Why I’m happy I lost $1000 on SiaCoin


About 15 months or so ago, I bought some SiaCoin using Bitcoin. At the time, it was about $140 worth. Today, thanks to Bitcoin’s rise, it would be worth about $1,000.

But I lost mine, thanks to Sia’s protocol, so I now have $0. But it’s not Sia’s fault. It’s mine. And I’m happy it happened.

Sia is a company that, like Storj, FileCoin, and MaidSafe, promises to help you monetize the extra storage space on your hard drive in return for tokens.

The way Sia works is as follows:

  1. You decide you want to lease out your hard drive
  2. You download a local file (Apple and Mac are generally available).
  3. You install it and set it up, telling the protocol how much you want to rent

Now, here’s where Sia differs (as far as I call tell) from its competitors. (Keep in mind, I am not saying that this is better or worse, I am just calling it out.)

Storj immediately starts paying you. FileCoin doesn’t have a product yet. But, with Sia, before you can participate in the network, you have to buy some SiaCoin, which is a signal that you want to participate in the value creation and distribution of the network.

You then stake part of your money to the network that basically signals your financial commitment to the project.

Then, you leave your computer on and files (which are encrypted and sharded) are placed on your hard drive from around the network.

Here’s the thing though.

Sia only works if the files are available when the end user requests them. At a simple level, if your file is on my computer but my computer is off, you cannot access your files. Imagine if Dropbox or Google Drive were never available. You’d quickly look for an alternative.

That’s what Sia wants to avoid, so they way it addresses that problem is by creating a financial mechanism that punishes you for having your computer offline.

I don’t know the technical term, but you may as well call it programmatic burn.

What this means is that, for every period of time X that your computer is not connected to the Sia network (and thereby making files available), you are punished by losing a portion of the stake you hold.

Stay offline entirely and you lose all your money.

That’s what happened to me. I wasn’t connected to the Sia network for an extended period of time.

(In my minimal defense, Sia released at least two new versions of the software during my trial period and, each time, I had to set up a new wallet. This process wasn’t smooth, and it’s definitely possible that some funds were simply lost in that migration. I won’t bet any Sia on it – not that I have any – but that’s my instinct).

Mostly, though, it is my fault. I didn’t abide by the rules of the protocol, so I was punished for my behavior.

The net result is that, with reduced supply of Sia coin, the value of the other Sia coins go higher,assuming consistent demand, and even higher with increased demand.

Consistent demand comes from consistent availability of storage supply. And the supply will increase because of the increased value of the token (SiaCoin).

What Sia did in building the protocol was create a system where I have an incentive to stay connected to its network.

If you really want a great read on the economics of decentralized protocols, look at Primoz Kordez’s piece on the topic. I found it very helpful.

So, while it is never fun to lose money, it’s easy to feel better about it when it comes in the form of a great education about an evolving type of business model. [Full disclosure: I have no relationship with Sia.]

Jeremy Epstein is CEO ofNever Stop Marketingand author of The CMO Primer for the Blockchain World. He currently works with startups in the blockchain and decentralization space, including OpenBazaar, IOTA, and Zcash.

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Weekend Favs September 23

Weekend Favs September 23 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage youto check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from an online source or one that I took out there on the road.

  • Freshchat Modern messaging software that your sales and customer engagement teams will love.
  • The Startup Club A fun fiction book which willboth engage your early reader with its story and teach them age-appropriate lessons about finances and starting a business.
  • AdEspresso University Master Facebook and Instagram advertising.

These are my weekend favs, I would love to hear about some of yours Tweet me @ducttape

2 Warriors teammates reportedly had much different reactions to Kevin Durant’s recent Twitter fiasco

Klay Thompson Draymond GreenEzra Shaw/Getty Images

When news broke that Kevin Durant was using secret Twitter accounts to defend himself from strangers on the internet, many didn’t know how to react. Some though the act childish, others simply thought it was funny, and others still questioned why Durant is still worried about anonymous internet haters when he has an NBA title and Finals MVP to his name.

Durant’s teammates, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, both had drastically different reactions to the minor controversy when asked about it recently. Thompson, a cool, calm, and collected shooter whose tour of China this Summer setNBA Twitter ablaze for a bit, was nonplussed by the news, according to Warriors beat writer Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Tweet Embed:

https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/911329347465646080

Klay Thompson on Kevin Durant’s Twitter incident: “When I was informed of it, I was like, ‘Pfff, who cares? It’s the Internet.'”

Thompson is right, it is just the internet, but that doesn’t mean those who are ready to have a bit of a chuckle at KD’s expense can’t take advantage of this prime example. Just ask Durant’s other teammate, Draymond Green.

While speaking with reporters, Green was quick to smile after being asked about the Twitter debacle, before volunteering that he texted with Durant the day of, and “The next day I saw him in person and laughed in his face.”

