Thursday, June 23, 2016

Google Play Music vs. Prime Music

Comparison of Google Play and Amazon

I am an Amazon Prime member so that I have free access to their "Prime Music". Prime music is a full-scale music subscription. 

Google Play Music vs Amazon Prime MusicOne would think that because of that I have a strong bias towards Amazon. And I had. Amazon used to be my favorite company for many years.  A while ago, I still decided to try out Google Music. 

Here is a comparison of both services:

Available artists

Both companies offer an extremely broad spectrum of mainstream and less popular artists. From my experience (and I am listening to some rather uncommon artists) and in the tests that I did for this comparison, they basically scored even. Of one artist one has a few titles more, of the next one the other service wins. 

But, what I loved from Apple, Google has podcasts. Therefore: 

Google wins. 

Storage

Amazon offers free storage for all music you purchased from them. They do not count towards your allowance. That applies to Google Play Music as well. 

Amazon allows you to upload up to 250 songs without charge. Google lets you upload 50,000 songs. Yes, 50,000. A "music subscription" for $ 25 (annually) enables you to upload up to 250,000 songs to Amazon. 

If you chose to cancel your subscription Amazon will not send you a warning. On the day your subscription ends you will lose access to your uploaded songs. They keep them for a year and if you re-subscribe during this time you will regain access. Or you can delete your imported songs and start fresh with up to 250. 

$ 25 is a great price but I still do not like the fact that without any warning you lose access to your uploads. We all prefer being invited to hard-selling, right? And please see "Security of your music" below.

Google is the clear winner. 

Music Subscription

Google offers a few songs and albums for free - so does Amazon. Again, both companies offer extremely large amounts of songs and there will not be many artists who ever came out with an album you will not find. 

The monthly fee for the Google Play Music service is 9.99. You get access to 35 million (!) songs. There had been rumours that Amazon is going to offer a "Music only" subscription. I have not heard from that in a while and a google search also did not lead to results so that I think they dropped the idea. After all, they use the free services to push their main service, Prime. 

Amazon Prime music offers access to over 1 million songs for free. 

I am not sure how to score a winner. Obviously, 35 million songs are better than 1 million and free is better than $ 120 per year. I´ll put it like this: If for some reason you are not a Prime Member and do not want to become one google is the crystal clear winner. 

But if you are a Prime Member anyway and use other peaks of the Prime Membership, unless you are a music freak it´s probably not necessary to pay for another subscription so that in that scenario Amazon is the clear winner.


Compatibility

Both companies offer apps for PC, phones, tablets. It comes as no surprise that the Google front end is conveniently integrated into your browser while you have to download and install the Amazon music app. 

You can go to your library via a web browser with Amazon too but you cannot upload your songs via Chrome. I did not bother to install another browser to try. It´s 2016 and 34.7 % of people use Google Chrome. Just work around their special flash player! It´s not rocket science. 

Both do not have an app for the Apple watch ):

Google wins this one. 


Security of your music

Before I relocated from Germany, I copied my CD´s. My own CD´s -  purchased in a store. When I tried to upload them to Amazon, they would only play a loud sound. Amazon was of the opinion I did not legally own them. 

I do not appreciate a storage service to play police; especially when it makes mistakes. Two other things happened at the same time: The USB stick I stored the music on broke and Amazon changed their storage rules. I do not remember how many songs you were allowed to have back then ... they lowered it to 250 and did not like today have the option of restoring it. 

They just deleted my music. UN-BE-LIEVABLE!

That happened 3 years ago, and they probably changed this. That might be an emotional way to look at it, but basically, Amazon stole my music. At least that is how it felt - and you do not forget who steals from you. 

I am pretty sure if Google would lower the allowance of songs you can store they would give you not one but probably three warnings and not delete your music. When my Google drive subscription ran out I could still download all of my content. 

You guess it. Google wins. 

Import

Both compare songs you upload to their libraries. For some reason, Amazon until this day has an annoyingly high error rate. 

Often albums that ARE in their library get detected correctly but the songs are being called 1, 2, 3, 4 etc. I have 12 songs called each number. Obviously, you cannot search for the song titles. They also very, very often mess up songs you even purchased from them. 

For instance: 7 albums I purchased from them as well as many imported (including popular albums like Caribou, Franz Ferdinand, and Bear in Heaven)  end up as separate albums. So you would have more than one album with the same name and one would contain most songs, the other only one song or a few. 

