Things I Read About Recently [#Issue 2024.03]

Lessons from going freemium: a decision that broke our business

As an entrepreneur always considering how to produce a sustaining passive revenue, what licensing model to use, how to acquire and retain customers, the allure of a freemium model is ever present in so many offerings. You may wish to read this article, and look at visualizations provided with the narrative. I found this a useful data storytelling example.

The allure of seeing a new product is the strongest motivator new users have to complete setup. If you make onboarding too easy, they’ll never come back to do the hard task you let them skip.

Read more at Lessons from going freemium: a decision that broke our business Source: TLDR

Newsletters and online content creators

Lenny’s Newsletter from the prior article, listed with over 574,000 subscribers is one of several Substack newsletters I subscribe to. Substack is described as “The subscription network for independent writers and creators”. I have been collecting the number of subscribers from several newsletters I follow, however there is no way to see that growth over time. Also missing is the price rates over time, and the ratio of free to paying subscribers. Random Idea: What is missing is a history of this information. Other stats I’ve noted previously include 66,000 subscribers for Kent Becks Newsletter with 3 subscription plan offerings, 1,250,000 subscribers for the free TLDR (I can remember this years ago being much less) and 65,000 subscribers for the Seattle Data Guy newsletter.

FWIW this post from Lenny’s Newsletter This newsletter is growing up is from 2020.

Golden Kitty Awards 2022

I came across the Golden Kitty Awards which unfortunately are only current to 2022 (fail on being current). It was interesting to scan the list for innovative ideas. I’ve yet to visit any sites, but I’m always encouraged by what people think of and commit to building regardless of the motivation or incentive. What counts is an entrepreneur takes an idea and releases a product. 

Source: Random

Streamer JS – Video stream layout manager for OBS Studio and other streaming applications.

I am a new user of Twitch streaming for personal projects.  My good friend Sergey Chernyshev organizer of the large New York Web Performance Group has created Streamer JS as a means to drive more dynamic content in the browser and with common languages of HTML/CSS/Javascript and using OBS more as the streaming only component.  One objective is to have better version control management of assets/scenes/sources/filters/etc.  It’s interesting that  PouchDB is an eventually consistent distributed datastore in Javascript. Yet another simple data-store to review for suitability. 

Source: Word of mouth

The 37th Chaos Communication Congress (37C3) by the Chaos Computer Club

Last month I was introduced to the Chaos Computer Club. This is a large german-based annual tech conference with a focus on security & infrastructure / hacking.  Over 100 talks from the most recent event last week have been posted here.

Source: Word of mouth

About ‘Things I Read About Recently’

Most days I take some time early in the morning to scan my inbox newsletters, the news, LinkedIn or other sources to read something new covering the professional and personal topics of interest. Turning what I read into some actionable notes in a short committed time window is a summary of what I learned today, what I should really learn and use, or what is of random interest.

Some of my regular sources include TLDR, Forbes Daily, ThoughWorks Podcasts, Daily Dose of Data Science and BoringCashCow. Also Scientific American Technology, Fareed’s Global Briefing, Software Design: Tidy First? by Kent Beck to name a few.

Things I Read About Recently [#Issue 2024.02]

Indie Newsletter Tool Generates $15,000 a Month

There are so many different email newsletter sites you could wonder if there is market saturation. MailChimp, Mailgun, ConvertKit, Sendgrid (now part of Twilio it seems), Moosend and Mailersend come to mind.

It seems the space still has plenty of revenue-producing options including buttondown.email reportedly a side gig generating $15k per month. Source: BoringCashCow

When I asked a good friend and author of the Technical SEO Weekly his use of ConvertKit directed me to this Baremetrics Dashboard which is another product to look at sometime.

LLMs and Programming in the first days of 2024

How do use an LLM? If you are still on the fence start getting into the habit of using it more frequently then start. I now use ChatGPT and Claude AI daily, and with a crowded market there are many other emerging technologies to also consider.

I use ChatGPT for coding and image generation with DALL.E. I use Claude more for reviewing large documents that seems to be ideal for producing a summary, or to generate a fictitious movie script from those documents.

I do not like Javascript nor do I wish to actually learn this language however I write it daily via ChatGPT. Javascript is the ever changing technology of web development and it’s impossible to keep up with the next product, or version of a product you may know. ChatGPT helps me navigate this combined with asking for HTML and TailwindCSS.  However, it’s not perfect, you need to be an experienced engineer that has learned how to write code for many years to ask the right questions and to correct the LLM when it does not produce what you expect. Lets look at CSS. Now there is flex and grid and its hard to keep up with changing features that browsers support. This is where ChatGPT has helped me. I have been using Tailwindcss but it still took an expert friend 30 minutes to help me debug a CSS formatting issue of a future OBS twitch streaming project to correctly size the content all in a 1920×1080 box. I actually learned a lot of new features of Google Chrome Developer Tools inspector I did not know and are probably just the start of expert debugging features.

Until a few months ago I never knew it’s now much easier to read JSON in Javascript.

async function fetchData() {
  try {
    const response = await fetch('data.json');
    const data = await response.json();
    console.log(data);
    return data
  } catch (error) {
    console.error('Error fetching data:', error);
  }
}

let data = await fetchData();

I’d like to remind users that  ChatGPT can make mistakes. Consider checking important information.. Source:  TLDR

ParadeDB (GitHub Repo)

Every day there is another PostgreSQL product to review.  I am a current user of ElephantSQL which I didn’t know existed two months ago. Neon and Tembo are two more postgreSQL serverless-related products on my product review list.  Now adding ParadeDB as well as reading Thoughts on PostgreSQL in 2024.

About ‘Things I Read About Recently’

Most days I take some time early in the morning to scan my inbox newsletters, the news, LinkedIn or other sources to read something new covering the professional and personal topics of interest. Turning what I read into some actionable notes in a short committed time window is a summary of what I learned today, what I should really learn and use, or what is of random interest.

Some of my regular sources include TLDR, Forbes Daily, ThoughWorks Podcasts, Daily Dose of Data Science and BoringCashCow to name a few.