Author: James Martin (Page 1 of 4)

Hipster packaging is #lucrative

What do you think when you see a twenty-something Instagramming their food? Social media-obsessed millennial? Guilty self-reflection?

If you’re Brooklyn-based ice cream maker, Van Leeuwen, you see one thing: CASH. MONEY.

You eat with your eyes first

Just by switching their packaging from standard to, let’s call it, hipster-crayon, the 9-year old company managed to boost their sales 50% in 6 months.

The success is all due to their pints being what experts at design firm Pentagram, call “very Instagrammable.” Actually what they said, not a joke. And that ‘grammability is how Leeuwen gets away with charging $20 friggin’ bucks a pint.

The devil is in the details

Remarketing junk food as “artisanal” isn’t a new phenomenon, but we’re constantly surprised at just how lucrative it can be.

Trendy sweets vendor, Maman, claims they attract 80% of their new customers from Instagram. And let’s not forget the mustachioed Mast Brothers who made an international empire charging $10 for pedestrian, remelted chocolate because it was wrapped in fancy paper.

Not to say Van Leeuwen’s frozen hipster milk isn’t worth it — for all we know it’s fantastic. But at $20 a pint, we’ll stick with our Cherry Garcia.

A new and cheaper way to Factory unlock an iPhone

Removing your iPhone from the grips of your carrier has never been easy. Factory unlocking it often costs a lot of money if you manage to do it at all.
For some years there has been a work around using basically a sticker with a microchip on it, which tricks Apple to tell them that the phone is unlocked for use on all carriers.

Some older Sim Chips were understood to have concerns, implying they would unexpectedly quit working or they would not support all Apples functions such as iMessage and so on. The best iPhone Unlocker I found offering this new chip is They have actually launched a new updated iPhone Sim Chip  and i did manage to unlock my phone using their chip and it is  surprisingly working flawlessly.

More importantly they have guaranteed it to work, and have offered a 3 months free replacement warranty. No one else is offering such a guarantee. If you decide to order your iPhone unlock chip from Canada Unlocking let us know your experience in the comments.

This approach of unlocking has actually ended up being more popular since the new Unlock Chip now supports the current iOS variations, works perfectly, and it is more economical when compared to a factory unlock by IMEI.

If in the future you purchase a brand-new iPhone or get your iPhone changed by Apple then you can easily remove the CHIP from your old phone and use it in your brand-new iPhone as well, so unlock with other services there is no money lost on unlocking.

My favorite Gary Vaynerchuk quote

When asked about his weaknesses, Gary Vaynerchuk, founder of an 820-person company, said the following:

“The funny part is I think I kind of suck at everything… I’m a terrible student, I don’t think I’m very educated… My grammar sucks,” he said. “But I surround myself with people who don’t.”

He continued, “What I really preach a lot these days more and more is focusing more on what you’re good at instead of what you’re not good at; you tend to have a much better long-term result that way.”
Let Upwork handle your weaknesses

Website development, customer support, design, there are thousands millions who can do the things your company needs help with. stinks at. So, instead of worrying about your weaknesses, focus on what you’re good at: selling, storytelling, leading, and strategizing.

Upwork is a freelancer marketplace with +3,500 skills that cover pretty much every type of work that can be done online/remotely. Used by Airbnb, Zendesk, and Dropbox, UpWork even lets you post a job and view quality freelancers for free.

And, because they love you, Upwork’s giving you $100 off your first $500 hire.

Math class heroes

It’s not often we see a story about teachers coming out on top financially, but some educators are making millions by selling their lesson plans and craft projects to others on the web, under aliases like “Miss Kindergarten” and “Lovin Lit.”

Turns out the macaroni necklace market is booming

Sites like Teachers Pay Teachers now feature 2.4m resources and have 80k “teacher-authors” who sell products from free flash cards to year-long math units for $120.

In fact, contributors on TPT collectively made $100m last year (at least a dozen of whom are millionaires), thanks to teachers’ readiness to pay out of their own pockets for tried-and-true classroom materials.

For teachers, it’s totally worth it

Why spend your entire weekend putting together a popsicle stick craft project, when you could buy one that’s equally good, and get to leave your house on Saturdays?

TPT authors set their own prices and get 40% commissions on sales from users with free subscriptions (15% from premium members) and resources are relatively affordable, typically running from $1-15.

So, students are getting A+ lesson plans and teachers’ lives are better… seems like a win-win.

“It’s not the money, it’s the principle.” — The Principal

Some educators claim monetizing lessons stifles the practice of teachers freely sharing ideas, while others raise legal questions about whether teachers actually own the lessons they’re selling.

