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What Factors Will Make Your Website More Credible?

websiste more credible

Do you know that one element you need to convert more website visitors into paying customers is credibility? Yes, that is right. Potential customers that do not trust you will not buy from you.

Your website is the central online hub, your business’s digital portrayal, and often the first stop for potential customers. The first question that visitors have when they land on your website is whether they can trust you.

Your website provides insights to both humans and search engines into:

  • How you run your business
  • Its trustworthiness
  • Your primary value proposition

Search engines use algorithms that assess and rate your level of credibility. Higher levels of credibility result in better SEO rankings.

For example, Google judges your site’s credibility by evaluating online feedback from public sources, such as clients, prospects, and users.

It gets this information from three primary online resources:

  • Google properties such as YouTube and Google My Business
  • Your web pages and other sites you control, such as review sites and social media accounts.
  • Other trustworthy, independent, and authoritative websites

Even if your company is credible, it does not necessarily mean that your website conveys it. Consider the factors below to make your site more credible to your visitors.

Your Domain Name

Think of domain names as shifting billboard advertising to a keyboard. Acquiring a new or the best domain name for your brand should be a focal point of your marketing strategy.

Your domain name helps visitors determine your credibility by:

  • How it looks
  • Its length
  • Whether it represents what your business does

A great domain name is crucial for a successful online presence. Think of your website as your virtual brick and mortar storefront and your domain as the virtual real estate it sits on.

For this reason, many brands are purchasing a premium domain (as opposed to speculating on unknown factors with a brand-new domain) to quickly build trust and credibility for their customers.

Using the same real estate analogy, premium domains are akin to water-front property. Such property is exclusive, has limited availability, and is in high demand.

They usually contain keywords with a high search volume, and often someone else owns them. Premium domains also:

  • Offer the potential of becoming a popular website address.
  • Provide strong branding opportunities
  • Are generally short, memorable, easy-to-spell, and are often paired with the most popular .com domain extension
  • Usually contain words that have a high search volume.

Although premium domains generally cost more than regular domains, they are investment dollars spent wisely. They are valuable in building credibility, driving traffic to your website, and speeding up your online success.

Social Proof

Social proof is defined as the process by which consumers look at others’ opinions, such as influencers, friends, and family, before making important decisions.

Because people tend to believe the opinions of those they trust, social proof has become a powerful marketing tool.

To provide social proof and credibility to your website, be sure to include links to your social media profiles, client testimonials, and product reviews.

Be sure to utilize social proof as a critical component of your website marketing strategy to give more credence to your brand messaging and advertising.

Social proof reinforces the reliability of claims made in advertising and can make a businesses marketing message more believable.

Add the Human Touch with Clear Contact Information

Your website should always include an “About Us” section to let your visitors know who you are, what your experience is, and anything else you deem relevant to share.

Including staff photos with bios adds a human touch that builds credibility and puts real faces behind your brand. Place your contact information where customers can easily find it without having to search for it or scroll around too much.

Ideally, let customers know how to reach you by phone, email, live chat, or Skype in your website’s header. You can also include the same information in the footer or on a contact page.

Credibility

Keep it Updated

Have you ever landed on a website that you can tell has not been updated in years? Some tell-tale signs of outdated sites include a copyright date that is not current, no recent blog posts, and an outdated design.

Not only will your website visitors not feel comfortable in your lack of credibility, but they might also even think you have gone out of business.

Refresh your content annually, update your blog often, and be sure your copyright date in your website’s footer is current to build credibility.

A User-Friendly Website Design

Although we have been taught not to judge a book by its cover, online users do not follow that golden rule.

Visitors to your website make their first impression within a few seconds of landing on it. And, since a study found that  94% of negative feedback about websites has to do with their design, it makes sense to focus on yours.

The look and feel of your site are the primary drivers of first impressions—visual appeal matters. Make your website design appealing to visitors so they will stay and see what you have to offer.

