Mar 24, 2022
Essential Remote Work Job Skills
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Do you have what it takes to work from home? Working remotely requires a unique set of skills to achieve success, and not everyone is the best fit for this kind of job. The good news is, many of these skills can be gained through practice.

Whether you’re looking for a remote job and wondering what to emphasize on your resume, or you’ve already found a job and want to improve your abilities, read on for seven essential work from home job skills.

  • Time Management

When you’re working from home as opposed to in the office, you’ll still be expected to meet deadlines and respond in a timely manner. The difference is you won’t have a manager or coworkers around to help keep you on track, so it’s up to you to create a schedule and stick to it. For some, being at home—and being surrounded by distractions—can make it a challenge to keep up with their work expectations. That’s why practicing great time management is key to success for any remote job. Top tip: Research and practice time blocking techniques. For example, try batching your time into 25-minute increments, and work on only a single task during each increment.

  • Organization

Working from home means your success is highly dependent on you and your chosen working style. Organization must be a key piece of that working style. A big part of organization is, of course, time management. But more than managing your time, you also need to manage your tasks and priorities. One of the first things you should decide when starting a new job is how you’ll categorize tasks and how you’ll track progress. Leverage online project management tools, many of which are free, to help you do so. Top tip: Spend five to ten minutes at the start of every workday updating your to-do list and selecting two to three highest-priority tasks to do first.

  • Communication

When working remotely, you won’t have the same visual and verbal cues you might get in the office. Plus, your manager won’t be able to actually see you working, so communicating your progress is really important. You’ll need to have excellent written and verbal communication skills, so you can share ideas, collaborate, and ask questions when you get stuck.  Top tip: On day one, come to an understanding with your manager and team on expectations around what kind of communication you’ll provide during your workday, and during which hours of the day. This will avoid misunderstandings later.

  • Computer Literacy

Regardless of what your remote job is, you should be well-versed in both software and hardware as you’ll be relying on technology throughout your workday.  Working from home means setting up your own equipment and maintaining it, usually without the help of an IT person to handle any malfunctions. Keep any instruction manuals on hand to refer to when something goes wrong. You’ll also need to keep your own software regularly updated, so you should understand how the programs you’re using work and how to troubleshoot them. Top tip: Familiarize yourself with popular office software, such as email platforms and remote learning tools, so you’ll be prepared for the tools used in your next job.

  • Self-Reliance

Working from home requires a lot of independence. It’s just you and your computer all day! There will be plenty of instances where you’ll have to find answers on your own, or learn independently through self-guided practice. If you’re a self-learner and a self-starter, you’ll likely thrive in a work from home environment. Self-reliance also means the ability to keep yourself on task, without depending on others to help you meet deadlines. Top tip: Form habits now that foster your self-reliance. Start by testing time management techniques until you find the one that works best for you, then stick with it.

  • Ability to Set Boundaries

You often hear the term work/life balance, but never is it more relevant than with a remote job. After all, how do you keep your work life separate from your home life when your home is your workspace? It’s important in a remote job that you’re able to set boundaries to help you stay focused. That means removing or staying away from any distractions, such as your phone, snacks, pets, or places where you may be tempted to nap. If you maintain these boundaries, you’re likely to achieve a much healthier work/life balance and be more productive overall.Top tip: Set up your home office space away from distractions, ideally separate from your bed and kitchen, or areas in your house with a lot of activity.

  • Self-motivated

Remote work requires an especially high level of self-motivation. There’s no one watching over you to make sure you’re being productive, and there are plenty of distractions at home to keep you from accomplishing your goals. Individuals who can overcome these challenges through internal motivation are much more likely to succeed in a work from home job. It’s also important when job seeking to look for remote positions that excite you. If you’re interested and engaged in the work you’re doing, you’re naturally more motivated to do it. Top tip: Create your own motivations by rewarding yourself throughout the day for small and large achievements. An example of a reward could be a snack or a short break.

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Feb 10, 2022
Essential Digital Marketing Newsletters

Working at a small firm is like working for yourself (in fact, you might be working for yourself) – you don’t have any extra time. For anything.

But there’s a lot of junk out there. And that’s the last thing anyone needs in their inbox.

That’s why I wanted to share my top 5 marketing email newsletters so that you can look past all the junk and find what’s really relevant.

Once you get going, you’ll likely notice a trend: none of these sources necessarily have much to do with architecture, design, or construction. They are all knowledge bases for general application, and some even have specific applications for other industries.

And that’s good.

If you want to make a real leap in the way you reach new potential clients, you’ll need to stop taking notes from the way that everyone else in the industry is doing things. Charles Kettering once said “If you have always done it that way, it is probably wrong.”

So look at the following thought leaders as sources for you to expand your horizons out of the typical perspective and start disrupting the way things are done in our industry.

1. Neil Patel

Neil Patel, co-founder of the Kissmetrics blog (one of the largest and most successful online communities centered around digital marketing), broke off and began an agency under his own name. 

But his content is what you really care about.

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Neil Patel Marketing Email Newsletter Example

Neil has a firm belief in raising the bar when it comes to creating valuable content for his readers. Some blogs and articles (hopefully not this one) tend to promise you something awesome and deliver something that’s alright, or even helpful.

Neil takes the opposite approach. He still will promise something awesome (“The One Thing You Need To Change in 2018 To Improve Your Search Engine Rankings”) but then will not stop at the information. He’ll give you what you wanted, along with 200-300% more context and additional points than you feel like you asked for. 

Of course, if you’re looking for a quick fix, you can find it. 

But if you’re looking for robust content that adds even more value than it promises, Neil is your guy.

Plus, his email communication is about as non-intrusive as it gets. 

Each update is a single link to a new blog post, and contains no formatting or advertisements – just a few plain text lines telling you what the latest blog post is about.

I’m in the blogging game – and even I can’t resist clicking on each update. Even if you only look to Neil for an example of how to communicate with an audience, it will certainly be worth your time.

2. Moz

Moz takes a similar approach to Neil Patel, but from a different background. Moz basically offers a suite of tools for digital marketing (many of which have free options) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). 

The team at Moz has built a successful strategy around answering common questions about digital marketing through their blog and using that to drive leads for their digital products.