I also purchased an album from Amazon that consists of only two songs. The songs have the same name, only one has the addition "day" and the other one "night". I see both songs in my Amazon library. But on any other device, I can only see and therefore play one of the songs. 

Maybe it would work to manually on your computer create playlists for all songs from an album and then it works on all devices - I found another solution you will see in the conclusion. 

While Google is able to figure the artist from the file name (or however ...), Amazon has severe problems with recognizing any song that is not in their catalog. And as discussed with many songs from their own store. 

In all neutrality (hahaha) and fairness I cannot say: Google is the winner. I will have to say: Amazon is the loser. 

Radio

Both services offer a radio function. There is not much to say about this: Amazon has a very limited amount of "radio stations" that are 100 % mainstream only. 

Google has a service like iHeart radio and others. They have ready-made stations but you can also choose the artist of your liking and the system creates a station for you. 

Unless you have a paid membership, sadly, you only have a limited amount of  "skips". Songs you give "thumbs up" get added to a playlist. 

If only Google had an apple watch function ... I am always happy for every app I need less and this could replace my iHeart and potentially Tunein radio. 

Google is WAY better (which is easy when you have all the data in the world to analyze) than any other service I tried (Spotify, Last FM (when they still existed), iHeart, TuneIn...) in adding "similar artists" that I really enjoy. 

Again, they do have an unfair advantage by being in possession of unimaginable amounts of our personal data - but it´s not about market fairness for me when I want to listen to good music. 

Google wins.

Advertisements

Google shows advertisements. At least to me as a free user. Amazon only advertises their own services and products. 

Amazon´s ads are less intrusive and less annoying. 

Amazon wins. 

Conclusion

If you are a Prime Member with a "regular" taste in music there is no need for you to pay for a music subscription other than the $ 25 per year "music subscription" if you want to upload more than 250 of your own songs. 

While I am writing this article my songs are uploading to Google Play Music even though I am a Prime Member. Some music is a tad cheaper on Amazon.

My first thought was: But when I buy songs from Amazon I would have to upload them manually if I switch to google. That was another annoying thing about Amazon. It can add your songs to iTunes. But my iTunes is not on the same machine as my music. I sync to iTunes from a removable hard disk. 

There is an effortless workaround, though: In the Amazon Music App you can choose to auto-download your purchases while in the Google Play Music App you can select which folders on your computer you want google to auto-synch.  

Google is better in many aspects that are important to me personally: 
  • Integrated, state-of-the-art radio function
  • Free upload of 50000 songs
  • Nearly no mistakes with tagging or missing files, no matter if recorded from youtube, purchased from Amazon or recorded via some other app
  • Better frontend
  • Podcasts!!! Without podcasts you (or at least I) still need iTunes
PS: You can find my podcast there too!

PSPS: Should you not be a Prime member yet: In addition to the free music service the membership includes a "Netflix" (video offer), free 2-day shipping on many items, a free book rental per month and many other perks.

Free trial HERE


Saturday, May 28, 2016

Everwebinar + WebinarJam Review

One of the best Webinar Systems

I loved Everwebinar a lot. Sadly, I had to leave after a few weeks for a reason that probably does to you: I was not able to add javascript to my sign-up page. My affiliate tracking worked with javascript so that in consequence I was not able to track the sales of affiliates.

Most affiliate tracking systems work differently so that this probably does not apply to you. In that case, you should give Everwebinar / WebinarJam a close look.

WebinarJam is the Live Webinar System of the same company that produces Everwebinar. Therefore, the integration is seamless. More about WebinarJam later.


Everwebinar Review


Everwebinar is the best Evergreen option I have tried. I did not try Infusionsoft, which  I guess (at the price for a month what the expensive alternatives cost per year) could be even better.

I will not focus on standard features lists - first of all, you can see them on their site anyway and second of all it´s boring. I will mention if I disliked any standard features or if they were missing.

Things like: accessible with tablets, mobiles, different browsers, customizable template, etc. in my opinion, do not have to be mentioned.

The functionality is comparable to stealth seminar. The system comes at a way lower price and with way better support.

