Actually I've been thinking I should write some more articles just to be sure my skill doesn't get completely rusty. Being in that state of mind, it was easy for a recent article I read to make me want to write this article. The article confirmed an opinion I've developed over the last year or so. That opinion is that….:
The more I hear about Eastern Europe, the better it sounds to me as a region that's relatively safe, civilized, affordable, and a place I'd like to see.
For almost a year now I've had a friend, named Ferenc, who is from Hungary. He says great things about Hungary. He grew up there, moved to Norway and lived there for a while, then for the last 6 years he's lived in Kiev, Ukraine, where he says he says he likes the ambiance and lives pretty well on his internet-based MLM income.
Ferenc, by the way, is also the top earner in Wavescore, the social media platform I've gotten to like a lot lately. Odds are that sometime next year he's going to be running their Customer Service.
Anyway…..my hobby is latin dancing, i.e. Salsa, Bachata, Cha-cha, and Kizomba. I've long known those styles of social dancing are very popular in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Slovakia, and other Eastern European countries. Since the top two things I look for in a country I might consider visiting is a strong local social-dancing community and a good internet, most Eastern European countries would qualify.
But there are other countries in Eastern Europe that are not as well-known as the aforementioned.
Georgia is one of them and it's the one I just read about.
Any news-junkies we have in the crowd will remember that Georgia was in the news several years ago for some border problems they had with Russia. That tension eventually blew over and, according to the article I read just now (here), things have been very pleasant in Georgia since then.
According to the article I read, Georgia also has a very lucrative but still off-the-radar business investment opportunity situation. I googled the country to get a general idea of where it was and what it looked like and it seemed very nice.
So…that't it. I hear that many of those Eastern European countries have pretty good internet, taxes are low or non-existent, local costs are very cheap, the people are nice, and the available facilities are more than good enough. I think I'd like to see Georgia.
On a completely different topic, I would encourage you to check out Wavescore. Think about it….if you're putting Youtube videos on Facebook and other social media, you know that they're monetizing that content and making money off of it, don't you? You're just giving money away to them.
Wavescore is putting some finishing touches on their User Interface but their platform generally works very well right now. And yes… you can make some money if you want but their don't see it as an MLM. Basically, it's a services-site monetized with advertising….(which they have't even started yet).
Their primary service now is quick and easy sharing YouTube videos. They also just recently started their Chat Feature Beta (which I'm a member of) and which is working very well. It allows us to share documents, videos, geo-location, etc…similar to Skype.
Coming next will be audio chat, video chat, and then a conference room. So…the game plan is…ad revenue sharing from social media platform monetization…just like YouTube and Facebook have been doing for years. Except that YouTube and Facebook share little or none of their revenue with the people who actually provide the content.
And that's all I've got to say. Now that I've done an article I feel better. Got any questions about Wavescore..? Call me.
Blockchain opens 10 millionth bitcoin wallet after Brexit and Trump boost
London-based bitcoin wallet provider Blockchain has opened its 10 millionth digital wallet.
It comes almost two weeks after the company's cofounder and CEO Peter Smith told Business Insider the company would "pretty easily" have its biggest ever month for activity in November, following a surge in use after Donald Trump's shock election victory in the US.
He told BI shortly after the election: "People are basically hedging against economic instability. It's a worrying time to be holding a lot of British pound or if you're America — people flee to safe haven assets. Bitcoin is one of those."
Smith says in an emailed statement on Wednesday: "Hitting this milestone at this particular moment isn’t a coincidence. In the wake of the Brexit vote, the US Presidential election and a weakening Yuan, we have seen unprecedented levels of activity and transaction on our platform, which further suggests that people are embracing the need for a more globally accessible currency system, and one that does not exclude over one-third of the world’s population.
"We are excited to play such an important role in powering the world’s shift to a more open, fair and accessible financial system."
Blockchain lets people download software onto their computer that lets them open a digital wallet to store cryptocurrency bitcoin. The wallet, which lets people store their own bitcoin rather than hold it with Blockchain, can also be used to pay for things using bitcoin.
Blockchain employs around 25 people in London but also has offices in Luxembourg and New York. The company is the world's biggest provider of digital wallets for bitcoin, with over 50% market share, and processes over 150,000 transactions a day on average. It has raised over $30 million (£23.9 million) to date.
12 years ago I owned a home in La Jolla, had 4 cars (BMWs and a Jeep) a yacht, 4 companies and a 7 figure income. And then it slowly started collapsing, higher regulations, deeper debt, etc. Then the housing crash, etc. Obama took over, huge spending and great corruption. Bottom line, right now I have nothing but one new ready to launch company (Markethive). All debt gone but all income gone too. I am just hanging in there.
Now Trump arrives and I am more than hopeful. I am cleaning the rain gutters, digging the irrigation ditches deeper and restoring the reservoir dams.
Do you know why I say that?
It is the prophesied revival, the biggest renaissance in human history. The Rise of the Entrepreneur I have been preparing for over 20 years. (I am a bit of a prophet myself)
Reagan was only the foreshadowing of this event. It is during this revival Israel becomes the biggest energy country in history and a giant economic engine. (America is just an extension of Israel)
It is during this time the true Jews are restored to their home (hint: they aint white).
