Here’s the $5.3 million mansion the Obamas will live in after the White House

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As President Obama’s presidency comes to a close, reports indicate he will move into a mansion in the Kalorama neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

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One of the NFL’s most controversial defenders pulled off a ridiculous flop and got an opponent penalized

It’s unusual to see an obvious flop in football.

It’s even more unusual to see it come from Vontaze Burfict, the Cincinnati Bengals linebacker who has a history of big, and sometimes questionable hits on opponents.

However, on Sunday, it was Burfict who was playing up a hit from an opponent, actually drawing a penalty on Baltimore Ravens receiver Steve Smith Sr. 

After twice pushing Smith in the back, Burfict showed off some acting skills when Smith tried to retaliate. The refs only saw Smith’s retaliation and gave him a 15-yard penalty.

It was bad timing for the Ravens. Joe Flacco was sacked on the same play, and the penalty moved the Ravens back 15 yards, and they ended up settling for the field goal. However, they won the game 19-14. 

NOW WATCH: New doping tests are stripping Olympians of their medals — here are the countries that dope the most

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How to Not Be Driven by Your Aversions

By Leo Babauta

I have a friend who doesn’t realize how much he dislikes so many things — much of his life is spent avoiding things he doesn’t like, or trying to rush through things like exercise, or annoyed by people who do things he doesn’t like.

We all have aversions to things, more than we probably realize. It’s not a problem to have aversions, but if we’re driving by the aversions, we’re locking ourselves into a limited life.

For example:

If you hate vegetables, it’s hard to eat a healthy diet.
If you hate exercise, it’s hard to be strong and healthy.
If you dislike when people do certain things (smoke, drink, eat junk food), you’ll be annoyed by people often.
If you dislike traffic, politics, reality TV stars, bureaucrats, you’ll be frustrated by many life situations.

Note that aversions aren’t always “bad” — actually, I don’t think they’re bad at all. Some aversions can be helpful: not liking being abused, for example, or being averse to eating unhealthy food. However, they can restrict us in many cases and make us unhappy if our lives aren’t free of the things we’re averse to. So in that sense, working to not be controlled by our aversions is freeing and better for our happiness.

I’m not saying I’m free of all these aversions — I definitely have my share, and I’m working with them. I’d like to share how I work with them.

Becoming Aware of Aversions

The first step, of course, is becoming aware of your aversions. Take a minute to make a list of the things you hate, that you avoid, that annoy you, that you can’t stand.

For example, do any of these bother you?

Certain kinds of foods
Types of exercise or activities
Kinds of TV shows
Certain behaviors of people you know
The way some people behave on the Internet
Some websites or apps
Deal-breakers of potential dating partners
Situations that commonly frustrate you
Specific social situations

There are lots of other examples, but start a list. Add to it every time you get frustrated, see yourself avoiding something, or get annoyed … add to the list.

Notice your desire to avoid certain things. When you notice, try working with that feeling of aversion, using the ideas in the section below.

Working with Aversions

When you notice your aversion, just sit and face it.

Notice how it feels in you — not your story about it, but how it feels in your body. Where is it located, what is the quality of its energy, is it a changing sensation, is it intense, throbbing, pulsing, stabbing, dull, tight, aching?

Open yourself up to this feeling. Don’t run from it. Don’t instantly reject it. Accept that it’s there, and be curious about it. See it as something to study. Most people want to ignore it, but you’re willing to find out more.

Be friendly with the feeling. Relax, be open, be curious, be gentle. See that it’s not so bad. See that you can survive, even if you sit with the feeling.

See that it changes. For me, it can be strong, but then it crests and then fades. It’s momentary, temporary, just a passing feeling like any other feeling.

Notice that you don’t have to be controlled by this one feeling. In fact, every feeling or thought is just something that arises, not something that you have to get lost in or controlled by.

You have the freedom to eat vegetables or converse with annoying people without falling apart, and in fact if you stay present in the middle of the situations, you can appreciate the beauty of it.

And in the end, you can embrace these aversions instead of running from them. They are a part of the human experience, come from a loving part of our hearts, and are not anything to panic about.

We can be free from having a fixed mind, and develop flexibility.