If your website visitors must jump through hoops to find what they are looking for, your navigation is too complicated.

They will get frustrated and leave, and your business will suffer the loss of a potential customer. Alternatively, when potential customers can quickly find exactly what they want, your site went up a notch in the trust and credibility department.

Include Valuable Resources

Including well-written and relevant eBooks and white papers on your website helps establish your brand as an authority in your niche and adds credibility.

These types of resources show your potential customers that are an expert in your field. They also provide the information your target market can use to make their lives easier.

Many companies choose to use their white papers and eBooks as lead magnets for lead generation. Interested site visitors give you their contact information in exchange for your valuable resources.

They are then put into your sales funnel, where you follow up with a sequence of emails to increase your credibility even more.

Keep it updated

Are You Ready to Boost Your Website’s Credibility?

Making sure your website:

  • Sits on a great domain name
  • Has updated content
  • Shows the human side of your brand
  • Includes easy-to-find contact information and social proof
  • Offers valuable information to your visitors

Remember that your goal is to make it clear to potential customers and search engines that they can trust your business.

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5 Things 2020 Taught Me About Remote Leadership

leadership lessons

Only one year ago, I shared how the trend was moving to remote work. According to a survey from CloudApp, more than 50% of younger generations were working from home at least part of the week, new startups were launching remote, and companies like GitLab were carrying the torch of possibility.

Little did I know how much that would be accelerated due to a global pandemic. In March, we were thrust into the unknown, and “2 years of digital transformation talks were crammed into 2 weeks,� said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. The tech world moved remotely. Here is what I have learned over the year leading a marketing org and company that previously was not remote.

1. Find your comfort zone

I started like most of you. Unsure of what to do and how to make it work. My first day was spent in my basement on an IKEA kids chair and laptop on my lap.

Day 1 of remote work.

Some remote setups are better than others.

I was literally and physically out of my comfort zone with my nice desk, big monitors, and complete quiet. It has taken time to adjust, to find a groove. I still haven’t quite figured it out and may not ever figure it out until we return to the “old normal.�

What I have learned is that it’s important to adapt and find peace with a new situation. At the very beginning, my team and I did 10-minute standup chats every morning. It was a chance to replace the familiar morning conversations that happen casually at the start of work. Those have gradually faded to a normal weekly cadence, but was a helpful way to stay connected.

I take productivity breaks at home, make sure to play with my kids during that time, so they aren’t desperate for my attention during an important meeting. I also try to separate work and home as much as possible, but I have definitely had a toddler join me on plenty of Zoom calls. These things have helped me to find some sort of comfort zone with change.

Once you find a new normal spot, you will be able to lead better. You can find ways to help others when you have taken care of yourself.

2. Capture the moment

Remote Startups
Be nimble as a remote leader.

Leading marketing at CloudApp, in which screen recorder and screenshot for mac and PC products help remote workers stay connected, I saw a unique moment to capture an audience and help them along the way with some remote work tips and tricks. We put out dozens of content pieces, including podcasts, webinars, blog posts, and guides. The content exploded and had over 100k views directly tied to it over a 45-day span.

Obviously, this moment was a chance for our company to lead and help in the situation. In my 15 years, I have found there are constantly opportunities like this for companies to step up and help their community. It’s important to be flexible and build in time for campaigns that capture a cultural moment in time.

These campaigns generally run hot for a few months and then peter out, but provide a good opportunity to build global awareness of your brand and strengthen ties with your community. Going through this exercise of trend content will also help you to learn how nimble your team is and how you can try and create success with similar campaigns in the future.

3. Over-communicate

remote team video conference
Meet often with your remote team. Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

It’s amazing the amount of side, informal conversations you have on a daily basis when you are side by side with your team. In remote work, those meetings are gone. How can they be replaced? I’ve taken a combination of technology and virtual meetings to do so.

Slack or Microsoft Teams can compensate for some conversations; just make sure to use them wisely. It’s important to block off time for yourself to not be available on these channels.