Trump is prophetic, even his name suggests that. He has already torn the deceptive veil back to reveal to the world the depth of corruption at hand.
We are on the cusp of an amazing economic nuclear explosion. Get your house in order!
Entrepreneurs are busy people. Many of us do realize the importance of business of writing and publishing an ebook, but we simply feel we don’t have the time to write a book, especially if you are already producing a lot of content with our blog(s).
I can think of many types of books you can write fast—especially by blogging them—and turn them into short ebooks. I am an active blogger as you probably know by the volume I produce in Markethive.
Case in point (and feel free to swipe them and make your own Ebook. An eBook on Inbound marketing.
The same can be done for email, social marketing, SEO, etc. utilizing my and others who allow swiping in Markethive. You see, you have no excuse.
Short ebooks can be anywhere from 15 to 100 manuscript pages in length. The completed book might be between 4,000-35,000 words long. This is, indeed a short book you write fast.
Create a content plan for you short ebook, and then don’t make more work for yourself than necessary. Keep your chapters short. Don’t write more than necessary. Blog your book, or write it as if you were blogging it; sit down each day and write 500 words. Then make each chapter 1,500-2,500 words long, for example. Each chapter will consist of 3-5 blog posts (each averaging 500 words). If you have 10 chapters, you’ll end up with a 15,000-25,000 word book.
By employing one of these seven short-book structures, you’ll write or blog your book fast. You’ll then be ready to get it edited, have a cover designed, and convert it into an ebook format. Before you know it, you’ll be using your short ebook (and maybe even a printed book, too) to promote yourself and your business.
How To Publish A Kindle eBook Today On Amazon
Fast and Easy eBook Template in Word
Create Stunning eBooks & Lead Magnets In 30 Seconds
Many ebook publishers (and this could easily be you) make $200 or more per day selling their story, their knowledge, etc. in a ebook format. Combined with the viral and marketing power of Markethive many of you will learn how to produce a yearly income in excess of $70,000 a year.
What would that mean for you? It would give you the needed revenue to build additional businesses, right? After all we are entrepreneurs!
I (we) are pursuing funding for Markethive. It is a long and winding road. In this quest, we have met very innovative amazing people. Case in point James Wilfong a partner owner of an upcoming crypto coin company called MyCryptoWorld has an amazing system that is to the Crypto Coin market as Markethive is to the Inbound Marketing world.
The friendships between MyCryptoWorld, Markethive and Greenfire is growing and is opening up some amazing possibilities. This is what we are talking about this Sunday.
I will readily listen to advice from somebody who I know practices what they preach. Neil Patel, founder and primary writer of quicksprout.com, one of the leading social media blogs on the internet, recently wrote an article and shared some writing tips. To me some of them were more attention-getting than others and I'd like to share and comment on those particular tips here…. not so much because I or you have never heard them before but moreso because we may have strayed from adhering to them.
Yes, I struggle with this sometimes too. It seems that there are times during the writing of an article or post that the first person voice seems more natural but then there are times when it doesn't make sense and I find myself wondering if I should go back and change a previous "I" to a "we" or "most people" or some other pronoun.
Perhaps chosing the right subject voice gets easier with practice.
I certainly agree. However, I often see content written by people who probably make more money than I do but they use what I consider to be pretty ´´lame titles. I think there eventually comes a point where being contrarian just for the sake of standing out in the crowd does make sense… i.e. veering from the standardize formulas that most article title generators tend to produce. I think it's especially appropriate to have a unique title style if you're trying to name a name for yourself.
Even Neil uses the word, "shit" in one of his ads that I saw. But it hasn't gotten to the point where we hear all of George Carlin's 7 Words You Can't Say on TV.
You've seen those one or two sentence paragraphs, right?
I don't know about you but every time I see writing like this it makes be cringe because I think of all those 'carriage returns' … Ka-Ching! (I learned to type on a real typewriter which actually had a 'carriage').
This is one of the rules that not many people talk about but apparently it works well for some types of writing. It's something that I usually try to do but am not always successful at. Neil (Patel) is good at it.
I think it depends on the type of writing you're doing but I can also attest to the fact that almost every time I've written an article and not published it til later I always wind up shortening it a lot when I come back to review it.
To my mind, the value of this practice is that you should always try to be a real person in the reader's mind. So…tossing in an occasional "I" is OK. I think if people feel like they know you better, it's easier for them to buy from you or believe you.
In theory I think this is probably a good idea and I've never heard it specifically emphasized as a writing practice. The caution should be to be careful to keep the story as short as possible. Story-telling is an art.
I totally agree with this. I do it often (but not consistently). If you try it, I can guarantee it will improve your writing. I find it amazing how often I write something that initially seems OK but when I read it back to myself I think, "Hey! I don't talk like that nor would I think somebody who talked like that was interesting to listen to."
This is a good idea. The only caution I would give is that we need to remember that the average person reads at a 6th grade level. Did you know that Ernest Hemingway wrote at a 4th grade level? Believe it….here.
