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 your customer, the makeup of your team, their strengths, and what brand message you want to put out in the world. Marketing isn’t about following a set of rules defined by some “how to market companies” textbook, it’s about being where your customers are and creating value. So, I want to tell you about my experience in a time where our marketing budget got cut to 0, and rather than flounder we grew over 100%. …


Image for post
Image for post
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 eat and drink beer. While that produced some decent results for a while, it started to wear me pretty thin and I decided it was time to start working on my physical and mental health. …


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 the free plan over time. We used to use Wunderground (no longer free) and then we used the Dark Sky API (acquired by Apple and no longer free). Now, we use Weatherstack! …


Image for post
Image for post
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 don’t. Compare your favorites with each other to find your perfect approach. …

About

Jeffrey Loucks

Director of Marketing at Initial State.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store