Creating an Effective Survey: SurveyStud

Creating online surveys is as much an art as it is a science. It involves attention to detail in the design and flow of your survey. Creating an effective survey that yields actionable insights can be difficult.

Here are 4 tips for creating an effective survey.

1. Keep It Simple

Do you remember taking the SAT or ACT? It’s a long and boring process. Your average survey respondent can start to feel that way about 15 minutes into a survey. Fifteen minutes is a strong upper-limit for most surveys.

When a survey is too long, two bad things can happen:

— Respondents mentality drop out

— Clients get frustrated

2. Use Scales Whenever Possible

Scales are more than a little important.
Rather than asking respondents a basic yes or no question, use scales that measure both the direction and the intensity of opinions.

Scales extend the power of analysis from basic percentages to high-level analyses based on means and variance estimates

3. Keep Coded Values Consistent

Every survey response, option, question, or answer is coded as a numeric value that is reported as a percent of responses or as a mean, median, range, etc.

These values are the basis for analysis.

  — Mean: Often referred to as an average, it is the sum of all the values divided by the number of values.

  — Median: The middle point in a data set. To determine the median, lay out a distribution from lowest to highest and select the middle value.

  — Range: The highest and lowest data points in a distribution form the range. VARIANCE: A dispersion measure of how far a set of numbers is spread out.

For simplicity, keep your scale direction consistent throughout your survey. This makes it easier for respondents to answer and for you as a researcher to conduct your analysis.

The simplest solution is just to keep all scales consistent throughout every survey.

4. Explain Why

Respondents are more likely to help you if they see something of positive value for them. Value offerings can range from a very general altruistic appeal for their help to a very specific offer of an economic incentive. For instance, with a customer feedback survey, you can explain that feedback will help improve customer service.

Here are some quick examples:

Make it specific to them: With employee evaluations, you can explain that feedback will be used to determine awards, promotions, and pay raises and will help management make organizational decisions that will affect them.

Explain unexpected questions: For instance, if it’s important for you to ask toy store customers their preferred color of jeans, you might want to explain why that is relevant.

The plug:  If this made sense to you try our smartphone (survey) app… SurveyStud https://appsto.re/us/Ddj18.i

StartUp Market Research

Research, as a general concept, is the process of gathering information to learn about something that is not fully known. Nearly everyone engages in some form of research. From the highly trained geologist investigating newly discovered earthquake faults, to the author of best selling spy novels gaining insight into new surveillance techniques, to the model train hobbyist spending hours hunting down the manufacturer of an old electric engine, each is driven by the quest for information.

For Startups, research is not only used for the purpose of learning, it is also a critical component needed to make good decisions. Market research does this by giving Startups a picture of what is occurring (or likely to occur) and, when done well, offers alternative choices that can be made. For instance, good research may suggest multiple options for introducing new products or entering new markets. In most cases marketing decisions prove less risky (though they are never risk free) when the StartUp can select from more than one option.

Using an analogy of a house foundation, marketing research can be viewed as the foundation of marketing. Just as a well-built house requires a strong foundation to remain sturdy, StartUp decisions need the support of research in order to be viewed favorably by customers and to stand up to competition and other external pressures. Consequently, all areas of the StartUp and all marketing decisions should be supported with some level of research.

While research is key to StartUp decision making, it does not always need to be elaborate to be effective. Sometimes small efforts, such as doing a quick search on the Internet, will provide the needed information. However, for most StartUps there are times when more elaborate research work is needed and understanding the right way to conduct research, whether performing the work themselves such as using apps like “SurveyStud,” to get a pulse within a specific social-ecospace, or hiring someone else to handle it, can increase the effectiveness of these projects.

Gender vs Survey 

The purpose of this article is to examine the correlation between online (i.e… smartphone via Twitter, Facebook etc.) survey non-response and various demographic factors, including gender.

