Chip Is Alive!, Issue 7

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Welcome to Issue 7 of Chip Is Alive!, where we examine thought-provoking life strategies and issues which may or may not be of interest to you. Chip Is Alive! is inspired by Chip Vivant, the app who thinks he's alive and wants to be your friend and help you in ways that other productivity apps can't. You can meet Chip at

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In this issue, we'll:

  • talk about things I learned about entrepreneurship at an Internet Marketing conference I recently went to
  • talk about Chip's Challenges feature

Enjoy. Feedback always welcome.

Internet Marketing Super Conference

Last week, I was in Santa Barbara attending the Ontraport Internet Marketing Superconference. The lineup of speakers was pretty amazing: Eben Pagan, Marie Forleo, Les McKeown, Max Simon, Mike Hill, Juan Martitegui, Chris Haddad, Bryan Franklin, and Landon Ray (the CEO of Ontraport). You'd usually have to pay several thousands of dollars to see any one of them in person. Since they were all customers of Ontraport, however, they agreed to come speak at this event since they were happy with the product. (Note that I'm not currently an Ontraport customer nor do I have any affiliate relationship with them.)

After the conference, I attended an additional software entrepreneurship gathering held by one of the speakers. This was exclusively for people who had a software business and wanted to present their services or products and get feedback. I got to network with a few amazing people, and we'll see what comes out of those relationships.

There were a few things I learned from both the conference and the software entrepreneurship gathering that I felt worth sharing:

  • Bryan Franklin told me I needed to stop sending the entirety of my weekly blog post in the weekly newsletter. There's nothing underhanded about this, but the reason is to drive more traffic to the website. I currently don't have any way of commenting on the newsletter other than the EmpathyNow Facebook page, but that could change in the future.
  • Entrepreneurs are a different breed of people: looking to create mechanisms for transferring value where these mechanisms don't already exist. This is a very different mindset than "find someone to give you a job", which constitutes the majority of my programming and is a very difficult paradigm to shake off.
  • Successful businesspeople come in all shapes and sizes and employ a wide range of techniques to their success. The only common characteristics I saw were perseverance and willingness to pivot and try something new if what they were attempting failed repeatedly.
  • Getting paying customers is very important. This may sound obvious, but a lot of software developer entrepreneur wannabes (myself included many times) spend months to years developing a product in secret without customer feedback that no one necessarily wants. EmpathyNow had a pretty quick development cycle because I wanted it to be a springboard for further discussion. The life coach features were developed after a life coach took interest in it and made feature suggestions. I received a number of other very useful suggestions at these conferences.

I approached Marie Forleo, asking her several questions. The main thing I wanted to ask her went back to our Follow Your Passion series. Recall that when I asked her about the Universe not giving a fair shake to disadvantaged people, she responded:

Hi Mohan, I think one of the most inspiring parts of this film [Half the Sky] addresses your exact question! ;) When you watch it, you'll see incredible stories of individuals who have experienced the most devastating circumstances, and yet.. discovered their own worth and their power, and are now creating hope and change for others. Those moments of change inspired through the power of God/Source/Universe (whatever name works for you!), whether through someone's divine connection to spirit or by the vehicle of another kind human being, that is what is so beautifully shown in this work. That's why the film and the book is SO powerful and inspiring. It's about stories of hope and possibility for all of us. I really think you'll enjoy it!

Well I watched most of the film (still need to finish the rest), and I ended up feeling the same way as before, probably even worse because although I can definitely relate to spreading good in the world, I feel a lot of times that we're doing it despite the fact that the universe is unjust. So I approached Marie during the conference and asked her about that and she replied that that was more a question for a pastor or counselor, but that she preferred not to dwell on those sorts of questions and focus on simply doing good. Fair enough.

Chip's Tips: Challenges

In addition to To-Dos and Empathetic Notifications, which we covered in previous weeks, Chip allows you do set up challenging moments for yourself to get through difficult times of the day. If you know that between 6pm and 8pm, you have trouble not smoking a cigarette or resisting junk food cravings, you can set up a challenge and Chip will check in on you during these times. I send myself periodic reminders during the day to ask if I'm staying on task. As with all of Chip's notifications, you can talk back to him, telling him you're doing well or not well, or even telling him to skip today because you don't want to be bothered.

For more details, click here.


Thanks to all the great people I met at the conference and software entrepreneurship event, especially the ones who gave me really good advice (including, but not limited to Bryan Franklin, Jennifer Russell, Marie Forleo, Debbie Spellman, Diane Craig, Landon Ray, Juan Martitegui, Jeffrey Ringold, Ramesh Thalli, Eben Pagan, and Max Simon. And thanks again to the folks at Ontraport for what seems like a great product and definitely a great conference.

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