We can move through the world of desires and aversions with love and joy and an appreciation for everything around us.

Why Your Startup Should Ignore Your Onboarding Experience (For Now)

This following article is a guest post by Jackson Noel. Jackson is the Co-Founder of Appcues, a SaaS product that allows you to create in-product experiences without changing any code. You can follow him on twitter: @jacksonjonson.

Since I joined a startup that focuses on user onboarding, I’ve had half a dozen conversations just like this one:

Startup Friend: “Dude I need to talk to you about our user onboarding.”

Me: “Okay, what’s up?”

Startup Friend: “We’ve changed it 3 times now. Can’t figure out how to get users to engage.”

Me: “Gotcha. Well what are you doing to change it?”

Startup Friend: “I’ve gone through every one of Samuel Hulick’s teardowns like 10 times. We’re just trying to get ours to be more like Slack’s.”

Me: “Have you looked at any of your own data?”

Startup Friend: “Nah, it’s too early to have anything insightful in there. We only had like 250 users sign up last month.”

Friends in early stage startups have come out of the woodwork to talk about their user onboarding experiences. And every time I tell them the same thing: completely ignore your user onboarding experience (for now).

Why your startup shouldn’t focus on user onboarding

To my friends, this advice usually seems *counterintuitive*. After all, it’s coming from someone whose business model hinges on people focusing on onboarding. But bear with me for a moment…

Great user onboarding makes users say, “WOW, this is awesome,” and recognize that your product is a must have experience. But these WOW moments don’t come easy. And the mechanics by which you onboard users is just a small part of whether or not they fall in love with your product.

The more substantial part of the equation is the value your product delivers to your user: something in their life that must get easier, faster, cheaper, more productive, more fun, etc. because of using your product. Otherwise, why would they switch?

And that’s the difficult part to create. That’s the part that requires customer development and experimentation. It requires you to test your assumptions, to pivot, to try new things.

Once you get that part right, building a silky smooth onboarding experience to deliver value to your users quickly will become far easier. But if you focus on onboarding too early, two bad things can happen:

  1. Your team will have less time to build something that truly delivers value (which again, is the much more difficult and important part of scaling user growth)

  2. You’ll create “product baggage” that makes it harder to build and experiment. Now you have to worry about your onboarding flow with each product change you want to make

After I explain this to my startup friends, I usually get a response along the lines of, “but wait, if I don’t have a good onboarding flow how am I ever supposed to know whether my product is delivering enough value?”

Indeed, we have ourselves a classic chicken or the egg conundrum.

Instead, onboard your customers manually

In lieu of investing your development time in user onboarding, you should do whatever it takes to help your new users achieve success. Reach out to them personally via email, install a live chat product, set up demos, etc.

Yes, this approach doesn’t scale. But it will save your startup’s most scarce resource, developer time, and accumulate your startup’s second most scarce resource, information.

Here are 4 things you should do:

  1. Talk to each new user who signs up to learn about their goals and offer to help get their account set up successfully

  2. Reach out to all of your existing customers and find out what they love about your product

  3. Touch base with every single user who signed up but never adopted your product (usually an email after 60 days of zero activity works well)

  4. Track your usage data very closely (Mixpanel/KISSmetrics are great tools for event tracking, Inspectlet is great for recording user sessions). Make sure to cross-reference all your qualitative findings (from customer conversations) with quantitative data.

Bonus: Here are two google docs with email templates, 3rd party tool recommendations and more to help you onboard users manually.

This manual onboarding process is not easy. If your product is still in the early stages, you’ll probably see concerning data and get a lot of negative feedback. It can be demoralizing.

But it will make your team stronger and your product better. You will better understand the motivations and anxieties of your users, identify points of confusion, and figure out why unengaged users didn’t stick around.

This information is a gold mine for an early stage startup. It gives you the information you need to thoughtfully iterate and pivot your product to get more users to say, “this product improves my life”.

When is the right time to prioritize your onboarding experience?

Once you have a high degree of certainty that users are getting great value from your product, you need to fire yourself as onboarding czar and hire your product. Unfortunately, there’s no hard and fast rule about when this time is for every startup.

