 2010.
I know there’s a vast variety in how I chose the persons behind it, but first of all these people they all inspire me hugely. Steve Jobs who was the person who sought enlightenment through ascetic experience, deprivation and simplicity (something which I will pursue to some extend when allowed to). Gary Vaynerchuk who is hustling and caring as we speak - he has made me think a lot about how to approach life from a personal and a business perspective. Mark Zuckerberg has from a very early age created a sort of studio culture which puts an emphasis on creative freedom and talent, which I admired deeply. And finally Bill Gates who is a very generous person and I admire him for his creativity and for him trying, - successfully, I would say - to get Microsoft back on track. Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates especially for their initiatives with cooperating with CODE.ORG and initiative which I completely agree on.
Is it worth it to launch with PPC or PPV advertisements? The answer is a clear no, if the name of your app is Angry Birds (which I by the way downloaded for free the other day) - or any other name. Normally you’d have to pay to download and shoot birds in a parabolic motion, however the other day it was finally given away for free, which was heavily covered on various tech-sites, Twitter accounts, Facebook pages. Smart move from Rovio Entertainment, why?
Well first of all, I think, I was one of the only person left in this world who actually hadn’t bought the game (to be honest, I played only about 10 minutes – the only game which I actually actively played, might I add my “toilet game of the year” in 2011 was Game Dev Story – it is therefore safe to say that I am not the big fan of games on the iPhone), so I think they barely lost any profit from it. Secondly, where Rovio Entertainment really gets their money from is by getting the grip around their customer’s balls by encouraging the well-known in-app-purchase where you can buy various items to enhance your game experience (or just beat your friend’s score) and who wouldn’t want that? Consequently, as I have talked about, this was heavily brought up in the different social medias; giving them public recognition – which when you get right down to it must have been what they actively were looking for. Therefore a lot of new people downloaded the famous game to their phone and they might have been caught up with it, playing it for 24 hours straight and then realizing they could amplify their scores and game experience if they made one of the in-app purchases for $2 or even more. What does this result in? From a Rovio Entertainment perspective they might, instead of facing a one-time purchase (as they might feel that if they purchased the app, they wouldn’t want to spend any more money on it, no matter what), giving the app away for free might leave more incentive for in-app purchases. This is why they, even though they released it for free, don’t have ads in their game. The customers can easily ignore the in-app purchase (as it is, not as other apps do it, very quietly hidden, thus only if you want to find it: you will find it and click the button), whereas they can’t ignore the ads, which could have come after you fail or succeed a map in order to continue. It is more annoying for the user and they make less money on it, considering that for every person who buys the cheapest in-app-purchase they make about $1.5 or so and they make next to nothing if they have a PPV and a little more if they have PPC, of course, as it is Angry Birds, they’d still make plenty of money off of PPV or PPC, but judging in-app purchase works better for this type of app.
This leads me to the next point, if you have an app that isn’t as successful as Angry Birds and you want to make money off of it PPC or PPV wouldn’t do the trick for you. You probably wouldn’t have enough viewers to consider PPV and you wouldn’t be capable of getting the necessary click through rate, which would make you money. Then what would? Well in-app purchases might make you money, but this requires that you offer a product in the in-app-purchase that they can’t live without. Finally, might I add that if you are - as an indie-development studio, forget that: everyone can use this - developing a game or have a game you want to release I see three approaches.
What there should be remembered from all this is that your social media appearance isn’t a one-night-stand; it is putting the ring on the finger -Rihanna style - on your customers. It is a long process of hustling and caring. It is exactly what you have to do, in order to maintain a personal relationship, just from a professional point of view. You really have to hustle and care for your customers. Finally it should be added, this is all about having the talent, passion, caring, hustling and creativity to pull such things off. But it is by all means not impossible.
Keep in mind this is not at all a recipe for how to launch an app successfully. First of all, the logo plays an important role (if it is a game, add the HD to the logo if it is in HD), the name obviously matters as well. I am only talking about the marketing process right at the beginning of the launch of your app (or the relaunch) and your presence in social media should be there, both before and after the launch.
Your reputation as a software engineer matters. It is something you should seek to develop throughout your entire career, because that is what sets you apart from everyone else. The more experience you get, the more your reputation matters and it can be the reason that you either get or miss out on new opportunities.
“If you live for weekends and vacation, your shit is broken” - Gary Vaynerchuk
A few days ago I backed a project I found on Kickstarter. You can pretty much say I already have fallen in love with it, without having received my product yet. It has only been pledged to $65,162, at the time of writing with the goal of $100,000. The goal has to be reached by Sunday the 3rd of March, otherwise NowComputing will not be funded through Kickstarter. So if you like this project, I think you should become a backer and pledge.
The idea behind StormFly is, at least as I see it, that you have a development environment (or just about any other computer set-up - it is aimed to be for the non-technicians with barely no working knowledge - you can see some children playing MineCraft on their StormFly here - which also is one of the ideas Now Computing advertise: let your children mess up with StormFly so nothing on your computer gets lost) set up on a USB-pen (which can be mounted beautifully and geeky on your wrist) and then you boot up on it on any given computer, it could be your MacBook, your Lenovo ThinkPad or your old HP Pavilion.
This clearly differs from a Ubuntu Live-CD and other types of that pseudo-on-the-go computing in the sense that everything is saved onto the 32 GB (at most, at the time of writing) USB-wristband. You are, in a sense, carrying your computer on your hand, every application, file and configuration file is on the USB-wristband.
I pledged to get the 32GB StormFly edition, in blazing orange, customised with my name and one year of backup service, which leads me to my next point. What if the wonderful pc-wristband gets stolen, no where to be found or flushed down the toilet? Well, it comes with a back-up plan. It backs up everything on the Stormfly and if you were to lose your StormFly a StormFly replacement will be made from the last backup and they will charge you $49 for that StormFly. So no matter what you are secured - even if you tried to study your StormFly so closely that you had to take it off your hand and look at it, when you took a piss; you are all covered.
It is “lightning” (I should be careful, could be that Apple has copyright on that word now) fast with USB 3.0 and of course also compatible (as USB 3.0 is backwards compatible) with USB 2.0. NowComputing have spent lots of time finding just the right hardware for The StormFly. Normally when one are to test a USB drive one tests how fast it can write and read something and how many times - the situation is all different here, because you are effectively running your computer from the USB-drive we are reading from the USB-drive constantly and files are changing all the time. I could, if I would, create the exact same solution using an old or new USB-drive and boot up on it, the only problem is the durability, it would die in a matter of months (maybe, even days). Now Computing seem to have figured it out, though.
The only downside of StormFly at this time seem to be the fact that you can’t format your StormFly, only the shared folder (which acts like a normal USB - put it in an already running Mac, Windows or Linux computer and it will show the files), so formatting your StormFly will make it lose all its magic. I suspect, however, that this function will come a some point, otherwise they are shooting themselves in their foot.
But if we disregard the fact that you can’t reformat your wristband-computer, this is a pretty fucking cool project.
My last week in one picture. 6 days with 4 amazing people.
Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be crazy.
How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
We make tools for these kinds of people.
While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.