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Instant Polaroid film development, 2012 style

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Shake it like a Polaroid picture

When Polaroid announced they would no longer create the instant film experience of the past, few Americans that were still using Polaroids (artists, party promoters) were saddened, and others became nostalgic for yesteryear. Their PoGo product hit the market in 2008 but has seen little adoption with most users complaining of poor quality which would apparently be acceptable if the printing paper was thick and had a thick frame like old Polaroids, but not when a portable printer simply acts as a poor substituted for a non-portable printer.

Polaroid has now released the Grey Label GL10 which is an instant mobile printer that works wireleslly via Bluetooth (or via USB cable) which is said to be a much higher quality product which makes adoption more likely. The device uses ZINK (Zero Ink) printing technology which embeds color into the paper so no ink cartridges or ribbons are necessary, and it is light enough and small enough to carry in a purse or carry along in a car console.

Images printed as either a full bleed 3×4″ photo, a custom frame, or the classic Polaroid border in just over half a minute. The GL10 is a second generation product, so the chances are much higher that they have worked out the bugs of a first generation. The printer also works with any of the Polaroid apps on Android or Windows phones, but we imagine using images from the Instagram app would be the most popular use of the printer. The refills are around $20 for 30 sheets, which is less than ink for a traditional printer in many cases and while the device is currently $150, their last generation products dropped in price over time, so this could eventually drop as well.

We see a number of uses for the Grey Label GL10 ranging from a vendor booth at a conference to take pictures of attendees with their mascot on the spot, or for a Realtor to take a quick shot of their clients in front of the house they just chose and handing it to them in under a minute, or a wedding gown boutique taking instant shots of how a bride looks in her dress to compare side by side. Instant validation or gratification can help people make decisions or affirm those decisions, so this device has a great capacity for being helpful to a variety of professionals.

AGBeat is not affiliated with Polaroid.

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

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Business Marketing

Metrics that SaaS startups should track to achieve growth

(BUSINESS MARKETING) SaaS startups are also being affected by the global pandemic. These helpful metrics will help you keep track of your company’s health and hopefully, continue to propel it forward.

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SaaS metrics

SaaS companies are in hot water after over a decade of success, and SaaS startups may bear the brunt of that stress. Fortunately, there are a few steps SaaS company owners can take to mitigate some of the economic damage that would otherwise befall them.

SaaS–an acronym which stands for “Software as a Service”–companies embody an industry in which the product is largely static and accessed remotely by clients rather than living on those clients’ devices. Such company services can range from outsourced customer management, or CRM, to things like web hosting and cloud storage.

Because SaaS companies’ overhead is positioned to be relatively low, they have a little bit of freedom that many brick-and-mortar businesses are not afforded.

TNW addresses a few things you can do to keep your SaaS startup from going under during strenuous times, the first of which involves reaching out to vendors, sponsors, or landlords responsible for hosting your product, and facilitating a discount. This is, of course, easier said than done, but given that many of these sources of expenses are also affected by the ongoing pandemic, they may be more open to negotiating to everyone’s benefit.

TNW also recommends establishing a cash reserve of between 12 and 24 months’ worth of expenses for future conflicts. If that isn’t something that’s doable for now, it’s understandable.

Another metric to track is how quickly–or not quickly–customers are paying their accounts. You can expect this number to fluctuate during economic crises, but having the pertinent information up front is especially important during times such as these. Once you know what your outstanding balances are, you can begin to forecast for the coming year.

And, as with your vendors, allowing customers some flexibility for now may strengthen your relationships with them–a move that increases your company’s longevity for sure.

Tracking your product’s lifetime value (LTV)–basically your growth and profitability–is also important, especially during a period of time when customers may reasonably request discounted services. Knowing this value will help you determine how many customers are sticking around after the free trial period (if that’s your thing), and it will help shape your development going forward.

Lastly, TNW recommends keeping an eye on your refund and credit numbers to ensure that you nip any downward trends as quickly as possible. If you notice that you’re assigning an unreasonable number of credits to accounts as a measure of good faith, this metric will help you pinpoint exactly where you can cut back on the charity.