While the limit with stealth seminar is 100 webinars per month (that might sound a lot, but it´s not if you use "webinar on demand" or replays. The customer service at stealth service was horrific, after asking three times (twice per email and once per chat), the owner - who sent useless replies personally but never answered my simple question -  I gave up. They did not tell me what happens after the 100th webinar .... can you pay for more? Is it over for the month? Will clients see a "sorry this broadcaster has reached his limit, come back next month"?


Back to Everwebinar. The good and the ugly:

The good

  • Unlimited Webinars
  • Unlimited participants (one person said over 900 people the resolution goes down but I guess over 900 members is a problem most of us would love to have)
  • The number of attendees can be suppressed or ... faked. If you ever wondered how that one vendor gets hundreds of people in each of his webinars - many of the larger vendors are clients of Everwebinar - there were probably fewer people in the room. That feature is very handy if you are brand new and have two people at your first webinar. 
  • Chat ... You can add you own chat, and you can add the chat of each webinar to your next webinar. Over time, you get an impressive chat roll. 
  • You can choose the following options: Chat (live or your texts or both), "Ask a question" (that is sent to your email) or you can suppress both options. 
  • Webinarbot can show your offer at the time of your choosing. Or announcements, texts ... 
  • Live / Hybrid / Automated Webinars. Meaning: You can broadcast live, you can broadcast a recording but still be there and handle the chat or you can go to the beach and have yourself a nice day
  • Good support. The support is way over average. 
  • Extensive training material. 
  • Active community on Facebook 
  • The BEST statistic function I had with any of the 12 solutions I tried. I miss that. You can export every bit of information conveniently for follow-up and analysis
  • You do not have to record a live webinar to be able to automate it - you can start with a movie from the beginning on (many solutions like for instance "Run a Webinar" do not offer this).  Run A Webinar Review
You might tell from my tone: I was morose I had to leave. Such a great team of people and as you can see above: Great list of features. 

The ugly

  • Sign-up page can be customized, but you cannot use your own and therefore
  • Javascript cannot be added. You can integrate Google Analytics and HTML - but not javascript
  • Download your chat before you switch to "ask a question". You can upload your chat (commata separate CSV), but if you do not download your chat before you change the option, for instance because you cannot be there on that day, you will lose it. So: download it and upload it later when you switch back to chat. 
Well, that was it. I cannot think of anything else negative. They immediately refunded my money and even agreed to keep me online for another few days, until my last scheduled webinar. Also, they did not kick me out of the Facebook group. 

I will keep an eye out for news and potentially go back there. Oh, and here is one piece of advice that seems so logical one should not even mention it. But I learned it the hard and painful way. Do not ... I repeat ... do NOT set your youtube video to "private"...(it still hurts). 

My current solution is not as good as Everwebinar - but tracking the sales of joint venture partners has to have the highest priority. 

Conclusion

Besides the unlikely case that you require javascript on your sign-up page you should DEFINITELY give this a try. They are serious about the money back guarantee (no hassle), and it is by far the best out of 12 webinar solutions I tested. 

Currently, there is a special promotion where they offer Everwebinar for just $ 297 for a whole year (I paid $ 497 and still thought that was an incredible price for the worth I got). 

Get it HERE

Make sure you use my "customer tells customer" link to get your discount (currently on both, WebinarJam and Everwebinar!)

Only if you have no intention of showing your face during the webinar and are planning to work with slides, you should have a look at the inexpensive "Meeting Burner".
MeetingBurner Review


WebinarJam Review


WebinarJam is a terrific live webinar solution that is built on google hangouts. They offer a free 90-day version. That makes it a no-brainer to try it. My guess is: You will stay.

If you are looking for the optimal solution to offer live events - you found it.

We can make this short: I did not find a single thing I was missing, or I disliked. Some people say that Google hangouts and youtube have a delay - I did not notice any delay worth mentioning. I would not know of a single function another vendor is offering that is not included in WebinarJam.

The training "Marketing Genesis" that comes with it is ingenious. I will go through it in the next month before my trial ends. Even if you are not in the market for a webinar solution right now: Get your 90-day trial, the (general) marketing training is worth it!

On their website, they have the full list of features that speaks for itself.

The support replies within hours - I was very happy with the quality of answers.

Check Webinar Jam out HERE

Getting Serious About Social Media

Why Killem FTW is my favorite crazy kid

I´ll admit it openly. I am not good when it comes to social media ... you are just better at things you love.
KillemFTW Gummybear Challenge


Someone who rocks social media and loves it is British Killem FTW. I am not sure if you would call it a subculture or zeitgeist - there is a new profession no headhunter is recruiting.

