3.5 Years of Uncertainty (and counting)

Three and a half years packed with ups and downs (and some of the most historical and unexpected world events since the 40s.)

The 2020s are a turbulent decade. I’m sincerely hopeful that the global roller coaster will finally slow down and normalize.

As an advocate of agility, I’m all about innovation and progress – but not at the cost of a global pandemic mixed in with 5X economic growth followed by waves of layoffs, and the premise of a global recession stacked between a metaverse, failing banks and crypto exchanges, and the rise of the robots (i.e. AI.)

We’ve seen the HR realm exploding with the great resignation, return to the office, quiet hiring, quiet quitting, and other great and quiet flavors.

And we’re not out of the woods yet. Some of the highlights over the past week:

  • The US government shutdown got averted. The government was funded over the next 45 days – but how long would that last? This causes uncertainty in the US economy – and for good measures. US bond rates are up and the stock market isn’t. The world’s reserved currency is looking less appealing with any vote of raising the ceiling.
  • 7% fed rate isn’t impossible. The current Fed Funds Rate is 5.5% with the previous highs of 2.4% in 2019. This impacts loan opportunities for individuals and businesses, including mortgages.

There are upcoming shopping events in the coming few months – the Amazon Big Deals Days in Oct 10-11, Halloween, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, New Year, and smaller ones in-between. Financial uncertainty – and raising credit card debt – may impact order rates consecutively.


I’ve shared some tactical ideas on Ecommerce in my latest Forbes piece, delved into WordPress growth, participated in an AI event, and co-hosted a meetup with NitroPack for the local WP squad.

Read in for added thoughts & notes further. And if you want to discover more – hit Reply and let me know.

Yours,
Mario

My Take

✍️ Cultivating E-Commerce Loyalty with Care Before and After Purchases –      E-commerce companies operate in a highly competitive environment, and providing a great post-purchase experience is essential for customer retention and long-term sustainability. This can be achieved through strategies such as implementing real-time order tracking, sending personalized follow-ups, offering simple returns, and addressing cart abandonment, thereby cultivating customer loyalty and improving the overall buyer experience.

✍️ 5 Tips to Help Succeed in the World of WordPress – In the dynamic world of technology and business, exceptional leadership is crucial for enterprises to thrive and adapt to ever-changing market landscapes.

✍️ Can Digital Consultants Revolutionize Innovation for SMEs – This week’s focus is on how digital consultants can drive innovation for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Newsletter Recommendations

📧 Stacked Marketer – One of my go-to newsletters and a business that we’ve worked with a while ago on the DevriX front. It is loved by marketers who get hands-on with campaigns, who need to stay up-to-date with frequently changing platforms., who need to get an edge, and who need to achieve outsized results with limited resources, aka performance-focused marketers.

📧 The Average JoeMarket trends & insights that are simple, concise, and impactful. This newsletter stands out to me due to the 200,000+ audience that goes through market trends and ideas together.

📧 The Early Bird – А special 7:00AM newsletter for those in the US, who feel to be at an information disadvantage. This newsletter covers early stories, that will impact the market every day.

📧 Morning Brew – Аn absolute classic, the Morning Brew delivers top news from a business-minded angle, and delivers it in a short, easy-to-read, actionable, and entertaining way.

Business Strategy

📄 TikTok Parent’s Finances Shows Slowing Revenue Growth – ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, significantly improved its financial performance, with an operating profit of nearly $6 billion in Q1 2023, nearly double the previous year’s figure, by reducing expenses. however, despite substantial revenue growth, ByteDance’s revenue growth rate decreased compared to the previous year, and it offered to buy back shares from employees as it works to navigate challenges such as increased competition and political uncertainties surrounding TikTok’s safety and data handling in the U.S.

📄 Over 40% of Labor Force Could Be Affected in Next Three Years – Morgan Stanley’s recent forecast predicts a substantial transformation in the labor market driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI), with an expected 44% of the workforce impacted in the next few years, resulting in a projected economic impact of $4.1 trillion by automating tasks, altering business processes, and changing information analysis, particularly through the expansion of generative AI; this transformation presents significant opportunities for software vendors, potentially capturing a market worth $205 billion over the next three years, and emphasizes the importance of upskilling and responsible AI use for both businesses and policymakers to navigate this evolving AI-driven economy while fostering trust and growth.

📄 Congress avoids a government shutdown – The Senate voted 88-9 to pass a short-term bill to keep the government open through Nov. 17, averting a shutdown crisis, following a bipartisan vote in the House, signed into law by President Joe Biden; however, the deal excludes aid to Ukraine, which will be considered separately, and the Senate leaders expressed commitment to providing additional aid for Ukraine while labeling the resolution a “big victory” on funding levels and government stability, with President Biden emphasizing the importance of avoiding such crises in the future and holding House Republicans accountable for backing out of a budget deal.

