WHY YOU NEED A DIGITAL DETOX

LILY QUARTON-PARSONS

SEPTEMBER 10, 2019

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What exactly is a digital detox?
A period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers, regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world.

We truly live in a digital age. While the influx of technological advancements has proven to assist in connecting the world, it also has disconnected individuals from the world around them. Research completed by Deloitte’s mobile consumer survey highlighted how often the average individual looks at their phone on a daily basis.

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However, this is not going to be a “all technology is evil” Black Mirror style exposé. We simply feel taking a digital detox occasionally will improve both your productivity and mental well-being. Below, we outline the three crucial benefits we feel you will instantly notice after taking a short break from your screens.

  1. Important vs social digital engagements

    You may use your screens for your business, therefore meaning a digital detox would be difficult. However, many of us are often engaged in the trivialities in what your old colleague had for lunch, or what your best friend is doing on their vacation in the Italian countryside. These digital engagements, albeit interesting, are not productive to your work. It is important to distinguish what is urgent and what is escapism. Taking a break away from your device will allow you to gain perspective on what you need to do to succeed in your current endeavours.

  2. In person interaction

    Mentally, meeting in person boosts numerous endorphins in your brain, resulting in a better mood and productivity. The more you are on your phone, the more you set yourself up to develop sleeping problems. A grumpy individual with a night full of broken sleep will simply not be anywhere near as productive as an individual who is fully rested.

    Alongside this, meeting an important client or interviewee in person builds an instant rapport, therefore resulting in better business connections. It is an instant turn-off when you are sat with somebody who is constantly on their phone, it feels disengaged and impersonal. Turn the phone off, and take some time to give whoever you are speaking with the full attention they deserve.

    “It is important to distinguish what is urgent and what is escapism.”

  3. The real and the virtual

    By removing yourself from the digital world, you allow yourself to distinguish what is real and what is virtual, two states which are constantly blurring into one. We understand your technology may be crucial to you and your work, so why not try with just half an hour everyday? Take time to breathe, or read a chapter of that book you have been meaning to start. Taking time away to disconnect will reconnect you to your goals.

  4. Rest your brain (and your self-esteem)

    Extreme and frequent usage of technology is guaranteed to give you adverse health effects. These can range from eye strain to sleeping problems to even your self-esteem. Remember, what is shown online is selective. If you were to get ready for an important event, you would not wear your comfy loungewear, but instead opt for your most prestigious outfit. Online life is exactly the same. Online presentation of the self is curated in a similar manner to our physical presentation. Therefore, what is seen is not a true depiction. Do not compare yourself to individuals who seem to have it all figured out. Taking time away from false images will allow you to realise you are on the right track to success.

It is imperative to learn how to moderate your technology use, yes it is useful to your life but it is not intrinsic to your existence. Don’t be nervous to take time out for yourself, after all, you are the most important person on the road to self success.

For further reading, we recommend reading “OFF” by Tanya Goodin or “Hyperreality and Simulacrum” by Jean Baudrillard.

Works Cited

  1. Newport Academy

  2. Forbes

  3. Dave Asprey

  4. image @jimsandkittys

@anotherstartupstory

WHY YOU SHOULD WAKE UP AT 6AM

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Apple’s CEO Tim Cook famously wakes up at 3.45am, beginning the day with coffee and emails. Pepsi’s CEO Indra Noonyi also awakes at 4am, and begins the working day at 7am. You might be worried we are going to advise you to wake up at 3am also, but there is proof that beginning your day early allows you to factor in not just work, but self care.


So does getting up in the early hours hold the key to success? We outline a few key reasons why we believe yes, it does indeed.


  1. Productivity: There is a reason 9am is known as the rush hour, it is the most stressful hour of the day. The vast majority of individuals are arriving at work at this time, meaning a flurry of emails, messages and notifications that require attention. By waking up at 6am, it is hard to be interrupted by those who are still asleep. You’re more likely to be productive as there are less distractions.