1:1s and team meetings can provide opportunities to give pass downs from other teams and stay connected as a team. It’s important to protect these on your calendar and not continually reschedule or cancel.

4. Project Management

All projects and campaigns should have a process to ensure they are launched on time and have good results.

Kick-off call – this can be a great time to identify the expected outcomes and timeline for a project or campaign. Everyone who is involved in cross-functionally should be invited to the kick-off call. I also love to use this time to introduce how we will track success along the way.

Project Management software – Having a place to track updates and make assignments is key to scaling, especially with multiple projects running simultaneously. Asana and Jira are both great options for project management.

The key is clear outcomes and milestones along the way. It is also helpful to have a lead for the overall project to help coordinate and ensure updates are put into the project management software.

Quick updates – these can be done with a CloudApp screen recording, a 15 min stand up meeting, or just over email/slack, whatever your company preference is. The key is to have some sort of check-in on measurement to ensure progress and accountability.

Post mortem – sometimes these can be too fluffy. Including things that went massively wrong along with the wins can be helpful in refining the process and making it smoother the next time around.

5. Have fun and celebrate

last minute gift ideas
Don’t forget to celebrate.

I still do a terrible job at this. I am a much more fun leader in person than I am remote. What I have learned, though, is that there needs to be time to celebrate. The best thing we do at CloudApp is a Cloud9 channel in Slack. This is a place that every organization can celebrate small and big wins.

Finding time to celebrate asynchronously and also in team meetings really creates a culture that wants to continue winning and connects to a leader who can help to continue that focus.

Image Credit: rebrand cities; pexels

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How to Start Monetizing a Popular Website or App

monetizing your website

Your business or your personal brand may be focused on creating a popular website or application. The idea here is to generate users or generate interest; you might encourage people to read your blog frequently because you offer fantastic, in-depth posts, or you might have an app that makes people’s lives easier in some crucial way. Here is how to start monetizing a popular website or app

In any case, making an app or website popular is a challenging, multi-step process. But translating that popularity into a consistent stream of revenue is even more challenging. How can you take a popular online asset like this and effectively monetize it?

Monetization in a Nutshell

Monetization is a term that refers to the simple process of making money from something that didn’t make money before. If a person walks dogs for fun, then begins to charge money for their services, they’ve essentially “monetized� the service.

This is an ambiguous term, but it’s ambiguous for a reason; there are dozens, if not hundreds, of ways to monetize a popular website, app, or other online service. Generally speaking, if your channel is popular enough, you should be able to monetize it.

How Popular Is Popular Enough?

How popular is popular enough? That’s going to be different for every app and website; it depends on the nature of your audience, the specific appeal of your content, and of course, the monetization strategy you choose. If you’re selling a major service to wealthy clientele, you may be able to make money with just a handful of leads and sales. However, if you’re interested in monetizing the data you collect from your users, you’ll need a base of hundreds of thousands—if not millions of users to do this effectively.

In any case, if you have thousands of regular users, you can definitely count on being able to monetize effectively. You may be able to do it with just hundreds of regular users.

Monetization Options

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular monetization options available to websites and apps today:

  • First, you could consider displaying advertisements on your website or app. You can tap into one of many different advertising networks to do this, with Google Ads being one of the most popular. Generally, you’ll earn a fixed rate for every click your app generates; for example; you might earn $0.50 for each ad clicked by one of your users. Advertising is reliable and relatively consistent, but it also depends on your audience being a match for the ad content. On top of that, poorly placed or “spammyâ€� advertising can weaken the average user’s experience.
  • Affiliate linking. Alternatively, you could set up an affiliate linking system. The idea here is to include links to various product pages across the web; if one of your readers clicks an affiliate link and buys the product, you’ll get a share of the revenue—like a commission. This is tricky to pull off with small audiences since the commission tends to be small, but with a large enough fan base, you can make significant income this way.
  • Paid access. If your app or website is valuable enough, you may require payment or a paid subscription to access it. This can be a source of steady, significant income, but only if your content is seen as truly “worth it.â€� This is tricky to pull off since so many modern apps and websites are completely free to access.
  • Premium features. You may choose to adopt a “freemiumâ€� model, wherein the core content is free, but users have to pay for additional features. For example, they may have the option to pay for an ad-free experience, or may get access to additional tools to use the app more effectively.
  • Transactional fees. Though this is mostly for apps, you may be able to impose small transaction fees. For example, if your app functions as an online marketplace, you could take 10 percent of every purchase made on the platform.
  • Extra content. If you have a popular blog, your readers may be interested in paying for “premiumâ€� content—like an extended eBook. Just make sure you offer plenty of opportunities for conversion throughout your site, and price your premium content fairly.
  • Additional services. Depending on how much time you have and the nature of your brand, you may be able to sell additional services as well. For example, if you’re a blogger who’s an expert in a certain field, you may be able to teach, coach, or consult with readers who want a more personalized experience.
  • If your blog or app is popular enough, you may be able to make money through merchandising. Selling shirts, mugs, calendars, or other items with your logo on them could function both as a direct revenue stream and as a secondary form of advertising.
  • Data monetization. If your audience is large enough, you may be able to monetize the data you gather from them. For example, you may learn about the buying habits of a specific target audience, then sell that cluster of data to an advertising company that wants to learn more about that audience.

Can You Monetize in Multiple Ways?

As you can see, most of these monetization strategies have strengths and weaknesses. You may be interested in using multiple monetization strategies simultaneously, allowing them to compensate for each other’s flaws. There’s generally nothing wrong with this; however, you’ll need to make sure that stacking monetization strategies has no measurable negative impact on your average user’s experience.

Choosing the Right Strategy

Whether you’re investing in one or several monetization strategies, how can you be sure that you’re selecting the right tactics?

Consider:

  • Your target audience. First, you need to think about your target audience. Not all people will be okay with advertising, and not all people will pay $5 for an eBook when they can get blog content for free. Different audiences have different desires.
  • The core experience. Next, consider the core experience of your app or website. This is what made your asset popular, so you shouldn’t compromise it. How will your monetization strategy affect the average user experience? Will it make it better, worse, or keep it the same?
  • Number of users/scale. Some monetization strategies only work if your audience is sufficiently large. How popular is your app currently, and how far can you scale it in the future?
  • Long-term plans. Where will you be taking this app or website in the future? Is the core experience or user base going to transform?
  • The competition. What monetization strategies are your competitors using? If your competitors find success with one strategy, you may consider adopting it as your own—or you may try to deviate from them to differentiate your brand.
  • Potential profitability. And, of course, you should consider the potential profitability of each strategy. How much money do you stand to make by adopting this?

The Importance of Measurement and Analysis

Additionally, you’ll need to carefully measure and analyze the results you get from your strategy. This is a business, and there’s no guarantee it’s going to be successful. Only by objectively measuring your results will you be able to definitively determine whether your monetization strategy is actually making money.

If the strategy isn’t making money, see if you can figure out why (and correct the error). For example, if people aren’t clicking on advertisements, is it because you’re displaying ads that aren’t relevant? Or is it due to poor positioning? Experimenting with the variables and measuring the differences can help you figure this out.

Conclusion

Monetization strategies can help you make money from any app, website, or other online asset that’s sufficiently popular. Choosing the right strategies can be difficult, but if you invest in the right techniques and consistently improve with the help of ongoing measurement and analysis, you can build something both profitable and sustainable.

Image Credit: mayofi; pexels; pexels

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How To Use Video to Power-Up Your Email Campaigns

video email campaign

Email marketing has resurfaced as one of the most effective ways to reach audiences. While many companies spend entire budgets trying to improve their social media presence and get heard above the noise, email campaigns offer a more personalized and direct approach, even when it comes to new audiences.

