Hey, it’s Jói, with another issue, because it’s Friday. Why Friday, you say? Because there is no better way to end the week than to put this newsletter together for you — plus that way you have the whole weekend to play with all the new tools 🛠
Last weekend, I was re-painting a wall that we just installed a new window into. While waiting for the paint to dry, I put a load of laundry into the washing machine, and once I got that going, I started a build process as part of a scheduled update of the CrankWheel service. There were more start-then-wait tasks like these, I won’t bore you with the details but suffice it to say that the rest of the day was spent juggling to finish the post-wait bits of all these tasks.
A lot of projects are like this when running a startup or small business. Marketing, for example. Most of many marketing projects is project management: Starting someone on something, and someone else on some other part, then waiting for people to finish before you can take the next steps, etc.
You can get very good at juggling all these bits, but sometimes I feel like the highest impact things you can delegate to others are all these myriad start-then-wait tasks, because they take up so much headspace and distract you so much from your higher-impact work.
For some processes, you can create checklists and train e.g. your VA to run the checklist without your input. For more complex work, think about whether folks on your team who already work on bits and pieces of projects can take over the project management from you.
Tool of the week
If you’ve wanted something as slick as Medium for your blog, without fully switching to Medium, then Ghost may be the solution for you. It’s a fully open source, adaptable platform for building and running a modern online publication, with quite a pretty editor built for writers, and team collaboration features. You can either self-host (the software itself is free), or go with their managed hosting which starts at $19/month.
Tools discovered recently
If you want to run a paywalled Slack community, this might be the service for you. (NB: The StartupResources.io Slack community is free to join and very friendly).
RawShorts — Explainer Video Software — www.rawshorts.com
Make an explainer video for your business online with Raw Shorts. Select a video template and customize it with our easy to use drag and drop software.
Analytics tool for Facebook. Lets you figure out your most influential members, and more. Freemium.
Project plans, bug tracking, real-time chat (like Slack), and reporting on your team’s activities. Kind of interesting, and free for at least the next 3 months (public beta).
Do you get a lot of spam SMS or MMS text messages? This tool helps you block spammers. $0.99 to install.
Podcast of the week
“The rules of the game are different in tech,” argues — and has long argued, despite his views not being accepted at first — W. Brian Arthur, technologist-turned-economist who first truly described the phenomenon of “positive feedbacks” in the economy or “increasing returns” (vs. diminishing returns) in the new world of business… a.k.a. network effects.
Articles for this week
Personal finance publisher Kiplinger has never relied heavily on Facebook for distribution, but it does use it to grow its free newsletter. This might be a tactic to emulate.
Talks about the power of making small decisions early, rather than big decisions late.
Are you based outside of the US? Then using Stripe Atlas to incorporate may not be the slam dunk a lot of folks claim.
If you’re like me, you’ve been a bit confused about whether your business belongs on Pinterest. Here’s a huge and sort of definitive guide to the platform that may help.
That’s it for this issue
Tomorrow, the Icelandic men’s soccer/football team is playing Argentina in the World Cup. Wish them luck, or if you’re Argentinian, then may the better team win ⚽️
P.S. Need a freelance programmer? Toptal is my go-to place if I need to find someone good, fast. They hire only the top 3% and back up the professionalism of their folks with a money-back guarantee for the first couple of weeks if you don’t feel like things are working out. If you end up checking out Toptal, please do me a favor and use our affiliate link to help support this newsletter!