Saturday, December 26, 2009
...you can’t afford to ignore the cost of customer acquisition. The earlier you work on this the better, as many of the best techniques require you to build your product differently.
It is also important to ask yourself the question: can my business realistically expect to acquire customers for considerably less than the amount that I can monetize them?
Very nice insight into Customer Acquisition process.
If you don't understand this, do not start your business, until you understand every single word out of here.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Очень откровенный и подробный расказ о том как сделать игру и оказаться в featured в AppStore. Еще приятнее что создатель игры - украинец.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Flickr is somewhat unique in that it uses a code repository with no branches; everything is checked into head, and head is pushed to production several times a day. This works well for bug fixes that we want to go out immediately, but presents a problem when we’re working on a new feature that takes several months to complete. How do we solve that problem? With flags and flippers!
I really like this approach. It's definitely far from perfect, but gives a feeling of tech importance and value that is live. Every single moment.
Conclusion: worth considering for your project.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
- Both HSBC and Ally have a debit card attached to your account. (This is good.)
- Both of them are subject to the federal rules for withdrawals from savings account. Which is neither bad or good, it is just the way it is.
- Amex doesn't provide either debit card or checks for money withdrawals. Online only.
- Ally gives a better rate than HSBC (1.50% v. 1.35% at the moment of writing this).
- Ally has a history of rebranding that it tries to run away from. (Personally, I had no chance to work with GMAC before, so it doesn't make any difference for me.)
- Amex is a pretty strong brand. Not perfect though, like the most of banks.
- Ally account setup is very quick. Super quick.
- HSBC is super slow on setting up account. It includes both online and offline steps that can make you hate the idea of working with them somewhere in the middle of the process.
- Amex supposed to be quick, but if they put you for manual processing (what happen to me) they are slow. But better than HSBC anyways.
- Ally and Amex are pretty quick on verifying accounts.
- HSBC is slow.
- HSBC is super slow on transferring money. They disappear from your account next day, and travel somewhere for around 3 business days. Than they show up at HSBC, but it still takes a day or so to become available.
- Amex is doubtful. The money disappear next day, and appear on the account the same day, but as "current balance". "Available balance" stays zero. According to customer support, they take full 5 business days to make the money posted as "available balance". They say the money don't loose interest, because it's counted on the "current balance", however, I never double-checked them myself. (They can probably lie. This happens with banks.)
- I don't have much experience with Ally yet. I'll try that shortly.
According to a translated writeup of the Kindle hack here, Amazon engineers went to considerable lengths to prevent their DRM from being tampered with. The Kindle for PC uses a separate session key to encrypt and decrypt each book "and they seem to have done a reasonable job on the obfuscation," the author says.
The crack comes courtesy of a piece of software titled unswindle, and it's available here. Once installed, proprietary Amazon ebooks can be converted into the open Mobi format.
Personally, I think that DRM is only a headache. Amazon is probably making enough money on selling e-books, so why not allow them to be portable anywhere? Making books more available would make a bigger impact on shrinking the size of market of illegal ebooks floating around, instead of adding new protections here.
This one looks super cool to me.
I don't know how good is it in real-life, but such an unusual unboxing experience should be something worth trying.
It *is* expensive but already sold on Amazon http://bit.ly/7UVJRG so I'm waiting to get the price down to four hundreds. :)
The United States is the only industrialized country that does not have universal health care. Despite exorbitant spending, health care results are mixed at best.
As I said, the system is so freaking broken. This is not a choice anymore. And it has to be fixed.
The book has 300 pages in all, full of practical and useful knowledge for designers and Web developers. It contains 10 chapters and is printed in full color. The book is a paperback and is 8.27 × 5.5 inches (21 × 14 cm).
The book is available exclusively from Smashing Magazine and nowhere else. This first and only Smashing Book looks at Web design rules of thumb, color theory, usability guidelines, user interface design, best coding and optimization practices, as well as typography, marketing, branding and exclusive insights from top designers across the globe.
It was written by Jacob Gube (SixRevisions), Dmitry Fadeev (UsabilityPost), Chris Spooner (Spoongraphics), Darius A Monsef IV (COLOURlovers.com), Alessandro Cattaneo (with co-editing by Jon Tan), Steven Snell (VandelayDesign), David Leggett (UXBooth), Andrew Maier (UXBooth), Kayla Knight (regular writer on SM), Yves Peters (Typographica.org), René Schmidt (system administrator of our servers) and the Smashing Magazine editorial team, Vitaly Friedman and Sven Lennartz.
While I can hardly wait for my copy of The Smashing Book to arrive, I was unpleasantly surprised that the shipping time is 30-40 days. Damn. I'd never call this *free shipping* if I'd knew. But I'm hoping for the best and that the book is worth it.