But there are generally two types of measures you should keep your eyes on:

Measures of product value. This could be your NPS score, churn, or Sean Ellis’ 40% rule.

Measures of volume. Try to avoid a vanity metric like total number of users. Use something more meaningful like # of highly engaged users or # of paying customers.

At Appcues, we’re waiting until we have over 100 paying customers with greater than a 40% score on the Sean Ellis question to fully optimize our user onboarding experience. But your criteria should be unique to your situation.

When the time is right, you’ll have all the right information to optimize the in-app path that leads to user success based on what you’ve learned by onboarding users manually. Take a look at the user onboarding academy to help you build it the right way, and make sure you’re ready to commit to it for the long term.

As Samuel Hulick points out, user onboarding isn’t a feature. You can’t set it and forget it. Onboarding requires the same thoughtful iteration and pivoting as does the rest of your product.

The bottom line

With more products attempting no- or low-touch sales funnels, user onboarding has become a hot topic over the past year. And for mature products that have validated their value proposition and customer demand, it is a hugely important part of your funnel to optimize.

But for early stage startups that still have much to prove, optimizing your onboarding experience can be a monumental mistake. It will slow you and your team down, distracting you from truly solving your customer problem.

So completely ignore your user onboarding experience (for now). Instead, replace it with yourself. You’ll learn, build and address your customer pain faster.

An Early-Stage Founder’s Quick & Dirty Guide To Growth

The following is a guest post by William Griggs. William is the Founder of Startup Slingshot, the resource for battle-tested startup strategies. Access the audio interviews of today’s featured growth practitioners, the full 43 page guide, and tons of resources here (free for now).

A startup is a company designed to grow fast.”

Growth is what founders and investors alike are constantly searching for. Growth enables startups to quickly create tremendous value in the market. Without growth you’re dead in the water. But accordingly to Paul Graham, there’s a silver lining: “…if you get growth, everything else tends to fall into place.”

For a company to grow really big, it must
(a) make something lots of people want, and
(b) reach and serve all those people.”

Unfortunately for most founders, viewing their startup from this altitude isn’t extremely actionable. In this post, we’ll uncover the methodologies and tactics you will need in order to validate your business and systematically reach and serve your target market.

How do you ensure you are making something lots of people want?

Making stuff is the easy part. The key, however, is making something a lot of people want. Market selection and product/market fit are critical here.

This is where a lot of startups end up spinning their wheels. As you build product early on, how do you determine if you’re on the right track or heading towards a dead end? While every business is unique in terms of exactly what it needs to do to achieve product/market fit, the process for quantifying it is consistent.

Assuming you can’t use sales as an indicator of product/market fit, below you will find several ways Brian Balfour, VP Growth at Hubspot suggests quantifying product/market fit for your startup. The further down you go on the list, the more customers are required to receive meaningful insight.

  1. Indicator Surveys — What do people say about your product?
  2. Created by Sean Ellis, Survey.io is the perfect tool for indicator surveys. To learn how to use Survey.io, read this.

Leading Indicator Data On Engagement — How are people using your product?

  1. What are you seeing inside the product? How active are your customers?’

Retention Cohort Curve — Does your retention curve flatten off?

  1. If people consistently use your product over a certain period of time, you’ve reached product/market fit for at least a subset of the market.
  2. Unsure how to get started with cohort analysis? Read this.

Don’t have enough data to do any of these steps? Focus on executing “trickle marketing campaigns.” Sean Ellis, CEO at Qualaroo was right to say that in order to understand what your target market thinks of your solution you have to expose it to them. The trick here is to not spend money and time on a big launch, instead focus on highly targeted marketing campaign that puts your product in the hands of the target market.

Before moving on to the second piece of Paul Graham’s growth equation, it’s important to emphasize that you have to get this right.Without product/market fit you’re wasting time even thinking about growth. As a founder, your startup is like a ticking time bomb says Andy Johns, Director of Growth at Wealthfront. You have a certain amount of time before everything will explode. To extend the time allotted, you need to show growth and the first step is establishing product/market fit.

How do you ensure you reach and serve all those people?

You’ve built something that solves a problem, for at least a part of the market, and now it’s time to get it into their hands.