And that’s exactly why you should subscribe to their updates.

Moz Marketing Email Newsletter Example

If you’re looking for a definitive source about the gray areas of marketing, Moz is the place. They’ve not only got a team of thought leaders from pretty incredible backgrounds to back them up, but their posts tend to provide exactly the depth you need to answer a given question.

If you’re in the content game, you might take some SEO notes from the way Moz structures their pages as well. They are invariably one of the top search results on topics related to SEO and digital marketing.

3. GrowthHackers

If you want to take a different approach to your digital strategy, sign up for GrowthHackers updates.

GrowthHackers focuses on the startup and entrepreneurial community, curating content around the concept of “growth hacking” or spurring strategic exponential growth in a short span of time through targeted digital strategy.

The idea of growth hacking is certainly a far cry from traditional marketing theory, but it leverages the idea that times have changed since those theories were developed, especially in regards to the internet and social media.

GrowthHackers Marketing Email Newsletter Example

There is easier access than ever to mass markets through viral tactics, and GrowthHackers’ content is almost always about how to employ viral tactics at a low cost.

Their focus is on startup giants like Spotify, Facebook, and others who managed to grow incredibly quickly.

Of course, you probably neither expect nor want for your firm to grow in those terms – but adopting some tactics that helped the giants of our economy get to where they are couldn’t hurt.


4. HubSpot

Hubspot takes a similar approach to Moz. As a global agency, it has a wealth of knowledge and resources at its disposal, and uses them to create invariably useful content that drives traffic to its agency products.

Hubspot has a slightly more “corporate” feel to them than someone like Neil Patel, and their emails come just about every day with a new blog post or topic for you to explore.

It’s good stuff, but I tend to prefer to leverage them more when I’m searching for specific answers to my questions than for casual learning.

Hubspot Marketing Email Newsletter Example

5. Archipreneur

If it has bothered you to no end that none of the above resources come from architecture-specific backgrounds, here you go.

Archipreneur may be a resource familiar to you, but it’s a good one to engage with for a number of reasons.

Archipreneur Marketing Email Newsletter Example

First, its angle is “the business of architecture” and aims to cover innovation and creative strategies within the AEC industry. 

How much it actually covers the “business” side of the industry is debatable, as much of its content inevitably covers the same cycle of industry trends as everyone else.

However, the approach of viewing your practice as a business that provides a specific type of value to customers is one that you don’t find in other architecture-specific publications.

We all must remember that at the end of the day, our practices are a business like any other. Failing to recognize the opportunities and threats that accompany that reality can be disastrous for anyone.

Therefore, a forced mental removal from entrenchment in design and practice can sometimes be necessary. Resources like Archipreneur can help you get in such a habit on a regular basis.

Do I Need to Subscribe To All Of These?

I hope not. I certainly don’t.

Once again, immersing yourself in new and relevant information is a discipline, not a luxury. 

If you wait until you have time to do it, you’ll never get there.

If you immediately try to sustain a daily deep dive into an unfamiliar world, you’ll burn yourself out and not get anything from it. 

I encourage you to start with one of the above. Subscribe to their newsletter, and discipline yourself to read through each article that gets sent to your inbox for an entire week. 

You’ll be able to gauge pretty quickly whether it offers value to you or not. If it doesn’t, move down the list and try another.

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Feb 8, 2022
Top In-Demand Skills You Can Learn Online

Remember the days when knowledge used to equate books and teachers?

These days, knowledge can be obtained everywhere online too, with free and paid options.

Some of the e-learning websites include Youtube, massive open online courses (MOOC) platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, edX, Udacity, Khan Academy, Skillshare, and other self-development apps like Masterclass or MindValley.

Audible is an online audiobook and podcast platform which streams spoken word content.

Spotify and other podcast platforms also stream podcasts from individual producers to megastars.

Benefits of Online Learning

The online learning phenomenon drastically reduces education barriers by increasing accessibility while reducing cost.

For more structured courses, there is also the flexibility of watching courses and completing assignments at your own pace.

Nowadays, people are learning new skills online to upgrade themselves, whether it is related to their profession, to build a side hustle in the future, or to improve skills in a particular hobby.

Below, you will find top in-demand skills that can be learned online to increase your employability and/or grow your business in this digital era.

Top In-Demand Skills to Learn Online

1. Copywriting Skills

Slogans, taglines, headlines-what do they have in common?

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If that sounds exciting, welcome to the world of copywriting.

Copywriting is the art of using persuasive words to create content that influences or converts, including the above-mentioned slogans, taglines, and headlines.

The difference between copywriting and content writing is the intended goal.

  • Copywriting: to persuade the target audience to perform a particular action
  • Content writing: to increase general awareness on various topics related to the offering, thus building brand authority

If you have the writing flair, why not try learning copywriting skills online?

Not only can you help businesses secure more customers, you just might start your own business and be your own copywriter!

2. Digital Marketing & Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Remember billboards, TV and radio advertisements, and newspaper product placements?

In today’s digital world, the bulk of marketing is now done online.

Social media and search engines have leveraged the fact that consumers spend most of their free time on these platforms.

This opens up more possibilities for marketing, in turn building up a rapidly expanding subset in the industry: digital marketing.

Digital marketing is basically marketing done on digital platforms such as emails, social media, search engines, and apps.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a highly prized skill within the digital marketing subset.

The idea is to optimize content so that when users type specific keywords, it will appear in the first few search results.

Different digital marketing approaches are required for different platforms, thus you may find online learning courses that only focus on 1 subset.

There are many e-learning websites that offer digital marketing courses because it is in high demand and is expected to remain so for quite some time in the foreseeable future.

If you are interested to learn new skills online and equip yourself with current in-demand skills, digital marketing and SEO are great skills to add to your resume or to grow your hustle.

3. Graphic Design

“Don’t judge a book by its cover”.

While that is true, in this competitive digital era with consumers’ increasingly short attention spans, outstanding graphics help businesses stand out.

Think about your own experience scrolling through businesses’ social media accounts with great graphics compared to lacklustre ones.

As social media is the “storefront” for e-commerce, great graphics will communicate brand authority and in turn build trust with potential clients, even before the first purchase.