Monday, December 21, 2009
You can ask “the crowd” all kinds of questions, but if you don’t stop to think about the best way to ask your question, you’re likely to get unexpected and unreliable results. You might call it the GIGO theory of research design.
Pretty good post on how to ask questions and how not to get fooled by answers. Very nice.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
- I don't put todo's if I don't put a due date for them. No due date - nothing to do. (This point really helped!)
- If I have more than 2 things for the specific day, I prioritize it with RTM's three levels of priority. It works the best, although, I'm not really excited with the way how I see this in RTM, but... whatever.
- Every night I do review the todo's for tomorrow (or the next soonest date). If you missed something, change the due date. Someone might find this addictive, but probably because of my psychotype, I find that the need to reschedule something gives me more pressure than missed due date.
- Don't plan strategy, plan actions. If you can't do this in one or two steps, it's not one todo, but two or more. I think the GTD principle shares the same approach.
- I didn't manage to handle dependencies very effectively, but I keep myself pretty much organized with due date & priority combo.
- Probably todo's are not the right thing for repetitive actions, but I'd probably play more with that.
- Todo's are not your day schedule. And I found myself unable to keep a decent schedule (although sometimes it's pretty tempting to).
- Delicious - damn, that's an every day thing.
- HttpFox - yes, I do use it and quite often.
- Firebug & PageSpeed - these two are also quite important ones, although I keep them disabled the most of time, as they make FF unbelievable slow (even if I'm not using them).
- Affiliator - the thing that adds an option to right click menu on Amazon's pages to copy to clipboard the page's URL with my associate ID embedded.
- Selenium IDE - it's helpful, but occasionally.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
You can download the file(s) here Dont Just Roll the Dice.pdf, then transfer the file(s) by connecting Kindle to your computer over USB.
You can download the file(s) here Dont Just Roll the Dice.azw, then transfer the file(s) by connecting Kindle to your computer over USB.
- It's a very great overview of the things around, but feels like too much of them. Getting a better idea of what to apply and when with a good structure would probably do a better job here.
- It's a little bit light and hard at the same time, probably the wrong mix of content.
- If you do have an administration skills, you probably find the book more like, "okay, okay, got it, okay, cool - I'm done with it, what's next?".
- I hate to repeat myself, but once again, it felt to me that too much stuff that probably doesn't need to be mixed together.
- I still recommend it.
- While I'm supposed to say bad things, I still want to say I really liked the book. It's probably not the rocket science, but it's very good.
- I felt like the author(s) got bored in the middle of the book, so did I, but it looks like he's recovering closer to the end of it (and so do I). :)
- Too much of Yahoo, and particularly Flickr. I love Flickr, but too much of cliches from it.
- The books if pretty decent and I highly recommend it. I still have few chapters to finish, but they'd probably not make it worse.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Сначала никакой экономики не было, а было одно говно и ягоды.
А потом прошло несколько тысяч лет.
Удивительный опус на тему говна. Не требует умственных усилий, однако, скрывает обучающих подтекст. :)
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Figuring out your funnels is one of the most important things you can do to increase your quantitative understanding of your website. It's critical to get the starting measurements - the dropoff and conversion rates - before you change anything. That's the only way you can know the effect of the changes you make. By constantly tweaking and measuring, you should be able to really improve your number of conversions.
Mixpanel has a set of functions that can be really useful for a company in the Web. While I still had no chance to compare their functionality to what Google Analytics provides, other than being real-time, I'm planning to spend some more time playing with it.
Mixpanel has a free 10K "data points" account (http://mixpanel.com/pricing) which is sorta confusing for a person like me. I'm more like thinking in visits, page views or things like that. But thanks to Tim Trefren from Mixpanel, who explained this to me:
"A data point is counted every time you track a visitor action. So, in terms of pageviews/month - if you track one event per page, you will use exactly the same number of data points as pageviews."
And, well, Mixpanel wouldn't be something you'll use to put on every page (like you can do with Google Analytics). You'd want to put it only on subset of them, linking to specific actions. Or you will probably use Mixpanel's API to assign "data points" to some triggers in your Web application' actions. This is, by the way, could be also a pretty useful feature.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
You've got less then 24 hours to purchase this Russian Diver's inspired watch by Invicta for just $99. That's is a pretty nice deal.
They put Swiss quartz movement in, screw-down crown with a cap, very attractive rubber bracelet with buckle, decent lume and 53 mm in diameter (not including crown).
With MSRP of $575 (ridiculous, like there is anybody who pays MSRP for Invicta), however the regular price rarely goes down the $200 bucks and typically is around $249 for a piece.
Give it a shot. Pretty decent watch for those who like the Russian Diver's style but doesn't want to break a bank for it.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Странная стратегия, конечно. При таком жутком переводе своего спама на английских язык, ко всему еще.Или это какая-то новая инициатива, и это личное дело каждого теперь?