  2. Breakfast: Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Not only is it your first meal after the long hours of sleep, it is the first energy your brain is going get. By waking up early, you will have time to prepare a breakfast of champions, whether that be a glowing smoothie or a delicious stack of blueberry pancakes, the kitchen is your oyster at 6am.




  3. Sunrise: Most mornings are spent in a crowded bus or train, or in gloomy traffic. By waking up at 6am, you wake up alongside the sun, the birds and the world. Beginning your day with beauty and serenity will put you in a better mood for the rest of the day.




  4. Achievement: If waking up at 6am was easy, every body would be doing it. We will not lie to you, it is a shock to your system at first. But this shock will soon pass, and result in a sense of accomplishment before you even brush your teeth. Starting the day with accomplishment first thing will put you in great stead for the rest of the day.

    So, you are sold and are ready to take the plunge and join the exclusive 6am club. Here are some handy tips to assist in altering your body clock.

    1. Take a break from your screens: First thing in the morning, do not reach for your phone. This will not stimulate your brain or eyes, and will result in a groggy feeling that will result in zero productivity. Keep the phones and laptops off until you have made your breakfast.



    2. Alarms are important: Lets be honest, the choice of alarms on our Iphone is hardly a mine of relaxation. We recommend a light sensitive alarm clock, such as the iconic Phillips Wake-Up Light Clock. A combination of zen sounds and sunlight will allow you to peacefully wakeup, rather than being snapped awake.



    3. Be ready: You are ready to take on the day, to get that presentation finished, to finish that email. You. Are. Ready. This mindset is so important to wakeup with, be excited about the new 6am you, and soon everybody else will be too.



For further reading, we recommend the 5am club by Robin Sharma - check it out



Lily Quarton-Parsons

@anotherstartupstory


5 SMART WAYS TO MANAGE YOUR FINANCES

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Whether you are in debt and need a straightforward plan to debt-free or want to save money to better manage your finances, here are five smart and easy ways to be on your way to save money effectively.

  1. Start on a simple budget plan

    Just by looking at the general picture of your expenses, it will be a great start for you to see how bad or good your situation is. Write down what your spending is going into to see a clearer picture.

  2. Cut unnecessary expenses

    After you organise and write down where your spending is going into, you will pick up on insights that you didn’t see before such as small unnecessary purchases that accumulate over time that can add to your debt significantly. Even if it’s not significant, cutting out seemingly minor expenses can go a long way and help you save money or improve your debt situation.

  3. Make an emergency fund

    Along with cutting out small expenses, setting up an emergency fund will further secure you in times of need. Even if you’re in debt, an emergency fund will be extremely useful when you need cash fast. Your future self will thank you.

  4. Follow a debt payoff plan

    Following and being disciplined in a debt plan will help to effectively pay off your debt. One simple way is to payoff the debt with the highest-interest rates so that the fastest accumulating debt will be paid off. One another way would be to payoff the smallest debt by starting small and working your way up to eliminate debt, a great way for yourself to clear debt step by step.

  5. Negotiate and Consolidation

    Don’t be afraid to negotiate for a settlement with your lender as it would possibly give you more and better options in your situation. For example, depending on what you have right now, you could pay a certain amount now with a more lenient method of paying off the rest of the debt.

    Another way would be a consolidation deal, where, for example, your highest-interest debt is put together with lower-interest monthly payments. Both plans could be your best option and release all the debt and pressure off your back.

It’s very important to stay on track and discipline yourself to stick to your plan. Facing debt can be daunting and never-ending, but with a determined attitude and following through with budget, payoff, or consolidation plans will bring you closer and closer to being debt-free.

Works Cited

  1. “5 Smart Ways to Manage Debt”, True Credit, 2018

  2. Image: IG @afternoon.culture

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE

KARMEN TANG
FOUNDER OF ANOTHER STARTUP STORY
AUG 16, 2019

For every business, it is important to have a strong online presence, especially with social media, “to engage with your customers and attract new ones.” But sometimes it is difficult to figure out how to engage your audience and present your brand.

You might think you’re doing everything right by “being up-to-speed on the last and latest trends…,creating cool, second-to-none content, [and] writing captivating tagline and posting regularly,” but your number of followers or audience engagement might not show it. Here are ten ways to effectively help your brand or business to grow online.

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  1. Familiarity and Goals: It is very important to be aware of the features on your social platforms and how you can use that to improve your online presence so that you can know “which audiences can be reached where.”

  2. Communicate: Creating, posting, and sharing mindless content everyday doesn’t mean you are engaging with your audience. Instead, “give your followers a reason to click” and put in the effort to hold a conversation and connect with your audience.

  3. Know your audience: Really put yourself in your audience’s perspective and ask questions like, “what resonates with my audience?” and “what is actually helpful for them?” and invest time and effort into what your audience wants.

  4. Links: Even if it seems trivial, it is important to add all your social links to all your social platforms, “announce your presence on Instagram on your Facebook page and vice versa.”

  5. Share but don’t spam: Whether your connections are friends, family, or other entrepreneurs, it is great to share your social sites that could cause a “ripple effect via your own network.” However, it is imperative not to overdo it and spam: “too much is too much”.

  6. Hashtags: Hashtags should be used in every social media platform to “drive more traffic” to your social sites and website – people would see your content more and thus, engage more.

  7. Email: Putting your brand’s logo, website link, and social media sites at the end of your emails will help with your brand awareness and “will get some curious to start checking out your pages and website.”

  8. Consistent posting: Make sure to have that balance of posting regularly but not overdoing it by “deciding on a comfortable rate.”

  9. Promote: Offer things like free trials to your membership programs or free giveaways to merchandise or tickets to events to engage your audience.

  10. Create Discussion: It’s always fun to ask questions, make polls, and active with your followers by using features like Instagram stories, a “great way to build engagement.”

Works Cited

  1. GROW ME - Tips and Tricks to Grow your Online Audience”, FEAGLE, Feb. 17, 2019

  2. Image: IG @destination.outpost

STOP PUTTING PRESSURE ON YOURSELF TO HAVE IT FIGURED OUT

Karmen Tang
Founder of another startup story
July 15, 2019

Image: @anorganisedlife

Image: @anorganisedlife

Recently, I’ve felt a severe amount of pressure to have life all figured out and to find my purpose.  With new engagements popping up on my Facebook feed every weekend, society is a constant reminder of how I don’t have it all figured out. One of my biggest fears (and I know it’s a lot of other people’s too) is not wanting to be in the same place this time next year. We want to be making progress.  

 

But we are creatures of habit. We think somewhere between 60,000 to 70,000 thoughts in one day, and 90% of those thoughts are exactly the same as ones we had the day before. We get up on the same side of the bed, go through the same routine in the bathroom, brush our hair in the same way, sit in the same chair as we eat our breakfast and hold our cup in the same hand, take the same route to the same job, and do the same things we know how to do so well with the same people (who push the same emotional buttons) every day. And then we hurry up and go home so that we can hurry up and check our e-mail so that we can hurry up and eat dinner so that we can hurry up and watch our favourite TV shows on Netflix so that we can hurry up and go to bed at the same time so that we can hurry up and do it all over again the next day.

 

We often rush to complete things in life. Just going through the motions and doing things to tick a box. We rush to get to the destination when life is honestly about the journey. I’ve learnt this the hard way.

 

Life is a marathon not a race. And what I do know for sure is that I want to try everything that life has to offer. This is why I love to travel and experience different cultures, people, smells, tastes and sounds.

 

The goal of travel is "disruption from circumstance, and all the habits behind which we hide. And that is why many of us travel not in search of answers, but of better questions."
-Jason Silva


Travel is a mind-expanding drug, it exposes us to new situations, new reflections, new thoughts and all of that is mediated by neurochemistry. To travel is to see different ways of seeing the world through different cultures and belief systems. Experience of such perceptual expansion that you have to reconfigure your mental models of the world. Traveling leaves you with increases feelings of openness, of well-being, boost in creativity and empathy and compassion.