The interesting advantage of being a highly sought-after graphic designer is the uniqueness of your skill.

As graphic design is subjective, your exact combination of techniques and design ideas is uniquely yours.

Thankfully, there are also many e-learning websites that offer courses in graphic design.

Online learning of graphic design skills is not only possible, it is necessary to learn the basics and keep up with the latest trends.

The end result? Your clients will benefit from cutting edge graphic design ideas, and your business/career will grow steadily as you build your unique brand identity and authority, whether through word of mouth or an impressive portfolio on online platforms such as Dribble or Behance.

4. UX and UI Design

UX and UI design sound futuristic. But what exactly are they?

UX stands for “user experience”, while UI stands for “user interface”.

As they are often used interchangeably or with overlapping job descriptions, it is hard to draw a solid line between them.

Career Foundry condensed the difference between those 2 terms, stating that “UX design is all about the overall feel of the experience, while UI design is all about how the product’s interfaces look and function.”

At the end of the day, both UX and UI design complement each other to ensure a pleasing customer experience from contemplation to post-purchase.

UX and UI designers are in great demand right now, as businesses compete to provide the best overall experience with their offerings.

Consumers tend to rely on reviews to finalise their purchase. A great customer experience will encourage people to share without additional prompting or incentives. It is a win-win situation for both consumers as well as businesses.

Interested in the thought processes and design aspects of customer-centric products/services? Take a UX and UI design course from e-learning websites and learn these skills online in no time.

5. Coding

If bricks are the building blocks for houses, what about digital stuff like apps, websites, and software?

The answer lies in a special language: coding.

Lines of code may seem indecipherable, but once put together, has the ability to power from the simplest to cutting-edge digital solutions.

  • As an employee in an unrelated industry, this extra skill will help you identify opportunities and work on solutions that may not be available yet.
  • As a side or main hustle, coding enables you to build an innovative solution from scratch, or help others do so.
  • When outsourcing is required, you will be able to communicate your vision more accurately and to identify the expert from the fluff to prevent costly mistakes.

There are plenty of e-learning websites that offer online learning for coding.

In fact, as it is recognised as an important skill, some websites such as Codecademy and Free Code Camp offer free online courses that allow you to dive into deeper coding waters as you progress.

If you are interested to learn new skills online to future-proof yourself, coding is an excellent choice.

Although it will be a steep learning curve, just like learning a new language, you will get the hang of it with persistent practising. Practice makes perfect!

6. WordPress

As mentioned earlier, websites are built on codes.

But what if you only want to build websites on a pre-existing platform with zero or little coding experience?

Enter website-builders such as WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly and Shopify.

While all have user-friendly interfaces for beginners (thanks, UX and UI designers!), WordPress.org has more options in the customisation department with thousands of plugins from independent creators.

At the time of publishing, WordPress claims to power 39% of websites on the Internet. It is only set to grow from here as more businesses forge their digital presence. There will also be an increase by websites built for various causes, from charity to online resumes.

It is beneficial to learn how to navigate WordPress.org to set up websites without needing to learn the deep end of coding while being able to have the freedom of customization via plugins.

If you love exploring website creation for personal and professional reasons, learning WordPress.org on e-learning websites is a great start!

7. Photography

Photography has morphed over the years, from film to electronic photographs.

The increased accessibility to cameras allows many to freely explore photography.

However, there is still a great demand for skilful photographers to photograph exceptional images, be it special moments during a wedding or commercial shoots.

In digital marketing, photography also complements graphic design to produce stellar visuals that evoke emotions from the target audience.

In addition, good photography skills will improve your own social media game. You will also be the go-to person whenever your friends want to take a photo. Who knows, you might even build a side hustle from these referrals!

If you plan to take your love for photography to the next level and possibly earn income from it, there are various e-learning websites that offer courses in photography.

As photography is subjective and personal, different photographers can capture the same moment with various interpretations. After mastering the basics, learn how to tell a story well through composition from advanced online courses.

For the serious photographer, online learning of photo editing skills is also beneficial to process the images well.

In fact, most images have to be processed using photo editing software to consistently fit a certain aesthetic.

Learning new skills online such as photography and editing skills will not only enable you to take your hobby seriously, it will also open the door to many more opportunities.

8. Data Science

“Knowledge is power”.

The digital era enables us to collect data much more efficiently than before, for better or for worse (think privacy and data protection concerns).

Nevertheless, there is a surge of demand in interpreting and applying these data to make better business decisions.

Data science is a relatively new field that emerged from this demand.

Although the concept of analysing and applying insights from data trends has been around since ancient times, data science in the 21st Century involves a more systematic approach in the form of scientific methods, algorithms, and systems.

It is expected to grow exponentially. Due to its novelty, the supply of data scientists is currently far below the demand.

The good news is learning data science is now more accessible than ever through e-learning websites such as Edureka’s Data Science Certification Courses.

If you are an analytical person with an interest in making connections between data and its implications, learning data science online can help boost your employability and future-proof your career.

9. Bonus: Personal Development

Personal development is a set of skills that enable you to reach your fullest potential.

It may not be a digitally related skill, but it is an important icing on the cake to advance professionally as well as to live a fulfilling life.

The best part about developing personal skills is that they are evergreen. Soft skills have been, and will always be, important in any setting, so long as human beings are involved.

Some examples of personal development skills include communication skills, interpersonal skills, leadership skills, and problem-solving skills.

Personal development skills can be learnt via online courses from e-learning websites, self-help books, mentors, and even the people around you or through social media.

There is always room for improvement in personal development skills. Why not improve your skills further under the guidance of experts via online courses from e-learning websites?

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Jan 27, 2022
Famous Inventions or Greatest Ideas


Throughout history, human civilizations have witnessed engineering marvels from time to time that help improve the quality of life, and in some cases, are overwhelmingly destructive. Here are the most famous inventions and ideas of all time you should know about.

1. Fire

Although fire wasn’t technically invented, the ability to control fire was both fundamental and crucial for human civilization. Ancient humans who walked the Earth around two million years ago discovered and used fire for their benefit, but it wasn’t until 125,000 years ago that fire was fully utilized to the point where it was considered a tool.

