Richard Liu
✦ Get My Latest Newsletter: richardfliu.substack.com ✦ Love Tech and Startups ✦ Co-Founder @ Yought.com ✦ Big Fan Of Sushi and Ramen ✦

As long as you can grow and learn from the experience

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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

With COVID-19 affecting the world for the most part of 2020, we’ve seen a sprout in side hustles, with many trying to create other income streams for stability. This could range from doing something as simple as knitting clothing to launching your own startup.

For me personally, I have found some success in some side hustles recently but also to boot, a lot of failures.

What I have also found, however, that it is essential to pick your winners but also let go of the losers.

There are too many articles pushing for success no matter what

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Photo by Ali Yahya on Unsplash

I am not a pessimistic person by nature.

It is however important to be realistic so let me throw this perspective at you. …


Will history repeat itself like in 2000?

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Even with the pandemic and the sharp drop in the market earlier this year, we’ve seen tech stocks rally to new highs, especially for some of the tech giants in the world.

Most notably, we’ve seen companies like Amazon (AMZN), Zoom (ZM), and Tesla (TSLA) reach record highs even when so many other industries are suffering from the virus’s impact.

Recently, however, we’ve seen the market tumble as profit-takers pulled back from tech stocks on Thursday morning (3rd September 2020)

Traveling back in time to the 2000s, we saw a similar timeline when the Nasdaq surged past 3000 to the 5000s in a matter of months before tumbling down in April 2000, which signified the dotcom bust. …


Let’s take a look at the present situation and the future

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Photo by Greg Bulla on Unsplash

Silicon Valley is as iconic as it gets.

Known as an area where not only famous tech giants live but also thriving startups vest. Many people around the world come to pursue their dream career in tech in the Valley.

But with COVID-19 hitting the world hard, especially in the states, many companies were forced to adopt working from home procedures to remain active during this time.

With such an unexpected turn of events and as the virus continues to spread, the question that some have been asking, will Silicon Valley return to normal after this all boils out?

Let’s take a look at the situation first. …


Even with the pandemic, there is a high possibility

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Photo by Filios Sazeides on Unsplash

Airbnb was one of the most successful tech companies to come out of the GFC back in 2008. Having changed the landscape of the tourism industry, especially in accommodation, it has since grown to one of the most successful tech startups.

With the recent COVID-19 situation, however, we know how hard the industry has been hit with many airlines going bankrupt and plenty of travel startups hitting the ground.

To survive, however, Airbnb had to raise money ($1 billion) from Silver lake and Sixth Street Partners to help cushion the impact of the virus. …


If you want to join a startup, make sure you check this

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Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

For many, joining a startup sounds like a dream.

High growth, fun culture, meaningful work, and the list goes on.

However, many soon realize that working at a startup can be tough, especially from a corporate background. It’s a high paced environment where you’re expected to pull your own weight and put on a lot of hats.

Especially during an uncertain time like COVID-19, taking a jump into the startup life has become an even bigger risk than ever before. …


Some of these startups focused on survival whilst others found new business opportunities

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Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

The pandemic has caused widespread panic for startups, with many needing to lay off large parts of their workforce and some even needing to close shop.

Many startups, especially in industries like travel, have since needed to pivot to remain relevant to the current market conditions.

Some have also taken advantage of the situation and innovated their products to help solve a problem within the current environment.

In this list, we explore five startups that have managed to pivot successfully, especially during a time of uncertainty.

Athena Security

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Source: https://venturebeat.com/2018/09/27/athena-security-uses-computer-vision-to-detect-guns-and-other-weapons/

Founded in 2017, Athena Security’s focus initially was to help with gun detection through computer vision AI technology. Even with raising 5.6 million dollars, Athena Security is up against much well-funded businesses in a very crowded market. …


Let’s dig into the first half of 2020 within the startup ecosystem

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Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

Many startups right now have one thing on their mind: to survive the pandemic.