 

Whenever making a hard decision in life, I always use the grandma test and ask myself what makes a better story to tell my grandkids? The fact that she went and explored different parts of the world and started a business and failed or stayed in the same corporate job for 9 years and never left her apartment in London?

 

The world is much bigger, richer and more diverse than we imagine, so try as many things as possible whilst you can. Your first years of adulthood aren’t about earning money or building a career. They’re about getting acquainted with the world of possibility . Be extremely receptive. Taste whatever fate dishes up. Read widely, travel far, because stories are excellent simulations of life. Only as you age should you become highly selective.

 

MIDYEAR REGENERATION.

It’s half way through 2019 already! Feeling the fear of not being where you want to be and like you’re running out of time? Do you need help getting back on track and resetting your mindset to give you a fresh new outlook? Make the decision and invest in yourself. 1:1 business coaching sessions now available at discounted prices for the rest of the year.

Click here for more information or drop me an email and let’s chat!

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FIND YOUR SIDE HUSTLE

MAY 30, 2019

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Whether you are employed full-time, a student, a stay-at-home parent, or just want to start something new there are, in fact, many ways to make extra money with a side hustle. A side hustle is “any project you start on the side...which can turn into something profitable”. This side project can certainly be an extra source of income and depending on the side hustle, and one can earn more than 1000 dollars a month. Depending on how successful the side hustle is, you could also potentially make your side hustle your full-time job.


Side hustles are great for anyone as they “require no initial capital”, and “you can begin with no experience and learn as you go”. Here are 67 side hustle ideas that you can get started with and increase your income. Click here for more details on each side hustle.

1. Freelancing.

2. Start a money making blog.

3. Write, publish and sell and eBook.

4. Invest in cryptocurrency.

5. Sell your crafts.

6. Get paid to drive.

7. Create and sell an online course.

8. Become an English tutor.

9. Be a tour guide in your own city.

10. Earn through sponsored content on Instagram.

11. Virtual assistance.

12. Sell stuff you no longer use.

13. Create a software or mobile app.

14. Mug printing.

15. Leverage Amazon Associates.

16. Web design.

17. Be a freelance make-up artist.

18. Rent a room.

19. Complete microtasks.

20. Join sites like Swagbucks and InboxDollars.

21. Be a social media manager.

22. Get into eCommerce.

23. Pet care service.

24. Visiting cards.

25. Vending machine investing.

26. Become a social media influencer.

27. Home baking.

28. Be a freelance photographer.

29. Open a coffee shop/bar.

30. Become a stock trader.

31. Be a consultant.

32. Try a career in real estate.

33. Complete simple tasks online.

34. Rent your car.

35. Review software.

36. House sitting.

37. Sell personalized gift items.

38. Podcasting/making YouTube videos.

39. Sell leaflets and flyers.

40. Build a niche site.

41. Lease swapping.

42. Join a focus group.

43. Party catering.

44. Offer graphic design services.

45. Home cleaning.

46. Start a drone business.

47. Data entry.

48. Sell your creativity by thinking of domain names.

49. Be a travel blogger.

50. Advertise on your car.

51. Earn money while traveling with tourism jobs.

52. Be a transcriptionist.

53. Start an essay writing service.

54. Open an online vape shop.

55. Become a call center representative.

56. Make deliveries.

57. Be a fashion designer.

58. Home-based travel agent.

59. Gamble.

60. Mystery shopping.

61. Assignment writer.

62. License your photos on Instagram.

63. Article writing for revenue sharing sites.

64. Gardener.

65. Babysitting.

66. Become a food stylist.

67. Carwash service.

Works Cited

  1. 67 Best Side Hustle Ideas to Make an Extra $1000 a Month”, Let’s Reach Success, September 24 2018

  2. Image: IG @lewisomler




HOW TO BUILD A PERSONAL BRAND THAT OFFERS MULTIPLE ROUTES TO FINANCIAL SUCCESS

Karmen Tang
Founder of another startup story
May 19, 2019

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I recently attended a conference where I heard Gary Vaynerchuk speak. Now for those of you who don’t know who Gary V is, you need to get to know. His advice on social media and content creation is GOLD for anyone with a business or personal brand and so I wanted to share some of the key learnings on the day.

If you’re finding it difficult to grow your social media following, it’s because all your content is selfish. Harsh, but true. The reason why people follow your account is for one of three reasons; to educate, inspire or entertain. If you’re not doing at least one of those, then it’s likely that your content is crap.

“Worldwide, people watch 1.25 billion hours of YouTube video every day. They post 66,000 photos or videos on Instagram every single minute. And, on average, 20 percent of the time people dedicate to mobile is spent on Facebook.

The scale and power of social-media platforms make it possible for any of us to earn money from a personal brand. With only 1,000 followers, someone on Instagram can earn $5,000 per year, from just two posts a week” – Gary Vaynerchuk, Crushing it!

Everyone needs to think like a publisher. The gateway is content and communication through media is foundational to any business. Media dictates what you think and it creates the outcome you aspire to. Your phone is the most powerful tool right now and it’s scary how many people are not utilizing and maximizing it to its full potential.

With Instagram being over-saturated now, it’s a blessing and a curse and the cream rises to the top. But the truth is, the more content you put out; the more you’re likely to bring out as much valuable content as possible.

The 7 principles you need to nail are: 

1.     Authenticity

2.     Passion

3.     Patience

4.     Hard Work

5.     Attention

6.     Speed

7.     Intent 

‘The intent of content is the variable of success’

 

You need to teach and help people, not treat them like holiday-makers trying to shove a menu down their throat. Every time you post, you can’t expect people to buy your product or services.

A good example is fashion blogger Nadia Anya. The reason why she has over 370k followers on IG and 47k YouTube followers is because she creates content to inspire and entertain others. People follow her for her fashion sense and beauty tips.

As a dear friend of ours, we’ve partnered up with Nadia to share some of her secrets to success as an influencer and YouTube Content Creator.  You can grab your copy of ‘Monetizing your Instagram Guide’ here.

THE TOXIC MYTH OF 'THE CREATIVE'

Kitty Ireland
May 19, 2019

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Everyone starts life as an artist. Maybe you didn’t have a grandmother who would let a two-year-old play with her watercolors, or a mother who would take you out of second grade to go to her community college art classes with her (like I did), but I’d bet $10 that before you could speak in full sentences or read “cat” you were doing something creative.

Creativity is deeply tied to how we learn, and it is the key to how we solve problems. When presented with a familiar situation, you generally know how to respond, or at least know how you responded last time. Over time you learn what works and what doesn’t and develop behaviors based on whatever has the best results.

When presented with an unfamiliar situation, you have to rely on your creativity. You have to make something up.

You may have a frame of reference, like observations of others’ behavior or memories of similar situations. But when you’re a baby, you are usually starting with no information at all, so you have to be very creative and experiment until you solve the matter.

I’ve always cringed at the term “creative” as a noun that defines a person. It implies that some people are and some people aren’t… and I just don’t buy that.

If You’re Not a “Creative,” When Did You Stop?

It’s unfortunate that education in the United States generally undervalues soft skills and creativity in favor of standardized test scores. I was going to say in favor of marketable “hard” skills, but stupidly the education system in this country doesn’t spend much effort on those, either. For an observer who hasn’t been in school or otherwise involved in education for a long time it feels like the system is geared to maintain social inequities and feed the for-profit college industry more than it is to help people become educated or functional in the world.