According to the school, lessons are the property of the district if they’re created within the scope of their employment. Problem is, most teachers already create materials for their classes on “their own time,” so that’s pretty tough to police.

Can we let teachers have this one thing?

They’re already making next to nothing for wrangling hyperactive kids all day.

And, the sad reality of the education system means that for teachers, paying out of pocket is less expensive and more accessible than asking the district for new textbooks and resources.

So maybe we just let them have this one, right?

“Shouldn’t take more than a few minutes…”

“Got a few minutes to chat?”, your boss asks as you were about to start working on that big project you keep pushing back.

But you know it’ll take take more than a “few minutes.” It always does.

Turns out, scheduling out your daily tasks like you would for a meeting can help you realize how much time you actually spend on projects and helps other people understand when you don’t have time for office “side quests.”

It’s a method called “time blocking”

Here’s how to do it, according to time management expert Kevin Kruse:

  • Consider the “Friday effect”: Most people typically work slower at the end of the day or week, so don’t kid yourself into thinking you’re going to knock out a 10-page white paper at 4pm on Friday.
  • Give yourself a buffer: Add blocks of extra time between tasks so, when you go over time, it doesn’t blow your whole schedule.
  • Treat it like a power hour: That means putting your phone on “Do not disturb,” and giving a project your undivided attention. If you think of a new task that needs to get done, make a note and address it when time’s up.
  • Flex a little: Don’t beat yourself up when your best laid plans go awry. The point of time blocking is to be more cognizant about how you use your time, not to maintain a rigid system.

Remember, there’s no silver bullet for productivity but this is an easy way to keep a level head and not stress over growing to-do lists. Or at least justify that 2-hour post-lunch nap.

Lest we forget…

Every once in awhile it’s nice to take a step back and remind ourselves of the larger picture in business. A corporate reality check of sorts.

On Monday, we got just that, with market-research group, NPD’s, awkwardly-named “Checkout Penetration Index,” showing where US consumers spend their hard-earned bacon, based off millions of online and offline receipts.

And if you were expecting a ticker tape parade for Jeff Bezos, save the confetti.

Brick and mortar is still dominating the market

95% of shoppers had purchased something from Walmart in 2016, followed by McDonald’s (89%), Target (84%), Walgreens (77%) and Dollar Tree (71%).

Meanwhile, Amazon clocked in at a surprisingly pedestrian 42%, snuggled right between KFC and Dunkin’ Donuts. Basically, all the places you’d find at your [insert local strip mall here].

Wait, so what does that mean?

For one, the largest retailer in the world (Walmart), is still dominant, employing 2.3m “associates” around the world and bringing in almost $500B in annual revenue — more than Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft combined.

Second, as much as we talk about the newest innovations, drone deliveries, and big-time acquisitions, we’d be remiss to forget the impact of core American businesses that we all know and (mostly) love in our daily lives.

Why & How to write Robots.txt file for website, blog

Robots.txt file is a great way to tell search engine’s about your site and manage crawler’s to index your site as per your preference. I think most of the newbie bloggers are not familiar with this file, most of them are in a bit fear of Robot.txt file as they think it is hard to edit Robots.txt file and any single mistake can harm their site.

This is same case with me when I started blogging 2 years back but now all of my blogs have Robots.TXT file installed on servers. It will be great if search engine boat crawl and index your website or blog frequently but wait!! But not when they index something which you really don’t thought off. These bots will index everything unless you guide them what to index and what not. Here I am going to explain everything about Robots.TXT file like: how to create Robots.txt file, how to edit Robot.txt and why you Robots.txt file.  

What is Robot.TXT file?

So, I think most of you guys have got the idea of this file but more reference here is detailed definition: Robots.txt is a txt file on your server which tells Search engine bots what to not index….this file also knows as Standards for Robot Exclusion. This is works as a protocol between search engines and websites to crawl and index website/blog content. When Google bot, Bing bot comes to your site for indexing they first need to crawl Robots.txt file and from here they got to know what to exclude while indexing the site. You can easily view this file by just typing and can see what restrictions you have placed for search engine bots till now. Also if some of you does not able see this file this means you don’t have robots.txt file available on server.


Importance of Robot.txt files for website or blog

This file can be very helpful if you have limited server resources and also can save a lot of loading time of your website by making some simple changes in Robot.txt file. Here I think there are mainly three main advantages when we have this file on our website.

Better resource management and improved load time

You have often seen many site with having some forms, search bars and many other scripts running when you open their website’s but still they will not take much time. The main reason behind this is Robot.txt file. Actually they have excluded these unusable scripts from crawl bots because these small scripts are made for users not for search engines. No one is going to search for these things on search engine. So, this can improve your site’s load time significantly.