Not with the same and quick level of success like Killem FTW (that stands for "Kill´em for the win"), but many people meanwhile make their living on YouTube.  A few, like the famous Markiplier, have success with more "serious" films like game reviews and walkthroughs, but a growing number of people make their living from what can be called exhibitionistic fun-masochism.

I just made this word up, but it hits the nail in my opinion.

It might not seem that harsh when you look at the first picture that shows the kid attempting to eat the largest gummy bear in the world in under a minute.

KillemFTW was able to generate a following of about 120K on his main channel on youtube. 46K followers on Twitter, he is also active on Snapchat, etc. The level of genuine engagement with his posts on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter is ginormous. Meanwhile, he sells his merchandise and can monetize on adds and such.

Real Entertainers

On the first look, one might think that it does not need a lot of skills to torture oneself with ghost peppers, cinnamon, etc.

The number of interaction, loyal followers, and subscribers proves this thesis wrong. Most people never generate a lot of views and even less loyal followers. Naturally, funny videos will always have more views than sales presentations.

The job is real entertainment. Some of these guys are skilled and could probably be successful in conventional entertainment roles as well.

The job is not as easy as it might seem.

KillemFTW Challenge


YouTube is getting more and more competitive and to stand out you have to have great ideas and ... even better pain-management.

Some of the challenges I could imagine one has in this job include
  • controlling expectations of viewers for continuously going farther and resisting the own urge of consistently showing even extremer challenges
  • competition from other YouTubers
  • coming up with innovative ideas that are both: fresh and unique enough to keep it interesting but at the same time hit the zeitgeist and trending "challenges."
  • finding the right settings and sometimes rare items
I mean .. I am not the target group. I am disgusted by any form of vulgarity, violence and one would think I am too old to enjoy silly senseless pranks and stunts. Personally, I could not watch half of the videos because they are too vulgar or extreme for my taste.

The age thing... on a side note: I never understood why people put an age on things. Why does society expect us to listen to uncool music as soon as the bell rings 40? Or why does the butcher think we do not enjoy the free slice of sausage as soon as we are 15. Stupid!

I do watch some KillemFTW clips from time to time, and he never fails to entertain and make me laugh.

Some of my favorite work:

He created a "3 Guinness World Record" Challenge. He attempts to beat three silly world records, and there is a (bitter) forfeit if he loses. So far he lost all challenges.

Most challenges are plain dangerous, gross and stupid - but some are a lot of fun.

My personal favorites are often the "easier" challenges like for instance one of his less successful videos -  his one-year anniversary video in which he does his first four challenges in one:
  • eating a ghost pepper
  • eating a whole onion
  • eating a teabag full of tea
  • eating cinnamon

Perseverance, determination

It is easier once you have the first 10K or 100K followers and receive tons of feedbacks. KillemFTW had a hard way to where he is now. He did a few things right:
  • Authenticity and vulnerability make him very likable and people quickly feel connected
  • He kept delivering content regularly - even when nobody seemed to appreciate his movies for the longest time. He did it right: Delivering a bit of content consistently and keeping in touch with his ... whatever you call them. I guess "client" does not hit it. In their faces all the time but not that much that it´s annoying
  • Collaborations - he teamed up with other crazy people or involved some of his family and his girlfriend
Whatever you sell: Whether you spray ghost pepper on your eyeballs and jump out of your window in a container full of balloons or whether you are responsible for M&A: Perseverance, authenticity and the ability to create instant connection are the traits of winners. It helps if you love what you do.

As we all know, there is no such thing as something you always love doing. And that´s the last indispensable trait of a winner: Discipline.

And that one sentence is probably better advice than most of the "social media hacks" and sh.... I keep reading.

Where to find out more

If you are in for the laugh and the entertainment or if you want to see how someone created numbers of followers and genuine interaction most of us can only dream of ... check him out here, there and

https://twitter.com/killemftw
https://www.facebook.com/killemftw/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOmgFmujG7IRrz4zeDfi-YQ
And his store: http://killemftw.com/

As you know ... this is my side blog that has no other purpose than sharing things I have learned while growing my coaching business and allowing myself to reflect on whatever crosses my mind. For some reason, this side blog has quite a lot of visitors and if some of you discover KillemFTW - I will be happy for him.