Three Principles For Driving Quantifiable Growth

Learning how to reach and serve your target marketing isn’t rocket science but it isn’t obvious either. Those that drive quantifiable results do so by following these three principles:

Triage: They work on the highest return on investment activities, suggests Ivan Kirigin, CEO of YesGraph.
Test: They don’t assume they know what’s going to work. Instead, they focus on generating and testing hypotheses, Ivan adds. If you don’t take the time to get your analytics straight, so you can validate assumptions you’re flying blind.
Set Goals: They have a target metric they focus on. Doing so will help you focus your efforts.

Now let’s dig into the specifics.

How To Ensure You Reach Your Target Market

When starting to think about how you are going to really invest in reaching your target market, it’s important to revisit your business model. To start, you will need to formulate your target customer acquisition cost (CAC). Doing so will help guide you in determining which channels to test. To calculate your target CAC, you must estimate the average lifetime value (LTV) of your customer (learn how to calculate LTV) and subtract your profit margin. Hitting this CAC will allow you to profitably acquire customers. While most bootstrapped companies target a CAC that is 30% of their LTV, many VC backed companies that are trying to own their market typically spend to 100% of their LTV.

With this in mind, the next step is selecting what customer acquisition channels to test first. Below, I’ve briefly summarized Brian Balfour’s blog post titled, “5 Steps To Choose Your Customer Acquisition Channel.”

Source: 5 Steps To Choose Your Customer Acquisition Channel by Brian Balfour

In this matrix, you will have a list of potential marketing channels on the left and a set of channel attributes at the top. Keep your business model, competition, and target market in mind, and begin to fill out the matrix by rating each channel using the words “low,” “medium,” and “high.”

Review your current constraints (time, money, target audience, legal, etc.) and select the top one or two channels to test for viability. The viability of a channel is determined by its ability to drive predictable returns on the time/money invested. Once you find a channel or two that works, it’s time to double down and to continue to invest in optimizing the channel.

Not sure where to start with each of these channels? Check out these videos from 500 Startups’ WMD conference.

How To Ensure You Serve Your Target Market

In addition to reaching your target market, you must also focus on optimizing the process with which you use to serve them. In this case, serving them means getting them to your product’s “wow moment.” To get more of your target market to your product’s “wow moment,” Sean Ellis suggests that you focus on increasing desire and decreasing demand.

Increasing Desire: To increase desire you are continually working to test and optimize your messaging and positioning. The thought is, “with enough desire, people will overcome a lot of friction” says Sean Ellis. To execute on this and track your progress, you will need a combination of qualitative and quantitative data. Sean emphasizes that it’s paramount to keep the ultimate product experience in mind, so that you don’t increase desire for a product promise that your product is not designed to deliver on.

Decrease Friction: This step in the process is all about conversion rate optimization. It’s about seeking out and fixing all that’s preventing people from converting, whether that’s a macroconversion, like signing up for your product, or any of the microconversions that lead up to it. To dig in further on this topic, I suggest you read Qualaroo’s, “The Beginner’s Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization.”

Conclusion

In this post, we’ve covered the essential elements to designing a startup for fast growth. If you’re farther along or you just want to dive deeper into growth for early-stage startups, you can access the audio interviews of today’s featured growth practitioners, the full 43 page guide, and tons of resources here (free for now).

Trump makes baseless claim that he won the popular vote excluding ‘millions’ of ‘illegal voters’

Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Donald Trump alleged a mysterious bloc of millions of “illegal” voters cast ballots for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton on Election Day, costing him the popular vote.

Clinton is likely to defeat Trump in the popular vote by over 2 million votes.

“In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally,” Trump wrote in a tweet Sunday, without providing any factual evidence to support his claim.

Various far-right sites known for peddling false information like InfoWars claimed following the election that close to three million immigrants living in the US without permission voted. Fact-checking sites like Politifact, Factcheck.org, and Snopes all ruled that there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

This isn’t the first time Trump has indulged his conspiratorial impulses about supposed voter fraud. Before the election, the president-elect frequently claimed that there was a “massive problem” with immigrants living without permission in the US voting despite providing no credible evidence to support his claim.

