As someone who has done hundreds of A/B tests for my ex-employers, I thought I knew the best practices by heart. So for a few months, I’ve been “optimizing” without A/B tests. And the result sucked. I lost 60% of installs over May and June. So I decided to do it right. And the results are promising so far.

App Store Images +10% in conversion

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Theory 1: the font size is too small when displayed as thumbnails, conveying no information.
Theory 2: Adding featured by Apple might serve as social proof.

I replaced the first two screenshots with a large title and a fullscreen phone mockup…


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Credit Karina Vorozheeva

A corrected personal view of marketing’s role in startups

Last week, after feeling burned-out sitting on my chair for WEEKS without breaks (other than sleep and meals), working on my product Goals, I decided to stay away from my chair for a week to recharge.

I’d been working on Goals for exactly a year by July 1st, 2020. I’ve got it to $900-$1,500 MRR (fluctuates because of churns). It can be seen as a success if I had lived in a place with lower living costs, but it’s still far from paying my monthly mortgage payments.

The product is valuable and unique, according to its core users, but I’ve…


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A friend of mine and I applied to YC Summer 2020 batch with just an idea and received an interview invite. This is the third application I’ve filled, and the first time getting an interview. My hope was high, but I knew it would be the most challenging 10 minutes of my life, and I would learn a lot.

After receiving a short rejection email, it’s time to reflect on this experience. It feels like I’ve learned a year’s worth of knowledge in that 10 mins.

I’ve read a lot of articles and watched 80% of the YC videos over…


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Short answer: yes.

Millions of people have done it. Some are lucky; they got rid of them early in their lives. Some aren’t; they suffer into their sixties. Most of us will figure it out in our thirties and forties.

A few weeks ago, I saw a post on Reddit which resonated with me.

I feel like I always go on streaks where I’m right about to make it in whatever endeavor I have — whether it’s quitting addictions, relationships, work success, friendships, etc. I always get 90% of the way there and I just throw it all away for some reason. …


MindfulSuite Newsletter #1: Adopting a growth mindset to accelerate your personal improvement

The most life-changing mindset I learned in the past five years is “Growth Mindset.” It’s from the book “Mindset” by Dr. Carol Dweck — a renowned professor of Psychology at Stanford University.

I had read some self-help books before I came across “Growth Mindset” but still struggled with motivation and self-criticism. Deep down, I didn’t quite believe I could change the trajectory of my life. After I practiced thinking with a Growth Mindset, I gained the power to effect changes for the first time in my life.

If this is something you can relate to, please keep reading. Or…


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Since about 5 or 6 years ago I’ve got an urge to try camping alone some time. 3 years ago I committed to this goal by buying all the gears — a tent, a new sleeping bag, 2 pads, 2 lamps, and some tools. Nothing happened until a Friday in the Fall of 2018, on which day I decided to do it at the weekend. I bought some food and water, loaded all the gears in my trunk, and off I went.

It’s my first time camping alone so I booked a camping site. Eventually, I’ll camp in the wild…


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I’d like to admit that I have struggled with motivation my entire life until last year when I found I finally gained enough mental strength to deal with almost any challenges in my life. It feels F’ing great. It’s a long journey and I’ve been through my lowest lows. I hope I can turn them into a book one day but here is the first thing I’d like to share:

The unity of motivation and action.

It might seem dead obvious that one’s actions should be perfectly aligned with what they would like to achieve, whether it is a better career, better relationships, better health, or…


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Photo by Joshua Earle

1. To prove yourself

If you are still trying to prove your abilities to yourself, or worse, to others, startup is not the best way to achieve that. It’s probably the surest way to induce self-doubt, not to alleviate it.

There are plenty of ways to prove yourself that are easier and quicker. Train for a half or a full marathon, get up early for a month, learn a new skill in 6 months and apply it to solve new problems. If you can do any of that, you have proved your great potential. QED.

2. To challenge yourself

If you are afraid of boredom or being mediocre…


Two weeks ago, as I was getting ready to officially embark on my entrepreneurial journey, all the random pieces of knowledge I have received from various conversations, videos, and books crystalized in my mind to form the basis of this article.

Business Mantra

What I mean by “Business”: A business is an activity through which certain values are delivered to its customers.

To build a world-class business, only two things matter:

  1. Build the world’s best product/service in its category
  2. Make customers feel superior and loved

Upon applying this definition, it’s easy to see why some activities do not directly benefit the business…


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My work desk

Today is a normal but highly anticipated day.

I’ve finally embarked on the entrepreneurial journey I’ve decided for myself since I was 10, working full-time for myself. My dad became an entrepreneur when I was 8, that’s when I heard the term “entrepreneur” in Chinese (创业) for the first time. 2 years later, one of my school teachers asked me what did my dad do. I said, “He is an entrepreneur”. Immediately after I said it, I thought to myself, “Hmmm, if my dad is an entrepreneur, I should also become one”. …

Terry Xu

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