Apart from giving us warmth in the cold and light in the dark, fire led us to develop skills like cooking. The ability to prepare healthier food and cleaner drinking water helped ensure not only human survival, but also higher intelligence due to proper nutrient intake.

2. Wheel

Many people think that the wheel is the greatest invention of all time. Around 3500 B.C.E., the Mesopotamians invented the wheel, but mainly for pottery-making. It took about three centuries before the first wheel was attached to a chariot and it could only get better after that.

In our modern life, we take the wheel as a ubiquitous piece of engineering that we rarely pay attention to. Before this invention came to surface, humans were limited in terms of transportation and haulage. That being said, the wheel was only one part of another life-changing invention: the wheel-and-axle. In other words, the idea of attaching a wheel to a non-moving platform in a proper configuration so the two could work together.

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3. Compass

Magnetic compasses have lost their place as the prominent navigational equipment to global positioning systems and satellites, but their importance in history — especially in the field of land and sea exploration — will always be remembered. A lodestone, a naturally magnetized mineral, was used to make early compasses in China around 300–200 B.C.E.

Before these compasses, navigational systems mainly relied on astronomical signs. The compass was the single object that brought us to the Age of Discovery. It played an important role in the development of European countries in their efforts to gain wealth and power that eventually led to the Industrial Revolution.

Compass

4. Paper Currency

Before money, trade was the commercial exchange of goods and services. Money took various forms throughout history including precious metals, coins, foods, vegetables, livestock, and basically anything else useful as tradable bartering assets. Again, China was the first to make use of paper money in the 9th century, and Europe followed suit in the late 1600s.

Despite having no intrinsic value and initially being used as legal-binding notes issued by banks as a promise of future payments, paper money soon became the most common bartering asset to purchase goods and services. Paper money started a new era of trade that transformed the face of economics at a global scale.

5. Printing Press

Thanks to Johannes Gutenberg, the spread of knowledge and historical records reached an unprecedented pace. In 1439, he revolutionized note-making, turning it from a hand-written form to a printed one. He devised the equipment that would allow ink to be transferred to pieces of paper repeatedly, making the entire process of writing much quicker than it had ever been before.

Prior to the Internet, no single innovation contributed more to educating the world. Gutenberg built his equipment based on existing presses with the use of a mold to increase production speed and capacity of lead-alloy type pieces. Not only was the assembly effective, but it also made books much more affordable for the lower classes. By 1600, the Gutenberg presses printed more than 200 million books.

6. Automobile

The steam engine cleared the path for the industrial revolution, and the automobile came out of it. While automobiles are not the first means of land transportation, the way that it’s propelled by the engine makes traveling much quicker.

The automobile is also a combination of many inventions; some people may even say that it’s like a small home filled with a collection of innovations including wheels, internal combustion, the radio, air conditioning, batteries, and in some cases, a refrigerator.

The 1885 Motorwagen was broadly considered the first automobile, and automobiles are being developed as we speak. The automobile, at least in its early days, was mainly a luxury item designed for the wealthy; the poor simply walked on. Henry Ford with his revolutionary assembly line made cars more affordable for the lower classes.

1885 Motorwagen

7. Remote Communication

It doesn’t seem right to merge the inventions of the telegraph, the radio, and the telephone into a single item, but they all were based on the same idea of having remote communication. Ever since Samuel Morse came up with his electric telegraph in 1836, communication technology has come a long way to get to where it is now.

Transmitting signals through electromagnetic waves was a brilliant concept that Nikola Tesla and Guglielmo Marconi developed and popularized in the early 20th century. From simple signals (or commands like using a remote control), the transmission of sounds and images became possible. The invention of television brought hours of entertainment still used today to every home with live broadcast.

Fast forward several decades and the Internet came along — now you can have a video call with great audio and image clarity. The possibility to communicate with someone else millions of miles away allows for easy, quick information delivery whether it’s in the field of scientific research, international politics, trades, or even war strategy.

8. Contraceptives

Contraceptives benefit human civilization in a simple way but have profound effects. With fewer mouths to feed, every family has achieved a higher standard of living and can provide for each child they have more sufficiently.

In many countries where contraceptives are used (as well as easily available), the average number of offspring per woman has drastically reduced. Birth control has slowly yet steadily helped prevent unnecessary and potentially dangerous rapid population growth on a global scale.

Certain types of contraceptives, such as condoms, are effective at preventing sexually transmitted diseases as well. People have used various forms of contraceptives including those made of only natural substances.

Condoms have been used since the 18th century, while the contraceptive pill came into use in the 1930s; the brainchild of Russell Marker. Birth control remains an interesting field of study and new methods are always being developed.

9. Airplane

Just like the invention of the automobile, airplanes combine multiple brilliant ideas including wheels and steam turbines into a single sturdy vehicle. Beyond the engineering magnificence, the airplane transformed our view into something larger, wider, and broader. It has changed the way we travel and manner of warfare.

10. Radio

Long-distance radio transmission is an important piece of technology for modern life. The communication system was the result of continuous development by many different people, but the first workable radio apparatus was the brainchild of a single Italian, Guglielmo Marconi. He devised this wireless telegraphy system in 1895.

11. Hydraulic Engineering

In the late 19th century, hydraulic engineering solved a prominent problem: how to bring fresh water into homes and send away sewage from settlements.

Although sophisticated waterworks had been in existence earlier in ancient Rome, hydraulic engineering brought massive improvement in wastewater treatment and sanitation in general. Infectious diseases caused by contaminated water were greatly minimized so countries like the United States and Britain could develop better.

12. Universal Turing Machine

The Turing machine worked by using mathematical formulas that were then used to build the Bombe, an Enigma code-breaker. Alan Turing invented the Universal Turing Machine with the capability of doing different kinds of computation depending on the program or input. The weakness was that it could only compute one program at a time. Regardless of its limitations, the Universal Turing Machine can be considered the forerunner of modern computers.

13. Atomic Bomb

Compared to any other technological developments and inventions in the last 2000 years, the atomic bomb had the greatest effects on human history. In just a matter of seconds, a single atomic bomb eliminated around 200,000 people in Hiroshima.