This article is just my observation as a 46-year old. There is no real point to this article, no morale or teaching.

Beside maybe: If you are serious about social media you better get serious.

Until next time, people.

Oh, and, hey: Have a look at my new training - shares and attendance will be much appreciated (;

http://phoenix.aurorasa-coaching.com

Thursday, May 19, 2016

List Building Opportunity - Personal Development

The List Building Event of the Year!

The best reward is helping as many people as possible to a better life. To be able to help people we must reach them first. 


Aurorasa Sima Project Phoenix

I don´t have an event picture so I will just add one of myself as I am joining this event to promote my Emotional Intelligence Training (;

If you are in the personal development sector or offer a service related to it you cannot miss this list boosting event: 

15,000+ Targeted Subscribers Viewing YOUR Offer? JV With Me NOW...


Dr. Joe Rubino and Carolyn Hansen just unleashed the flood gate on their Healthy,
Wealthy and Wise Gifts 6 list-building launch. For anyone who is serious about growing their lists and helping lots of people this is the must-be event. 

The event is free and you can post your freebie without charge. Upgrade options allow you to post up to 3 gifts and gain better visibility. IF you want. 

Last year free members averaged 500 - 600 new subscribers. 

The people who used the upgrade options were able to add thousands of subscribers to lists. How many depends also on the quality of your gift. 

Yes - 1000s!!!

You can join FREE Here: JV

The site opens to members on June 3rd at 10 AM EST, but hundreds of vendors are going to see your offer right now. 

I have already grabbed a few gifts for myself. 

Over $10,000 in Sales Contests, Prizes and Incentives make this a no-brainer!

Check the details HERE

To me the most important thing is to reach more people that I can help to a better life. But if you are interested in the monetary side: The prizes are more than attractive - check them out on the site. 

Imagine this like a free solo-ad to potentially over 15K people. Of if you upgrade imagine it as 3 solo adds for 70 Dollar to thousands and thousands of people!

I have already signed-up - you might see my offers as soon as you click the link. 


Here's To Your Summer of Success! Make sure you tell your friends - who doesn´t want more people on their lists without spending a fortune or going through the hassle of finding a reliable solo-ad partner?

Sunday, May 8, 2016

RIP Amazon - I once loved you

Amazon is going down

For many years, Amazon was my favorite company. Best customer service, best assortment, best prices, fastest shipping - best everything.

They seemed to take the growth step from a medium to a huge company effortlessly.

Not anymore.

Amazon now sucks like a Microsoft, Comcast or any giant company who has been seduced by its monopolistic market power.

Not learning from history they repeat the mistakes other huge companies made. For a company that size, it can take years until it becomes visible on the market that karma bit back.

Just look at Microsoft. "MicroWHO?" would any millennial say. While the mobile age arrived and Microsoft was busy trying to force their desktop products on us and celebrated bad customer service like it was its 100 anniversary they overlooked who really has the power.

They are irrelevant to the millennials, the mobile generation. Good luck with the bing users. Those  few who lack the technical knowledge to replace bing with a decent search engine. Giving (and forcing) away the newest milk cow for free might secure some market shares in the desktop market. And companies take longer to replace, test and implement new software.

Now Amazon is doing it too.

They outsourced customer service to the far-away land where nobody gives a damn. It´s about cutting and pasting something not even faintly related to the customer inquiry - not customer satisfaction or solving a problem.

Sadly, companies never seem to realize how expensive bad customer service is. Returning clients are the cheapest acquisitions. New clients are more expensive ... but clients who left because a company sucked? Very expensive.

A while back one of the competent Amazon customer service agents could solve a problem with one call. Now you have weeklong forth- and back with several agents. Some even speak some form of English ... or Indlish. Is that really cheaper???

The number of forced unwanted crappy apps on their hardware seems to be growing by the minute. Alexa can´t even see Siri´s face from down there where she is standing with her limited voice recognition capabilities.

They made their fire phone and the newest tablet generation jailbreak-safe (for now). Every day I delete "The New Yorker" and every day amazon forces it on my device again. What do you think, Amazon? I reward that with buying a subscription to the New Yorker??? More than half of the first page of the current Kindle fire generation is full of unwanted applications.

