X-as-a-Service and the Democratization of Technology for Entrepreneurs

Today’s leading tech entrepreneurs have one important thing in common: a computer programming background. This offers obvious advantages in building a product, bringing it to market, and being able to iterate quickly; it offers the ability to adapt to a fast-changing market.

With the rise in “X-as-a-Service” tools, the technology to build sophisticated websites and apps are increasingly available to those who did not spend their teenage years locked away in their rooms writing code. For example, with Braintree, you can now add a few simple lines of code to your website and have a mobile payment system as good as Uber’s. Or you can add a few lines of Sense360’s code to your app and have a world-class sensor data analysis platform to detect where a user is and what they’re doing: whether they’re driving, walking, or sitting on their couch.

These a la carte technologies decrease the cost and development barriers to entry for new tech startups and, as more become available, it will enable anyone with an idea to bring a product to market for cheaper than ever before. Future tech entrepreneurs may no longer share a background in programming, but, more importantly, they will have this in common: the ability to connect the dots between available technologies to solve real problems.

As Long As We’re All Telling the Same Lie

This morning I listened to an a16z podcast about the growth of podcasts; the discussion eventually led to the topic of podcast analytics and the hosts and guests landed on an interesting notion: the metrics are not perfect, but it’s irrelevant as long as we are all telling the same lie.

The “metric” referenced is podcast downloads, “we” are the people tasked with measuring the success of an initiative, and the “lie” is that downloads are not a reliable proxy for success. The idea encapsulates how an industry grows and how concepts become standardized.

It reminds me of how success was measured by “hits” in the early days of the web and the progress the industry has made since; we now have more data than we know what to do with. As the internet has evolved, so have the technologies to track and measure interactions, which has made it increasingly difficult to keep up the lie. Put in a more positive light: it has become increasingly easier to tell the truth. Technology is keeping us honest it turns out.

 

Google Chrome Extensions for Effective Marketers

There are A LOT of Google Chrome Extensions. And most of them aren’t very good. So to save you a little time and effort, here’s a handpicked selection of Google Chrome Extensions for your marketing needs.

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SEO is Just Getting Out of Its Awkward Phase

Relative Keyword Competition: The Quick and Dirty Way to See If You Can Rank

Upstreamist - Competitive Keyword Analysis Tool Screenshot

Get the Competitive Keyword Analysis Tool

I always expected keyword research to get easier over time. But my experience has been quite the opposite. Keyword research has only gotten more complex as search engines become more sophisticated and as I learn more about what it means to do great keyword research.

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Quick Start Guide to Email Productivity

Email might be one of the most anxiety-inducing aspects of my life. Of course, it’s not the emails themselves, it’s the future plans and commitments they contain. If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you feel the same way.

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Indexation: Canonical Tag > 301 Redirect

“Canonical tags take precedence over 301 redirects in indexation decisions.”

301 redirects have long been viewed as the standard for canonicalizing a URL and is what I’ve primarily relied on to control indexation issues such as duplicate content. And, for the most part, 301 redirects did the trick. But what happens when it doesn’t? What happens when the redirected URL continues to be included in search results instead of the destination URL?

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