Disallowing Search Robot from indexing your pages or content

Sometimes you don’t need to get index some of your pages or categories or tags. Then at that time Robot.txt is the only way to do it.

How to write Robots.TXT file

Creating a Robot.txt is file as simple as you create any notepad file in your computer but needs to be placed at server where your website resides. The folder where my site’s all data is stored. To view your server you can just simply use your hosting Cpanel or can use any ftp software like (filezilla). Here I am going to talk about few basic and advanced commands that you can use to write Robot.txt file for your website.

Simple commands to use in Robot.txt file


Here user-agent:* means that this section of commands will be applied to all Robots. Here * is a wildcards which is applicable for all. Using Disallow: without any directory in this segment means, crawler can access any directory without any restriction.

Trying some advanced commands to Robot.TXT now

Disallow: /cgi-bin/

This command means any web spider or bots are not permitted to access cgi-bin folder or your site. Like if your cgi-bin/abc.html/ then it will not be indexed.

User-agent: Googlebot-Image
Disallow: /

Hi, as you can see in this command we have Googlebot-Image instead of *. So, here we have specified the Bot name while in above sections * is used for all robots.

This command means Googlebot-Image will not be able to access any file your website. You can also specify your image forlder to robot as well.

Eg. User-agent: Googlebot-Image
       Disallow: /images/

This command will tell Googlebot-Image that you should not index any file from images folder.

Similarly you can also use some other parameters in your Robot.txt file to exclude search engine bots from indexing your pages, post, images etc.


User-agent: *
Disallow: /secrets/
Disallow: /techewire/mypost.html
Disallow: /wp-admin/
Disallow: /wp-content/
Disallow: /index.php/
Disallow: /comments/feed/


Here above you have an example of how to write Robots.txt file for website and restrict search engine bots from indexing some important file which are not meant to be viewed in indexing.

Final words on “ Robot.txt file “


So, finally you have seen some good examples of Robots.TXT file and I think most of you are now able to write this file from your own which any problem. This is an important aspect of your website and you should think on it what content of your website is not required to get index. Hope you all now make some experiment with your robots.txt file of your website.

But still if you have problem in writing ROBOTS.txt file for website then feel free to make a comment below and also before leaving just make sure you like and share us on social media like Facebook and Google+.


T-Mobile outbids itself

After a year of talks, the FCC announced that T-Mobile won their $8B bid for 1,500 wireless licenses in the 600MHz frequency range that we know as LTE.

Which would be a big deal… if Verizon and AT&T hadn’t already had this coverage for years.

In fact, the big 2 didn’t even really participate in the auction, since they’re already eyeing the juicy 5G technology looming in the near future. So this is pretty much just T-Mobile’s attempt to hang with the big dogs.

But, their upgrades don’t fully kick in until 2020, so they’re still not 100% caught up. Slow clap for participation.

It’s all about handing over the keys to the kingdom

The auction was a pretty interesting maneuver by the FCC.

To transfer TV broadcast frequencies to other industries in need of sweet, sweet bandwidth, they first bought unused spectrum from 175 TV stations in a reverse auction (where the sellers bids to the buyer).

Then, they solicited bids for waves, raising $10B for the stations… and $7.3B towards the national debt.

So all in all, a pretty smart way for the government to skim a little off the top, while helping folks stream more junk in more places than ever before.

Twitter Cheat Sheet

What happens in Vegas…

Gets the heck out of Vegas. At least if it’s money from Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh’s utopian pipe-dream.

Five years ago, fresh off a $1.2B acquisition by Amazon, Hsieh immediately poured $350m of his net worth into an initiative called Downtown Project.

The goal: To turn downtown Las Vegas into “the most community-focused large city in the world” through $50m+ investments in startups, real estate, the arts, and a giant praying mantis that shoots fire from its antennae.

Too much Burning Man, not enough City Planner Man

Apart from being an undoubtedly successful startup leader, Hsieh is also an avid festival-goer. In fact, out of their total $86.6m recurring annual impact, $77.7m comes from their 3-day Life is Beautiful festival.

But, based on Downtown Project’s newly released economic impact report, the estimated $500m they’ve invested thus far has created fewer than 2k jobs.

Not exactly great news for the impact of the other 362 days.

Still, dreamers gotta dream…

And you can’t knock the vision or the dedication to the community. Heck, Hsieh even moved from a luxury apartment to a trailer park with his 2 pet alpacas to “maximize serendipity and randomness in [his] life.”

Revitalizing a city, however, takes a lot more than investing a bunch of money and hoping everyone is down with “PLUR.”

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