With continuous uncertainty looming across the world and with new cases popping up everywhere, you might be asking why the optimism?

Startups have always been a critical driver of economic growth and, most importantly, job creation for countries. Even during the crisis, startups will have continued to innovate and, most importantly, react to changing environments.

This is one of the significant advantages is the ability to adapt and innovate on top of their products. …


Let’s take a quick look on both sides of the fence

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Photo by Bram Van Oost on Unsplash

Artificial Intelligence has been a buzzword that has been floating around for decades. Overall for many products and services, AI has been at the forefront of new innovations in how we do things.

Most noticeably is within the computer vision space around self-driving cars. There have been huge developments with Musk himself stating that Tesla will have Level 5 autonomous vehicles by 2020 (for a breakdown of what Level 0–5 means see below).

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Source: Source: https://www.synopsys.com/automotive/autonomous-driving-levels.html

This would be amazing for the industry as well as companies supporting it. …


Let’s dive deeper into the FAAMG list to see who’s immune and who’s not

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Photo by Ales Nesetril on Unsplash

There is no doubt with the recent events across the world, the technology giants have emerged to be some of the most valuable companies in the world. These include companies like Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google (Alphabet).

The so-called FAAMG (Instead of Netflix, it is replaced with Microsoft) club accounts for nearly 6.6 Trillion dollars of market capitalization (as of July 23). To put it in perspective, these five companies account for almost a quarter of the entire market capitalization of the S&P 500.

Even at enormous sizes, we’ve seen big companies fall for a variety of reasons, including bankruptcy to hostile takeovers (e.g., …


From Trump wanting to ban it and Microsoft looking to buy, here is a summary

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Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash

Tiktok has become an international success since its release in September 2016. Taking on social media giants like Facebook and Snapchat, it has not only been able to capture a younger audience but also billions of users across the world.

Owned by the Chinese company, Bytedance, TikTok was originally going to be another app called Musical.ly before being rebranded.

2020 was looking like a good year for TikTok with massive growth in numbers due to COVID-19.

With the recent controversy and now Trump’s ruling to ban TikTok, let’s take a closer look at what’s happening from the start.

Why The Ban In The First Place?

If you haven’t kept up to date with TikTok’s recent events on why Trump wants to ban it in the first place, it all started when someone reverse engineered the application. …


Here is the story you might have missed in 1997

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Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

There is no doubt that the rivalry between Microsoft and Apple is one of the longest standing in the tech industry.

Many know that both companies are in the ‘billion-dollar’ club at present and lead the tech world in terms of market cap and influence.

However, many may have forgotten that a few years before the dot com bubble in 2000, Apple was struggling and on the brink of bankruptcy.

Apple had just acquired NeXT in 1997 (who Steve Jobs founded), and Jobs became CEO once again of his former company (yes, Jobs was ousted from Apple before). …


I felt pressured to write and that wasn’t what I wanted

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Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

When I first started my adventure on Medium, I was ready to kickstart my writing adventures on all kinds of topics.

One of the earliest pieces of advice I received around writing on Medium was being consistent and sticking to a schedule.

As time went on, I found more success on the platform, with some of my articles doing so well that I started receiving writing offers outside of Medium.

Like in many platforms out there, consistency was critical to ‘success’ and helped me drive not only growth for my brand but also helped me gather views across my articles.

Last month, however, I reached a revelation when I scheduled in my last few articles for publishing. …


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Photo by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash

Right now, we are in the midst of expanding our writer base. We are growing rapidly every day and always looking for some new writers.

Topics we like to cover are listed below:

  • Marketing
  • User Experience
  • Design
  • Growth
  • Startups and Tech
  • Anything else that fits!

In order for your work to be accepted, here are some things you should follow:

1. Grammar

I understand there may be many writers who did not speak English as their first language.

My first recommendation is to run your article through something like Grammarly.