That being said, nobody likes spam. The current rise of newsletters as an informative and entertainment medium has proven that audiences are drawn to receiving content that’s not just interested in selling or promoting something.

And here is where the video comes in.

By pairing your email campaign with a video marketing strategy, you’re getting the best of both worlds by delivering valuable and engaging content straight to your customer’s mailbox.

In this piece, I’m going to guide you through the necessary steps you need to take to boost your email campaigns with video. We’ll see how to choose the right type of video for your newsletters, what are some of the best tips and tricks used by the pros, and much more.

But first…

Why Video?

Well, I’m glad you asked.

As you probably know, time is one of the most precious goods of the digital landscape. And video is the most efficient form of communication, cramming large amounts of information into just a few seconds of animation.

Plus, video is the king of engagement. You see it everywhere, from binge-able content and video tutorials to the recent popularity of streaming platforms such as Twitch and Tik Tok. Video is the preferred format of content for all kinds of audiences.

Marketers have been using the virtues of video content on their email campaigns for a while now, and the results speak for themselves:

Choosing the Right Type of Video for Your Message

There’s at least one type of video for each of your marketing needs. So, you should start by determining your campaign‘s main goal and then work with a production team to create a piece designed to achieve it.

Here are some of the most effective type of videos for your email campaign:

New Product or Service Reveal

Newsletters are a way of showing your subscribers what you’ve been up to, and there’s no better news to share with them than the launch of a brand-new product or service. This comes in the form of a product video or demo that showcases your creation’s most important features and characteristics.

A great idea is to include your subscribers in the pre-launch phase of your campaign. That way, they get an exclusive treat before anyone else. This tactic can be especially useful for small businesses that are looking to build a loyal customer base and for brands that want to benefit from word-of-mouth marketing.

Explainer Videos

At the beginning of this article, I mentioned how audiences demand valuable content from the brands they follow, and no other type of video is more helpful than the explainer video. Just as the product video centers around the features of your product, the explainer video focuses on the benefits of your product and how it can better the lives of your customers.

Explainers are short animated pieces that usually don’t go over the 90-second mark. But suppose you need a long-form video that guides users through a lengthy process. In that case, you might want to consider making a series of tutorials or how-to videos that give specific and clear instructions on how to install your product or use it properly.

Customer Stories

Many marketers make the mistake of talking way too much. But isn’t it more effective to let your happy customers do the promoting for you? Customer stories are honest and heartful testimonials from the people you’ve helped along the way. And what better way to deliver these powerful stories than directly to your leads’ inboxes?

Customer stories are at adding a real human face to your brand, humanizing your company, and making your customers trust you more. After all, people trust other people, as simple as that. Make sure your testimonial feels as honest as possible.

Event Invites

Promoting events through email just makes sense: it’s like delivering an invitation right to someone’s mailbox. And what better way to get your audience excited than with a stunning video.

Your vid doesn’t need to be lengthy; just an intriguing animation with your event’s date and location will do most of the time. If it’s a regular sort of event, you can also create a recap of last year’s edition to attract those on-the-fence attendees.

The Three Golden Rules for Using Video on Your Email Campaign

Like with any other marketing strategy, there are plenty of ways to approach using videos on your emails to great effect. However, that’s not the same to say that some practices and principles don’t tend to outperform others!

Here are some we recommend following.

1) Don’t Embed Video on Your Email

One of the most common first-timer mistakes is to think you should embed your video on your email, just like you do on your landing page. But if you’re subscribed to a couple of newsletters, you’ll notice that most of them rather use a thumbnail linked to the video hosted online. This is because many email clients often don’t support the technical requirements needed to play a video right inside the email.

But if you think this is a limitation, then turn that frown upside down. Think about it: instead of making your audience watch a video within the email itself, you can direct them to a landing page where they can watch the video and visit your online store next (or any other specific action).