(sorry, #minirant)

In any case, you were probably taught to stop valuing your creative capacity sometime in early elementary school, which is a damn shame. It’s a shame for you, because (IMHO) a life devoid of creative output is just… #sad. Not to mention that creative thinking is how you become truly successful at anything. Look at anyone who has become super rich (who didn’t start out that way), and you can trace their wealth to a handful of creative ideas. Bill Gates may not fit the mold of “The Creative,” but he has used creative problem solving and creative negotiating to get to where he is today. Pick any successful person who made their own way and you will see a pattern of picking the road less traveled (creative thinking).

It’s also sad for everyone else, because a dearth of creative work and thinking in the world means the status quo is winning. And the status quo really, really sucks.

The Status Quo is Killing Us.

The status quo is killing the planet. We need creative problem solving to fix this more than we need activism. Arguing about it doesn’t help. Trying to convince climate change deniers is a waste of everyone’s valuable time and attention. Making individual efforts to recycle and drive hybrids has very little impact. Like most big problems, we need large-scale, structural and institutional solutions. We need policies. We need international cooperation. We need every major corporation on board and participating in the solution. And to get there, we need creative thinkers. But, because most people were discouraged from developing that skill, it seems like most people prefer being divisive and shouty over being solution-oriented.

The status quo is breeding hatred and violence. The economic inequity of the current flavor of capitalism in service of profit (for shareholders) and growth (of profit for shareholders) is not sustainable. We’re talking pre-revolution-France level concentration of wealth, which history shows does not end well. While this ugly system teeters on the edge of implosion, the growing population of very poor people are sometimes choosing crime rather than poverty. They are sometimes so despondent they use drugs and alcohol to drown out their grim reality. And a lot of them are looking for a place to lay blame. If you hear shouting about how “they” are stealing “our” jobs, you are listening to someone who is desperate for some security in this unstable and unfair economy, and who never learned the vital skill of big-picture critical thinking. They can’t see the real enemy because it’s too large to perceive. So they get stuck in their own bigotry. Stuck thinking like this indicates a lack of imagination. And an aversion to creative solutions.

The Toxic Myth

The main problem with the idea of “The Creative” is that it’s a form of elitism. If you believe that only certain genetically gifted individuals can be creative, you may discount the notion that you could ever have a creative idea. You may start to think that your old, well-tread ideas are the only right ideas, and that there’s only one way to do things: how things were done before. AKA, the status quo.

Meanwhile, these special individuals who have been dubbed “creatives” run around thinking they’re all that, while often operating as cogs in the status quo machine, churning out brilliant ad campaigns for light beer or getting into affiliate marketing on their blogs about how to get into affiliate marketing.

What if we just imagined for a moment that everyone is more-or-less as creative as everyone else? I mean, sure, some people are born with an uncanny ability to draw realistic portraits of animals or play stringed instruments. Others are born with limited capacity due to a disease or injury. But in between those extremes is most people. And most people would be doing themselves and the world a big favor if they used the creative capacity they were born with.

So…I Should Learn to Draw?

Well, sure, if you want to. But ability or interest in drawing, painting, crafts, playing music or writing poems is not a prerequisite for using your creativity.

Be creative in your daily life. Want to change your diet? Learn to cook something. Or, use creative problem solving and find a meal delivery service that suits your new diet. Break yourself out of your routine in any small way and you’re feeding your creativity.

Be creative at work. Are there things you think should be done differently? Write them up and propose them! Or just do them and see if things get better. Just because something was “always” done this way, that doesn’t mean it’s the best way to do things

Word of warning: being creative requires a level of risk and vulnerability that can feel uncomfortable at first. Putting your idea or work out there leaves you open for criticism, which is another reason many avoid accessing their creative nature. It’s easier and safer to stay inside the box assigned and not rock the boat too much.

Whether or not you’ve ever considered yourself creative or even appreciate “the arts,” recognize that you have a creative capacity. The more you can tap into it and use it for good, the better off we’ll all be.

QUALITY OVER LIKES

Sae Jin jang
may 6, 2019

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Instagram has recently taken a big step on how posts could be potentially portrayed to others. In late August, Instagram announced, starting in Canada, the temporary removal of the number of likes a post receives shown to other people – you would be the only one to know how many likes you have on your own posts.