The less we have to edit, the more likely I can accept your article or publish it. …


China is planning to spend over $1.4 Trillion on tech in the next five years

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Photo by Li Yang on Unsplash

There has been no doubt that China and the US have been at each other’s throats with an on-going trade wall that has escalated since COVID-19 hit.

Back in March 2018, Trump himself accused China of “economic aggression,” a sign of uneasy tensions.

The so-called Trump Trade War focuses on two parts. One is around trade, and the other is a battle to dominate technology, especially within emerging and new sectors.

So why the big focus on tech?

To put it in perspective, for trading, the two-way exchange of goods and services between China and the US is worth just under one trillion dollars a year (in 2019).


Small steps lead to bigger things

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Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

I recently hit my goal of hitting 1000 subscribers on Medium (I include this in the ‘social media’ platform group).

It took me around (after I started seriously going for it) 6 months to hit this goal with consistent writing every week. Previous to that, my focus was growing out my Twitter channel to 1k followers.

Now it’s Youtube’s turn!

The question you might be going: why 1000 — seems like a small goal, no?

The answer to that is simple: I want to focus my time on learning all platforms.

The numbers might not seem much, but I am looking to grow all of these from scratch. …


Data from recent reports show improvements but also a lot of struggle still

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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

We’ve seen how devastating COVID-19 has shaped the world, especially in countries where the virus is still spreading.

For startups, it has been a challenging period.

We’ve seen many need to pivot, especially ones that are in industries that require people not to work remotely. An example has been construction tech startups modifying their existing technology to help send alerts if workers get too close to each other.

In this article, we explore how the global ecosystem of startups has been handling the pressure that COVID-19 has generated.

Just as a quick note, many figures from these reports are based earlier this year, as much of the recent statistics have not come out yet! …


We’ve officially entered a recession but the markets speak otherwise

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Photo by Patrick Weissenberger on Unsplash

The US has officially entered a recession (if you haven’t heard the news), but the markets are still bullish with the S&P recovering from its fall earlier in 2020.

Despite this official downturn announcement, the markets have remained relatively positive, with the markets looking to rebound back to its previous highs. (EDIT: Since writing this article early this week, the market has pulled back, just a note that I’ve seen this!)

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Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/08/business/recession-stock-market-coronavirus.html

One of the critical factors in this drive has been technology and communication stocks, rapidly fueling the strong rebound, helping exceed previous record highs just before the coronavirus ended its 11-year bull run.


The tech industry is getting a shakeup with these new platforms

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Photo by Roman Synkevych on Unsplash

Ever since technology has evolved, we’ve seen a massive demand for developers, all with different skill sets from coding specializations to full-stack backgrounds.

Until recently, many startup accelerators and incubators would only accept companies that had technical cofounders or a built MVP

In most of these cases, these MVPs needed developers or someone technical to help create, which could have ended up costing thousands out of the pockets of the founders.


This is where the no/low code development platforms (NCDP) has slowly shown its face

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Photo by Emile Perron on Unsplash

Both have been creating a lot of buzz, but many still have confusion about what the differences are.


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Hi there,

I originally created the Yought Blog in support of my form tool. Yought is a smarter form tool, built with AI to help make you collect better data.

For early access, just reply back to me (at richard@yought.com) :)


I recently also started a new brand, TechChats.

Our focus will be everything around tech, not just for startups and developers. This includes marketing, product, growth, and more.

If you’re interested in joining our slack group, please also email back to me, and let’s have a conversation (richard@yought.com)!


Here’s the content you might have missed!

1. [Medium] A look at 10 startups to come out of a recession!

From Airbnb to Groupon, let’s explore how these tech startups launched

2. [Video] A Career In Digital Marketing: 5 things you need to know

Digital marketing can be kinda confusing, especially with so much information floating around. Here’s a video to share a bit more information about the industry.

Thanks,

Richard


From Airbnb to Groupon, let’s explore how these tech startups launched

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Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash

With recent uncertain times across the world, 2020 is shaping up to be both exciting and frightening.