I actually like this idea a lot. In fact, I think I wrote something along these lines just recently. It's long been my theory that the internet has given too many people the opportunity to blather on about whatever strikes their fancy-of-the-moment.
This is actually the second time I've written this article. I accidently deleted it the first time. But maybe that's a good thing because I'll trim it down this time around…. just highlighting some options for bloggers to create nice headers and image graphics for their articles.
I'm going to mention 6 platforms that I know something about, two of which I know a lot about. The other 4 I know something about but I don't actively use. None of them are Photoshop because I think Photoshop is overkill for the average blogger (like me).
The six programs are:
First of all, to qualify my parameters, my primary use of these programs is for article headers. I've been blogging for a long time but only in the last year or so have I bothered to add immages/graphics with any degree of sophistication. All the popular blogging programs (Blogger, Typepad, Squarespace, Wixler, WordPress, et.al) have options for pasting in an image.
But that's about as sophisticated at it get.
There are a few WordPress plugins, e.g. ImageSuite, which provide photo libraries and sometimes also allow some degree of editing of the photos. I have ImageSuite but I seldom use it.
For the last several months I've been using a program which used to be called ShareAsImage. Recently they changed the name to GetStencil. Anybody who reads my articles on Markethive…that's what I usually used for the header.
Stencil has a free version with limited resources and it also has monthly and a yearly plan. The 'Pro' plan is $15 @ month but I have the yearly plan which saves me about $5 @ month as I recal. I like Stencil primarily because it has a bookmarklet for my browser. You can also get an extension for Chrome and Firefox.
Stencil gives me a huge choice of pictures and template designs to chose from and modify to my heart's content. It is not, however, as good for sophisticated designs of such things as invitations, business cards, menus, resumes, etc. Other programs are better for that. Another feature it has that is nice is that you can 'share' your creations on the top 5 different social media sites.
Also, I could not find a YouTube channel for them but they do have good video tutorials on their site, here.
Next comes snappa.io. Snappa is very similar to Stencil. The overall look of the site is just slightly different. I've even seen some of the same pictures in their library that I've seen in Stencil. I think what accounts for that is that they both pull from Pixabay.com, one of the larger free picture resources online.
I actually used Snappa a lot before I started using Stencil. The price is about the same but the resource library seems to be a little smaller. It does not have a bookmarklet. I also could not find a YouTube channel for Snappa but their site video tutorials are here.
Next comes PicMonkey.com. I like PicMonkey but it's actually more of a photo editor than a graphics creator although you could put one of your creations on top of a blog article if you wanted. Their front page says, "Sparkle up a photo, make a splashy design, or find a sweet template to customize. It's your day. I also like it because it has excellent tutorials and creativity blog posts.
You won't find tutorial videos directly on their site. There they prefer text tutorials. But they do have a good YouTube channel and here's one of their very good tutorial videos. And one more nice thing about PicMonkey is that its very inexpensive…only $5 @ month. And they'll even give you a big discount if you pay yearly….making it easy to keep a membership in addition to one or two others.
Pixlr.com is perhaps the most sophisticated of all these sites for functionality. Both it and PicMonkey provide a 'layers' functionality too. Pixlr goes at everything from a 'picture editing' angle. It's not focused on flat graphics per se but you can make them.
Pixlr can seem a bit complicated because (1) it's a product of another company called Autodesk and (2) it actually has several different products (for different image editing purposes) underneath the one Pixlr brand name. But the main product, Pixlr itself is only $15 a year (it's a downloaded desktop app).
Canva.com touts being 'amazingly simple' and that might be true because, other than Photoshop, it's been around for several years. I also remember that it was one the first very successful new-breed of sophisticated but consumer and marketing oriented graphics creators. But I should qualify that it's more of a marketing graphics designer tool than just a photo editor. It might be overkill for article headers like I use Stencil for.
It's kinda hard to see what it costs because they hide it but I know it's about $15 @ month. I'd say it's worth it though and they do offer a 30 trial so you can see if you really can utilize it.
Youzign.com came after Canva and is very similar. In some ways Youzign is more sophisticated. That's because apparently the people who produced Youzign are in tight with most of the other internet market tool creators (guys like Josh Ratta and others) and it seems like every time the other guys come out with a new program, Youzign annouces that it integrates with Youzign and has a big sale to offer it to you.
It's hard to say what the price is because (1) I don't use it (apparently I have a basic account still) and (2) they seem to have so many different variations of it. But….I know it's a very powerful program. Maybe just a bit more than the average bloggr needs (unless he/she write really high-end content).
So that's it except for a couple more points.
Point #1: You still need good sources of photos. Fortunately most of these programs come with large libraries of images. But…there are plenty of free sources of images if you know where to look.
Point #2: one excellent source of information about free image sources and other/similar image editing and/or design software is a fellwo named Robin Good.
I first discovered Robin Good back when I used scoop.it a lot (before they got so expensive and un-grandfathered the people like me who signed up with them when they first came out. Robin is a big-time curator and aside for having several scoop.it sites that he maintains, he also has this resource list which I think is an almost endless source of please to browse.