Thursday, October 29, 2009
The following GMAT idioms list is based upon official GMAT sentence correction questions that the test-makers publicly released.
Practice these idioms using our proprietary sentence correction questions.
GMAT Idiom Book1 Question2 Answer Page3 Official Guide for GMAT Review (12th Edition) x is more than y 12th Edition 4 686 unlike x, y 12th Edition 20 694 in contrast with x, y 12th Edition 20 694 in contrast to x, y 12th Edition 20 694 estimate to be 12th Edition 27 698 the same to x as to y 12th Edition 32 700 depends on whether x 12th Edition 34 701 so x that y 12th Edition 37 702 targeted ... at 12th Edition 40 704 rivalry between x and y 12th Edition 44 706 expended on 12th Edition 46 707 the ability ... to 12th Edition 51 710 x is to y what w is to z 12th Edition 58 714 amount of x 12th Edition 74 722 attributes x to y 12th Edition 79 724 not just because of x, but because of y 12th Edition 83 726 distinctions between x and y 12th Edition 96 733 either x or y 12th Edition 109 740 to consider x y 12th Edition 117 745 less successful than 12th Edition 123 748 so x that y 12th Edition 124 748 x is dated at z years old 12th Edition 140 756 Official Guide for GMAT Review (11th Edition) x is more than y 11th Edition 2 662 in contrast with x, y 11th Edition 16 669 estimated to be 11th Edition 21 671 in danger of 11th Edition 27 673 seem + infinitive 11th Edition 29 674 as much as 11th Edition 30 674 to credit x with 11th Edition 31 674 as many ... as 11th Edition 37 676 between x and y 11th Edition 40 678 require x to do y 11th Edition 53 684 restrictions on x 11th Edition 54 685 not only x ... but also y 11th Edition 55 685 there is no doubt that 11th Edition 58 686 as a means to 11th Edition 60 688 attribute x to y 11th Edition 67 691 as many as 11th Edition 76 695 used x as y 11th Edition 79 696 not x, but rather y 11th Edition 87 700 order x to be y 11th Edition 92 702 just as x, so y 11th Edition 99 706 distinguish between x and y 11th Edition 107 710 both x and y 11th Edition 112 713 so x that y 11th Edition 118 716 Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review not...but Verbal Review 4 256 the rising cost Verbal Review 8 258 range from x to y Verbal Review 9 258 except for + noun Verbal Review 13 260 between x and y Verbal Review 14 260 to mistake x for y Verbal Review 17 261 to think of x as y Verbal Review 20 262 with the aim of + (verb)ing Verbal Review 25 264 not only x ... but also y Verbal Review 46 274 prohibit x from doing y Verbal Review 48 275 more x than y Verbal Review 50 276 not only x ... but also y Verbal Review 52 277 so x that y Verbal Review 58 280 not x, but rather y Verbal Review 60 281 not only ... but also Verbal Review 66 284 in order to x Verbal Review 69 285 as x as Verbal Review 75 288 worried about Verbal Review 81 291 either x or y Verbal Review 84 292 better served by x than by y Verbal Review 89 295 ordered x to do y Verbal Review 90 295 both x and y Verbal Review 93 297 x rose almost as fast as y Verbal Review 94 297 between x and y Verbal Review 95 298 more x than y Verbal Review 98 299 x rather than y Verbal Review 99 300 isolated from Verbal Review 106 300 not only x ... but also y Verbal Review 108 304 as a result of Verbal Review 113 307
This GMAT idioms list is available in PDF format.
For those who are too cheap to buy himself or herself a copy of Manhattan GMAT "Sentence Correction GMAT Preparation Guide", here is the list of the most popular GMAT idioms that are likely already known by native speakers, and must be memorized by non-native speakers (like I am).
For those who do own a book, take a look at chapter 9, page 142. I am not sure I would be able to memorize all that, but at least I have one more useful guide to refer to.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
The question becomes 'do you want a smaller, highly engaged community, or a larger, less engaged community?' There's no easy answer here; it's more of a think-long-and-hard sort of situation that greatly depends on individual aspects of your startup.
Great blog post on using A/B testing to increase user engagement and some conclusions made.
Yeah, Russians know watches. :) Photos of Russian officials and their watches, starts from a little bit more $1K for a piece topping with $1M for a piece. Nice.
P.S. Don't ask why economy sucks.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Find small blogs (10k-50k subscribers) relevant to your market and offer them 100-1000 signups with a custom-branded demo code. The blogger likes getting an exclusive for her readers, and the readers like getting insider access to a hot new tool. Contact a bunch of them at once, we felt lucky to have a roughly 20% hit rate.
