Author: raffybanks

Automate yourself

When enough people get behind an idea there’s no stopping its inevitable adoption. If enough people want to build a autonomous vehicles and enough people want to buy them they they will become a reality. In other words, new technologies don’t happen naturally. They take people and effort. So, you have two options: Find new

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Problems come first

Creating a lasting product or service means first having a deep understanding of a problem. Unfortunately, clients often call with a solution in mind. This means it’s your job to get them to take a few steps back. Walking clients through the steps to a solution looks like this: 1. Identify the problem A problem

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Pessimistic spending

People convince themselves that a purchase that benefits them in the present will have extended value in the future. For example, buying the highest-end PC with the thought that it will outlive a lower-end PC to the point where the return in value is greater than the added financial cost. Another example is buying an

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Optimize your phone for output, not input

Here’s a snippet from Steve Jobs’s iPhone announcement: Well, today, we’re introducing three revolutionary products of this class. The first one: is a widescreen iPod with touch controls. The second: is a revolutionary mobile phone. And the third is a breakthrough Internet communications device. So, three things: a widescreen iPod with touch controls; a revolutionary

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Where budgets fail

Money is fungible. A dollar is a dollar. Since money is identical, there is no limit on what it can be spent on. If an unforeseen expense arises a budget remains intact. The money is still spent on, say, eating out. If a budget allows $20 a week to be spent on regular gasoline and

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Solving for the optimal skill-set

The skills employers and the market value change over time. What was an important skill ten years ago may or may not be useful today. Or, rather, it’s the price required for entry. Narrowly defined roles are no longer the norm. It’s common for companies to run as numerous small teams rather than a single

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Interruptions vs. Invitations

Interruptions are never welcomed. Invitations are a welcomed surprise. Interruptions aggravate and annoy. Invitations make you smile. Interruptions divide people. Invitations gather like-minded people. Interruptions pull you away from what interests you. Invitations notify you of interesting things. Interruptions steal time from your present and future. Invitations give meaning to your present and future.

$100 off

Most people would not travel 30 minutes out of their way for a $100 off a new car. But they would for $100 off a TV. Why is this? The savings is the same as is the level of effort. Is it a question of valuing ones’ time? Or is more about the value returned

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Wisdom

In Average is Over, Tyler Cowen notes that twenty year olds used to prove mathematical theorems. Now it’s the thirty year olds. As problems get harder and harder, the need for experience and wisdom is increasing. There is no longer the advantage of starting from scratch. While this means more opportunities for those with experience,

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Turning the endowment effect inside out

Once people take ownership of something, sporting event tickets for example, they are generally unwilling to part with it unless they are offered 2-14x its cost. Behavioral economics call this the endowment effect and the willingness to accept (WTA). It’s the adding of value people assign goods simply because they own them and amount of

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Refusing to learn

When the money’s been spent and things aren’t working out the way you intended or hoped it’s easy to think that by pushing through you’ll force success. This is a refusal to learn. You’re saying, “things are set in stone. There’s nothing I can do about it. I just need to forge ahead.” But when

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The true price of things

What is the true price of a $100 watch? If your tax rate is 30% then you’ll need to earn $142.85 to receive $100. 100 / .7 = 142.85 And what about the interest lost on that $100 over, say, 10 years? That’s $164.70. 100 * (1 + (0.05/12))^(12*10) = 164.70 Of course, price doesn’t

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People don’t want cheap labor

This sign may have been posted by the most reliable and highest quality light-hanging team. But it is shortsighted and will not get noticed by the customers they want. What if instead it was a large photo of the team? What if they were decked in Christmas attire? What if rather than being the cheapest

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Solving for information gaps

It may be tempting to think of services such as AirBnB, Lyft, and eBay as nothing more than a layer between customer and supplier. That all they’ve done is created tools that allow for more efficient transactions between members of a marketplace. E.g. Suppliers get payment processing taken care of and easy access to customers.

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Indifference

Passion is unchecked, uncontrollable emotion. Being passionate about a craft, for example, means having an unwillingness to let go and allow room for anything else. It means being blind to the world around except for the one true love. An attraction that is uncontrollable. It’s selfish and potentially destructive. Here’s an example: Say someone is

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Palessi

Payless shoes recently opened a popup store under the brand “Palessi,” positioned as a luxury an elite shoe store founded by fictional designer Bruno Palessi. Shoes that would have cost $30 were relabelled and priced as high as $1,800. At an private, invite only event, shoppers were given the opportunity to be the first to

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All iPhone users should read this

From How to Game the App Store: Because the iPhone home button serves as a sort of universal back button, a panicking iPhone user is likely to hit the home button when trying to get out of something. Unfortunately, on iPhones with Touch ID, the home button is also how you confirm a purchase. So

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Facebook and Twitter are marketplaces and you’re the product

Facebook and Twitter are built around the truth that attention is limited and so therefore it can be sold, bought, and traded. When someone opens the Facebook or Twitter app they’re saying that this is the best possible way they can be spending their time right now. This strengthens their product. But there’s an opportunity

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Pessimism vs. Optimism

Pessimism means wishing you’d do things that will make your future better. Optimism means wishing you’d do things to make your present better. If one thinks there is little future left, that they may die soon, or if the reality of death is top of mind, then they will look back and wish they had

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The 94% failure rate of MOOCs

Here are some dire facts about Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC): The average rate of completion is 4%. Most people fall off in first two weeks. 50% view only a single lecture. 80% who sign up have college degrees. Even though there is no academic credit for completing a MOOC, people still cheat and plagiarize.

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Affirmations vs. Acceptance

Affirmations say, “you’re amazing.” Acceptance says, “you have everything you need to become amazing.” Affirmations say, “you’re rich.” Acceptance says, “work hard and you’ll become rich.” Affirmations say, “you didn’t fail the exam.” Acceptance says, “you failed the exam but you’re going to figure out why and figure out how you can ace the next

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Protecting messages, stories, and ideas

Is this copyright infringement? What if 524 other people each photograph and independently share online a different page from the same book? What if someone then shares a link on their blog to each of those pages? If an author’s main goal is to make money from their work, then this may incense them. If

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Solving the Gordian Knot. What the path to success looks like.

The legend of the Gordian knot According to ancient Greek legend, a poor peasant named Gordius arrived in Phrygia riding an ox cart. Before his arrival, an oracle had proclaimed that the next man to entered the kingdom on a wagon would be made king, and so Gordius was crowned. To thank the gods, Gordius

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The 5-Step Process to Identifying a Market Need

According to a study by CB Insights 42% of new businesses fail because there’s “no market need” for what they’re offering customers. “Tackling problems that are interesting to solve rather than those that serve a market need was cited as the No. 1 reason for failure, noted in 42% of cases.” – The Top 20

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