Now…that's it for this article. I still like my Stencil but have a couple new sites I want to explore now too. But you can't go wrong with Stencil or Snappa for good article headers.
Need a good content writer for your blog, website, or social media? I'm for hire.
713 701 1853
Some of my readers might remember me in the past mentioning a platform called Wavescore. Well, I'm here say that rumors of its demise were grossly exaggerated. It's not dead. Matter of fact, it's much stronger now, it's functioning fairly well, and itlooks like it'll be ready for prime time very soon.
Wavescore is a social media ad revenue sharing program. It was founded a few years ago with the goal of allowing people to make money from the social media that they generated. 'Social media' is a broad field of course but the first type of social media that Wavescore focused on was (and still is) Youtube.
Clearly people spend a lot of time making, viewing, and sharing videos both for entertainment and business. But YouTube isn't known for speading their profits around. It is 'we the people' of course where the vast majority of YouTube content comes from. So, the objective of Wavescore was to be a way that the people who were actually spreading the videos could get a share of the advertising revenue that those views generated for the advertisers.
Actually, it just occurred to me the other day that Wavescore is a variation on the curation craze that's been popular for a few years now. It's like getting paid for curating video content. The 'pay' comes in the form of points or credits that platform users get from views on the videos they share via their free Wavescore site.
The 'pay' comes in the form of credits (AKA: points) and/or actual cash. Anybody (down to the age of 13) can get a free Wavescore site, use it to curate YouTube videos onto their Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn sites.
Everytime someone looks at one of those videos (i.e. the Monty Python videos I put on my Facebook), the Wavescore curator get points. The points can be redeemed for merchandise from a large group of well-known stores. Amazon is just one of many.
The other benefit option, accessed through an upgrade that costs $25 @ month, is to redeem the points for real cash. The cash is received via a Payoneer debit card. I know it works because I know people who have been making money at it for over a year.
Matter of fact, a friend of mine has a teenage daughter who for the last several months has been using her Wavescore site to earn a few hundred dollars a month. And that's really the point of this article. I think there is a void in the online business opportunity niche for something that teenagers can do.
Wavescore's grander objective is to monetize other forms of social media too. They presently have in place the framework of a chat feature, a conference room feature, and a social following feature. And coming shortly (they say) will be something along the lines of Instagram (which appeals to me a lot because I like photography).
What Wavescore said they wanted to do always made sense to me. The problem several month ago when I was spending more time on it was that the site was agonizingly slow. But that problem has been rectified now.
I also recently confirmed my suspicions that their software development firm, a firm in India, was ripping them off. That's the reason why they didn't deliver on several promises they made to their members. All I knew at the time was that they weren't delivering what they promised.
Their coders now are based in the Ukraine. Their #1 distributor, Ferenc Fezler, also lives in the Ukraine (Kiev) and has some of the responsibility for managing or coordinating with them (the coder team). Ferenc is the guy who introduced Wavescore to me about a year ago.
So that's it. Social media ad-revenue sharing. Good idea if the technology can be done right. Wavescore is the only one to attempt it. They had some initial problems but they hung in there and now it looks like it's going to work (what other company do we know like that?).
Interestingly, they allow people as young as 13 years old to get a Wavescore site. I think that's a pretty cool opportunity for young people. And also for the mom or housewife or college student who wants something relatively fun and social, reasonably easy, and potentially profitable to do.
You can look at the last few videos on my Facebook and the ones that have a WAVESCORE.COM title underneath them…they actually link to my wavescore page. That's where you, i.e. the viewer, actually gets to watch the video. Here's a screen-capture of it:
Here's my Facebook link where you can find two or three similar links I put up last night. I would also invite you to peruse the video tutorials I put up on my Wavescore Elite Facebook Fanpage last night.
No…this isn't the only thing I enjoy but it is one of them.
I'd also invite you to get a Wavescore page for yourself and play around with it. It's free. You don't have anything to lose. Just go to my Wavescore site at www.wavescore.com/bachatero and click through in the upper right-hand corner.
And last but not lease…if you've got teenagers in the house, ask them if they'd like to make some money for sharing all those YouTube videos they've been sending to everybody.
Come join me as I run the workshop system that lifts you up into entrepreneurial exceptionalism!
Markethive is a Market Network. That means it is basically broken down into 3 facets all integrated.
A market platform for conducting business
A social network primarily for entrepreneurs
A SAAS (Software as a Service) Inbound Marketing platform
All systems (Facebook included) have a learning curve. Our focus, our goal, is to deliver to you a gentle intuitive fun and rewarding learning process. We are in the process of turning the entire process into an automated structure. Regardless, this learning structure is designed to build you into a powerful , wealthy, successful entrepreneur.
Are you an entrepreneur? Good question. Not necessarily easy to answer. So here are a few definitions:
The classic definition (I do not totally agree with)
noun: entrepreneur; plural noun: entrepreneurs
a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so
Most people would agree that an entrepreneur is a person who has started his or her own business. But that basic definition barely scratches the surface. It does little to capture the true essence of what it means to be a risk-taker, innovator and individual willing to carve his or her own path in a world that doesn't always take kindly to people who fail to follow the status quo.