The ability to destroy the planet is now within the realm of possibility as superpower countries arm themselves with more weapons than they would ever need. To some extent, atomic and nuclear weapons now take part in keeping the world safe as countries have to think many times before they start wars.

Atomic bomb

14. Anesthesia 

Imagine you (or someone else) undergoing a surgical procedure without having anesthesia administered beforehand. Anesthetic drugs, in simple words, put your body and mind to sleep or make certain parts of the body numb enough that you don’t feel anything when it’s treated. Anesthetic frees you from the threat of agony, and it also helps the scientific world understand the mechanism of human consciousness.

15. Eraser 

As an idea or concept, the eraser is marvelous. It comes in all sorts of shapes such as the delete button, white tape, black tape, and the more literal rubber-eraser.

This simple thing allows you to make revisions, correct inaccurate measurements, make constitutional amendments, change identities, modify a structure, or alter an existing order. The ability to go back and correct previous mistakes builds the foundation of scientific methods, improve regulations, develop cultures, and even rewrite history.

16. Mirror

Prior to the mass production and widespread use of mirrors, people could only see their reflections on calm water or very shiny metallic surfaces. Of course, what they saw could not do justice to their actual reflections, mainly due to an uneven surface or poor lighting.

The mirror, which came about during the Renaissance, changed that. A single mirror can show exactly how you look in front of others, which in turn forces us to develop manners of eating, grooming, shaving, and behaving.

Thanks to the mirror, you don’t have to ask how you look when wearing a jacket or raincoat, and you can practice table manners on your own if need be. Psychologically, a mirror is the embodiment of self-consciousness and retrospection because you can see yourself as if you have the eyes of others.

mirror

17. Concrete

Concrete-like structures began to appear for the first time in northern Jordan and southern Syria regions around 6500 B.C.E. Comprised of rough composite mixed with fluid cement, concrete is the most widely used man-made material. The mix hardens over time and makes a very sturdy, strong foundation of a structure. When it’s still wet, however, the material is very easy to manipulate into different shapes.

18. ATM

John-Shepherd Barron is credited with the invention of the first fully-functional ATM (Automated Teller Machine). The first ATM was installed on June 27, 1967, for Barclays Bank in Enfield Town, London. The maximum withdrawal allowed was £10. Today, the machine is always just around the corner in any modern town.

19. Electric Motor

The steam engine might have started the Industrial Revolution, but the electric motor has helped households all around the world do their chores in a more time-efficient way. It isn’t necessarily about one particular type of electrical appliance, but the general idea of using electricity to propel a mechanism as seen in kitchen appliances and power tools.

In modern times, some mass transportation vehicles — for example, the train — are also powered by electric motors. Electric cars existed but were considered too weak and cumbersome. Now, they are being reintroduced by big automobile companies such as BMW and Tesla.

20. Global Positioning System

The precursor of the GPS was called TRANSIT and developed in the 1960s to guide nuclear submarines. The modern version of GPS (originally Navstar GPS) was a project by the U.S. Department of Defense but was intended for use only by the U.S. military.

In 2000, President Clinton granted the use of GPS for non-military purposes, and now everybody can utilize the navigational system for various purposes like finding the best spot for fishing to tracking the movement of whales. However, there are some limitations to the public GPS — the most accurate Global Positioning System is still owned by the U.S. government.

21. Industrial Robot

The first industrial robot was the Unimate, invented by George Devol and installed in a General Motors assembly line at Ewing Township, New Jersey.

People (or companies) in the United States were not too excited about it, unlike their counterparts in Japan. After licensing the design in 1968, the Japanese went on to eventually dominate the global market for programmable industrial robots.

22. LED

In 1962, Nick Holonyak was a consultant for General Electric when he invented the LED. It started as a simple, inexpensive yet effective method to help us understand how well computers could interpret input or information. It had a humble beginning as a simple visible spectrum of red light and has since been used to create the biggest 24-million LED pixel billboard that covers an entire city block in New York Times Square.

LED-lights-Times-Square-min

23. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Similar to GPS, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) which are more commonly known as drones began as a military project, although it is difficult to pinpoint when development began. One of the earliest attempts at making a powered UAV was Archibald Low’s Aerial Target in 1916. A year after that, Nikola Tesla described a fleet of unmanned aerial combat vehicles.

In the United States, a classified UAV project codenamed “Red Wagon” started in 1960. Eventually, in 1973, the U.S. military confirmed the use of drones in Vietnam. The first mass-produced UAV in the United States was the OQ-2 Radioplane and the development continues today.

Some say drones are tools for surveillance, others think of them as innovative vehicles for delivering goods; the vast majority of people would tell you that drones are lethal weapons hiding in the sky. Drones are good examples that an innovation can be either useful or dangerous depending on how we decide to use it.

24. Digital Music 

The first digital recording and playback system was invented by James Russell in 1970, who was then a scientist with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. With his method, sounds were represented by a pattern or string of 0s and 1s etched on a photosensitive platter.

A laser read the binary arrangements to produce music. A set of converters were necessary: analog-to-digital for recording and digital-to-analog for playback. Unfortunately, Russell did not manage to convince the music industry to use his invention. CD manufacturers including Time Warner had to pay $30 million for patent infringement 20 years later as a settlement to Optical Recording Co., James Russell’s former employer.

25. Electronic Ignition System

Early ignition systems were available only for race engines such as the BRM and Coventry Climax engines in 1962. Pontiac became the first manufacturer to offer electronic ignition on road legal cars, as it was available as an option on some 1963 models. Electronic ignition systems did not become standard until the Fiat Dino in 1968.

Other automakers soon followed suit. For example, Jaguar in 1971 and Chrysler in 1973. Ford and GM introduced it as a standard feature in 1975. It’s safe to say that the ignition system started the modernization movement from mechanical-control to electronic-control in the automobile industry. Today, most cars offer a lot of electric-controlled functions such as traction, steering, brakes, transmissions, and even airbag deployment.

26. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

Although all people including doctors, scientists, patients, and laymen agree that the MRI is a brilliant invention, we still don’t know for sure who invented it. On one hand, many people believe it to be Raymond Damadian, as he set the course for the machine to be utilized as medical equipment when he used it to tell healthy tissues from cancerous ones in 1973.