Studies have shown that trends exist with regard to who responds to surveys, at least with regard to traditional modes of survey administration. Reports suggest that many demographic and other correlates with non-response to online surveys may indeed mirror those of more traditional modes of survey administration. However, the influence of such a basic demographic factor as gender on online survey response behavior is unclear.

In this study, a record-linking technique was employed to compare the gender of online survey respondents directly to available demographic data of all members of a sampling frame, thus allowing comparison of demographic information of both respondents and non-respondents.

The sampling frame, which consisted entirely of university faculty members of a large research university in the southeastern United States with a full-time faculty of approximately 1000, was specifically chosen to minimize the effect of other potential correlates to non-response behavior, such as education level, Smartphone access, geographic location, occupation, and income. Pearson’s chi square analysis showed a significant relationship between gender and survey response rates: female faculty members contributed disproportionately to the respondent data set.

One possible explanations for the observations is that the observed differences in female and male faculty response rates is a product of differences in female and male values operating in a gendered online environment.

Results of this study suggest that researchers should not assume that response behavior toward online surveys, and therefore data gathered from online surveys, is free of gender bias. 

Hence highlights the value of smartphone survey apps such as SurveyStud: https://appsto.re/us/Ddj18.i

Measured Data Analytics: #SurveyStud

History and evolution of big data analytics
The concept of big data has been around for years; most organizations now understand that if they capture all the data that streams into their businesses, they can apply analytics and get significant value from it. But even in the 1950s, decades before anyone uttered the term “big data,” businesses were using basic analytics (essentially numbers in a spreadsheet that were manually examined) to uncover insights and trends.

The new benefits that big data analytics brings to the table, however, are speed and efficiency. Whereas a few years ago a business would have gathered information, run analytics and unearthed information that could be used for future decisions, today that business can identify insights for immediate decisions. The ability to work faster – and stay agile – gives organizations a competitive edge they didn’t have before.

Big data analytics helps organizations harness their data and use it to identify new opportunities. That, in turn, leads to smarter business moves, more efficient operations, higher profits and happier customers; value is abtained in the following ways:

Cost reduction: Big data technologies such as Hadoop and cloud-based analytics bring significant cost advantages when it comes to storing large amounts of data – plus they can identify more efficient ways of doing business.

Faster, better decision making: With the speed of Hadoop and in-memory analytics, combined with the ability to analyze new sources of data, businesses are able to analyze information immediately – and make decisions based on what they’ve learned.
New products and services auch as “SurveyStud,” have the ability to gauge customer needs and satisfaction through analytics comes the power to give customers what they want.

Such as smartphone apps like “SurveyStud,” which mine data analytics, to meet customers’ needs.

Why Conduct a Survey: SurveyStud [Smartphone]

Businesses and researchers across all industries conduct surveys to uncover answers to specific, important questions. These questions are varied, cover a diverse range of topics, and can be asked in multiple formats. Your questions should be strategically planned and structured in the best way possible in order to receive the most accurate data. When structuring your survey questions, consider the following:

– The main goal of the survey

– How you plan to apply the survey data

– The decisions you will make as a result of the survey data

What are the 4 main reasons why businesses and researchers should conduct surveys?

1. Uncover the answers: In a non-intimidating survey environment, you will learn about what motivates survey respondents and what is important to them, and gather meaningful opinions, comments, and feedback. A non-intimidating survey environment is one that best suits the privacy needs of the survey respondent. Respondents are more likely to provide open and honest feedback in a more private survey method. Methods such as online surveys, paper surveys, or mobile surveys are more private and less intimidating than face-to-face survey interviews or telephone surveys.

2. Evoke discussion: Give your survey respondents an opportunity to discuss important key topics. Communicate with your respondents about your survey topic. This allows you to dig deeper into your survey, and can incite topics related to your survey within a broader perspective.

3. Base decisions on objective information: Conducting surveys is an unbiased approach to decision-making. Don’t rely on “gut feelings” to make important business decisions. You can collect unbiased survey data and develop sensible decisions based on analyzed results. By analyzing results, you can immediately address topics of importance, rather than waste time and valuable resources on areas of little or no concern.

