Traveling? Lessons Learned From Being Abroad

ios settings for travel

Having just come back from a couple week excursion abroad, I wanted to share my successes with managing the roaming data battle.

Optimizing your data connection for roaming is in a nutshell really all about:

  • Preparing before you go
  • Optimizing your connections – I found that surgical strikes work best, that is, know what you need to do, go online and getting it done, then go offline.
  • And this is going to hurt but you are not going to want to use *any* photo, video or streaming music apps unless they support offline caching

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Amazon Dash Buttons – When Can I Customize Them?

These buttons are super interesting in concept as they exist to serve that immediate gratification, and are designed to live at the place where the need arises. This removes all friction and definitely optimizes the commerce flow to one tap short of fully automated. 

That said I am not a consumer of any of the products listed and won’t be using Dash buttons any time soon. 

What would be really great would be the ability to create your own Dash, that is link a dash to a product of your choosing. A customizable Dash Button? Now that would be a win!

Amazon’s crazy Dash Buttons on sale for all Prime members

Now, Prime members can press a physical button to get diapers, razor blades, and bottled water on demand.

Is Your Company Based in New York State? Yes? Get Tax Free Computer Hardware

Just learned something pretty great after so many years of starting companies – if your company is based in New York State, then you can purchase all of your hardware tax free.

This is something that must have its origins in the early Dot Com days but it’s still in effect and you should take advantage of it if you can. Just bring the form to your local Apple or whichever store where they will surely look at you with a blank stare, and save hundreds of dollars per system purchased.

Form ST-121.3:1/11:Exempt Use Certificate for Computer System Hardware.pdf

I would like to think that there are equivalents in other tech heavy states (I am looking at you CA and TX)

Facebook Puts the Squeeze on Small Businesses

I’ve been tracking the decline in organic reach both through stories and reports, and my own pages’ performance over the last 6-9 months. I’d venture to say that < 2% organic reach is already a reality for lots of business.

My big question is whether small businesses that don’t want to or can’t spend much on paid marketing, do they suck it up and double down or just call it, end their FB page intiatives and find alternatives? Done properly, managing a FB page is a good amount of work, and that’s time that could be more efficiently spent elsewhere.

There are definitely still some scenarios where paying can be justified (eg app install ads for the time being) but paying to get your content seen on FB seems like a waste of time and money for small businesses that don’t really have it to spend. Time to really leverage your email lists, Twitter and other in product user relationships.

Facebook Puts Everyone On Notice About The Death Of Organic Reach.

Google Owns Us

This analysis from Jacques Mattheij was an eye-opening way to start my day. I’m not surprised in the least but reading this just felt like a punch in the gut.

Here’s the money quote for me:

You’d almost think that all those free and invisible services google provides have one goal: to get you to load something from google on every page that you visit.

His breakdown doesn’t even account for our willing use of market defining apps like Maps, Docs, Sheets, Chat/Hangouts, or Drive.

I have to wonder as an iPhone user are there benefits to fragmenting the data collection of me? Most likely not but I can pretend .

Google Web/Search History Disable does Absolutely Nothing via Jacques Mattheij