2) An Attractive Thumbnail Can Make the Difference

Using a thumbnail is the most practical form of ensuring your subscribers will watch your video regardless of the device or email platform they use. So, it’s time to design an attractive thumbnail that intrigues your audience! There are a couple of ways to do this:

· Use a static picture with a play button

This is the easiest way. You can simply use a screencap of your video and insert a play button right at the center of the picture so that your audience knows it’s linked to a video.

· Use a short GIF of your video

GIFs are the closest thing next to actually uploading your video, giving the illusion of video but with the key difference that they are well-supported across email clients. And even though some platforms like Outlook 2013 and Windows 10 don’t play GIFs, they’ll show the first frame of your GIF as a static image.

Extra pro tip: Keep your thumbnail below 200KB, or below 1MB if you’re using GIFs. There’s a chance your email will be identified as spam if it contains heavy attachments.

3) Place Your Video Below the Copy

Before embedding your thumbnail, make sure you write a brief introduction. It doesn’t need to be too long, just a few words to introduce your piece. Formatting is super important in emails. A message with just a picture will look like spam.

Conclusions

The global lockdown has made many companies rethink the way they connect with their audience. Now more than ever, audiences demand valuable content from the brands they support, and an email campaign that uses video can do that.

The pandemic has also taught us how unforeseeable the future is and how things can change from one second to the next.  While this article provides a comprehensive guide, it’s up to you to start figuring out what your own audience likes and dislikes, and what type of emails and videos are going to strengthen that bond. I wish you the bests of luck.

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Where Are the Drones and Self-Driving Cars? The Problem With Tech Predictions

As early as 2010, journalists have been predicting that self-driving cars were about to “take over the world,� or some variation of that phrase. Google’s first self-driving car model, a Toyota Prius, had more than 150,000 successful miles logged in 2010. Since then, there’s been a rotating series of claims that “the year of the self-driving car� would be 2013. Then 2014. Then 2015. And so on. 

And of course, self-driving cars aren’t the only example of a technology being heralded a bit too much and a bit too early. We’ve also heard about the limitless potential of drone delivery—for the last five years or so, despite little progress actually being made. We hear about how smart homes are about to replace traditional homes entirely. And every once in a while, we hear about a promising new breakthrough in a technology that has the power to connect our brains directly to the internet. 

Let’s not hold our breath for that one. 

So why is it that so many bold technology predictions turn out to be overly ambitious? Are we that bad at predicting the course of technological development? Or is there something else at play here? 

Turns out, there are several factors intersecting to produce this effect. 

“Me First� Marketing 

First, we have to consider the power of marketing and the power of competition. In the tech world, it’s not enough to make a great new technology—it pays to be first. If you’re the first company to achieve success in a new area of tech, you’ll instantly achieve a permanent advantage over your competitors. If Google perfects a robot butler before Apple does, they’ll immediately and forever be associated with butler robots—which could eventually add up to billions of dollars in additional market share. 

Because of this competitive pressure, companies are inclined to overstate their progress. A corporate representative might imply that their self-driving cars are almost ready to go, when in reality they may need a few more years of refinement; but getting to say “we’re close� gives you an edge over your competitors. 

This isn’t to say that all tech companies are lying about their progress, of course. But they’re certainly all pressing to advance as quickly as possible, and they’re all eager to be seen as the frontrunner in their respective industry. Accordingly, they may be inclined to overstate or exaggerate things—even if it’s just a little bit. 

The Sensationalism of Modern Journalism 

Next, we need to think about the sensationalism of modern journalism. If tech company representatives overstate their progress slightly, journalists have the power to exaggerate the claim even further. 

In the modern era, journalism is all about clicks. For most publications, it’s much more valuable to go viral on social media than it is to produce a reputable, fact-based story. Instead of relying on consistent paying subscribers, most news outlets make money through onsite ads—and those ads can only generate revenue if their stories get clicks. 