On the other hand, Peter Mansfield and Peter Lauterbur received Nobel Prizes for their influential discoveries on the same machine.

27. Crescent Wrench 

Founded by Karl Peterson in Jamestown, New York in 1907, the Crescent Tool Company had only one product: a type of wrench that could replace a bunch of different-sized wrenches. The tool could handle clutch adjustments and fix brakes on early automobiles.

Despite its practicality, the crescent wrench didn’t enjoy widespread popularity until 1927 when Charles Lindbergh, the man who made the first solo successful transatlantic flight, suggested that he only carried two hand tools: pliers and a crescent wrench.

crescent-wrench-invention-idea

28. Typewriter

In the early 1800s, the world saw the first mechanical typing machine that was used with carbon paper — both were the inventions of an Italian named Pellegrino Turri. The development of modern typewriter started there, and the equipment was finally standardized in 1910.

This means that all typewriters, regardless of manufacturer, followed mostly the same design with only minor variations allowed. An important milestone in the development occurred in 1874 when a typewriter with a QWERTY keyboard layout became available as the Remington Standard 2.

The idea behind the layout was impressive. Christopher L. Sholes, the man who created it, figured out a method to prevent jamming by putting the most frequently used letters farther from each other — not the keys themselves, but the actual type bars inside the machine. It has become the standard layout in modern computer keyboards and most (if not all) typing devices.

29. Match

The idea of controlling fire for human purposes was remarkable, as was the invention of the match. One of the earliest methods to produce fire was by focusing sunlight through a lens onto timber. It would only work on sunny days, which wasn’t too helpful since you needed fire the most during the night.

Striking flint and steel together to create a spark was another common method. The chemical match was invented in 1669, but a non-poisonous match did not come about until 1910. Before this, the number of chemical substances (such as sulfur and phosphorous) required to produce a single spark was more than enough to kill a person.

30. Light Bulb

Thomas Edison is the man usually accredited to the invention of the light bulb. However, he wasn’t the only person who contributed to the development of technology. What Edison did to stay ahead of his competitors was to develop an inexpensive practical light bulb.

Even after he filed the patent for his invention in 1879, several other figures helped perfect the design, particularly concerning the filament materials. Edison figured out that carbonized bamboo was an ideal filament because it could burn for more than 1,200 hours.

Lewis Howard Latimer and Willis R. Whitney invented more efficient methods to produce the carbon filament and a treatment to prevent the burning filament from darkening the inside of the glass bulb, respectively.

The longest running light bulb was installed in a fire department building in Livermore, California. The light bulb was turned on for the first time sometime between 1901 and 1905 and has been continuously running since then.

Lightbulb

31. Phonograph 

The phonograph was another idea put forth by Edison. The first public demonstration of the phonograph occurred in 1877 for the Scientific American magazine. To the astonishment of all who present at the event, Edison cranked his machine and it gave a greeting. The machine played, “Good morning. How do you do? How do you like the phonograph?”

It wasn’t just an early model of an answering machine, but a revolutionary piece of engineering that enabled music to be played in the home. It brought music to a much wider audience and promoted jazz with an unprecedented level of aggressiveness.

32. Wristwatch

Alberto Santos-Dumont, the man who made the first heavier-than-air flight in Europe had a small yet crucial role in the invention of the first men’s wristwatch created by his friend, Louis Cartier.

In 1901, Santos-Dumont complained to Cartier about how difficult it was to check the time while keeping his hands in control during a flight. Five years later, Santos-Dumont was in possession of the first men’s wristwatch with a leather strap and buckle, made by Louis Cartier.

However, it wasn’t the first wristwatch. Patek Philippe took credit for that when he made it for the Countess Koscowicz of Hungary in 1868.

33. Fire Extinguisher

The earliest model of the fire extinguisher was more dangerous to the operator than the fire itself. It was comprised of a cask that contained liquid and a gunpowder chamber made of pewter. The whole apparatus was set off by igniting the fuse.

Once activated, the gunpowder generated an explosion needed to scatter the liquid retardant. It was invented in 1723 by Ambrose Godfrey and patented in England. The fire extinguisher was the subject of development throughout history. Today, the most common models include air-pressurized water, carbon dioxide, and dry chemicals. Each works best when used to put out fire on specific types of flammable materials.

34. Push Lawn Mower

A British engineer, Edwin Budding, devised a new apparatus for cutting grass based on a carpet cutter in 1830. It was 19-inches wide and the frame was constructed from wrought iron. It would take a decade to develop a lawnmower meant to be operated by animals, and 60 years for the world to see the first steam-engine version.

In the United States, turf grass is one of the most common vegetation’s grown and it actually takes a very large portion of land in the entire country. After World War II, the rise of suburbia created massive demands for lawnmowers. Prior to 1946 alone, there were around 140,000 lawnmower units sold in the U.S. Currently, more than five million units are sold every year.

35. Car Jack

You would assume that a hydraulic car jack was invented by someone named Jack, but it was not. Richard Dudgeon was granted the first patent for the portable hydraulic jack in 1851, which was proven superior to the alternative at that time, the screw jack.

He was just 32 years old when he came up and actualized the idea. The hydraulic jack was most commonly used in railroad repair shops and shipyards back then, but now it has become a staple in every automobile shop all around the world.

Car jack

36. Outboard Motor

The inboard motor has been around since the early 1800s, yet no one came up with the idea of attaching it externally to a boat until Ole Evinrude came up with his two-stroke boat motor. His motor was not the first “outboard” type but it was the first to be adopted widely.

Earlier models were made by Gustave Trouvé in 1870 (electric), American Motors Co. in 1896 (petrol-powered), and Waterman in 1905 (gasoline). The main reason why Evinrude’s design became so popular was its two-stroke configuration. This allowed the motor to be reliable, cost-efficient, and lightweight — all characteristics you would expect from an outboard motor.

Ole Evinrude, or the people who invented the outboard motor before her, didn’t create a new type of vehicle. The motor simply allowed a combination of existing technologies in a simple enough configuration that anyone could enjoy driving on water.

