Our home a few days after the Tornado

In December 2019, I told my friends that 2020 was building up to be the best year of my life. With significant events planned for nearly every month, I was excited to enjoy the start of a new decade. Starting with a family trip to Las Vegas, then my wife and I had our separate bachelor and bachelorette parties with our eyes on a wedding in March and reception in April. Not to mention an epic honeymoon we planned in Thailand.

The last weekend of February I had my bachelor party with some of my favorite dudes in Austin, TX…

Social Media Ads Are a Waste of Money
Social Media Ads Are a Waste of Money
Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

Many of you who are starting companies, or work in startups know the struggle. You’re working on something you really believe in, but the money isn’t always there. When our company was a startup we ran out of money… a few times. For many companies, you may face your impending doom 2 or 3 times before you find your footing. That’s ok, it’s part of the process, but that doesn’t make it any less stressful.

So where do you spend your marketing dollars as a cost-conscious early-stage startup?

I respect almost any answer to that question because it’s based on…

Photo by Miguel A. Amutio on Unsplash

Earlier in my career, I was super focused on creating viral content and getting the highest number of shares possible. I thought if I could get a viral post then people would inevitably see the value in our product, sign up and become passionate customers. Today, I’m going to tell you a story about one time I had a piece of content go viral and the things I wish I would have known before that happened.

Years ago, I got really caught up in “startup culture.” I was working crazy hours, not hanging with friends, and only stopping to…

Weather Data API Weather Dashboard
Weather Data API Weather Dashboard

The first question I ask in the morning is, “What’s the weather today?” Siri quickly responds with a human-esque retort and gives me the weather forecast data. My iPhone comes with a weather app that I can’t even erase, and being a Tornado survivor, I now have multiple ways to not only check the weather but also to get alerts.

For years, we’ve used weather data API’s with Initial State to monitor weather in real-time and create weather alerts. There seems to be a trend with these weather API’s of giving access to free weather data, and then closing down…

Photo by Franki Chamaki on Unsplash

There are so many articles, books, and other resources online that will tell you the hard and fast rules of how to design a great dashboard or data visualization. Many of them will tell you exactly what to do, and what not to do. This is great until you get to the end of your read and realize this was only one person’s opinion. Often a well-educated and researched opinion, but an opinion none-the-less.

So, if all the rules are made up, how do you create an unmistakably great data visualization?

It depends.

That’s why you have to do research, and find other visualizations that inspire you. Emulate the things you love, and avoid the things you…

Jeffrey Loucks

Director of Marketing at Initial State.

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