📄 LinkedIn new AI tools – LinkedIn is introducing a range of new AI features across its job hunting, marketing, and sales products, including an AI-enhanced Recruiter talent sourcing platform using generative AI for improved candidate searches, an AI-powered LinkedIn Learning coach for soft skills training, and an AI tool called Accelerate for marketing campaigns, though limited to LinkedIn’s platform data; additionally, AI is being integrated into Inside Sales functions for easier B2B lead generation and engagement, marking a shift as LinkedIn leverages technology from Microsoft and OpenAI to enhance its offerings and keep up with evolving AI trends in mainstream use.

📄 Elon Musk sued for defamation – Elon Musk has been hit with a defamation lawsuit alleging that he falsely claimed a recent college graduate, Benjamin Brody, was a federal agent undercover with a neo-Nazi organization in the Pacific Northwest after a scuffle at an LGBTQ pride event; the lawsuit accuses Musk of amplifying false claims, resulting in harassment and doxxing of Brody and his family, with Mark Bankston, the lawyer known for taking on high-profile defamation cases, leading the legal action against Musk.

Global News

📈 The recent spike in yields on long-term U.S. Treasury securities has led to significant declines in certain sectors of the S&P 500, providing potential buying opportunities for contrarian investors with a long-term perspective. By screening the S&P 500 for companies trading below their long-term forward price-to-earnings (P/E) valuation averages and focusing on those most favored by analysts, investors can identify potentially undervalued stocks with attractive upside potential.

  • S&P: 4,273 (-1.47%)

📈 Mortgage rates have been increasing for some time, with the popular 30-year fixed rate loan breaking through 7 percent this summer. After a stretch of record lows, rates sprang forward in 2022 thanks to inflation and the Federal Reserve’s response. The Fed last hiked its key interest rate in July, the latest in a tightening cycle that began last year.

  • 30-year mortgage rate: 7.80% (+0.05%)
  • 15-year mortgage rate: 6.97% (+0.08%)

📈 The Federal Reserve Board on Monday started Instagram and Threads accounts with the aim of increasing the accessibility and availability of Board news and educational content.

📰 This week’s news mainly cover The House’s movements, along with a trip to a nearly 30-year old murder case:

  • Rep. Matt Gaetz triggers a vote to oust Kevin McCarthy as House speaker.
  • The House passes a 45-day stopgap measure to keep the government open, sending the bill to the Senate.
  • Police arrest man who was the target of a search warrant in the decades-long investigation of Tupac Shakur’s 1996 murder.

Investing Updates

If you’re more interested in networking opportunities, you can visit ISTAcon in Sofia on October 12th. In any case, let’s have a look at this week’s offers:

  • Swipe – raising €1,000,000 to scale its refurbishing smartphones solution in Central-Eastern Europe. 
  • MEDIjobs– raising €650,000 to improve the hiring process in the medical sector. 
  • Tendertec – is raising €1,000,000 to scale its statistics modeling services for embedded systems. 

Note: Got a round going that you want to feature – your own business or a portfolio company? Get in touch.

  • Tactical Gear Store – This well-established business sells medical kits and tactical survival gear and equipment. It boasts a dedicated and loyal customer base, consistently achieving a 63% profit margin.
    • Monthly Profit: $17.6K
    • Annual Revenue: $337.8K
    • Age: 14 years
  • Health Products Review Blog – A long-established blog operating in the ever popular health niche, with a high profit margin of 94%. Monetized through affiliate sales, the blog counts 97% organic and direct traffic, 2.1K email subscribers and ranks for 9.9K related keywords.
    • Monthly Profit: $11K
    • Monthly Page Views: $300K
    • Age: 7 years
  • Networking Hardware Content Site – This three-year-old business operates in the unique niche of networking hardware and Internet Service Providers, offering tips and reviews on products. Monetized through ads and affiliate sales, the site generated a TTM revenue of $185K, with a 93% profit margin.
    • Monthly Profit: $3.9K
    • Monthly Page Views: 29.5K
    • Authority Score: 30

Need My Help?

I’m involved with a number of initiatives – here’s what I can do to help you:

🌐 Scalable and secure WordPress? DevriX provides WordPress retainers to SMEs, publishers, eCommerce, SaaS, and more. Our plans start from $1,200/mo to $40K/mo for anything from support through engineering, CRO, performance, security, to fractional CXO services and managing the data stacks of large corps.

🛒 Running on Shopify? Set up Rush now and increase your revenue with post-purchase orders automatically!

🚀 Want to scale and optimize your business? Growth Shuttle offers personalized advisory plans starting at $350/hr. Tap into my personal pool of business know-how and my data warehouse of industry data.

👥 Want access to my blueprints/books and a weekly Slack planning session? Join my Community and grab my Entrepreneurship book

💼  Looking for investment opportunities? Check out SeedBlink.

💡 Eager to incorporate my recommended solutions? Track my angel investments. Sharing, applying for open roles, or writing reviews helps a ton.  And anything else I try to publish on my blog and my courses here!