4. Compare results: Surveys results provide a snapshot of the attitudes and behaviors – including thoughts, opinions, and comments – about your target survey population. This valuable feedback is your baseline to measure and establish a benchmark from which to compare results over time.

Bottomline if this makes sense to you–try our smartphone app “SurveyStud” (in the app store), and it can help you make well informed decisions.

President Donald Trump: A Must Read

Donald  Trump represents a throwback to the 1950s — a time when the Midwest was a beacon of affluence for many working class whites with high-paying factory jobs.

What you saw [Tuesday] is the revenge of the angry white working class voter, but I think this really will be the last gasp of the angry white male. 

For months Donald Trump has dismissed polls and experts and proclaimed that he was at the head of a movement of disaffected voters that would upend conventional political wisdom and kick out the Washington establishment. 

The New York businessman was proved right on Tuesday as he rode a wave of anger with economic change, dogwhistle racial politics and pledges to crack down on immigration and rip up trade agreements to a stunning upset win. 

More so one demographic above all took him there: the once solidly Democratic blue-collar white voters that may now be known as Trump Democrats. “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,” the tycoon declared in his victory speech.

According to exit polls, across the US Mr Trump carried the white voters who made up 70 per cent of the electorate by a 58:37 margin over Hillary Clinton.

Among white voters without a university degree that margin grew to 67:28. But even among white voters with a degree, exit polls showed him carrying the day 49:45, despite surveys that for months had predicted they would be part of a demographic firewall benefiting Mrs Clinton. 

Some have said this was a whitelash. This was a whitelash against a changing country;  others believed It was a whitelash against a black president, in part. And that’s the part where the pain comes.

Tuesday’s scream of the angry white voter was heard loudest in rust belt states such as Ohio and Indiana and threw into play previous Democratic strongholds such as Michigan and Pennsylvania — neither of which had voted for a Republican presidential nominee since 1988.

Overall Mr Trump’s campaign and his appeal to white voters had an ugly side, unleashing a previously unseen level of vitriol in American politics  He was criticised widely for courting the vote of white nationalists and the “alt-right” movement that has taken anti-semitic and racial bullying to new levels on social media.

Yet at the end of the day… regardless of how some feel he [Donald Julious Trump] is the next President of “These” United States of America.

Ok as usual if you feel any of this was plagiarized that’s because it probably was.  If you see something that may be yours let me know and I will remove it.  Cool Beans…. 

New Business Part 2

One of the most surprising things I realized in my early months is that not many people were/are interested in selling their product Indie Startups. 

I thought as a small independent business, I’d be respected and supported by the brands I wanted to do business with, but that seemed to only be the case with a select few. After numerous unanswered emails and rejections, one sympathetic vendor finally told me that many brands only want to work with larger, established companies. These brands often hire agents to manage their sales and are very strict about how much money they bring in. Big retailers pay big bucks and buy big quantities, leaving us little guys to struggle with more limited options.

It was a disappointing fact to learn, but thankfully, most of the labels that will work with startups (many of them indie brands themselves) know the value of partnership and have been supportive from the get go. 

These are the brands I look forward to forming lasting relationships with, and remind me why I continue to love this industry so much.

Question is… if you are an Indie StartUp are you reaching out to other Indie Startups?

Eyes of a Venture Capitalists 

…what a Venture Capitalist wants to see in a pitch deck.

You only get 30 to 60 minutes in front of a Venture Capitalists (VC), so it’s critical the deck has structure–VC Structure.

It’s fair to say I’ve seen many pitches, and I can specifically recall sitting in a pitch thinking, why don’t this guy get to the bottom line. I get tired of seeing thesame miscalculated  presentation week after week–sorry just being honest.

Anyway lets get to the point. I put together what “I feel are critical points during a pitch.”

