Monkey tennis, or the (low) value of your ideas.

29th of September 2018 ~ tagged ideas, project management, app development, monkey tennis

Never before has it been easier to have a world-changing idea in tech and see that idea through to a finished product. The internet has made the collectivisation of information possible for the first time in our history and mobile devices now mean we all have access to this information from wheresoever we find ourselves killing time. Low barriers to entry, cheap credit and widespread skills mean that almost anyone can wake up one day with an idea, borrow money, hire a small team or agency, and launch a finished product a few short months later.

So all you need is an original idea, and success will follow automatically from that. Right?

Well, not exactly. Three problems:

Why do you need a website?

27th of September 2018 ~ tagged project management, web design

I realised early in my career that any client who can't answer that question – quickly – is not going to be much fun to work for. And it's amazing how many people can't. 

There aren't that many reasons why you would need a website. Generally – and I'm assuming you're a small business based in Hong Kong – they boil down to variations of the following:

How much does it cost to build a website in Hong Kong

7th of August 2018 ~ tagged pricing, web design

TL;DR - download the Ugli price list here

As a web designer, it's actually very hard to know how much the competition is charging. 

I've never been prepared to mislead my peers – many of whom I know personally – by submitting phoney enquiries to root out their fees. I do always ask clients where their other quotes came in but generally they have the integrity not to tell me. This leaves hearsay, anecdote and the occasional glimpse behind the curtain at a competitive proposal. Over the many years that I've been doing this, however, this adds up to a fairly accurate picture, so although the quality of the data on which the following is based is far from perfect, I'm confident that it is still more or less correct. (The plural of anecdote is not data, but over a long enough timeline it does get closer.)

Stop wasting your PPC budget on permissive keyword matches

12th of July 2018 ~ tagged ppc, marketing, adwords

A common mistake for newcomers to PPC is to select very permissive keyword match types in an attempt to get the most traffic to their site. The whole point of doing PPC, they reason, is to generate traffic. So the more traffic I'm getting, the better my PPC is working, right?

Wrong.

Don't forget that you are not aiming for maximum traffic (per dollar of budget), you're aiming for maximum conversions (per dollar of budget). If you simply wanted to max out the traffic to your site you could run ads for some super-obscure (and non-competitive) keyword, and thousand of (confused) people would flood into your website before bouncing right out again.

Ignore distracting headlines with this one weird trick...

4th of July 2018 ~ tagged books, productivity

Picture the scene. You're at your desk. The morning is almost over, as is your second cup of coffee. You feel busy, under pressure even, but the first item on today's to-do list has hardly been read, let alone completed. Your computer screen is a mess of browser tabs competing for your attention: a half-read news article, a spat on Facebook about some topic you hardly care about, some Amazon product you don't need, the weather, a half-composed Tweet. New messages flow into your email inbox faster than you can attend to them. You irritably close everything and glance again at your list, trying to balance its urgency with that of your inbox, only to hear your phone bleep. With great effort you resolve to ignore it but then a co-worker strolls by suggesting lunch. Feeling frustration mixing with a rising anxiety you give up on the entire morning, vowing instead to do better in the afternoon, but knowing your day will probably continue in the same manner. They all do.

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