Are you itching to venture out on your own, but you wonder if you have what it takes to choose the road less traveled? Check out what these company founders and business leaders think makes a truly successful entrepreneur.
However, before we venture further defining what exactly is an “entrepreneur” and other aspects breaking it down and related concerns like “venture capital” and the proverbial “entrepreneurial ecosystem, let me direct you along the paths of getting quickluy up to speed, as I believe that is exactly what you need. To succeed, attain structure, stability, vision and ultimately wealth.
Getting into our Workshops:
I made this simple little instructional video so you clearly see how easy it is to assimilate this ecocenter and huge powerful platform.
OK now about being an entrepreneur!
"Entrepreneurship is all about embracing challenges. When you're building something from the ground up, you need to get into the weeds and problem solve. All the weed whacking often allows you to better hone in on a better big-picture strategy — why did this happen? How do I solve it? How do smarter people than me solve it? With a young company, when you experience a new challenge, it's usually a growing pain. So while it can be difficult to get through, it's for the best possible reason — your company is getting bigger!" – Jennie Ripps, CEO of Owl's Brew
"To me, entrepreneurship means being able to take action and having the courage to commit and persevere through all of the challenges and failures. It is a struggle that an entrepreneur is willing to battle. It is using past experiences and intelligence to make smart decisions. Entrepreneurs are able to transform their vision into a business. I believe this process is at the core of any true entrepreneur." – MJ Pedone, founder and CEO of Indra Public Relations
"Being a successful entrepreneur requires a great deal of resourcefulness, because as an entrepreneur, you often run into dead ends throughout the course of your career. You need to be able to bounce back from losses if you want to be successful. Know that there will be much more disappointment than progress when you first start off, and you need to have a short memory in order to put the past behind you quickly. It's imperative to stay optimistic when bad things happen." – Vip Sandhir, founder and CEO of HighGround
"Entrepreneurship is the ability to recognize the bigger picture, find where there's an opportunity to make someone's life better, design hypotheses around these opportunities, and continually test your assumptions. It's experimentation: Some experiments will work; many others will fail. It is not big exits, huge net worth or living a life of glamour. It's hard work and persistence to leave the world a better place once your time here is done." – Konrad Billetz, CEO of Frameri
"To me, entrepreneurship is completely dedicating yourself to creating something out of nothing. It's not simply taking a risk and hoping to realize big rewards. Creating something out of nothing also tends to present numerous challenges and roadblocks which seem insurmountable. I believe the great entrepreneurs, who I look up to, can help their team push through those roadblocks and find solutions." – David Greenberg, CEO of Updater
"Entrepreneurship is the mind-set that allows you to see opportunity everywhere. It could be a business idea, but it could also be seeing the possibilities in the people that can help you grow that business. This ability to see many options in every situation is critically important; there will be unending challenges that will test your hustle." – Preeti Sriratana, co-founder and CEO of Sweeten
"It is not about making a quick buck or deal. Successful entrepreneurs look past that 'quick buck' and instead look at the bigger picture to ensure that each action made is going toward the overall goal of the business or concept, whether or not that means getting something in return at that moment." – Allen Dikker, CEO of Potatopia
"Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle, in that being an entrepreneur is ingrained in one's identity. [It] is the culmination of a certain set of characteristics: determination, creativity, the capacity to risk, leadership and enthusiasm. I don't think you can be an entrepreneur without these qualities, and for me, that idea was ingrained in me very early on. An entrepreneur is part of the foundation of who I am, and who I strive to be." – Eric Lupton, president of Life Saver Pool Fence Systems
"Entrepreneurship is an unavoidable life calling pursued by those who are fortunate enough to take chances [and are] optimistic enough to believe in themselves, aware enough to see problems around them, stubborn enough to keep going, and bold enough to act again and again. Entrepreneurship is not something you do because you have an idea. It's about having the creativity to question, the strength to believe and the courage to move." – Jordan Fliegel, founder of CoachUp
"The journey of entrepreneurship is a lifestyle for many of us; we are wired this way and have no choice. We are driven by an innate need to create, build and grow. In order to be a successful entrepreneur, you must have an underlying positivity that enables you to see beyond the day-to-day challenges and roadblocks, always moving forward. You must also be a master plate juggler, able to switch between thinking, genres and activities moment to moment. Most importantly, you must not be afraid to fail, and you must be comfortable living with risk and unknowns — a state of mind which is certainly not for everyone!” – Justine Smith, founder and CEO of Kids Go Co.
"Being an entrepreneur is about giving everything you have when the going gets tough and never giving up. If you truly love and believe in what you're doing, then you must hang in there. Entrepreneurship is not knowing everything about your business. You must humble yourself and not work from your ego. Always be willing to grow, change and learn." – Jennifer MacDonald and Hayley Carr, founders of Zipit Bedding
"Entrepreneurship is seeing an opportunity and gathering the resources to turn a possibility into a reality. It represents the freedom to envision something new and to make it happen. It includes risk, but it also includes the reward of creating a legacy. Anti-entrepreneurship is satisfaction with the status quo, layers of controls and rules that hamper forward movement, and fear of failure." – Maia Haag, co-founder and president of I See Me!
