The Leading Metric Trap: Keeping The User

Facebook’s goal, as is many others, is to keep the user on their website as long as possible. It looks like Twitter just started rolling out a new design to essentially compete in this same method.

It sounds nice to keep the user on your website for as long as possible. You have more opportunity to monetize them then right? And if they’re on your website then they’re not on a competitor’s website! Awesome - right?

As wonderful as this sounds to shareholders, this is generally done and decided upon by completely ignoring all other leading metrics - so it’s really not awesome at all.

You know what Google’s original leading metric was? Getting people off of their website as quickly as possible. E.g. Search box front and centre, enter keywords, top results come in — user clicks to leave Google and Google hopes that result is what the user needed so they don’t need Google anymore.

But guess what? Google too fell into the “Keeping The User” leading metric trap too with their more recent integrating everything into Google+ and trying to build as much into Google websites as possible.

Is it greed related? Maybe. It might more be laziness, or a lack of understanding. It’s easy for a group of people, say a board of directors or founding team, to come to a consensus on a simple idea of “keeping the user on our website longer is good” vs. not ignoring the nuances of every situation.

I do wonder if the people in the lead understand these nuanced things. I’ve not had the opportunity to talk to them, nor will I likely ever, so I’m going to continue to do my part and move my vision forward of how I see a better, easier to use, and more organized internet.

Erik Satie - Gymnopédie No.1

Organizing The World

Fred responded to Chris Dixon’s post titled “The decline of the mobile web.” 

I had read it prior to and one of the statements that had stuck out to me, and apparently Fred too, was this:

Apps have a rich-get-richer dynamic that favors the status quo over new innovations.

This mechanism is purely related to the inherent nature of the value and efficiencies that fluidity and frictionless brings relating to accessibility.

Accessibility is relating to organization, full accessibility means fully organized (as best possible) - where there is as little to no friction as possible, much like how universal law functions in the physical and energy realm - our society would best mimic or follow that leading metric as a guide.

Google’s mission is “Organizing the world’s information.” I’ve come to realize recently that my mission is “Organizing the world.”

Fred Had A Nightmare

My Nightmare - a defining post title - shares a story of where Fred felt betrayed in a situation.

In this instance it seems that he’s taking it personally - but it’s really about them. And in that scenario you will have learned something about them. Inherently there is nothing wrong with a person making a decision solely based on money and valuation - and so now you know you wouldn’t be investing in them.

As Fred points out a decision based solely on money and valuation definitely ignores the nuances and value inherent in relationships. What if this company truly could have a pre-money valuation of $140mm - but it’s just outside your price and/or risk range? There are other ways to view that dream to make it not feel like a nightmare.

There are also other forms of investment that could probably keep everyone happy enough - mainly convertible notes - though you may not get the % equity you prefer, though if the company does as successfully as someone reasonable seeking such an amount, then you likely would have done quite well return wise — maybe just not an automatic 100x on your money.

I think this is why convertible notes are nice, and more fair - because honestly it’s dishonest to plop all investment opportunities into the same pile, to group all of entrepreneurs together with the same rules; Yes, I’m sure many investors do make adjustments for this scenario - though probably not as specially for as many as one would think.

What if it was Elon Musk saying “I have an idea, I need $140mm for it.” You’d probably be ecstatic and doing a happy dance internally at having that opportunity. And based on Elon’s character I don’t think he’d take money he’d waste - though he certainly knows the poker hand he’s holding now and knows he has lots of options for money - and with his $5 billion battery factory play - he’s going to very rapidly continue on a hockey stick growth curve to start rapidly improving all of humanity; A prediction I made earlier is Tesla will be worth $200 billion in 5-10 years - market cap might reach that sooner though if the markets wise up to understand everything he’s doing though.

Most investors seem to stick to similar rules and boundaries for investing money because they know options for most companies looking for funds are limited, though that’s an fabricated constraint and might prevent one from the seeing the real value of a situation.

The best way to view any situation is to eliminate internal belief that you’re owed anything, which will lead you to better seeing the real value of a situation; This is a practice, it takes time to learn to stay in the present moment to realize and process every in-the-moment situation to check with yourself if you’re acting out of a feeling of being owed — or one form of attachment.

If someone was super successful before and you’d like to invest in anything they do in the future, that’s a pretty strong signal - the strongest you’re going to get.

It’s possible valuation won’t be reasonable based on all factors, though that’s how a convertible note can help create a buffer to bring two parties together.

Pravin J commented that Fred needed a vacation, to which Fred responded he just had had one.