Before it was apparent that he was slated to win on Election Day, Trump’s attorneys were already preparing to challenge election results in Nevada, alleging poll workers in left-leaning precincts violated rules.

The president-elect’s allegation came as infighting over Trump’s pick for Secretary of State spilled into the public view, and as he has refused to change his business practices to reduce conflicts of interest between his business interests and American national interests.

NOW WATCH: How to move to Canada and become a Canadian citizen

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An Early-Stage Founder’s Quick & Dirty Guide To Growth

The following is a guest post by William Griggs. William is the Founder of Startup Slingshot, the resource for battle-tested startup strategies. Access the audio interviews of today’s featured growth practitioners, the full 43 page guide, and tons of resources here (free for now).

A startup is a company designed to grow fast.”

Growth is what founders and investors alike are constantly searching for. Growth enables startups to quickly create tremendous value in the market. Without growth you’re dead in the water. But accordingly to Paul Graham, there’s a silver lining: “…if you get growth, everything else tends to fall into place.”

For a company to grow really big, it must
(a) make something lots of people want, and
(b) reach and serve all those people.”

Unfortunately for most founders, viewing their startup from this altitude isn’t extremely actionable. In this post, we’ll uncover the methodologies and tactics you will need in order to validate your business and systematically reach and serve your target market.

How do you ensure you are making something lots of people want?

Making stuff is the easy part. The key, however, is making something a lot of people want. Market selection and product/market fit are critical here.

This is where a lot of startups end up spinning their wheels. As you build product early on, how do you determine if you’re on the right track or heading towards a dead end? While every business is unique in terms of exactly what it needs to do to achieve product/market fit, the process for quantifying it is consistent.

Assuming you can’t use sales as an indicator of product/market fit, below you will find several ways Brian Balfour, VP Growth at Hubspot suggests quantifying product/market fit for your startup. The further down you go on the list, the more customers are required to receive meaningful insight.

  1. Indicator Surveys — What do people say about your product?
  2. Created by Sean Ellis, Survey.io is the perfect tool for indicator surveys. To learn how to use Survey.io, read this.

Leading Indicator Data On Engagement — How are people using your product?

  1. What are you seeing inside the product? How active are your customers?’

Retention Cohort Curve — Does your retention curve flatten off?

  1. If people consistently use your product over a certain period of time, you’ve reached product/market fit for at least a subset of the market.
  2. Unsure how to get started with cohort analysis? Read this.

Don’t have enough data to do any of these steps? Focus on executing “trickle marketing campaigns.” Sean Ellis, CEO at Qualaroo was right to say that in order to understand what your target market thinks of your solution you have to expose it to them. The trick here is to not spend money and time on a big launch, instead focus on highly targeted marketing campaign that puts your product in the hands of the target market.

Before moving on to the second piece of Paul Graham’s growth equation, it’s important to emphasize that you have to get this right.Without product/market fit you’re wasting time even thinking about growth. As a founder, your startup is like a ticking time bomb says Andy Johns, Director of Growth at Wealthfront. You have a certain amount of time before everything will explode. To extend the time allotted, you need to show growth and the first step is establishing product/market fit.

How do you ensure you reach and serve all those people?

You’ve built something that solves a problem, for at least a part of the market, and now it’s time to get it into their hands.

Three Principles For Driving Quantifiable Growth

Learning how to reach and serve your target marketing isn’t rocket science but it isn’t obvious either. Those that drive quantifiable results do so by following these three principles:

Triage: They work on the highest return on investment activities, suggests Ivan Kirigin, CEO of YesGraph.
Test: They don’t assume they know what’s going to work. Instead, they focus on generating and testing hypotheses, Ivan adds. If you don’t take the time to get your analytics straight, so you can validate assumptions you’re flying blind.
Set Goals: They have a target metric they focus on. Doing so will help you focus your efforts.

Now let’s dig into the specifics.