When I have the choice between bad customer service and bad customer service with more applications and faster updates .... I´ll be back, google. Just waiting for "Kindi 4" to break.

I found someone on Craiglist who missed the sign of times and gave me 120 for my Fire phone. I felt officially like a gangster.

For the longest time, Amazon managed what most giants failed to do: Managing growth, keeping innovative and customer friendly.

Goodbye, Amazon, I will miss you for what you once were.

New players will enter the market. They will be more customer friendly, more innovative and flexible. And there´s life in the old dogs yet. But not in you.

While Apple has the intelligence to form strategic relationships (SAP, IBM); MS is the excellence of OEM; so that they can afford p.... clients off - who´s your strategic alliance, Amazon?

Taking them on all at once, aren´t you? The clients, the google, the apple - and the laws of the market. You can be proud on what you achieved until you became common, Amazon.

I loved you, Amazon. Goodbye. I won´t throw a stone when I see one of your drones deliver a 12-hour parcel sometime soon.







Friday, May 6, 2016

Why Apple Watch is underrated

A functionality review of Apple Watch

Apple Watch Functionality ReviewI have to admit it: When I first read about Apple watch I posted something ugly like: "Great, now you can spot idiots from a mile away." In my defense: The article stated it would cost $ 5000.

Sometimes I still try to cover it, but that is silly if you think about it. Before that, I was wearing an Omega Constellation. Apple watches start at $ 300 (on Amazon right now) which is very cheap for a watch.

A lot has been said about the technology, and as you know, I am not technical at all. I want to share the kind of information I would be looking for before making a buying decision.

It´s not a complete feature list but just of list of features why I love the watch.

I will share with you how I am using my watch and why it, in my opinion, is one of the best gadgets ever invented:

Music Player

For the longest time, I secured my IPod, cell phone or with the strap of my bra. I don´t need to tell you that this is not an optimal space. But there was not other solution when I wanted to walk around. The super small players did not offer the kind of storage space I need.

I do not own a music player anymore. My watch connects to my phone and my Bluetooth headset allowing me not only to stream my music, but I am also connected to my Amazon Prime music, TuneIn Radio, iHeart radio - you name it.

It´s easy to change the track, source, or loudness on my watch and for that feature alone the Apple watch would be worth it to me.

Emails

Like how rude is it to look at your phone in meetings? It´s SUPER RUDE, isn´t it. How about a quick glance at your watch. Or even just lifting your arm (you can always pretend you need to scratch your forehead).

The other thing is: Most emails are not worth it to unlock your phone and look at them. How handy that you can quickly check on your watch who is writing to you. I have the sound off so that I just feel the vibration when an email comes in.

Navigation

When using an IPhone for navigation your watch will also tell you when to take a turn and such. I like this feature. I am hardly using my Garmin anymore.

Siri Universal Genius

Well...we all know Siri - no need to introduce him. By pressing the button on your watch, he is at your service.
"Siri find a restaurant nearby."
"Siri navigate to the restaurant."
"Siri can you beatbox for me."
"Cortana"

Internet searches, writing a text message - the full power of Siri is at your service without the need of getting your phone out, unlocking it, etc.


Kitchen Timer

I even own an Amazon Echo - still I prefer my watch to set timers. A function I use very often. The more services Amazon is adding, the less it understands me. Echo and I had a few screaming duels - it´s beyond annoying if he keeps misunderstanding.

Let´s not kid ourselves: Apple is the master of voice recognition. 


Weather

I guess I have a weather app on my phone. I have never used it. When I looked up the weather, I did so on my computer. 
How nice to see the current temperature on my watch and get a weekly forecast with a tip of my finger.  


Answering and making calls

How is the quality of your car speakerphone? Did you ever talk to someone who did not complain? I always seem to have a hard time understanding when someone has me on a loudspeaker. Me as well as others calling me while driving end up taking our phones in our hand. 
Not allowed in most countries.

I am not saying that the quality of calls made on your watch is better. But it´s more fun. Not just while driving - there are many occasions (i.e. shopping) where I am glad I don´t have to take out my phone to answer a call.


Text messaging

Nothing beats the ease of pressing a button on your watch and read a text or have Siri answer a text or write a new one. 

Sport and Health

For many people, these are important features. I sometimes check how my heartbeat changes in certain situations - but just for the fun of it. 

