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Write like you talk

Nathan Kontny: A handful of years ago I was volunteering for an organization here in Chicago where we helped high school kids prepare for their college applications. These kids were the first in their families, often underprivileged, to be applying to college. One Saturday I met a student who wanted help editing his application essay. We went over to the computer lab and he pulled up a draft he’s been struggling with. The essay was fine. It read grammatically well. But it was terrible. It was dry and uninteresting. Artificial intelligence could have probably auto-generated it from a history of

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Naming a new product? Start with the job.

A name can help people create a mental model for your product, which helps them to remember and associate your product with a particular job. Other factors come into play, including how a name sounds, and how distinctive, appropriate, likable, extendable, and protectable it is. But most important is that the name is remembered and understood. So to choose a memorable name for a product, you can start with the jobs you want people to remember it for. A good lesson on product naming from the Intercom crew as they described naming their new bot service, operator bot. Source: https://blog.intercom.com/naming-operator-bot/

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Scan your projects for crossenv and other malicious npm packages

Dominik Kundel, writing for the Twilio Blog: On August 1st, Oscar Bolmsten tweeted about how he found a malicious npm package called crossenv that scans for environment variables and POSTs them to a server. This is particularly dangerous considering that you might have secret credentials for different services stored in your environment variables. Apparently it’s also not limited to just crossenv, but a series of packages — all of them are names of popular modules with small typos such as missing hyphens. Check your project for malicious packages These packages have been taken down by npm, but since credential theft happens

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FreshBooks’ Mike McDerment says “building your own competitor” is effective way to solve business problems

Amira Zubairi, writing for BetaKit: At the latest FinTechTO, Mike McDerment, CEO and co-founder of FreshBooks, discussed the challenges teams face when re-platforming within a software company. He also offered tips on how entrepreneurs can successfully execute a redesign. McDerment kicked off his presentation by giving an overview of how he co-founded FreshBooks, a cloud-based accounting platform that allows users to send invoices, track time, manage receipts, expenses, and accept credit cards. McDerment said after raising a $30 million funding round back in July 2014, he began to think about how the company would keep up with technological changes over

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Introducing outgoing webhooks

Today we’re announcing outgoing webhooks – a long awaited feature that will notify your websites and apps whenever data changes occur. This opens up a new range of possible integrations Adding outgoing webhooks means you can get notified directly in slack or elsewhere when new records are added, when records are updated or deleted. To create an outgoing webhook, just click webhooks in the dropdown: Then edit the form: Hit Save and when you save a new record with our API, we will send notifications to your webhook instantly. We’ve got some options for how we send the data, you

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Jason Fried on One Door at a Time

Entrepreneurs are told to go big or go home. Stop obsessing over scale, and perfect the basics instead. [..] But now, entrepreneurship seems like a sport. And the score depends on scale. How big can you get? How fast can you get big? How much power can you amass in the shortest possible time? We’ve prided ourselves on staying mostly small, it lets us focus on things that might fall through the cracks other wise. Source: https://m.signalvnoise.com/one-door-at-a-time-d73d4385eb16?source=linkShare-92d0691b20d7-1500736062

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Build a “Serverless” Live Blog System with Flybase, Twilio and StdLib

Flybase and Twilio work great together, we’ve posted several posts before about using these two services in one place, but what about if you want to go serverless? StdLib.com is excellent for that. In their own words, StdLib is essentially a package manager for APIs that’s built upon new “serverless” architecture, meaning you never have to worry about managing servers or allocating resources for scale. All you have to do is write a function or two (or three), deploy, and you’re done, and this is perfect for quickly building services with Flybase. We’ve covered building a Live Blogging tool before,

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Building the Best Relationships We Can

Alison Groves: Maslow had it wrong. To get it right, we have to move social needs to the bottom of his pyramid. -Matthew Lieberman (Professor of Social Cognitive Neuroscience at UCLA and author of the book Social) Babies would die without their caregivers at birth. Study after study show the pain and ill we go through when we are isolated from others like us. As humans, we are wired to connect to one another. However, instead of connecting, we seem to be heading the opposite direction. On the streets and in restaurants people are looking at their phones instead of

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AngelList launches Intros for Canada to give startups access to angels

AngelList has launched Intros for Canada to give more startups access to seed-stage funding through the network. Intros will work like the first AngelList product launched in 2010, where companies could apply to be introduced to a curated list of angels. “The Canadian market feels like the Valley 15 years ago. It is on the cusp of creating world-beating companies in AI, blockchain, and other technology fields,” said Naval Rakivant, co-founder of AngelList. “Angel investing is one of the best ways for me to recycle knowledge and give back to the ecosystem.” Interested companies must submit an application by August

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