How To Ensure You Reach Your Target Market

When starting to think about how you are going to really invest in reaching your target market, it’s important to revisit your business model. To start, you will need to formulate your target customer acquisition cost (CAC). Doing so will help guide you in determining which channels to test. To calculate your target CAC, you must estimate the average lifetime value (LTV) of your customer (learn how to calculate LTV) and subtract your profit margin. Hitting this CAC will allow you to profitably acquire customers. While most bootstrapped companies target a CAC that is 30% of their LTV, many VC backed companies that are trying to own their market typically spend to 100% of their LTV.

With this in mind, the next step is selecting what customer acquisition channels to test first. Below, I’ve briefly summarized Brian Balfour’s blog post titled, “5 Steps To Choose Your Customer Acquisition Channel.”

Source: 5 Steps To Choose Your Customer Acquisition Channel by Brian Balfour

In this matrix, you will have a list of potential marketing channels on the left and a set of channel attributes at the top. Keep your business model, competition, and target market in mind, and begin to fill out the matrix by rating each channel using the words “low,” “medium,” and “high.”

Review your current constraints (time, money, target audience, legal, etc.) and select the top one or two channels to test for viability. The viability of a channel is determined by its ability to drive predictable returns on the time/money invested. Once you find a channel or two that works, it’s time to double down and to continue to invest in optimizing the channel.

Not sure where to start with each of these channels? Check out these videos from 500 Startups’ WMD conference.

How To Ensure You Serve Your Target Market

In addition to reaching your target market, you must also focus on optimizing the process with which you use to serve them. In this case, serving them means getting them to your product’s “wow moment.” To get more of your target market to your product’s “wow moment,” Sean Ellis suggests that you focus on increasing desire and decreasing demand.

Increasing Desire: To increase desire you are continually working to test and optimize your messaging and positioning. The thought is, “with enough desire, people will overcome a lot of friction” says Sean Ellis. To execute on this and track your progress, you will need a combination of qualitative and quantitative data. Sean emphasizes that it’s paramount to keep the ultimate product experience in mind, so that you don’t increase desire for a product promise that your product is not designed to deliver on.

Decrease Friction: This step in the process is all about conversion rate optimization. It’s about seeking out and fixing all that’s preventing people from converting, whether that’s a macroconversion, like signing up for your product, or any of the microconversions that lead up to it. To dig in further on this topic, I suggest you read Qualaroo’s, “The Beginner’s Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization.”

Conclusion

In this post, we’ve covered the essential elements to designing a startup for fast growth. If you’re farther along or you just want to dive deeper into growth for early-stage startups, you can access the audio interviews of today’s featured growth practitioners, the full 43 page guide, and tons of resources here (free for now).

Car owners are complaining about 2 features in modern cars

Tesla Motors

The Tesla infotainment system in the Model X has some issues.

Consumer Reports is out with its 2016 Annual Auto Reliability Survey, and the watchdog publication has observed a troubling pair of complaints among vehicle owners and CR subscribers.

Advanced infotainment systems and more fuel-efficient multispeed transmissions are causing problems.

Neither issue should surprise anyone. In just about a decade, vehicles have gone from having radios, tape decks, and CD players to having complicated touchscreen infotainment interfaces that manage everything from GPS navigation to audio to smartphone integration.

Most automakers develop their own infotainment systems, and some work far better than others. But even with the ones that cause limited trouble, the kinks are still being worked out.

At Business Insider, we test out numerous infotainment systems, and while we don’t much care for the less user-friendly versions, we don’t usually have the vehicles long enough to see a lot of glitches. Every so often, however, we sample one that’s a huge pain to make work properly or that freezes up — or is utterly frustrating to negotiate.

The more fuel-efficient transmissions are a different story. While 4-and 5-speed automatics used to be common — and were quite reliable — newer 7-, 8-, and 9-speed units have been introduced in recent years. The additional speeds or gearings, in concert with sophisticated engine-management computers, enable cars to serve up better MPGs.

That is, when they work properly.

Lately, we’ve found that some 8- and 9-speeds to misbehave when driving. Again, we don’t test our sample cars to failure. But we can see that this might be a point of irritation for owners.

Hollis Johnson

Ah, for the good old days.