Pretty creative, nice idea of bringing people on for beta testing your product. You know, once you release something, it's always a headache: "So what's up now?" Following this advice could give you at least a starting point.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Earlier this month Bank of America started notifying customers like Mullen-Kress that they will be charged a new annual fee of $29 to $99.
Oh no. Four years ago, when I came from Ukraine to US, I was surprised how many people are building their lives around their credit scores. I was, like: "What the heck? The biggest contributors to economy and stability of country are the most affected by any change in this. People who don't care, they keep not paying any attention at all. Banks are taking earners money and throw away to bring more assholes, who just don't care."
I can explain to myself while I keep paying my Bank of America's credit card's fee, which is $29 annually. It was my first one, starting from secured credit card, which I put a $100 to get $500 credit limit (which was actually the best deal I could get around), eventually morphing into more appropriate type of the card, but keeping $29 annual fee (I got it, BofA!). However, any other card that will ask for money will go straight the trash. I'll be the one who doesn't care, but I'm not going to give you any cent more for working my ass off.
I have no freakin' idea how this will work, and how useful is it going to be, but sounds cool. I believe there is a huge part of Mac users who're mostly "netbook"-type, so interrupting anything in their world would be painful, but acceptable.
Facebook has grown into one of the largest sites on the Internet today serving over 200 billion pages per month. The nature of social data makes engineering a site for this level of scale a particularly challenging proposition. In this presentation, I will discuss the aspects of social data that present challenges for scalability and will describe the the core architectural components and design principles that Facebook has used to address these challenges. In addition, I will discuss emerging technologies that offer new opportunities for building cost-effective high performance web architectures.
Jeff Rothschild (VP of Technology at Facebook) talks about scalability at Facebook. Jeff has a long history in IT and was founder of Veritas. Click on "click here for webcast" to see the recorded video from the lecture.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Monday 2nd (BarCamp Apache during the day)20:00 - 22:00 NoSqlMeetup Room 1&220:00 - 22:00 Tomcat Room 6Tuesday 3rd (BarCamp Apache during the day)20:00 - 22:00 Lucene Room 1&220:00 - 22:00 OSGi/Felix Room 320:00 - 22:00 Traffic Server Podling Room 4Thursday 5th20:00 - 22:00 Content Tech 1&220:00 - 22:00 Web Services 320:00 - 22:00 SocialAndWidgetsMeetup20:00 - 22:00 Web Crawlers Room 520:00 - 22:00 Hadoop Room 620:00 - 22:00 Subversion Room 7
there are a lot of examples in the book that are completely wrong. The further you go in the book the worse it gets. Its like the author got exhausted by the end. ex:
1) a question will ask you about blue ribbons but will calculate due to green ribbons.
2) some of the combinatorics questions have missing combinations that the question is asking about. I can go on and on ... The book is very easy and has bunch of errors. Work with it at your own risk. BTW to put some weight behind my words: I have already taken GMAT and got above 700.
One of the greatest watches you can see. Very rare, I should say. Rather big, I think something around 50 mm. The bad thing is that they are probably Japanese only versions and if found, will retail for not less then $8,000. But definitely an eye-stopper.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
So I have entered into an alliance with Sea-Gull of China and Soprod of Switzerland, and will be offering their movements. Unless we offer a special Vintage piece, we will NOT be offering ANY ETA based watches. This is not saying I am limiting the range to these companies; other options are still being investigated. While movement choice, as both technically and price driven, it is more, an ethical choice.
Great post about making a movements choice by Orange Watch Company (ORANGE). What problems do small watches manufacturers face from the very first steps of watchmaking.
Must Read Books
Strategy Books for Startups
New Product Introduction Methodologies
“Marketing as Strategy” Books
“War as Strategy” Books
Marketing Communications Books
Startup Nuts & Bolts
Must Read Blogs
One of the best lists of books and resources from Silicon Valley legend Steve Blank.
The only thing that could be better is to accompany this list with the list from the Lean Startup Circle discussion here:
For my personal taste, I'm really interested in the Clara Shih's "The Facebook Era":
I didn't read it yet, but heard a lot of very positive thoughts about. I'm planning to add it to my reading list shortly.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Google Website Optimizer, a powerful tool that allows website owners to split traffic and test the effectiveness and conversion rates for an array of variables, has traditionally required a lot of back-and-forth between any given site and the Website Optimizer interface.
Google releases an API and is allowing site owners to conduct multivariate and A/B testing from their own platform. I'm not sure how well does it compare to Mixpanel or similar products, but I'm planning to find some time for it.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Tim Ferris is about to release his new edition of so popular The 4-Hour Workweek.
It's available for pre-order on Amazon already. He claims to add a lot of exclusive content there, so the cost of less then $15 is nothing comparing to what you'll learn from it.
If you didn't read it, go for it faster.