Freelance Friday 058 – June 7 2019

This week I finished off the review of the Brydge keyboard for my 12.9” iPad and it’s awesome. Catch the full review on Monday here and on YouTube.

There are two other big things coming down the pipe. First, I’m working on The Freelancer’s Guide to Marketing. Will likely be a few months still, but we’re through the first draft and on to any holes I’ve found that need to be filled. I’ll be asking for some early readers in the next few weeks, so if that’s you keep an eye out.

Second, I’ve been writing a piece on the best research app for The Sweet Setup and out of that I’ve had to write 3000 word outlines for 5 or 6 applications. Expect to get those along with videos around them in the next number of weeks as well.

If there is a note taking app you’d like to hear about hit reply and let me know.

If you’ve found my content helpful then new in 2019 I’ve opened up a Patreon page. You can help ensure that more helpful content keeps coming.

I Shipped

On Monday I reviewed the Logitech Slim Folio Pro as an iPad keyboard. It was decent, but I like the Brydge keyboard more.

I also wrote about Sign in with Apple and how I think it’s a bad idea. Mostly, it’s another way that Apple is going to get you locked in to their platforms, and if you read the link below you’ll hear I’m trying to make my workflow as open and portable as possible.

I also did a brief post on the things that interested me in the WWDC 2019 keynote.

After my email last Friday I wrote a post about my desire to get more open with my workflows. I’ve been feeling annoyed about macOS lately and want to have more options with my desktop system. This post is taking stock of where I’m at right now. There may even be a podcast about open tech coming…but we’ll see.

Friday Five

1. Target Lot’s of Fish

From Justin Jackson:

Many of the problems entrepreneurs face are related to targeting a niche where there aren’t a lot of fish, or the fish aren’t biting.

Does that sound like the niche you’re targeting?

Also, as Justin says later, you need to find something that these “lots of fish” actually want. If it’s a big market and they’re buying products, but not your product, maybe you didn’t build something they want.

2. Cal Newport on the Indie Web

I enjoyed this post by Newport about the Indie web. I’m on Mastodon more and more and Twitter less and less. I left Facebook behind long ago and haven’t looked back.

Instagram, is a bit more problematic because I genuinely enjoy it, but it’s also owned by Facebook who is a bane on society.

Newport’s right as he says:

Despite its advantages, however, I suspect that the IndieWeb will not succeed in replacing existing social-media platforms at their current scale. For one thing, the IndieWeb lacks the carefully engineered addictiveness that helped fuel the rise of services like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This addictiveness has kept people returning to their devices even when they know there are better uses for their time; remove the addiction, and you might lose the users.

In so many ways the Indie Web feels like what the whole web felt when I first got involved in it.

I miss that place still.

3. The “full-stack” developer doesn’t exist

Another good post on “full-stack” developers.

In effect, we have allowed the “full stack developer” term to frame the debate. We should not. It is a term that defines something that doesn’t exist – cannot exist because it is an impossible standard.

Check out his list of requirements for “full-stack” then ask yourself if you have more than 50% of them as an expert? I know I

4. Taking on Debt to Keep Up with People Who Took On Debt

I was already frustrated by the lack of financial sense shown in my fellow Canadians by this article but this is crazy.

Canadians are under social pressure that is pushing them into debt, with 91 per cent of millennials admitting in a new survey that they have taken on debt to keep up with their friends.

That means you took on debt, then your friend took on debt to keep up with your lifestyle. So you took on more debt to keep up with their lifestyle.

My wife and I worked hard almost 8 years ago to pay off all debts and the freedom this has brought us let’s me pursue business stuff that I want to and let my wife take courses to become a figure skating coach again. None of what you see in my life would be possible if I hadn’t paid off my debt.

I would have likely declared bankruptcy or been homeless with my family a few years back when I changed my business and my income took a big dive. It was hard without payments, I don’t see how it would have worked at all with payments.

5. Some Remote Work Stats

Interesting survey on remote workers. Here are some highlights for me.

60% of remote workers work fixed hours.

So that’s a typical 9-5 job and while the post talks about the benefits of working in your PJ’s, they don’t mention that many of these people drop a huge commute. If I had to drive into Vancouver and worked 9-5 I’d leave at around 7am and get back around 6 – 7pm.

Huge time savings by working at home for so many.

While there are some other interesting stats, that was the one that jumped out to me. I like hanging out with my kids, even when they get up 5 times in the night like last night.

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