The vacation would have created space, which allowed new space to be filled -

"You must let go of the old to be able to grasp the new."

The dream was just processing the brain needed to do but wouldn’t have been able while constantly firing the same neural pathways regularly, e.g. day to day tasks and routine, patterns; Vacations and change give those pathways a longer break.

A regular yoga and meditation practice is a practical alternative as you get as many mini-vacations as you want.

Profit Has No Inherent Value

Profit should be seen as a sign of success that the structures and processes and systems overall are functioning well and in fact are functioning better than other-differently structured systems.

Here’s an exercise: If everyone in the world was part of an organization and that organization generated $100 trillion annually in profits, where would we spend those profits?

What profit shows is success and what success means is productivity - people doing things, people getting things done. In a sense then we could see profit as an excess of productivity - unneeded to sustain our current state or quality of life and being.

The transition to an environment where we all see profit as a whole of us generating excess value or productivity is the challenging part. Part of it is educating the necessary audience to reach a tipping point, which then includes reaching said audience as another challenge on its own.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs does a good job of giving an overview guide. Fear of survival first must be taken care of but before that there is a foundation of systems that exists. One of those current systems is capitalism. Capitalism has allowed those who are smart enough to find a way to be able to pool resources and become “rich,” or they are “lucky” enough to have been born into a situation. The problem is we need to be investing in everyone, equally, until they prove they can use resources better than others and then allot them more resources. The first trick is doing it in a way that is fair, and the second trick is doing this while in transition from the old systems.

So where could we spend this excess productivity? Perhaps on other things like space exploration, more going into research and development, education, much more into deeper sciences. This is where I want to be, living in this environment - and I can see the start of path. It’s a different way to govern than we currently do and luckily as everything in some sense acts as a platform and platforms can co-exist and integrate, the governance I see can exist and grow while in transition using current systems. Will this system become how our governments run? In my mind it feels intuitive that they would eventually. The goal then becomes proving it is the correct model, the correct structures that outperform the status quo of existing systems.

Back to my title.

Profit has no inherent value, it only has value because of the scarcity created in our current structure of a capitalistic system.

In a previous post entitled Capitalism And Its Current Disease I state in brief why we have scarcity in our current system and part of what I see as the solution to it.

Inspired by _______

Idea modelling, like role modelling, is how we all learn. Models are the perfect learning object. They’re usually, if not required to be, multi-dimensional which gives our brain many working pieces to cross-integrate, allowing connections for neural pathways to more easily be made and to occur.

GitHub for _______.

Platform for _______.

The one negative factor I see existing in the relationship of innovation occurring is because of our capitalistic system. Only the ideas that will have significant potential for significant revenue gains will ever have the resources and time of people allocated to them.

GitHub facilitates 10s of millions, perhaps will be 100s of millions of people in the future - though there are many other valuable, smaller markets/niches, that would highly benefit from such a platform. I would like to help change this, and I have some ideas on how to foster this.

If we take the view that “what’s good for you, is good for me” - in a non-violence, kind way - then we should be help supporting everyone any way we can, and if that means creating and providing quality and intuitive tools that will benefit any group, then we should help them - perhaps based on priority, which could be determined in various ways.

Why most of don’t adopt the above view is because most people have the fear of survival they’re stuck with, so this will lead to selfish thinking - and figuring out how to make money to survive, taking their motivation away from more holistic view of the world.

If we solve for fear of survival, the shift will be dramatic. I am hopeful. :)

Discussion Censorship

A local newspaper’s website turns off comments after a short period of time. I have brought it to their attention a few times, asking to leave them on - however they haven’t yet.

Comments only being open for a short period of time results the majority of comments you’ll see that are the quick jerk-reaction thoughts (whether pro or con) and trolls (some of them are serious though) making quick and empty comments or replies - and then you’re left unable to “voice” the emotion and thoughts that an article brought up.

In a sense the result is like they’re acting as a bully trying to win an argument by preventing you from getting a word into the conversation, or like a child who’s plugging their ears and making incoherent noises to drown out what someone else is telling them - so they can keep on pretending their view of the world is the correct view; This is the indirect result, the environment that gets fostered by disabling comments.

Then those who are willing to spend the time to go into deeper thought - which will lead to hopefully the other person being able to start to see a different perspective - are then unable to be engaged with them. This is detrimental to society’s growth and everyone’s learning - which perpetuates intolerance, distrust, hate, crime, war.

The bubbles that get created, whether because someone only watches one particular news channel, or content curated in a certain way attracts a specific group of people, leads to funnel thinking which is narrowing by nature.

