The importance of grinding

In today’s hyper growth-driven world, we’re all too often tempted to seek an easy solution to our business problems. Something that can magically fix everything, like hiring a new business development leader or bringing in more financing (such as venture capital). In marketing, there are …

Cyber Monday emails have gotten out of control!

3:06 am, 8:48 am, 12:01 pm, 2:57 pm, and 5.49 pm. Or how about: 11:05 pm, 9:13 am, 3:05 pm, 5:05 pm, and 7:11 pm. The first is a trail of timestamps for Cyber Monday emails delivered on a single day, from a single vendor. …

Designing with a new typeface

I’ve adopted IBM Plex, a new font for my website and personal branding. It’s an open-source font available for anyone to use without a paid license. Here are a few instances in which I’m using this typeface. Logo I’ve completely redesigned my logo around this …

Rationalizing font decisions

Every year, I devote about two consecutive months to some dedicated projects for my website, with the intention of adding something new or changing things up. In 2018, I designed and coded my online portfolio of marketing projects. In 2019, I spent a good part …

WordCamp Riverside was a blast!

Another weekend at a local WordCamp, another weekend of fun, learning lots of new things, and making new connections. WordCamps are the local gathering of WordPress users, developers, service providers, and business owners. On any given weekend, there’s at least one WordCamp happening somewhere around …


Big news from Instagram. They’ve been running trials in seven countries of publicly concealing the number of likes of a user’s posts. Now, the company just revealed they’re going to test this in the US. Details remain to be seen, but the reporting indicates users will be selected at random to have their like metrics concealed.

This move is a clear indication that Instagram is at least somewhat liking what they’re seeing with their tests outside the US. (Yes, pun intended.) But it’s sure to amplify stress levels among those in the influencer economy. Instagram may not benefit much financially from the influencer-brand marketer relationship, so hiding like counts wouldn’t hurt their bottom line much either.



We all know that tech investors are constantly on the chase for the next big thing with big valuation potential. For 2020 that could well be the influencer economy, in the form of tangentially tech-centric products facilitating the relationship between influencers and brands or companies, or making small investments in influencers for a share of their future revenue. As it turns out, influencer-centric startups are indeed attracting some VC interest (story below).

It’s interesting to see this happen as some marketers are now questioning whether the idea of throwing lots of money at an (purportedly) influential person really makes sense. This plus the never-ending scams of faking follower and like counts, and Instagram possibly ending the practice of displaying public user metrics.


A tale of two rebranding efforts

Two significant rebrandings were just revealed. One is admirable and a welcome refresh. The other is confounding and seems conflicted. First, the favorable rebranding effort by Microsoft, in the form of an all-new logo for Edge to accompany a major overhaul of its web browsing …

Presenting code with syntax highlighting

When it comes to presenting computer code on the web, there really aren’t any fast and hard rules, other than perhaps to just make the code visibly distinct from the primary text content. In HTML, the <code> and <pre> tags are commonly used to present …


Sprout Social, a social media management SaaS company with over $100 million ARR (annual recurring revenue), has filed to go public. According to Crunchbase, the startup raised about $111 million and was most recently valued at around $800 million. Like so many other fast-growing tech companies, Sprout Social has significant double-digit yearly growth but also operating at a loss.

Any company, no matter how seemingly invincible, has a weakness factor. And for Sprout Social, it’s clearly the fact that its business model is 100% dependent on access to a small handful of privately owned social media networks. Facebook, Twitter, and the like can and do change the terms of their APIs over time. There’s been a history of companies being greatly undermined following some sort of new API restriction, often with little or no advance warning.