37. Tape Measure

Credit for the invention of the modern spring-loaded tape measure goes to Alvin Fellows. He invented it in 1868 — his method was to encase the tool in a plastic container and attach it with a spring clip. Despite its superiority to the more common wooden ruler, the tape measure didn’t start to outsell its inferior counterpart until the 1940s. Spring-loaded tape measures have a timeless design. It’s effective, inexpensive, practical, and easy to use.

38. Swiss Army Knife

A Swiss Army Knife will always be an icon of outdoor utility. With short knives, a pair of scissors, screwdrivers, can openers, and foldable design, many people swear to never leave home without it. While it may not be helpful for any serious carpentry works, it surely can help you feel like MacGyver at the very least.

The original model was built in the 1880s by the Germany-based manufacturer, Wester & Co. Solingen. It had a blade, can opener, a reamer, a screwdriver, and oak handle. The idea was to provide the military with a multipurpose knife to repair rifles, open canned foods, and cut stuff as needed.

Carl Elsener, a Swiss man, didn’t think it was right for Swiss soldiers to use knives made in Germany, so he set out to manufacture the equipment in his home country. Afterward, he named his company Victorinox.

39. Flashlight

A flashlight is a pretty simple device — an electric lightbulb connected to a switch. The first U.S. patent for the flashlight was obtained by a British inventor named David Misell in 1899. Some of the early flashlights were donated to the New York City police.

Because early models were inefficient and needed to take a brief “rest” to stay functional, the light only flashed multiple times instead of being continuous, hence the name.

Flashlight

40. Duct Tape

The original duct tape was strips of plain cotton duck. Its main function was as an insulator for steel cable, although some people used it as a decorative ornament on clothing. In the 1910s, some shoes and boots were reinforced using the same material as well.

The modern version of duct tape we’re all familiar with was an invention of Johnson & Johnson’s Revolite Division. It was thin cotton duck coated with plastic material on one side and rubber-based adhesive on the other. To make the tape easier to work with, it was also designed to be ripped by hand.

After World War II, hardware stores began selling duct tape for household use. Whether you think of it as a material or a gadget, it continues to be the ultimate multi-tool. Even NASA astronauts made repairs with it in space.

41. Velcro

A lot of people attributed the invention of Velcro to NASA, and they couldn’t be further from the truth. While NASA did popularize the fabric, it was George de Mestral who patented it in 1955. At first, Velcro was subject to all sorts of ridicules, but eventually, de Mestral had the last laugh. In the 1960s, astronauts used Velcro to secure devices for easy retrieval.

Made of two thin strips of fabric, one has countless tiny loops, and another is fitted with tiny hooks. Velcro is a truly easy to use universal fastener for all people, from DIY enthusiasts to engineers.

velcro

42. Electric Traffic Light

Imagine driving on today’s busy roads without traffic lights. Credit for the first electric traffic signal goes to James Hoge, although early forms (both manually-operated and electric-powered) had existed earlier in many parts of the world.

The system based on his design was first installed in Cleveland on August 5, 1914. He devised a wired traffic signal attached to a single post to be installed on each corner of an intersection. Because the lights were all wired and configurable, the police and fire departments could adjust the rhythm of lights as needed. James Hoge filed the patent in 1913 and was granted it five years later.

43. Steam Iron

Henry W. Seely filed the patent for an electric iron in 1882. It was called an electric flatiron back then. Suddenly, people had an easier way to maintain their clothes and look good in more consistent ways by keeping the wrinkles away from shirts and pants.

The problem was that the regular iron could bake in the grease and sweat attached to articles of clothing. The Hoover steam iron, introduced in 1953, was the perfect solution. It allowed us to iron faster and make the clothes look better for a longer time.

44. Petrol

In 1859, petroleum was not a desirable natural by-product of oil. Edwin Drake, the driller of the first productive oil well in the United States, discarded petroleum (referred to as gas or gasoline in the country) because he was unaware of its potential uses. Drake refined the oil mostly to produce kerosene, a hot-selling commodity. Without petroleum, the Industrial Revolution wouldn’t have been possible.

Petrol

45. Railway

George Stephenson, with his “Rocket” locomotive, made headlines during the 1820s when commercial train networks were still in their infancy. He was a real pioneer and was appointed as the engineer for Stockton and Darlington railway in 1821.

It took only four years before the first public roadway was opened. Both Rocket and the opening of the railway became powerful forces to drive the development of the industry. The next major improvement in the business would have to wait until the diesel engine came about in the 1890s.

46. Internet

The Internet doesn’t belong to anybody, not even Google, but it is for everybody to use. While the Internet is an invention, the whole system was the result of many people’s contributions. The precursor of the Internet, known as ARPANET, was a project by the U.S. Department of Defense in the 1960s.

Vint Cerf and Robert E. Kahn later developed the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) that became the standard Internet networking protocol until today. The rise of technology, email, and instant inexpensive overseas communication suddenly changed the way we live, conduct business, learn, and spread knowledge.

47. Camera

Paper, writing, and the printing press have all allowed us to study history and preserve knowledge, but things would have been very different without photographs. One thing that a camera does best is stop time and make an event more easily remembered by future generations. The first permanent photograph was captured in 1826 by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce using a camera designed by Charles and Vincent Chevalier. Figuratively speaking, the camera has witnessed its own evolutionary stages from the obscura to DSLR.

Camera-min

48. Battery

Our life wouldn’t be quite the same if we didn’t have batteries, and their history may be much older than you may think.

The first prehistoric batteries may be about 2000 years old. Ancient Parthians filled clay pots with vinegar solution and inserted an iron rod surrounded by a copper cylinder in it. It’s believed that they used it to electroplate silver.

However, the first electric battery was invented in 1800 by an Italian physicist Alessandro Volta. It consisted of copper and zinc plates stacked on top of each other and separated by paper disks soaked in brine. While Volta though that his invention had inexhaustible energy, it actually could not provide energy for sustainable periods of time.

A British chemist named John Frederic Daniel improved the battery and made it more practical 36 years later. Yet, it utilized liquid electrolytes and could be dangerous if it wasn’t handled correctly. The end of the 19th century marked the invention of the first dry cell battery which was the first practical and relatively safe portable energy source.

