Intuit Turn Tax Makes Filing Taxes Hard

https://www.propublica.org/article/how-the-maker-of-turbotax-fought-free-simple-tax-filing

HackerEarth

I looked around for a good programming challenges site to continue to hone my programming skills and the best one I found was HackerEarth.com. The site is built by an Indian so the English is pretty poor, but the functionality of the editor is the best I’ve seen and it is a easy and user friendly site. I intend to try to solve one small programming challenge each day to continue to build on my skills. I am using PHP, but eventually might test out Java.

Pricing advice from HN

I always start my service for free, and tell them at some point I’m going to charge pricing, but the first 100 users don’t have to pay EVER.

After I get ~50 – ~300 users, I tell them I’m going to set pricing. I usually do this with a pop up or email. They then have a drop down with “how much would you be willing to pay monthly for this service”

Usually you get some range, say $5/month to $100/month. I usually pick one standard deviation above the average. So in this case, let’s call that $60/month.

Then, I usually will A/B test pricing by changing it month by month with “sales” so my current customers don’t get too angry.

I’ve done this three times on my products and several times for others. Thus far, it’s worked very well. You don’t always want to capture the most customers to make the most profit. This method has you start at the top of what people would be willing to pay and work down.

Plus, you start with a user base for free that share you with their friends. Seriously, this has been the best way to jump start the business.

What I hate worst about the agency business

We have lots of clients who have seen insane increases in their results… I am talking increases from $271k a month in organic search revenue to $440k a month in organic search revenue in just a twelve month period… Cancel! It’s absolutely insane.

I think the problem is that I need people on the ground in their offices. When clients don’t see someone, they don’t seem to understand work is still being done.

Big Business Goals For Next 3 Months

I am going to try build up management tools in my Scoretask application for the rest of Coalition’s internal processes. I have already built awesome tools for recruiting, training, management feedback, task management, and link building. Copy management is in progress. After that, I will work on SEO metrics and checklist, sales, management reports, retain and web development management tools.

Should be fun!

Pilot License

I think I am going to work on getting my private pilot’s license. This seems like it would be a pretty useful skill to have.

10 Hours Today and Counting

I forgot to do my blog post this morning and don’t have much energy left for it now as I have been in the office since 8 am this morning and even missed my nap today.

Where To Live Long Run

Laurel and I continue to debate about where would be best for us to live long term:

  • Culver City – close to business, close to rock climbing gym & good activities
  • Long Beach / PV – less expensive (but still expensive), close to Jeremy and Dorothy, 1 hour drive to work
  • Puyallup – no income taxes, lowest cost housing, family nearby, nothing fun to do, long way from business
  • Other options – Big Bear? Austin?

Expanded Career Advice

I will expand on my previous post where I quoted someone from Reddit saying basically that no one knows what to do with their lives and when you try something you often build more enthusiasm for it.

I think that this is something that is very true. If you bring passion to your job (whatever it is – garbage man, graveyard shift shelf stocker, financial analyst, etc), you will over time grow more excited about your work. Your expertise will deepen in your area. You will evolve to become that person.

The worst thing you can possibly do is to sit and wait for the “perfect career”. That will never come. Try a flawed job in an area that is interesting to you and you will often find you can work your way up to much better perches.

Best Advice on Dream Careers from Reddit

Enthusiasm is learned.

Had a big heart to heart with a college professor right before graduating, about how I don’t know what I want to do or what my “dream career” is.

Her response: nobody does. Those people who say they do, don’t. Find a job, you’ll learn you become passionate about it whatever it is you’re doing.

Of the three people who graduated that semester with physics degrees, I’m the only one who’s ended up with a decent job in my field out of college. I found an imperfect job and learned to be passionate about it. They call me lucky but I know the truth.