"When it comes to being a successful entrepreneur, I think one must possess grit. The stakes tend to be high, the bumps in the road frequent. Remaining focused, regardless of the obstacles, is paramount. That said, being an entrepreneur means being in full control of your destiny. If that's important to you, then all of the challenges associated with striking out on one's own are but a small price to pay.” – Mike Malone, founder of Livestock Framing
Reid Hoffman Tells Charlie Rose: "Every Individual Is Now An Entrepreneur."
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all started life as revolutionary networks that brought existing real-world relationships online. Today, they are aging utilities, powering an outdated version of the social internet.
As social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram grow larger, they skew disproportionately toward supernodes—celebrity, meme and business accounts. An estimated 8% of of all accounts are fake spam bots. The average Instagram user posts 2.69 times a day, while the average user with over a million followers posts 8.58 times. 80 million photos are posted a day, but the average engagement rate per post is 1.1%. On Instagram, 50% of posts are generated by less than 3% of accounts. Facebook is a bit more stable because it has a cap on the number of friends you can have. Still, original sharing like posting photos to your Facebook feed or updating your status is decreasing 21% year over year.
Today it’s no longer enough to “connect the world.”
If you want to survive, don’t just build a network. You have to build a hive, and eventually a hivemind.
The Existential Crisis of the Network
Even though some social networks have grown to include billions of people, the ramp up in communication hasn’t increased proportionally. Even as you add friends or follow users, you can only talk to so many. Facebook users with over 500 friends only actively communicate with between 10 to 20 people. Similarly, Twitter users who have follower counts of over 1,000 share strong ties with fewer than 50 of their followers.
Myspace’s rapid user growth precipitated an equally rapid decline. It’s a cautionary lesson that growth in the network doesn’t equate to growth in business value. Networks can’t just be neutral. They have to be instrumental.
A network connects different people and gives them many points of contact for communication and transaction. A network is a neutral description of how connections between composite parts form a system. As networks mature, we’re starting to see something completely new emerge.
When it comes to car travel,
Google Maps gives us the distance between point A and point B, but Uber moves us from A to B faster.
When it comes to socializing,
Facebook gives us a way to connect, but Messenger helps us to communicate.
When it comes to shopping,
eBay allows us to buy anything online, but Amazon Prime gives us what we want when we want it.
The value of being connected isn’t in being networked. It’s having an opinion and taking action toward an outcome.
A single honeybee weighs around 1/10th of a gram. Add up all the honeybees in a hive, and you get around five to eight pounds worth of honeybeesâ—âbut you don’t get a hive. The beehive is an 80-pound mass that includes every individual bee, but is much more.
The hive is a smarter, evolved network that is bigger than the sum of its parts. The hive:
Increases the frequency of interactions between nodes and creates more touch-points within the hive. It’s how the hive learns and makes informed decisions in response to a changing external environment.
Decreases friction between nodes and creates a higher level of synchronicity between members of the hive. This produces stronger ties between individual members and allows the hive to act collectively.
Because of the increased frequency of interactions, a hive behaves more intelligently, and because of the decreased friction between nodes, a hive can do more than transfer data. It responds and evolves based on that data. The hive isn’t just more networked. It’s more densely populated with organic, living components.
Though not obvious, the hive is becoming central to the way we think, behave and interact. The best way to understand emergent human hives is to observe how hives operate in nature.
Increasing Frequency of Interactions: Ant Colonies Move as Liquids and Solids
An ant colony is so in sync that a mass of them can stick together to form solids or melt into fluids as a single body. By simply holding onto each other or letting go, the viscosity of a cluster of ants changes. They’re able to do so because of the high frequency of interaction between ants in a colony.
For ants, communication is survival. If you apply pressure to a ball of ants, the ants nearest to the top will begin to act as though they are dead, increasing the fluidity of the writhing mass of ants. The harder the ants are pressed, the more fluid they become to absorb the pressure. The more ants there are linked together, the more pressure they can collectively withstand.
What allows ants to adapt so quickly isn’t the content of a transmitted message, but the way one ant presses against another triggers a chain reaction through the entire cluster. It’s how ant clusters can form rafts to avoid drowning and build bridges out of their bodies to cross gaps.
The fluidity of ants allows them to thrive in almost any environment. They’ve colonized every continent except Antarctica, making up 15–25% of terrestrial animals on Earth.
Consumerization of the Enterprise: Mass Alignment in the Workplace
Tools like Google Apps for Work, Slack and Github are making us more like ant clusters. They increase the frequency of interaction within an organization. People can communicate and switch tasks faster, make smarter decisions based on data and use smarter tools that talk to one another.
Rather than being individuals sitting alone in cubicles, we’re like a cluster of ants crawling and moving around and on top of each other with shared tools that everyone can access.