In fact, the test run for removing likes on Canadian Instagram accounts has already begun, and it will be very interesting to see how posts and content will be changed – or possibly stay the same.


William Soulier, the co-founder and CEO of Talent Village, explains how this will change how brands reach out and interact with their followers. He states that we can currently “judge the success of [a brand’s] social campaign” by simply observing the number of likes, noting that some brands might be fixated on likes rather than “more important factors such as the quality of the content produced”.


Furthermore, he asserts that it is “difficult to measure something like ‘quality’” of a post just based on the number of likes and that, by the removal of likes,

“Instagram can provide for a platform that encourages quality content rather than brands focusing on just the number of likes”
-William Soulier,
CEO of Talent Village



Brands will have to “realign their affiliation with the right kind of talent”, meaning that brands that only focus on the pursuit of likes, the current definition of success on Instagram, would need to changes by making quality posts, the real definition of success. In this way, brands can “match their values and have the credibility to talk authentically” on Instagram.

Essentially, William Soulier believes that removing likes will most likely have people posting in a positive manner with genuine motives, contributing to a better, more productive Instagram community.


Works Cited

  1. Instagram Is Testing Hiding Your Likes.” Social Songbird, 2 May 2019,

  2. Image: IG @Connectioncorner


WHY SOUTHEAST ASIA IS THE NEW STARTUP HUB

KARMEN TANG
FOUNDER OF ANOTHER STARTUP STORY
APRIL 29, 2019

Founders used to be obsessed with breaking America and Europe, now the ‘Middle Kingdom’ is becoming more appealing with the rise of accelerator start-up programs.

SEA has multiple countries all at different development stages and cultures. The ten ASEAN nations each have their own culture, set of consumer behaviors and local trends, in which there are still many problems to be solved.

The population size of SEA is two times that of the US, meaning the US and Europe are no longer the largest consumers of internet usage. Smartphone usage is only expected to increase and grow exponentially. For example, Vietnam has seen an increase in smartphone possession from 35% to 65%.

What does this mean for us? In this digital age, it means a massive shift in consumer/retailer behavior. Consumers are now better equip through the use of apps to allow them to make better decisions to improve their quality of lives.

Source: Global Web Index, We Are Social Report, Mar 2015

Source: Global Web Index, We Are Social Report, Mar 2015

The brands that have already made a massive disruption in the SEA market include the likes of Alibaba, Lazada, GoJek, Traveloka and Grab. All of which aim to improve efficiency, but there are still a number of issues like underdeveloped infrastructure and logistics. All of which present great opportunities for startups to come in and solve real problems.

The Chinese start-up scene is now stronger than ever, with the advanced level of technology, a rise in investors and VC funds and of course, the predominant Chinese work ethic. Not to mention, the lower corporation and income tax rates which makes it more attractive to the founders.  Utilizing this higher supply and advisory networks will equip founders with the support they need to excel in their ventures.

Source: Arden Capital, e-commerce in Southeast Asia

Source: Arden Capital, e-commerce in Southeast Asia

The SEA economy is one of the most rapidly growing regions. Led by Singapore, the most developed country in the region, other countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong are not too far behind. A recent survey showed that Singapore has the most amount of successful startups in SEA.

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Cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore have so much to offer in terms of sight-seeing, shopping, amazing food and nightlife. With English being the commonly spoken language, it makes it very traveler-friendly and expat-friendly. Asia has also become a popular destination for downtime retreats for artists, creatives, influencers, thought-leaders and entrepreneurs.


Despite the high rental costs in Hong Kong, the average cost of living is only US$2800 a month compared to a 46% increase of US$5211 in Silicon Valley.


Despite this surgency of startup culture and tech disruption within the APAC region, there is definitely room for more. These favorable factors mean there’s never been a better time than to start your own business here. With an abundance of opportunities, it’s really the place to be.

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