Tag Archives: featured

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Clicks are the new currency

In the today’s world clicks are like money. Clicks have value. Clicks = dollars. Clicks = euros. Clicks = whatever currency you can think of. 

How did that happen?

You might have noticed that most of the Internet today is free. Google, Facebook, Yahoo, online newspapers, blogs, you name it. These are free in the sense that you don’t have to give them money in return for their services, but you do end up paying them with your clicks.

When you click on a link these websites have your attention and while their have your attention they can sell you other things via online ads. This means that every time you go on a website you generate value for them. They can sell your attention o people that want to promote their products.

So every time you spend time using an online service/blog/site that uses ads as revenue source you indirectly pay them their salary. Your time and attention is what keeps them alive. With every click, with second you spend on a website you basically give them money to continue what they do.

And because we live in the time of social media, most of the times we don’t stop with a click, we also share what we see. So … not only we give them value by clicking but we bring other people to their website. We basically trick our friends to pay as well.

Our clicks give websites the money to exist.

We have the power to shape the media and the world. Next time you click on link ask yourself if you want to support them. If you want a better world click on better links.

I had the idea for this post for a while now, but it was not fully crystalized. However, after seeing the movie below I finally got it.

I recommend watching Sally Kohn’s TED talk.  You will understand better your own power in today’s online world.

Photo by Philip Taylor

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Awesome Documentary: Terms and conditions may apply

I saw the “Terms and conditions may apply” movie yesterday and I think you should see it too. I really like how they built up the case for online privacy. They use facts to make us think about the implications losing our privacy and at the end of the movie they give some frightening real life examples of innocent people that have bullied by governments and big corporations.

I think this is a must see movie. Most of the people I asked if they are concerned with their online privacy consider that will not be affected by the fact that other people have access to their private information. They say that they have nothing to hide, that they are not that important and they are not afraid if people know what they do online. Until recently I thought pretty much the same…

The scary part is not that other people know what you do online, the scary part is that other people have access to your data but do not know the context.

Online privacy issues

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There is a big difference between people knowing what you do online and having access to your data (Google searches, emails, Facebook posts, text messages, Facebook messages). The thing is that data without context can be interpreted in many ways. And keep in mind that this data can be and probably is stored forever. So if at one point somebody who does not agree with your views comes to power they
can profile you based on your past online activity. From there to being persecuted will be a small step. That I find very disturbing.

In this documentary there are a few frightening examples of how this massive surveillance is already being used. Do you know minority report and how “in the future“ police makes preemptive arrests based on the intention of someone… well that thing already happened.

Here is the “Terms and conditions may apply” documentary trailer.

How to protect your privacy?

Here is what I think you should do to protect your privacy.

  1. Be aware of it and understand the implications of other people having access to it
  2. Vote/support people that want to protect your online privacy
  3. As a last resort equip yourself to become more private
  • Use a VPN
  • Use browser privacy extensions like: Privacy Badger
  • Stay offline

I’ll end up this post with my favorite quote from this movie:

You have nothing to hide until you don’t

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Chrun vs retention

Bluntly put, churn means how many users stop using your product/service and retention means how many people keep using your products. Every company should focus on either minimizing churn or increase retention. At first glance these actions seem to have the same end result, it’s like rephrasing something without changing the meaning. I think it’s not like that. I think that saying one instead of the other can have deeper implication for the business. Here is why…

Focusing on retention is better than focusing on churn

Implications of using minimizing churn.

When the goal is to minimize churn, the entire company will focus on the things they can do to stop people from leaving. This has an inherent bad feeling tied to it. When your users stop using the app or service, it means that you are doing something wrong. This will add to the pressure and limit your creativity. Also, by focusing your attention exclusively on how to stop whatever is driving users away, you are limiting your pool of ideas, because you only consider what you are already doing instead of what you could do.

When you want to minimize churn you basically say how can we stop people from leaving, what can we do to make them hate us less?

Implications of using increasing retention

On the other hand, when you want to increase retention the main question is: how do we make people love our service even more? How do we make them stay longer? Do you see the difference?

Now you focus on a positive thing. This can spark creativity and my bet is that will bring better results.

I know that all this is a matter of phrasing, but if you believe all the NLP enthusiasts, a small difference in how you say things could make a huge difference.

So, what do you think about this theory?