So the below 6 Slides are critical in a pitch:

          – SLIDE 1: Founders

          – SLIDE 2: Problem / Solution

          – SLIDE 3: Demo

          – SLIDE 4: Scalability / Defensibility

          – SLIDE 5: Distribution

          – SLIDE 6: Projections

Pitch Deck Slide #1 – Founders:  An inviting picture/image, the name of the company, and Management Team up front if you don’t know the investors ahead of time.

Pitch Deck Slide #2 – The Problem and Solution: 

– Problem: You want to move into the problem you are solving, pretty quickly. Skip the backstory, and get to the point – “The problem is X.” If there are multiple problems, focus on the largest and most immediate to start. Avoid jargon and acronyms…keep it straightforward and simple.

– Solution: Within the first couple of minutes, you should be through the introduction, and stated your problem. From there, you should be ready to show the solution, either live (mobile app), or in graphical format on your slide. Speak clearly and confidently.

Pitch Deck Slide #3 – Demo: We are now in the Information Age.  You should not pitch a product… specifically an app, without a demo.

Pitch Deck Slide #4 – Scalability and Defensibility:  At this point, the VC is thinking, “I’m interested in this, or not.” This is another side that should be high-level, without getting too deep into details. Prove two things: show that your product is scalable, and show that it is defensible (can’t be easily copied). Nothing impresses VCs more than founders who show that they are really smart, and are on to something that not many people know about yet.

Pitch Deck Slide #5 – Distribution:  It’s really about communicating how you’re getting to market; this slide shows you have taken the time to research what the best method(s) will be for getting your offering out into the world. A lot of incubators and accelerators today will spend time with their member companies to assemble a proper distribution strategy.

Pitch Deck Slide #6 – Projections: Keep it to one slide, with 2-3 years of revenue projections. Top line operating expenses. Most importantly, what does the cash burn look like, and what’s the head count? Avoid going into a five year model at the early stages. Keep it simple…VCs are only going to remember a few key numbers.

Unfortunately, as a reminder there is no such thing as a “perfect” pitch deck because pitch decks are always being refined and tweaked to optimize for the immediate audience to whom the deck is being presented. In other words, one size does not fit all when it comes to a pitch deck.  BUT one thing I do believe, if you have a demo of your product/app… that means more than any slides you could ever put together. Something to think about…

As always if it seems I may have plagiarized, heck I probably did… BUT I ask that you forgive me, leave a comment, and have a nice day.

NDA… Can Be BullSh*t 👀 

…In early stages of a discussion asking for an NDA (non-disclosure agreements) often signals you’re a rookie, and or new to the game

So let’s explore the mechanics of the NDA, or the rationale for trying to get people to sign.

A lot of entrepreneurs for some reason think “if I get them to sign the NDA, then I can reveal some of my secrets because the NDA will protect me.”–Bro this is so far from the truth.  Its just so fuck’n wrong.  If you are a normal startup then cash is an issue.  So if cash is an issue how are you going to fight this in court?

You have to take them to court, and spend a absorbent amount of cheddar defending, and proving a lot of details which you may or may not have… at the end of the day, the one question I have, can you sustain the onslaught of legal fees?

BUT lets say we divide the type of information you might conceivably disclose to an outside party into two categories:

          – Cat 1:  Trying To Do

          – Cat 2:  Going To Do

So let’s look at Cat 1: Trying To Do. This information should not be kept secret. You have more to gain by disclosing information than trying to protect it (in most cases). One of the biggest problems startups face is that they invest time/energy/money into an idea under the false premise that they will be the first/only company in that market within a given window of time. In most cases, this is simply not true. By talking to people (that you trust), and discussing your idea, you’ll get a better sense of who is out there doing likert things. Some of these could be competitors – but some could also be partners, customers, acquirers, etc. 

Also if you have a fear – that revealing the idea will cause a bunch of people to hear about it, recognize its brilliance and then pursue the idea themselves shake that shit loose. It will halt you from exploring all options.

