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Photo by Jason Seagle

Consumer Show at Switchyards is a night of five minute long presentations by five B2C startups in Atlanta. While there are plenty of these gatherings all over the city, Consumer Show appeals to me because of its format. Every presentation is a time-boxed pitch on what the company does, why it is succeeding and what’s on the horizon. Consumer Show humanizes each company at the event by asking them to answer two simple questions:

  1. What did they do well that helped?
  2. What can the community do for them?

Pitch decks and dramatic demos are largely choreographed performances that depend on the presentation’s abilities and have no relation to the actual company itself. My favorite part of the night is when companies talk about what they did well and what they ask from the community. …


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Photo by Chil Creative

Consumer Show at Switchyards is a night of five minute long presentations by five B2C startups in Atlanta. While there are plenty of these gatherings all over the city, Consumer Show appeals to me because of its format. Every presentation is a time-boxed pitch on what the company does, why it is succeeding and what’s on the horizon. Consumer Show humanizes each company at the event by asking them to answer two simple questions:

  1. What did they do well that helped?
  2. What can the community do for them?

Pitch decks and dramatic demos are largely choreographed performances that depend on the presentation’s abilities and have no relation to the actual company itself. My favorite part of the night is when companies talk about what they did well and what they ask from the community. …


The most recent redesign of Snapchat’s Stories can render your custom geofilter useless. For example, here are a couple of featured filters on Snapchat’s website:

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As of a few weeks ago, applying these filters to a snap and sharing them on your story would be fine. The new stories, however, stitch all of a user’s friend’s stories together. A username (30 char limit) is shown on the top left, clock on the right and a “chat” button in the bottom tray. The areas highlighted in red below would overwrite the filter and, in some cases, make it completely unreadable.

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Not only is a filter that gets obstructed by the app is hard to read but it also discourages viewers from buying filters themselves. In order to improve the quality of all filters, I think Snapchat Guidelines should be updated to highlight this new constraint. …


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https://unsplash.com/photos/B5tUnCpJw6s

Every retrospective meeting, my team would follow the same pattern — answering what went well, what didn’t go well, and what we should start doing. These questions did a good job of structuring the conversation but I always felt like they were incomplete. Like a chair with a missing leg — almost structurally complete but not yet useful without the missing piece.

A few weeks ago, at the end of a stressful sprint, we gathered in a conference room to retro. Everyone complained about the long hours, unreasonable expectations, and poor communication. It was great feedback but was hard to measure in magnitude for comparison and didn’t come with potential remedies. …


NPV stands for Net Present value — as in the current value of an investment that’ll mature in the future after considering risk. It is a method to measure the current value of an investment opportunity that I ran into while listening to this fantastic course on Audible.

So, for example, if I promised you $100 two years from now at an interest rate of 5%, that $100 is worth $90.70 to you now.

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Now, given that present value of investment, if I asked you to give me $90 today for the $100 in the future, then as of today you’re buying the investment for $0.70 …


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Huffington Post https://twitter.com/HuffingtonPost/status/676962612542861314

9 candidates debated today for 2 hours to sway the opinion of a party and a nation to win the most coveted job in the world. I watched the debate and followed people’s commentary on Twitter. Here’s what I found:

  1. The kids are watching:
    I was surprised to see that a bunch of high-schoolers who I mentor were watching the debate. They were tweeting their opinions and challenging half truths spoken by the candidates. …


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The best moment of my life.

Last week I ran my first marathon in New York City. It’s a culmination of 18 weeks of fundraising, training, and sacrifices. I wanted to share my story in case it helps someone else in their journey.

3 Years Ago

You can’t just wake up one day and run a marathon. Well, I certainly couldn’t. I’ve been a lifelong un-athlete. If there was a draft for the National CouchPotatoes League three years ago, I would’ve been the first pick by the Dallas La-z-boys.

In 2013, after being inspired by my manager at work, I started training for my first 5K using a training program called Couch to 5K. On that first day of training, when I couldn’t even run for a minute without gasping for air, I didn’t think I could run a marathon. …


Where the line should be drawn

While skimming through my Facebook newsfeed recently, I noticed that a friend of mine liked a blog post shared by her friend. The individual sharing the blog wasn’t my friend on Facebook. Within a couple of clicks, I found out that she was a classmate of mine who I hadn’t heard from in 10 years!

I sent her a friend request, we connected and ended up talking for hours about the old days, reminiscing about the past and catching each other up on our lives. It was great. Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm had made another connection. It succeeded. Great job. …


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A subtle trick to grab your recipient’s attention

We all get a ton of email everyday. The decision to read incoming mail or send it to trash/spam is made in a matter of milliseconds. Today, an email from ‘Cory Booker for Senate’ did something that was pretty brilliant and I wanted to share it with you.

Below is a screenshot of the email preview GMail showed me:

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Sender’s name and subject in black font. Preview of body text in gray.

The preview that was shown to me has a quote from Mayor Booker that goes: “With under two months, we don’t have much time.”

Jump to the top of this post and you’ll see that the quote from preview is nowhere to be found in the actual email. …


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Spy w/ spy

Our privacy has been manhandled for years. “Free” applications on the internet (GMail, Facebook, Twitter, etc) encourage us to hand over more and more of our personal information everyday just so they can make a buck. That’s capitalism. I expect that. And if the rate of growth they experience is any indication, then the offer to use free apps in exchange for a few privacy violating policies is an acceptable one for most of us.

Our trust in the checks and balances surrounding the government, however, took a major hit this past week. …

About

Azhar Bande-Ali

Startup Founder In Training

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