Image by Imran Chaudhry

Airplane flying - blue sky

Plane photography in Amsterdam

A few weeks ago I realized that I haven’t used my 70-300 lens in a while, and inspired by the awesome shots I took during my Scotland trip, I decided to dust off my baby and find a new project.

As I was contemplating what could be my next subject I looked up and saw the sky full of airplane trails. Living in Amsterdam, that is quite familiar scene, boring even, but that day it was an inspiration: PLANES!!! Yes, why didn’t I think about that before? I live close enough to Schiphol to get some really cool shots.

So I took my old Canon 450d, my zoom lens and my bike and went to spot where I remembered seeing a plane flying above me one day.

You can see the result below. For a funny story keep on reading.

My first stop was on a bench close by the Amstel Park, on the river Amstel. As I extended my lens to a full 300 zoom, people passing by looked with an immense envy at my black, long, fully extended thing :)). Feeling the stares in my back and seeing that I could not get the angle I wanted, I decide to go a bit farther, at the very end of the Amstel Park, right next to the roundabout. Here I was much closer to the planes but still not the angle I wanted so I decide to go about 500 m farther down the road.

This place was amazing. I was able to see the planes preparing for landing from far away and I had a great view as the planes were coming full speed towards me, flying right above me and then continuing towards Schiphol. So I stated taking pictures like a crazy person. I was following every plane from far away until it disappeared over the trees next to the airport.

And here comes the funny part. Not even 5 minutes into my photoshoot a police car stops 2 meters away from me, one the other side of the road. The policemen get down of the car, they measure me from head to toes, and then they casually light a cigarette, while watching me taking photos.

After they silently agreed I am just a hipster with green skinny jeans, thick black frames and a weird passion for planes, they jumped back in the car and drove into the sunset. They didn’t say a word, just stared at me while I was taking photos. So yeah… for a moment there I was a suspect and a bit worried they would start questioning me.

To be honest I am glad they did that. I am happy to know people tip the police of when they see something suspect, the police comes really fast and they don’t act like assholes.

All in all good story to tell my friends. And pretty cool photos for the first time.

And a map with where I took the photos.

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League Of legends World championship

I can’t believe eSport exists

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s an awesome thing but I just simply can’t believe this is a sport.

Why? Maybe because this is a movement younger than the iPhone? The first ever World Championship was held in 2011, at Dreamhack in Sweden and featured a US$100,000 tournament prize pool and a $50,000 champion prize.  After this, in the second season the tournament prize pool was increased to more than $2 million and champion prize was increased to $1,000,000. [source]

Sorry what? 1 Million dollars for playing a game! You have to be the best in the world of course, but still. I bet all the parents feel a bit silly just about now.

Oh, and at this point you might wonder how is this all possible? I’ll tell you. This is eSport thingy is extremely popular. Millions of people tune in every day to watch other people playing. During the Season 2 World Championship 8.2 million viewers tuned in to the World Championship broadcast with a maximum of 1.1 million concurrent viewers, making the Season 2 World Championship the most watched eSports event in history at the time.  8.2 million people!!

League Of Legends World Championships

I just saw this documentary about the LOL (League of Legends) and it’s amazing. I recommend speeding 30 min watching this. I bet you will find the entire eSport movement simply incredible.

And below you cane see how the World Championship looks like.  #Insane

 

Grain of Salt

In Business Development take everything with a grain of salt

The more I collaborate with the business development team, the more I understand that as a buyer, one needs to be careful about what he agrees on.

Usually, I see things only from our perspective, the company that slightly exaggerates in its promise whenever selling something to a customer. Well, maybe not exaggerating, but making a donut look a lot like a wedding cake.

However, in business development there are always at least two parties that have an interest in the deal. This means you never know whose wedding cake is actually a donut; and that can happen even when you least expect it.

I can’t really talk about what made me write this post but I can talk about numbers out of context.

Imagine you told me that there are virtually 10.000 units to which we can provide our service and after we sign the agreement (an agreement that doesn’t specify that number). Once it’s signed you tell me that I misunderstood it, what you said is that the plan is to get to 10.000 units, but for now there are only 400 units.

While for me that is borderline frustrating and I am not sure I could be on either of the sides for too long, for some is just the way life goes.

Anyway, the key learning point is to always be extremely inquisitive before you go into an agreement and put stuff on paper.

Photo by  ulterior epicure