What’s disturbing about this is that the pace of infotainment development isn’t slowing down. A great deal more tech is being foisted on consumers — both because it’s possible and because car buyers are demanding it. And automakers are up against more stringent future fuel-economy standards for their fleets, to they have to come up with ways to increase MPGs overall, especially of they want to keep selling highly profitable big pickups and SUVs.

The auto industry has made tremendous strides in reliability over the past two decades, to the point that there aren’t really any truly bad cars anymore.

But if this arms race on infotainment persists, and if carmakers can’t come up with more basic ways to improve fuel economy, then the industry runs the risk of rolling back some of its hard-wrought reliability gains.

NOW WATCH: Here’s why Android Auto is far superior to Apple CarPlay

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Little Changes Can Make a Huge Difference

By Leo Babauta

When I’m feeling down, I make a list of what’s contributing to the down-ness:

Didn’t get enough sleep
Overwhelmed by too much to do
Not exercising or eating well
Got in an argument with someone
Feeling uncertainty about something

So there might be five different factors contributing to a funk. That’s a lot of things to deal with at once, and so it can be depressing to think about all the things I need to fix in order to feel better.

I can’t fix everything at once, so I just start with one step. I meditate for a couple minutes.

Then I take on another step: I make a list of what I need to do. Pick a few I can do today. A few I can do tomorrow. Vow to focus on the first one on the list.

Another step: go for a walk, get my body moving.

Then another step: talk to the person I had an argument with, in a loving, compassionate way.

Suddenly, with these small steps, I’m starting to feel better.

I spend a little time with my son, playing with him, reading with him.

I take a nap.

I eat a healthy meal.

I meditate on my uncertainty, staying with it as long as I can, with compassion and friendliness.

I go to bed early, and try to get a good night’s sleep.

I focus on one small work task at a time.

And with each step, my mood improves. One step at a time, I help myself feel better.

These are small steps, taken one at a time, with as much presence as I can muster. And they make all the difference in the world.

10 Questions I Hope I Don’t Get Asked During My Product Hunt AMA

I’m doing an “Ask Me Anything’ (AMA) session on Product Hunt tomorrow (Tuesday, Feb 23rd, 2016 at 10 am PST, 1pm EST).

Would love for you to sign-up early, because I’m insecure, egotistical and I want to impress Ryan Hoover. Would love for a decent number of people to sign-up. Or an indecent number would be even better. 350 have signed up already (before this blog post was published). Here’s the link again.

As the name implies, folks are allowed to pretty much ask me anything, and short of something that will land me in jail (do not pass GO, do not collect $200) or harm someone else, I’m going to do my best to answer everything.

Here are the questions I’m hoping I won’t get asked…

1. How does it feel, personally, to have the HubSpot stock price drop so much in the past several weeks?

2. How much weight have you gained in the past 2 years? Does it have anything to do with HubSpot being public?

3. What do you think about competitor [X] — aren’t they just awful?

4. Is there a diabolical, grand master plan behind inbound.org? Why is HubSpot investing millions of dollars in this?

5. What do you and your wife talk about at the dinner table?

6. Should I buy HubSpot stock right now? Would you buy stock if you were me?

7. Do you secretly covet Rand Fishkin’s lovely beard/fashion-sense/wife?

8. How many actual computers are in your house right now?

9. What did you think of the latest Star Wars movie?

10. What’s the super-secret thing you’re working on at HubSpot right now that most people at HubSpot don’t even know about?

11. Are you and Ryan Hoover (founder/CEO of Product Hunt) actually twins? If not, why does it seem that way?

On the other hand, there are a few questions that I think would be fun/relevant/legal:

1. I hear you really like the Amazon Echo. What’s the strangest thing you use it for on a regular basis?

2. Are you going to write another book — if so, what’s it going to be about?

3. How many domain names do you personally own? What do you do with them? What are your favorites?

4. Is it true that you had lunch with Seth Godin and asked him what he thought about the term “inbound marketing”?

5. Were you and Scott Brinker (of Marketing Tech Landscape fame) classmates at MIT? What’s he like?

6. How many marketing strategists does it take to change a light bulb?

Remember, you can not ask questions by leaving a comment below. You have to ask them at the Product Hunt LIVE AMA with Dharmesh Shah

Hope to see you there. It should be fun!

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