Now is the time where accessibility and profitability have to be balanced, and–as difficult as it can be to do that–keeping track of these metrics will help.

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Business Marketing

This $40 photography course bundle is a steal

(BUSINESS MARKETING) If you’re looking to improve your photography skills, or make little extra cash by taking up a side hustle, here’s a really affordable course that won’t break the bank.

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photography

If you’ve been looking for a new skill to pick up while sitting at home, photography might be a good place to start–especially considering that, as of right now, you can experience hundreds of hours of professional photography training for the cost of a few Starbucks runs.

As KnowTechie points out, a photography suite called “Pro Photography & Photoshop 20 Course Bundle” on StackSocial is usually valued at nearly $2000 for access–but, for the next 48 hours, it’s available for $40.

That’s a pretty significant price drop, so if you have a camera and some free time, it’s probably a good idea to snap this one up.

The 20-course bundle includes, appropriately, 20 courses which span over 1000 lessons. You’ll learn everything from basic camera handling to advanced PhotoShop and Lightroom use. The bundle even includes specific courses on niche markets like wedding photography.

While this bundle doesn’t provide you with the aforementioned software, you can actually download and use both Lightroom and PhotoShop for, like, 10 bucks a month–plenty of time to experiment with them within the confines of the course, and without breaking the bank.

You’d be well within your rights to question the validity of photography as a pursuit during a pandemic, but there are a couple of benefits to picking up a new trade–the first of which is its surprising prevalence of contracted photography in the past few months. Similarly, anticipating the sheer number of photographable events that will take place post-lockdown–weddings, festivals, and so on–means that learning how to take a nice photo isn’t such a bad idea.

And, with the gig economy poised to proceed in the coming months, having an artistic skill–even as a back-up option–can’t hurt.

Of course, if you don’t own a camera or have the funds to purchase one, this probably isn’t the best use of your time or money for now. That said, if you’re positioned to use an existing camera–even if you have to borrow it–and you have even a passing interest in photography, this is an opportunity you probably don’t want to miss.

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Business Marketing

Google Analytics will now filter out bot traffic

(BUSINESS NEWS) Bender won’t be happy that Google Analytics will now automatically remove bot traffic from your results, but it’ll help your business.

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google analytics bot

In the competitive, busy world of online content, Google Analytics can help businesses and online publications deliver what their audience and consumers want. Now Google is finally taking the step of filtering out bot traffic in your Google Analytics reporting. This is excellent news!

In the world of websites, online news sites, blogs, and social media, bots are the bane of our existence. In their finest form, they are the electronic equivalent of junk mail. At their worst, they can carry malicious malware and viruses to your site and computer. They can even flood the internet with unfounded rumors that can have an impact on people’s opinions–stirring the political pot or lending misleading numbers to drive unfounded rumors, such as wearing a mask is dangerous. No it’s not! Chalk that nonsense up to bots and crackpots.

For businesses that rely on Google Analytics to determine what content is not only reaching but also resonating with potential customers, filtering out the bot traffic is crucial to determining the best course of action. Bots skew the data and therefore, end up costing businesses money.

Bots set up for malicious purposes crawl the internet looking for certain information or user behaviors. Bad bots can steal copyrighted content and give it to a competitor. Having identical copies on two sites hurts your site and can dink your SEO ranking. However, good bots can seek out duplicate content and other copyright infringements, so the original content creator can report them.

However, it is important for companies and content creators to know if their content is actually reaching real live humans. To this end, Google will start filtering out bot traffic automatically. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) actually provides an International Spiders and Bots list, through which Google can more easily identify bots. They use the list and their own internal research to seek out bots in action, crawling through the internet and confusing things.

Google says the bot traffic will be automatically filtered out of the Google Analytics results–users don’t have the choice. Some may argue there is a good reason to see all of the data, including bots. Many businesses and online publications, though, will be relieved to have a much clearer vision of what content genuinely appeals to humans, to readers and potential customers. It is a welcomed advancement.

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