Guess which kinds of stories get clicks? The sensational ones. The ones that evoke strong emotions. The ones that inspire heated debates. The controversial ones that make bold claims. 

Because of this, media publications are highly likely to publish a story that claims some kind of futuristic technology is almost here—even if that’s far from the truth. There are no real repercussions to posting a story that “2013 is the year of the self-driving car,� because it will be forgotten quickly—and you can just write a story that “2014 is the year of the self-driving car� next year. 

There’s also an illusion that occurs, distorting our sense of how sensationalist the media truly is, and it all depends on survivorship bias. 

For example, let’s say five publishers produce stories on a new technology; three of them boldly claim that it’s nearly here, while the other two are more modest in their reporting. The three bold claimers get a ton of comments, likes, and shares, and their headlines are seen all over social media. The two modest claimers get buried. To the casual observer, it seems like every story you see is sensationalist and overblown—when in reality, 40 percent of stories are accurate, despite going unseen. 

Slow Adaptation and Adoption 

Tech accessibility depends on acceptance and adoption. Consumers must fully buy into a technology for it to begin circulating, and in many cases, government regulators and politicians have to be on board as well. Society can be slow to adapt; many technologies are risky, intimidating, or simply hard to understand. And some people don’t like change in general. 

If politicians or consumers make it difficult, even a fully polished new technology can remain in tech purgatory for years. 

Unforeseeable Developmental Issues 

Of course, some technologies end up stagnating because of unforeseen developmental issues. There’s a critical hurdle that can’t be easily overcome, like a safety issue that hasn’t been resolved, or a lack of viable power. In some cases, major technologies are held up because of insufficient advancements in other areas—like new kinds of batteries or more durable materials. 

The Death of Moore’s Law

For much of the modern technological era, we’ve been benefitting from Moore’s Law, an informal argument that we can practically double our computing power every 18 months or so. Tech innovation has been remarkably fast, exponentially taking us to new heights. 

But now, Moore’s Law is… dead. Innovation has slowed. Our progress isn’t nearly as fast as it used to be, we fail more frequently and we’re coming up on some major physical barriers—limits to the paths of growth we’ve relied on for decades. It’s getting harder and harder to innovate, but at the same time, we expect lightning-fast innovation. It’s a recipe for bold claims and disappointing results. 

Consumer Hype

We also need to acknowledge the role of consumer hype in this equation. Consumers tend to be crazy about new technology, overestimating its utility and overvaluing the companies creating those technologies. Companies like Tesla, on the forefront of tech innovation for their respective niches, are trading at price-to-earning (P/E) ratios that far exceed the rest of the market. And people are talking about them nonstop. 

People are paying close attention to game-changing technologies, and they’re constantly hungry for optimistic news. So why not give it to them? 

The Retrospective Effect

Finally, we should consider the retrospective bias that tends to affect technological development. Usually, when a new technology is introduced, it’s clunky, ineffective, and/or inaccessible to the broader public. Over time, it gradually evolves, inching its way into our daily lives. Only years later does it become fully integrated, at which point we falsely remember using that technology for years, saying something like, “oh, that’s always been there.� 

Voice search, for example, has been around since 2011, but its early iterations were unreliable and hard to use. It wasn’t until 2016 or so that it truly became a powerful and universally used tool—but people still feel like voice search has been around for a decade. 

Right now, game-changing technologies are being developed. Self-driving cars are being tested on the streets. Delivery drones are being manufactured. We’re just a few steps away from full integration. Maybe in a few years, we’ll look back and say “that’s been around since 2013!�

I bet you won’t have to look far to find an article that claims 2021 to be the year that self-driving cars or autonomous drone fleet deliveries finally take hold. And for all we know, they may be right. But looking back, it seems like most of our bold tech predictions end up embarrassingly wrong. And we should consider that whenever reading about some sexy new technology that has the power to save the world in just a few months. 

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