Green had his own run in with a social media post gone awry, after a NSFW picture made its way public while playing with Team USA. As Green noted, this was his chance at a bit of innocent revenge.

It’s pretty funny to me. I reminded him of my mishap at USA basketball. The day my mishap happened, I was stressed out and I remember them laughing at my face, from him to DeMarcus [Cousins] was probably the worst. Andthe beat goes on. They laughed in my face, so it was a little payback.

You can watch Green’s comments on the incident below.

Tweet Embed:

https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/911310509680476160

Draymond Green jokingly says Kevin Durant’s Twitter mishap was payback considering he had a similar incident last summer. pic.twitter.com/VJUAD0ZqqN

The Warriors at home October 17 against the Houston Rockets.

NOW WATCH: Qatar is spending $200 billion on the World Cup – here’s a first look at its newest stadium

Why fog makes PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds even better


PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is the biggest game in the hot new Battle Royale genre. From the beginning, I’ve made the point that PUBG works better than the competition because Bluehole Studiolimits players in creative ways to increase tension and to encourage tactical play. Now, the developer has introduced fog that will engulf the map in a thick soup at random times, increasing the tension and tactical play.

Bluehole added fog in an update last week, and it shows up less frequently than some of the other weather conditions. But when you do get into a fog match, it amplifies everything that makes Battlegrounds work. This isn’t some graphical flourish on the skybox. The fog has a physical presence that limits visibility. Anything more than a couple dozen meters away blends into the white vapor cloud, and that changes the characteristics of long-range firefights. Snipers no longer have a supreme advantage in all circumstances, and maintaining a high level of awareness while also keeping a low profile is more important than ever. But this isn’t a huge shift away from standard matches, because fog is a natural evolution of PUBG’s emphasis on limiting what your player can do.

In PUBG, you can’t craft and carry more than one helmet and two primary weapons. These boundaries are crucial Battlegrounds’ success. They force players out of thinking that the game is all about looting and getting more stuff than everyone else. That makes a difference, but at a certain point in PUBG’s half-hour-long matches, continual looting is only going to hurt your chances of success. But guiding players into the fighting sooner also gets them thinking tactically and experimenting earlier as well. If you can’t just put your faith in finding more stuff than everyone else, then you have to find ways to outthink and outplay them.

Fog is similar. By limiting your visual information, it forces you to think and play differently and even more tactically. In this weather condition, crawling or hiding in bushes gives you a ton of cover. No one can see, so sound is more important. That means silencers can help, but it’s the flash hiders that make an even bigger difference. You can’t see someone slowly crouching through a muggy field, but their gun fire creates a bright flash that stands out against the all-white backdrop.

But the bigger point here is that you can spend a lot of time in PUBG trying to gather as much information about the battlefield as possible. But most people would have more luck if they thought more about how to hide information about their position and actions from others. The fog limits you in such a way that everyone ends up naturally playing the game that way. It’s impressive that Bluehole can funnel people into significant shifts in how they mentally approach the game just by introducing a new kind of weather. And it’s even more impressive that the change almost serves as a way of learning another important way to think about playing PUBG as a whole.

Fog also absolutely makes zombie matches more thrilling. We played a match during last week’s PUBG Family Dinner stream where we bring fans and the games industry together for custom matches, and it was amazing to see 30 or so dead boys all hiding in a field in the final circle.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds still isn’t finished, but even once Bluehole releases the 1.0 retail version, it should always look for other ways to mix up its Battle Royale shooter to change the way people think about it.

Oh, and you should join us for another PUBG Family Dinner stream on our Twitch channel tonight. Follow us on Twitch and turn on notifications to get alerts for when we go live. Thanks!

The PC Gaming channel is presented by Intel‘s Game Dev program.

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10 secret menu items worth trying at Chipotle

chipotle bowlChipotle Mexican Grill/Facebook

Chipotle is one of the few places that never fails to fill you up for cheap. Like many food chains, they have a secret menu that most people don’t know about. Accessing the Chipotle secret menu isn’t some complex task that involves breaking into their headquarters. In reality, if you surround yourself with people who are just as obsessed with the same restaurants as you are, you might learn a few things. Here are 10 Chipotle secret menu itemsthat are worth trying.

Quesarito

Imgur/Reddit

A quesatiro is a burrito that’s combined with a cheese quesadilla for the shell. Order the cheese quesadilla before adding your burrito ingredients to it. Any of their other toppings can go with it, and it costs an additional $3.50.

Nachos

Herson Rodriguez / Unsplash

While ordering some nachos might not sound like the most entertaining thing in the world, it’s something that you won’t see on Chipotle’s regular menu.When ordering these nachos, have no fear – the hardest part about the entire ordering process is when you have to ask for it. Ask for somechips with cheese and meat piled high on top.