The image above on the left shows how email communication patterns follow organizational hierarchies at an HP research lab. The image on the right shows the pattern of developers collaborating over chat. With a network model like email, you have to jump from one person to the next to get the information you need. In a hive, real-time communication occurs seamlessly between people.
The high frequency of interaction gets everyone on the same page and working in sync:
People to people interactions: With the hive, a higher frequency of interactions means that work can be assigned on an ad-hoc basis with a tool for real-time chat like Slack. People can switch jobs more rapidly based on what the hive needs. One study shows that the top 20% of developers were also the ones that chatted the most frequently.
People to data interactions: What was specialized knowledge accessible via technical interfaces is now common knowledge exposed through conversational interfaces. Think Lookerbot for analytics and internal company data.
Data to data interactions: The workplace hive gives us insight where we once only got reports. Tools that everyone in the company uses creates massive amounts of data, which helps people use tools more efficiently. This workflow data used to be valuable only as a system of record. Today, it produces actual business intelligence.
The net result is a vastly smarter organization aligned around shared goals. With more interaction between workers and tools, a business can transform from solid to fluid depending on the needs of the hive.
Decreasing Communication Friction: Bee Swarms Operate like Neural Nets
A swarm of bees on the move resembles the movement of neurons in the human brain. That’s how they’re able to colonize new nesting sites within hours of leaving their old one.
This doesn’t happen through a centralized intelligence where the queen bee shouts down orders. Instead, it’s through the low-level communication of scout bees that reduces friction for the entire hive and allows for rapid and collective decision-making.
A hive has around three days to find a new nest site before it dies. Finding the right home means exploring possible sites in a one-mile radius of the queen. The queen can’t go out and look at sites on her own, and doesn’t have the bandwidth to process every possible location that the scouts find and make a good decision quickly.
Instead, scout beesâ—âwho represent 3% of the entire hiveâ—âare responsible for choosing the new hive. When it’s time for the hive to move, around 50 scouts are sent out to look for a promising home. When a scout finds one she likes, she does a “waggle dance” to signal the location to the other scouts. Scouts check out a variety of sites and dance around the one they think will help the hive survive.
As soon as 30 or so scouts gather around a new nest site, the rest of the hive is already lifting off into the air.
The decision-making process of bees reduces friction for how a massive collection of individual parts can evaluate a variety of inputs quickly and intelligently. Ultimately, 30 bees decide the fate for 10,000.
Mobile Messaging: The Formation of WeChat’s Hive
While networks like Instagram and Twitter are beginning to wear thin, messaging apps like WeChat are frenetic hives of activity that build economic empowerment. Like honeybee scouts, messaging apps decrease the friction of centralized nodes in the 1:1 communication between individual nodes and allow for emergent behaviors.
WeChat began five years ago as a messaging service. Today, you can use it to pre-order dumplings from a street-vendor, call a taxi, read the news, and even buy a house.
With WeChat, we see the evolution of a consumer product through the three stages of want, need and utility to the hive. At each stage, WeChat focuses on reducing friction by providing infrastructure for users. On WeChat, all it takes is a critical mass of people adopting new behavior to turn it into a utility that benefits the whole hive.
Wantâ—â2011: When WeChat launched, it let you send messages, voice clips, photos and that’s about it. Over the next year, as China moved from 2G to 3G, WeChat gave users the ability to make voice and video calls. It automatically compressed videos people uploaded to save cellular data. People wanted to use WeChat because it allowed you to easilyâ—âand cheaplyâ—âtalk to other people.
Needâ—â2012: WeChat users in China were often reluctant to download standalone apps because of high data costs. The launch of “official accounts,” or chatbots, emerged within these constraints. People could read the news or check bank statements via text message to an official account. Their needs were met entirely within WeChat’s platform.
Utilityâ—â2013: The addition of mobile payments and WeChat Wallet provided a new layer of utility for users and drove the wide scale adoption of commercial behavior onto the platform. One group of Chinese students built a fruit delivery business on WeChat because other fruit stands on campus were expensive, poor quality and inconvenient. In an interview, one student points out that “WeChat is a bit more agile [than Taobao]. Asmall entity can still have its own brand.”
As WeChat grows, new utilities emerge on the platform. Each increases the time users spend on WeChat’s platform thus reducing friction between users. The latest progression of this is the launch of Applets, which will allow developers to build full HTML5 apps on top of WeChat.
What drove WeChat’s growth wasn’t the launch of any one feature. It was the individual fruit vendors, taxi cabs, and mom-and-pop shops that WeChat made life easier for. In the long run, this might be the winning strategy.
In 2015, 12,000 new companies were born on platforms like WeChat every day. The hive isn’t created from access to new functionality. It’s how new functionality creates new economic opportunity.
The Transformation of the Network to the Hive
The increase in the frequency of interaction and decreased communication friction of the hive can be traced to a move toward synchronicity between people over history. Once, a story passed down verbally from father to son turned into myth after a thousand years. The invention of writing and the first spread of literacy allowed the transmission of the first written history.