49. Moving Assembly Line

Henry Ford’s moving assembly line served multiple purposes: increasing the production capacity of the Ford Model T and meeting consumers’ demands. Another important purpose was to absorb less skilled workers without sacrificing build quality.

Because each person was only assigned to perform a repetitive task, it wouldn’t be too difficult to find workers. Ford’s assembly line was not the first and was based on meat processing factories in Chicago. Almost all big factories today use the same production system.

50. World Wide Web

It would be blasphemy to list the greatest ideas of all time without including the World Wide Web. It’s a way of accessing data. Tim Berners-Lee may not be the father of the Internet, because the moniker goes to the two people who invented the Internet protocol suite. However, Berners-Lee is the one who made the Internet more easily accessible by all. The first website in the world was hosted on Berners-Lee’s computer.

And that’s that! I know, this was a long list, but you’ve made it through. I hope you’ve taken some inspiration from this article, as the most influential ideas and inventions were sometimes made by mistake, while others took years of perseverance.

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Aug 13, 2021
Technology for Working at Home Independently

When you consider working from home, you may have some or all the technology you need to get started. However, to work at home effectively and to maximize your revenue-generating time, consider these important factors:

The right computer for the right job.

A small lightweight laptop may be convenient and portable, but not powerful enough to handle multitasking. A powerful gaming desktop may be extraordinarily fast but cost too much. Look for computers designed for small business—those are typically built with enough memory for multitasking and designed with productivity in mind.

What you are looking for:

  • Memory: 8 gigabytes of installed memory (RAM) is now the usual average for most small business machines. Look for 16 gigabytes or more if you expect to have many programs open at the same time.
  • Storage: look for fast Solid-State Drives. If you’re dedicating your machine for work, you might only need 128-256 gigabytes of storage space.
  • Processor: lower-end processors will have trouble with multitasking and voice processing (especially if you take calls with the computer itself). Look for mid-range processors that have 4 processing cores at least.
  • Networking: wireless is convenient, but still not secure for critical applications. You will need wired networking in any machine you choose.

Working wherever you are.

For the best cost-savings and lowest downtime, a traditional desktop computer is the way to go, as you can replace or upgrade components where necessary—sometimes by doing it yourself. However, if you find yourself needing to work at a different location regularly, a small-business laptop is a viable option. Make sure you have a large, high-resolution display (HD or better) and wired networking capabilities to ensure secure work wherever you go.

For laptops:

  • Display: most consumer-level laptops come with a smaller screen and lower resolution. That type of screen can make it difficult to multitask. Look for small business laptops with an “HD” screen or better, and at least a 15” physical display size
  • Avoid touchscreens: most business programs rely on keyboard-and-mouse input and will not understand touch input. As well, if the touchscreen breaks, that can cause problems trying to use other input devices when the broken touchscreens select items on-screen that you didn’t intend. Save money by choosing laptops without touch-enabled screens where possible.

Don’t forget the network!

Make sure you’re using up-to-date networking equipment: use modern routers and switches and ensure all your network cables are in good condition—a bad network cable between your computer and the router or modem can wreak havoc with your network quality. As well, make sure you’ve subscribed to enough bandwidth from your local internet service provider; if there are multiple other devices on your premises, someone else hogging all the bandwidth can cause your quality to drop.

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Jun 18, 2021
Improve Your Recruitment Strategy

You posted the job, but you’re not receiving the number of applications you were expecting. It’s time to take a closer look at how you hire people. All it takes is a few changes to bump your recruitment process up to gold level standards. 

Here are some things you can do to recruit new talent. 

1. Advertise your job in the right places


In addition to posting your jobs on sites catered to job seekers in general, also consider using solutions to market your jobs directly to the types of candidates you need to hire. Think about incorporating text messaging and emailing into your process. You can get your jobs in front of your audience, wherever they are. They don’t need to find your job themselves; you can also find them. Advertising your job in the right place is a crucial step in attracting new talent especially in a time when there are a lot of people considering new opportunities. Social media is also playing a part as a resource that compliments more traditional recruitment solutions to drive even more traffic to your jobs.

2. Your job ads could be more exciting


In addition to advertising the job in the right places, you have to market it in the best way possible. Put time and effort into writing the description. People want to know if the job will be worth it, but they’ll never know if the ad isn’t interesting enough to capture their attention in the first place. A good thing to note is that well-crafted job descriptions in the eyes of job seekers are more important than recognizing a company’s brand. So, if you’re not as big as a well-known Fortune 500 company, it’s okay. Also, the hiring process isn’t just about recruiting people, it’s a game of sales and marketing too. Make sure to highlight all the responsibilities while also sharing the benefits an employee receives by working with you. Demonstrate the values of the company while also making the ad interesting to look at and captivating to the eye. Writing a good ad isn’t impossible and will make a huge difference when it comes to recruiting talent.

3. Your recruitment process could be faster


In today’s world, everybody is in a rush. Applications should be relatively easy and simple to fit in with everyone else’s schedule. If you make the application itself too difficult, people won’t want to put in the time or effort to apply. In a recent survey 89% of job seekers said they would be more inclined to apply to a job if the application process was simple—like replying to a text message. Don’t underestimate the competition with other companies. Keep in mind active job seekers may be applying to many companies at once and then they accept the position with the organization that hires them the fastest. Keep the application process simple and respond quickly when you have a potential candidate. 

4. Your job offers are good, but could be better
If you really want to attract talent in the workplace you are going to have to make a good offer. There are plenty of companies out there that offering perks like a signing bonus. A signing bonus will attract new talent and then your corporate culture is what will retain them. 

5. Change the level of experience you’re seeking
While having qualified candidates is always a plus when it comes to the workplace, not every person has years upon years of experience. There are plenty of talented people out there looking for a job but cannot find one because the company’s standards for experience are higher than they may need to be. Depending on your target audience, you might want to consider lowering your standards when it comes to qualifications and experience. 

Don't get caught plagiarizing

Consider these practices if you’ve come up against obstacles when it comes to recruiting candidates to determine what actions are right for your organization. 

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