Mechanisms for inclusion I think will be important in the future, to expose people to new or different ideas - or a concerted effort of helping others learn will be required in order to pull people out of their filtered bubbles. To do this in a kind way takes many many people who are thoughtful and growing themselves, as this one-to-one interaction that requires nuanced listening and understanding isn’t scalable - it’s only scalable by numbers, by networks of people learning from each other and then spreading their new learnings to others.

At the root there needs to be a cultural shift because people follow or are naturally pressured into doing the norm. If the norm is talking and discussing things, preferably in person or at least a certain % of the time, then others will be drawn or lead into this. We are social beings, and really we just want to be in contact with other - and those who don’t are afraid or haven’t learned how to yet, are closed off for some reason; This isn’t a question of introvert or extrovert either.

I’m going to try my best to bring the yoga community together in a stronger, more cohesive way - because I see them as being leaders and great role models for this kind of community building and a platform for launching real-life discussion and self-exploration, that we desperately need and I feel people are really hungry for.

Mobile Popularity As A Signal: People Are Disconnected

The physical environment and systems aren’t structured to allow people to be fluid, to be around those and interacting with those who they want to most be connected with - unlike the digital world where everyone’s a click away in non-physical, non-human terms.

Fixed structures, fixed contracts, lack of mobility, barrier to entry to being mobile, non-dynamic systems keeping you stuck in cycles - living situations, work situations, learning/educational situations. These are all because of real-life governance of ecosystems. If the next layer online that determines success will be governance, the same is true for the real-world. If fluidity is online, mobility - where a competitive or alternate ecosystem is available with just a click or app download away - then the same value is true for the real-world.

If we are to re-discover community, and society - social community - which lead to the survival, growth, and evolution of our species (and has like-wise lead to successful growth of other intelligent pack animals) and allowed us to reach this point in our evolution, then we need to re-structure our systems to foster and facilitate people and communities to be fluid - to be back to where they were prior to individual organizations and people amassing such control - via the monetary system, where accountability is disconnected - and where it maintains artificial power structures, illusions of power that make the general person feel disempowered, perpetuating that part of the negative cycle.

Capitalism at its current extreme and structure - locked into its extreme, and not allowing for a fluid movement within its spectrum - fosters scarcity, and maintains and perpetuates structures of control. This leads to fear, fear of survival, which leads to fear-based behaviour - reduces health, and decreases productivity for the whole. The opposite of this leads to a more highly productive society, though where power is equalized. Allowing the structures that allows the few to have “power” is not worth the cost. These structures can change, and will need to change if we’re to continue to evolve and survive as a species.

Capitalism And Its Current Disease

The dis-ease is the current distribution of resources, which is a symptom or side-effect of capitalism evolving to its extremities - those systems can be influenced to incentivize different behaviours and patterns though to correct the dis-ease. If people believe resources are scarce, then there may be an issue. If people believe we have access - through human will, passion, and ingenuity - to the resources of the whole universe, then scarcity is only an illusion and we need not allow this fear to perpetuate, as it only leads to unnecessary suffering through fear of survival, and fear-mongers being able to control populations and create wars or at minimum perpetuate the suffering of one group for the gain of what they consider their own population.

Why SnapChat Rejected Facebook’s $3 Billion Offer

Re: Snapchat CEO Reveals Why He Rejected Facebook’s $3 Billion Offer

"Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg first flew out to meet Spiegel in his hometown at the end of 2012, according to Forbes, and proceeded to try scaring Snapchat’s founders by telling them that Facebook planned to release a nearly identical app a few days later. “It was basically like, ‘We’re going to crush you,’” Spiegel told Forbes about meeting. That app was Facebook Poke, which proved to be a flop.”

Zuckerberg later on, after the Poke flop and SnapChat’s continued growth, flew to them to offer them $3 billion.

Trying to build relationship with someone and starting off with bullying, giving a threat, of someone you want to buyout or work with is asinine - and really is just another sign that Facebook as an organization, those in control, really have no clue about what being a social network should entail and how to foster a real social community. It’s all about relationships, and Facebook gets a big F - along with Zuckerberg who started off Facebook in a relatively unkind way.

Zuckerberg and Facebook is a prime example of what happens when you have people, including the visionary - the guide, who don’t know what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, or weren’t the originators of why an idea was successful. This is why investors, smart ones, invest in existing teams and talent vs. not investing if an idea was developed by an outside hired team - whereby none of the underlying-nuanced decisions are understood by those who will be continuing to lead and execute to move the idea forward.

Be kind - and learn what that means if you don’t know, get in touch with yourself - developing self-awareness is the key.