I am not using the fitness part of the watch very much, but many people say that it helps them to get motivated and stay on track with their workout. 

There are apps around that allow you to take your blood pressure, and your watch can deliver a lot of data to sophisticated health apps. 

What else

So this are the features that make this watch so important to me. There are also a few games around for the app, newsreaders but with the tiny screen, it´s pretty much useless and just eats up battery power. 

Many CRM companies and also Microsoft and Google offer apps for the watch. You do not need to be in an "Apple world" to receive calendar reminders, access to your contacts and such. 

Why is Apple watch not successful?

I can only guess that other people feel like myself. To read about the features does not convey at all how much you are going to use and love them. 

People think that it is expensive. I feel it´s a steal for all it does. 

If you want to give it a try, my suggestion is to get it from Amazon where you can easily return it and get it at the best price HERE.


Customization

I like this feature. As you can see, I chose a simple "face" that shows me the current temperature, date, battery status and fitness info. Maybe you would prefer to see your appointments of the day or something else.

You can also chose any picture you like as the basis. Even a zombie hamster. 
Apple watch is underrated

Apple watch review

Apple watch good and the bad

Interesting applications

There are also some fascinating applications. To pick out one: The music group Massive Attack offers a free music app for Apple Watch. It contains some unreleased tracks and reacts (changes) a) to your heartbeat and b) to the time of the day.

What I don´t like: 


  • I would love the battery to last longer than about 30 hours (with my heavy use). 
  • When I call someone with my watch, the number comes up as "anonymous." 
  • You hate spam even more when it arrives as close as at your arm.
  • As always with Apple - you cannot delete the stock apps. I don´t want a market tracker on my arm. That said: If I were investing in shares, I would appreciate my watch keeping me updated.
Want to try one? Grab it HERE



Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Nerium product based pyramid scheme?

Nerium Business Opportunity Review 

I am writing this review just for you. I neither have other MLM or Pyramid systems to recommend nor was I ever involved in one or will I ever be involved. I just don´t like when people get ripped off.
Ray Liotta Nerium

What I noticed about Nerium is that they must have a very efficient marketing and sales approach. Even people who usually do not fall for every scam feel the need of endangering friendships by going after their "warm market."

A few people have bugged me about in the last weeks.

Their promoters defend them with claws and teeth in full ignorance of any facts. Most don´t stay for long, though.

It will be hard sell

People pay premium prices for premium products. They also pay premium prices for premium marketing bubbles and a sophisticated brand image. With an excellent brand image, you can be overpriced - but you still have to bring it. Even Apple would not succeed if they started selling Nokia phones from 2010 with their logo on it.

Nerium is way overpriced for what it is. A generic cream with everyday ingredients (besides one I will discuss further on).

The problem Nerium´s promoters will face is that the price they are paying (even with the auto-ship program) is way higher than the street price the cream sells for on eBay and Amazon. And it does sell on those sites.

Most people never make their money back (investment for the starter package and other costs I will outline below) ... when they kiss the "business opportunity" goodbye they sell their stock dirt cheap.

Another factor is that those who still believe in the oleander dream have to reach a certain point level to qualify for bonuses.

As is common with product-based pyramids: You either need 200 points from selling the product to others or 80 points from buying it for yourself to qualify.

Just read the income disclosure for yourself.

Is Nerium cream even safe?

I do not hold against them that it has no proven long-term anti-aging effect. Most or maybe all of the anti-aging products don´t. I do hold against them that they claim "scientific evidence" but are not willing to share it. 

You would have to sign an NDA for them to share their testimony with you. Now, does that strike you as strange? Why would I want to shut you up and not share my incredible scientific results with the world?

  • The primary seller, the cream, is an utterly generic cream. Aloe and "the usual suspects" that are common in average low price creams. It´s not organic or anything else worth mentioning. None of the ingredients have been proven to have any lasting anti-aging effects whatsoever. The only element that stands out is oleander.

    You do not find oleander in many creams. Ummm...you do not find oleander in any other creams. That is probably because oleander is toxic. Oleander is one of the world´s most toxic plants - toxic in all parts. It can be deadly - especially for children.
Read more about Nerium oleander on Wikipedia: oleander

There is not proof whatsoever that oleander has any anti-aging benefits. 

Maybe some people imagine a short-term anti-aging effect because their faces have a better blood circulation when they think about how they´ll get rid of their starter package and get their investment back. 

It could also be a mild inflammation from the toxic oleander that makes the skin look smoother - for a while. 

I do not know anything about their caffeine "brain" supplement and from my level of brand trust, I would rather be poked in the eye with a stick than try it. 

Pushing and pressuring

Now it is not new to pressure partners to spend more money. All pyramid schemes do that. First of all, you have to pay for a starter pack. That ranges from $50 (without any product, just some paper) to $ 1700. But ... to sell it you need to know it and ideally, use it, right? So ... go, buy it. 

Then they offer paid training. In complaints on ripoff report and such people claim they were told: "you have to attend or else you will not make it". Not surprisingly it only increased their losses. 

They do have a "you have to get rid of 70 % first before you can reorder rule"  -  they also have a "make 80 points from purchases for yourself, and you qualify for bonus" rule. Hence, the high number of available products on Amazon and eBay even though Nerium only sells through their partners. 

The 70/30 rule also means that you can never (when you give up ) send back more than your last order (minus shipping and handling 2-ways and they only credit 90 % of the value of returned goods). 

Payment structure

The few people at the top will earn a lot of money.


They pay residential income for 10 tiers. That is a clear indicator that they expect you to sell to your downline - not the market. A company that wanted to encourage product sale would probably have a different structure. 

You are supposed to use the cream and find new partners and sell them the starter package.

A simple, proven system?

Nerium claims that the system is simple and proven to generate part-time or full-time income. 

The average income for a Nerium (see income disclosure) partner is $1.220 

Of 75000 promoters only 1009 make over $ 10k per year - and 10k is far even from minimum wage. 

They offer a "free bonus car package". If you hit a particular goal, they pay the leasing rate for a Lexus for you. You can even choose between three colors. It´s on a month to month basis. If you do not hit "Senior Director" level next month - you are still in the contract, and you pay. You have to be enrolled in the auto-ship program to qualify. 

Read more at Nerium "Bisuness Recources" 

Fake promotion pictures

Brand partners use a lot of fake pictures to promote the product. Some are very obviously photoshopped. 

Ray Liotta filed a lawsuit because Nerium used his picture and his photoshopped picture as "before" "after" customer success story. The thing is that Liotta had never used the cream, even less sent them photos or agreed to be a testimonial for them. 

To me, it´s a red flag that promoters are using fake pictures to show the "evidence" of how wonderful the cream works. 

Fake from A to Z

What about this company is straight and honest? I cannot think of anything, help me out here. 
  • Nerium is intelligent enough about their photoshopped fake "before" and "after" picture as well as other adventurous claims to make sure that they never publish it themselves. When things go wrong, it will the partners who posted false information on the web. 
  • Nerium encourages people to write fake positive reviews. They promote the use of words like "scam" and such in the titles. What a speaker said (at a training event) is that they want to dominate the first three pages of search results. So when people are looking for honest reviews, they will have a hard time finding them. Nerium partners write fake "scam reviews". Nerium partners also go to amazon.com and write fake reviews.

    Excellent business opportunities and companies with good products do not feel the need to plaster the market with fake reviews. 
  • Customers have reported they were trying to return the product because they were allergic or did not see any difference. When they contacted Nerium for an RMA they were told they need to continue using it for at least 30 days. When they called after 30 days, they were told that the right of return ended after 30 days. 

 Is Nerium a scam? Maybe not regarding the legal definition as you have overpriced toxic products (primary product is still the night cream) to sell - regarding moral they sure are. False promises, overpriced, unsafe products and many other features I would call shady at best.

The company is on the market since 2011, carefully surfing the gray zone in between MLM and illegal pyramid.

From the number of people who have bugged me about Nerium, I would think the pyramid is already of a size where starters cannot make real money (at least in the States),

Final verdict

In my opinion, they clearly are a product-based pyramid scheme, and I suggest to stay away. There are enough good creams out there to sell (without toxic ingredients), and there are probably enough decent MLM around.

Also, once you know that over 90 % of the people you acquire just lose their money - why would you even do that.

If you already invested in them - do yourself a favor and don´t bug your friends and family. They will not love you for it when they lose their money or get allergies from your cream.

If I had to sell Nerium, I´d put on a wig and dark glasses and prospect in areas as cold as "I´ll never go back to that town".

Related read: Differences between Pyramid and MLM