Many startups have experienced cutbacks, including many needing to initiate layoffs while others were closing shop. In general, though, VC deal activity has risen since the GFC.

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As seen in the graph below, there was a small decline from 2008–2009 before picking back up into record highs in 2018 and 2019. So far, it looks like there will be a decline in VC deal activity in general by the end of 2020.

It’s essential, however, to remember that many startups were born from lows. Every recession eventually ends, and we saw many come out from the most recent Global Financial Crisis into successful startups. …


This new executive order focuses on Section 230

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Photo by History in HD on Unsplash

Trump is known for his antics on social media.

Like Musk, he is known for saying whatever is on his mind (probably to the panic of his PR team), especially on the widely popular social media platform Twitter.

But recently he has gotten a bit of heat from Twitter for posting this particular tweet below:

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Source: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1265255835124539392

If you notice just below the tweet, there’s a line that says, “Get the facts about mail-in ballots”.

Twitter made the move against Trump, which facts check against his tweet and subsequently links to Twitter’s moment page, which contains fact checks and news stories around the claims. …


Definitely not in our current lifetime

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Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

We’ve all seen it in movies.

Either a mastermind AI takes over the world (or tries to) or some unstoppable robot wreaks havoc.

Yet surprisingly, examples of artificial intelligence are surrounding our everyday life more than we know it.

Some include relying on our phones to help GPS the best way to get from point A to Point B, especially if you’re using your voice assistant AI to do this.

If you’re using search (like Google or Bing) or social media, all of these companies are using some kind of AI to help monitor and track your behavior to deliver you results they think you want to see.

With how widespread it is, it’s no wonder people like Elon Musk are scared of the so-called “point of singularity,” which is the point where artificial intelligence surpasses human intelligence. …


It’s trying again to tackle videos in 2020

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Source: https://www.complex.com/music/best-spotify-playlists/

Spotify has become a household name as a music streaming service that rivals Apple Music.

Founded in 2006 in Sweden, it has built into an international organization with a footprint expanded into 81 countries worldwide.

Recently, however, Spotify will start experimenting around video podcasts. This has started with reports it will let Youtube stars Zane Hijazi and Heath Hussar (two youtube celebrities who host Zane and Health: Unfiltered) upload a few videos to accompany the podcast episodes. These will sync with the audio feed and continue playing even if listeners lock their phones.

Additionally, only half the show’s audience will see the video footage, most likely a test from Spotify to see the reception of the videos. …


A case study on how Salesforce built a product users loved.

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2016/08/31/salesforce-shares-face-plant-despite-beating-analyst-expectations/

In 2000, a protest was happening outside Siebel System’s user conference. These ‘protestors’ carried large signs with ‘anti-software’ messages as they marched outside the venue.

But these weren’t real protestors. They were hired people.

People protesting outside with anti-software slogans
People protesting outside with anti-software slogans
Source: https://www.businessinsider.com.au/marc-benioff-salesforcecom-chief-has-pulled-some-crazy-stunts-2012-3

When Salesforce first launched in February 2000, it needed to be noticed by people.

It was competing with the tech giant behemoths at the time, Siebel Systems and Oracle. With their PR agency Outcast Communications, they decided to theme the whole launch “The End of Software”.

The campaigns began at DEMO 2000 (a launch venue for new tech products) and then moved towards an “End of Software” launch party. Partygoers who came needed to bring pieces of old software to donate to software trash bins. …


Let’s explore the positives and concerns of The Boring Company

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Source: The Boring Company’s First Commercial Project

The Boring Company is an infrastructure and tunnel construction services company founded by Elon Musk in 2016. Initially formed as part of a subsidiary under SpaceX, it has since become independent in 2018.

One of the key inspirations for Musk to launch his company was congestion with Los Angeles traffic (To be fair LA traffic is insane) as well as limitations of two-dimensional transport networks.

Since then, The Boring Company is looking to build tunnels in Chicago as well as hyperloop between New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington DC. …

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