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Max Yampolsky

Is Notion a viable platform for a blog or a personal website?

In early 2021 I started thinking about a personal blog website to grow my digital presence.

Considering all the latest tech industry changes, I was hesitant to immediately stick to conventional options like WordPress and Webflow. Rather, I wanted to make a proper analysis of the currently available platforms on the market and substantiate my choice.

I wanted to make sure the solution not only covers my basic criteria for a website but also is the most technologically advanced.

I researched many viable options on the market, including Webflow, Notion, static site generators (e.g., Hugo, Jekyll), and WordPress.

Ultimately, I…


Analysis of Sahil Lavingia’s “No Meetings, No Deadlines, No Full-Time Employees” approach undertaken at Gumroad

I recently came across an article by Sahil Lavingia called No Meetings, No Deadlines, No Full-Time Employees.

Shortly described, Sahil Lavingia (CEO of Gumroad) managed to create a successful digital product with millions of users without full-time employees in a fully distributed environment.

I was fascinated by the approach and the scale at which the company with such an environment operated.

So I decided to investigate and study it in more detail and answer the following question:

How did Gumroad manage to achieve such ⭐ success working with the “No Meetings, No Deadlines, No Full-Time Employees” policy?

And the sub-question:


Shortened summary of key lessons from The ONE Thing

One book that profoundly impacted my life and changed how I approach the things I do every day.

Here are 3 powerful insights from The ONE Thing. Enjoy!

1. Not everything matters equally

Not everything matters equally.

Many people fail to acknowledge this truth because it’s hidden behind the false sense of urgency of things jumping at us every day.

The things which are most important don’t always scream the loudest.

And that’s true for the entrepreneurial life; things like recruiting the right talent or writing the content don’t yell, “We need to get done right NOW!” …


Recently, I reviewed data on the completed to-dos for 186 previous days to reflect on my monthly performance. I ultimately wanted to find out what has the most impact on my daily productivity.

After reviewing the data, I was surprised by the findings — there were clear, distinct Top-3 factors that determine day-to-day output.

3. Separate maker and manager time

#3 reason for degraded productivity is the inability to handle time and different activities properly.

When you’re an entrepreneur, there is a lot of manager time — meetings, Slack/Email communication, reviews, plannings, etc.

But there is also always a big pile of maker-type activities that need…


Shortened summary of key lessons from Why We Sleep

1. Sleep is not one of the life pillars. It is the foundation

Sleep is not the absence of wakefulness. It is far more than that.

People often say, “Sleep is the third pillar of good health, alongside diet and exercise.” In reality, sleep is more important and has a direct influence on both diet and exercise.

For example, we will consume more food after not getting enough sleep. People, on average, eat 300 more calories more each day when short of sleep. That’s because 2 hormones that control your appetite (ghrelin and leptin) go out of balance after insufficient sleep.

When sleep-deprived, you will also be more likely to eat sugar- and…


Shortened summary of key lessons from Thinking, Fast and Slow

Nothing in life is as important as you think it is, while you are thinking about it

1. We use 2 types of thinking

According to Kahneman, two opposing systems co-exist in the human brain and jointly help us navigate life: System 1 and System 2.

System 1 (fast thinking) operates automatically and quickly, with little or no effort and no sense of voluntary control. System 1 is an intuitive system that cannot be turned off; it helps us perform most of the cognitive tasks that everyday life, such as identifying threats, navigating our way home on familiar roads, knowing that 2+2=4, recognize friends, and so on.


What you should pay attention to in your organization? Lessons from the industry failures.

Around 20% of startups fail in the first year. 34% of startups close within their first two years. And just over 50% of businesses make it to their fifth year.

Below are the top-5 reasons based on the CB Insights report.

1. No market need

42% of the startups failed because there was no market need for their product or service, as their founders reported.

They either didn’t create something that people wanted or they were targeting the wrong users. Alternatively, their acquisition strategy was not right.

Regardless of the key reason, as a founder, you need to understand that unless you’ve invented free…


What are the key traits of a truly great tech startup?

Introduction

Many ideas are created every day, and many businesses are opened to support those ideas. But only a fraction of them will stand out.

Your startup has only a 1.28% chance to become a unicorn ($1B+ valuation) after you raised your first round of funding.

Several key traits distinguish exceptional products from mediocre ones.

1. Technology

Is your technology a significant advance or only incremental improvement?

The technology may be your greatest possible asset because it makes your product difficult to copy. For example, proprietary technologies used in Google’s search algorithms for query auto-completion make the search engine hard to replicate.

For…


Why do I reorganize my mobile home screen every month?

I find the state of my mobile home screen to be the reflection of who I am.

It is also an important factor for focus and productivity — I don’t want to get distracted by new messages from Instagram or Twitter every time I unlock my phone.

For me, everything must have its own place and purpose. That’s why every month, I spend 15–30 minutes organizing apps and widgets on my phone screen.

I have 4 different home screens.


…and you should, too!

Over the last 7 months, I completed 19 audiobooks.

On average, I spend 48 minutes every day listening (~ that’s around 32 pages).

I found books, specifically audiobooks, to have a profound impact on shaping my personality.

I can even say with straight confidence that audiobooks are the primary source of change in my life.

Big thanks to Vadym Ovcharenko for sparking my initial interest and sourcing the recommendations.

What do I read?

I aim to read something that will help me grow. I usually read things that will lead me to find answers or generate new ideas.

I do…

Max Yampolsky

⚡Digital startup entrepreneur. Writing about tech, freelancing, self-improvement. Co-founder @ OB Trading. https://yampolskymax.com

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