As technology has advanced, the delay between the transfer of information has decreased. Paved roads allowed couriers to deliver messages, while cables wired along those roads enabled telegraphs and then radio broadcasts. Eventually, you got email, instant messaging, SMS, camera phones, all the way up to live video.
As information networks become distributed from giant data centers to cellular towers and the cloud, the amount of bandwidth available to the individual continues to rise. We’re no longer limited to a broadcast radio model, where one signal is received by many nodes. Today, we send and receive higher quantities of data at higher frequencies, through texts, photos and videos. We sync with each other instantaneously, and all the time.
This is what allows networks to converge into hives, from the individual to the organization.
Instrumentalizing the Social Network
The function of the social network is to connect people and to grow the size of the network. What originally came about through increasing connections is now focused on delivering a better, more immediate experience.
Facebook in 2012:
Our mission is to make the world more open and connected.
Facebook in 2016:
Our top priority is to build useful and engaging products that enable people to connect and share through mobile devices and personal computers.
In 2012, Snapchat described itself on its website as:
Snapchat is the fastest way to share a moment on iPhoneâ—âup to 10x faster than MMS!”
Today, the renamed Snap Inc.’s website reads:
We believe that reinventing the camera represents our greatest opportunity to improve the way people live and communicate.
Facebook and Snap Inc. are both converging around how we communicate and share experience, and they’re doing it by building a family of brands.
From the beginning, Snapchat has built itself around the camera and user experience. As the company moved from 1:1 communications to a broader platform for sharing experiences, this has not changed.
Facebook’s efforts to mimic Snapchat’s ephemeral messagesas well as its initiatives on products like Instagram Stories and its move into virtual reality through the acquisition of Oculus Rift all demonstrate a move away from the network, and toward a moments-driven hive.
The original experience of Facebook was more connected, but also a lonely experience. You put one version of yourself online and lived another one in real life. The original Facebook showed a version of you that you wanted to see.
Rather than alienating people, Facebook and Snap Inc. today are moving toward a vision of the future around creating real, shared experiences that actually bring people together.
Google, Uber, Tesla and Autonomous Vehicles
The map is possibly the most literal rendering of the network. A map connects physical locations together, and shows you how to navigate from one point to another. The autonomous car is built on top of the map, but it’s instrumentalized around actually taking you between points.
Autonomous vehicles can be imagined because they’re built on top of the information networks of Google’s Maps and Streetview, projects that Google undertook to organize the world’s information.
At Tesla, they’re building autonomous electric vehicles on top of their network of vehicle sales, service centers and Supercharger stations. Self-driving Teslas have already collected 100 million miles of autonomous driving data and 780 million miles of human driving data from the sensors it builds into each vehicle.
Meanwhile, Uber is moving towards autonomous cars through the ride-sharing marketplace it has built. Through the Uber app, the company collects 100 million miles of driving data each day. In contrast, the average American only drives 15,000 miles a year.
Why are all these vastly different companies converging on the autonomous car? That’s because for these companies, it’s about platform and hive, not just about roads without drivers.
Google’s 10-K, 2016:
From the start, the company has always strived to do more, and to do important and meaningful things with the resources they have.
Uber’s blog, 2016:
The old Uber was black and white, somewhat distant and cold. This belied what Uber actually isâ—âa transportation network, woven into the fabric of cities and how they move. To bring out this human sideâ—âthe atomsâ—âwe’ve added color and patterns.
For Google, the search giant, it’s about putting information to work. It is leveraging its massive data sets, of roads, driver behavior, and physical objects, and continuously feeding data back to the system. Uber, meanwhile, has evolved from a white glove black car service into a transportation hive. Through logistics and cleaner, cheaper interfaces, Uber directs human actions more efficiently through algorithms. The autonomous car was the next logical step.
By allowing cars to get from A to B more predictably, autonomous cars will reduce the number of cars on the road, and the number of deaths in car accidents, and even the amount of money for insurance. The hive is what gives us a shot at collectively solving these seemingly impossible problems.
The Future is the Hivemind
A network’s value is traditionally tied to the idea of more—this is what’s known as a “network effect.” The more people and things there are networked, the more possible connections there are between nodes, and the more valuable the network grows.
And yet, the world we’re moving to will be defined by the idea of more with less. Global warming and drought mean fewer resources to work with. At the same time, population growth is beginning to stall across America and Europe, and with it the “free lunch” economic growth that comes with a rising population.
A hive is more than the sum of its parts. Through the hive, a network of drivers and riders also work as a turnkey resource that other services can be built on top of. For companies that operate as hives, sheer quantity matters less than it did for older generations of companies. By increasing interaction and decreasing friction between nodes, they accelerate growth through virtually unlimited, real-time access to data and people.
Hives colonize instinctively as they grow, which is why we’re seeing so many companies converge around the similar trends. But the sequence that they grow in matters. The next big companies will have to do more than just pick the right trends. They’ll have to nail the right timing by moving in sync with their composite parts.
They won’t just be hives. They’ll be hiveminds.
Markethive has already reached this hive mind level. Interesting that others are suspecting this phenomena and here we are! The original and first Market Network.
Founder, Creator and CEO