Burritodilla

@chipotlemexicangrill / Instagram

The Burritodilla is one of Chipotle’s few hybrid items. What it does is combine a quesadilla and a burrito together. It seems absurd, but quesadillas have cheese in them, and cheese is loved by everyone worldwide.

First comes the quesadilla, then comes the burrito. The main difference between this and the quesarito is that quesaritos are meant to be tiny while the burritodilla is meant to be a ginormous burrito that nearly falls apart at the seams.


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

What to Do if Your Remote Team’s Feedback Loop Sucks

remote-team-feedback

You’re working on a vital project. Jon’s just completed the edits on the ebook you’re supposed to publish tomorrow, but Mary has no idea. She’s working on an entirely different task no one knows exists.

So, there you are, waiting all afternoon for Mary to give you the final approval on the ebook layout, wasting time on reddit.

Her Slack’s set to away, and you can’t remember whose responsibility it is anyway, so you assume everything’s probably going to be alright. There are enough memes to keep you busy while you wait.

The morning comes. Your boss is fuming. You can feel his anger through Slack. We’re supposed to be sending this book to our email lists right now – why isn’t it ready?.

Jon thinks Mary was supposed to do it. You think it’s Jon’s fault. Mary’s gone silent. You all hate each other a little bit right now.

The reason this whole mess was allowed to happen is because of a poor feedback loop.

A feedback loop is the process of communication that happens around a shared task or project. If one person’s responsible for finalizing edits, they need to let the next person know their progress because the work all depends on a sequence of tasks completed in order.

If you’ve ever been part of a situation like that (I know I have), then it’s because your team’s feedback loop is broken. That’s ok. It’s easily done in remote teams. In this article, I’m going to go through a few measures we take at Process Street to stop this kind of thing happening.

The cure for no feedback loop: set expectations right now

In an office, you might mention to someone on your way to the keyboard vending machine that you’ve just got done with whatever they were waiting on you for. Remotely, there aren’t too many opportunities for natural conversation. That means you should make sure your team is keeping records updated. Whether that’s commenting in Trello or another project management app, the team needs to know that task updates go in one concrete place that everyone can see.

If you’re using Trello, comment on the card then drop a link to the card in Slack – your team’s group channel, not direct – and then whoever’s up next on the task can get the information they need and know where they should update you. This is the sort of information that should go in your employee onboarding process so there’s no chance for confusion.

The cure for a slow feedback loop: daily standup meetings

They’re not just a developer thing. A daily standup meeting gets everybody in the habit of communicating properly. It works like this; you get on a group call in the morning, and the team leader addresses each member one-by-one. They ask:

  • What did you get done yesterday?
  • What are you working on today?
  • What do you need help with?

Standup meetings are a key part of Agile methodology, a set of project management guidelines that aims to abolish radio silence, long sessions of unchecked work and slow feedback loops. Usually, it’s used by developers but we adapt it into our marketing process because developers always get all the fun.

A tool like appear.in or Google Hangouts is ideal for standup meetings because you get a fixed link for the team, and you can pop in or out at any time. Get everyone to add the link as a calendar event timed for 9am, so when the notification goes off, your team can hop onto the call and get going as quickly as possible.

By putting what everyone has accomplished into context, the team knows what their next task will be and the gap between iterations will be 1 day at most. This isn’t a substitute for centralizing your updates in Trello or another project management app, but it does make damn well certain that everyone is one the same page because notifications are easy to ignore.

The systems you need to put into place

You can’t expect your whole team to become master communicators overnight. You’ll need to lay the foundations, first.

At a bare minimum, you need all to be using the same shared task list that allows for comments and @mentions. On top of this, agree on a fixed chat app and a fixed video chat room for notifications and standup meetings. The chat app should have a group for your team where all team project work is discussed, so members are passively updated as work happens.

A fluffier, harder to grasp system you need in place is teamwork and rapport. It’s hard to grasp because there’s a difference between professional communication and being friends at work. It really helps to try and make friends, and usually contributes to a more relaxed and productive environment. The content creation team at Process Street gets on nicely. We have custom emojis. We sometimes Photoshop each other’s faces onto inanimate objects. This sort of thing helps free communication.

Another thing you could try to get everybody talking is recognizing achievements in company channels. When the group chat is filled with positive messages, people want to contribute to the conversation and it feels natural to keep your team in the loop and look out for each other.

Celebrating achievements also inadvertently announces progress on a project, even though its main purpose is to give a great employee the recognition they deserve.

Final thoughts on solving feedback loop problems

Not all remote teams are created equal. You’ll have members with all kinds of different experience, personalities and habits.

Understanding this is important when solving communication problems, but it’s key to remember that it’s all about encouraging the development of productive habits in your team.

Implement these guidelines, and you’ll never have to deal with awkward ‘I thought you were supposed to do it’ moments again.