Now let’s look at Cat 2: Going To Do. Truth is with or without an NDA in place, you are not going to share everything about your idea–I have talked to a gang of entrepreneurs, and key deliverables are/is always missing; sad thing about it, I’m the guy with the check book, and they always seem to forget the “secret sauce.” They are so worried that people like me will steal the ideal–they often talk themselves out of a deal.  WTF!

I believe between the two categories Cat 2: Going To Do requires an NDA. BUT it’s only valuable if you are willing to actually share the “secret sauce.”

So what am I saying:

     – “SHARE” Cat 1: Trying To Do, as early in the process as possible… No NDA is required.

    – “DO NOT SHARE” Cat 2: Going To Do, unless you are willing to be 100% honest, and need help from the person you are speaking with… NDA is required.

Startup Introduction Risk

“George, dude, can you introduce me? 

I have little experience with raising money. I had done it only once, for a startup that we had shutdown and later restarted with the remaining capital. Yet, I am often asked to help with fundraising. I love helping.

After talking to many entrepreneurs, a common theme emerges. The theme is best illustrated by this incident from a few days ago.

Someone I studied with at the university 20 years ago, whom I have not seen afterwards, recently asked me this question (paraphrased from German):

While other similar requests aren’t coming in such a familiar form (which I don’t mind), they do share a common trait: I don’t/barely know them and they ask me to introduce them to local big shots.

Let me clarify that I’ve never met Mr/Mrs Big Shot and if it’s any indication, they doesn’t follow me on Social Media. However, I often do know the person I’m asked to bridge to. Yet, for me to introduce you to anyone, I first must know you well. So I can vouch for you. In no other circumstances I can make an introduction. Regardless how cool your project is.

So… 10 years ago I was assembling PCs at a computer store in Darmstadt, Germany. A guy I knew from playing basketball told me he was looking for a job. So I spoke with another guy I knew, and I brought him in for an interview and he started working shortly afterwards.

After about two weeks, he didn’t show up to work one day. And then the next day. And I didn’t see him anymore. He vanished. I wasn’t responsible for it, yet, it forever stained my ability to recommend new recruits to the store. And the store owner was never shy reminding me of it.

Funny side note: I ran into the guy ten years later at a party in Houston, Texas. Where he explained that his family made a sudden move to America a few weeks after he had started working at the store.

We laughed at it and we’re close friends ever since. He is an awesome guy. But back then, he screwed me over while teaching me a valuable lesson.

“You are always taking a risk when making an introduction. If the intro is a waste of time, it’ll affect your own reputation, putting your social capital at risk. Do it too often and you are out of the networking game.”

The only way to mitigate that risk is to know both parties well to ensure it is indeed a valuable match.

Another thing at the early phase of your project, everything depends on you, the founder. Nothing else matters. Your pitch deck isn’t enough to assess your ethics, commitment, your ability to attract talent, lead the team or handle a crisis.

You can not showcase these skills in a 30 minutes Skype call. Your self-selling statements peppered with todays’ buzzwords won’t establish your credibility.

“I’m a future thinking kinda guy, building a VR enabling IoT. Main focus is AI based on deep learning of big data”

It often just does the exact opposite.

Lesson I learned, if I cannot vouch for you, what do you want me to say? Here is a dude I met, and he is working on a cool project? What do you think Mr/Mrs Big Shot will do? Drop everything and call you? What do you think it will do to my credibility as a connector?

However, if you do possess the above qualities, plenty of people should be able to attest to it. Those are the people in your network, people you worked with before. Only they can make meaningful and valuable intros for you. Everything else is noise. Asking a random person to introduce you is asking them to add more noise to a system of already low signal-to-noise ratio.

And if someone agrees to introduce you without writing two meaningful paragraphs about you, then chances are, you won’t see any benefit from that intro. As their intros are rarely taken seriously anyways.

What I’m saying bruh research the person you looking to be introduced to. Then, find the best person in your network that can connect the dots for you. The connector should already know you well, so don’t sell yourself. Instead, sell them the benefits both sides may reap in case of a successful match. Your connector will be happy to take the credit for a great match and gladly intro you.