Tag Archives: internet

Open News

O’Reilly Solid discusses building the future with 3D printing

O’Reilly Solid hosted a discussion on 3D printing as part of its IoTChat, an informative sometimes quirky, and always hilarious discussion on where technology is going, and what it means for all of us.

One of the first topics was how 3D printers were able to print ever more-complicated forms. The following figurines were printed: the level of detail on all of these is stunning, and representative of a 3D printing movement that is embracing art as much as it is embracing science.

3D figurines from @polysculpture with code(love)

3D figurines from @polysculpture with code(love)

The entire conversation resonated with potential. Applications ranging as wide as printing out houses, to the possibility of printing out biological organs, were discussed.

The intersection between technology and society, ever more potent, was facing one of its most challenging clashes, with the concept of intellectual property holding quite a bit of time in the discussion.  With templates for many basic products already circulating around the Internet,, there was a sense that the future of 3D printing would be based on openness, though some pointed out digital rights management systems that could rein the potential of 3D printing back for the sake of monetization.

This discussion sparked for me a vision of a 3D printing economy that worked similarly to the economy revolving around web components: great, free open-source templates, but you would have to pay a bit if you weren’t able to build things yourself: you’d pay for somebody else to ease the process for you or to build something perfectly tailored for your needs instead of the general open-source templates.

Ideas bounced around freely in this vein. There were a lot of really cool 3D printing applications, including a father who had 3D printed out a hand for his son without fingers, to custom-printed tracheas (windpipes) that were CT-scanned and could be used for customized medicine.

A new 3D printed hand with code(love)

A new 3D printed hand with code(love)

It gave me some inspiration to envision a Skype-like platform where instead of just sending emoticons, one could click a button and send a friend a gift printed out of their 3D printer: a future way to share on the Internet.

The next IoTChat is going to be May 15th, at 1 PM PST/4 PM EST with a live stream of O’Reilly Solid’s keynote livestream, and it promises to be as inspiring as this one was. Check the tag #IoTChat for the full conversation.

Defining the Future

Defining growth hacking in one line

Growth hacking is a buzzword. As soon as somebody says it, the fury of meaning nothing, but signifying everything envelopes any situation you place it in. It’s mysterious and ambiguous, but it really doesn’t have to be.

It’s always been hard for me to figure out this term, and yet it’s been a necessity because I’ve always wanted to work in the field. I think part of what compelled me to get into building and scaling web platforms was the mystery of understanding what growth hacking was about: even the  mysterious bits I could get out of it sounded cool. Some sort of marketing meets technology was something I thought would be ideal for me.

So, what I did was take a target list of everywhere I thought growth hackers might be, from mentoring sites, to tech entrepreneur networking sites—most notably FounderDating—to good old LinkedIn. I get familiar with the big names in the field. I reached out to many of them systematically, seeking the same insights: what exactly is growth hacking, how do you go about growth hacking, and how can I go about growth hacking? I then recorded the answers, and compared them, looking for some sort of pattern or formula that defined the concept.

In doing so, I realized that what I was doing embodied what growth hacking was all about. Trying out new stuff, and then measuring whether or not it was more efficient than what I had been doing before is the core of growth hacking. Every one of the answers pointed me to a direction, a direction that I can sum up in one line.

Growth hacking is being creative and trying new stuff, anything, to try to acquire new website users, measuring the effects of each individual outreach on the numbers of new engaged users, then determining whether it’s more efficient than what you were doing before on a monetary and time basis, and if so, piling as many of your resources as you can into those new channels.

To summarize even further: To growth hack, try new stuff, and measure whether or not you’re being more efficient driving users to your webpage in doing that new stuff.

To growth hack, try new stuff, and measure whether or not you’re being more efficient driving users in doing that new stuff.

Next time someone brings up growth hacking, make sure you share, and send them here. I’m measuring whether that works.


Want a great resource to getting you started with the kind of actionable measures you can test and measure with growth hacking? Check out this list of 21 Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics.