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How COVID19 Will Change The Way We Work


There are many things that covid19 has changed about our daily life but one aspect that has been thoroughly changed for most people has been the way we work. Most companies have discovered that they can in fact survive and thrive giving their employees the possibility to work remotely. Although it is highly unlikely that once the pandemic is over and we’ve discovered a vaccine everyone will be able to keep doing home office. However, there is a big chance that because of the cost savings it could represent to many companies, working remotely might increase in many organizations.

Another thing that could represent cost savings for many companies is Zoom or whatever video conference app that is to their liking. These apps have shown many organizations that they don’t really need to make expensive national or international travels.
The economy after the pandemic is going to be shaky at best, so companies will be adjusting their needs in order to spend less money whenever available.
Online Video conferences have shown many organizations that person to person meetings aren’t all that necessary. And when you are able to have an online conference at low costs instead of at a pricey destination, it’s easy to imagine the choice many organizations are going to be doing. Maybe making person-to-person meetings and events a thing of the past.

For some people imagining that online meetings and being in isolation might have made us less communicative. But really, the pandemic has pushed the need of more empathetic leadership. As we faced a completely new situation a lot of fear, worry, anxiety, and additional stress was added to our daily lives. Which opened the door for much better communication in all levels of organizations. Leaders were asked to step up and listen to their team’s concerns and be there for more than just work. The pandemic gave us a once in a lifetime experience where we were able to experience all of these emotions throughout the globe. Which in turn, might have allowed us to become more human in the process.
Which has also prompted better and constant communication than before, allowing people to check in, to discuss progress on tasks in a way that maybe an office environment might have given for granted at a time.

Another thing that is going to be different is the flexibility and balance between life and work. Home office has allowed us to see that the original 9 to 5 schedule isn’t quite as effective as we might’ve originally thought. As work becomes flexible in a home environment it allows us to have a better balance between our personal life and our work.

The future is already here and a lot of companies are going to be forced to either evolve into a more online and digital setting or disappear. Magic Mirror Devs is here to offer your company solutions in technology and innovation that will make this new way of working more efficient for you and your company. So, if you feel that you need help in adapting to our new reality we are here to guide you.



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or you want to learn how Magic Mirror Developers or our partners can help you achieve your business goals, don't hesitate to reach out to us! We're Here To Help



Innovation During Pandemic Times


Change, even when it is planned, is scary and overwhelming. We are facing a time in history when we are not being asked to change, we are being demanded to change. And this goes from our personal life to our business life. Businesses that want to survive into the 2020 era need to jump in the digital vanwagon if they want any chances of survival. Sure, this might sound very doomsday, but even if things do get back to normal, businesses that use this opportunity to become more digitally inclined will stand a better chance of thriving as the new decade approaches. Taking this as an opportunity to innovate is a better investment than hoping for things to return to normality.

So, how does a business go about it? How do you innovate during a time that is extremely stressful? When you want to save as much resources as possible and the sound of investment sounds like a terrible idea?

Let’s start by defining what innovation is. Google describes innovation as:

“A new idea, creative thoughts, new imaginations in the form of device and method.” Innovation is often also viewed as the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing market needs.

Innovation isn’t a concept that is beyond our understanding, however, it can prove challenging when you are set in your ways. Ask Blockbuster. The first step towards innovation is allowing yourself to believe that everything that you know isn’t necessarily true but most importantly it can be challenged and it can be done differently.
Ask yourself how can you go about your business differently?

The second step towards innovation is doing things. Trial and error can be scary but it is a universal truth that no pain equals no gain. The only way you know something either works or it doesn’t is by giving it a try and adapting as you get results. This is really important right now because some businesses are entirely devoted to how their business plan works, because it works fine. And you don’t fix what isn’t broken. But if the current situation has you worried, my friend, it is no longer working.

The third step towards innovation is asking for help. It is okay if you don’t know where to start. It is okay if you froze during the first question and have no idea how you could do things differently. What isn’t okay is that you stay there. There are ways that you can help your business adapt and thrive during these troublesome times. Maybe you don’t have to change your entire business plan, maybe you just have to save money on certain things, or get new channels to get more people to know you. But that’s why you ask for help and that is also why we are here for you.



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or you want to learn how Magic Mirror Developers or our partners can help you achieve your business goals, don't hesitate to reach out to us! We're Here To Help



Be The App For That!


When the smartphone was introduced to our lives we all knew it was a thing, but we had no idea how much they would change our existence. How they would become essential for us to do our daily day. But what we also never stopped to consider was how much our life would become dependent on the apps they featured.

And even though we had already shown a predisposition to become addicted to them, I am of course talking of the infamous game Snake on the Nokia 6110 phone, most of us have not realized just how important this little bit of software implementation can become a game changer for our businesses.

When we think about apps our minds usually go to games and social media related ways in which people can waste their time. Few people actually think of them as an income source, even though we know that most apps feature either annoying little ads or offer better features after you pay a certain amount of money for them. Even games have found a way to make money out of it. So, why haven’t you?

Businesses can benefit from creating a steady income from apps by addressing your customers directly, addressing other businesses, or even by creating an app that helps you and your team to be more efficient in a way that helps you save money, be more productive and create more profit or just to help you on your day to day activities while running your company.

Think about apps like FRESHBOOKS that help you keep track of your and manage invoices. Or Gusto, helping you make your payroll, tax and benefits process in an easier more efficient way.

Slack or Pushover, allowing you to have better communication with your team, or Omnifocus that helps you be productive and manage your time in the best way possible. These are all apps that already exist and are great. But wouldn’t it be great to have all of these amazing benefits rolled into one?

Is it possible? You ask. Yeah it is, We answer.

Our job at magic mirror is helping you get better at what you do using technology and innovation. Whether that means creating a custom software for your company or building an app that allows you to better control everything that goes into running your company, or even just upping your social media presence. All you need is a highly efficient nerd and a technology translator. Such as the ones we have ready to work with you.



If you have questions

or you want to learn how Magic Mirror Developers or our partners can help you achieve your business goals, don't hesitate to reach out to us! We're Here To Help



Home Office Tips


Working from home can seem a little overwhelming at times. It is a complete shift in your schedule and what you are used to. And since the general idea of it has been viewed in a negative light, the amount of resources there are on how to do it right, is limited.

Today the world is shifting, a microscopic virus has locked most of us inside and forced us to adapt to a way of life we hadn’t even imagined possible. Lucky you, here at Magic Mirror Devs we are experts on remote work so we thought we’d share our most valuable tips to make your home office days less difficult and far more productive.

Getting up, opening the computer and being still in bed while you listen to your colleagues through your communication platform of choice, while on pijamas is alluring. But it is definitely self sabotage for the rest of the day. If you are used to getting up, taking a shower, eating breakfast, commuting, and then arriving at your office. Try getting up at the same hour, maybe you don’t need to take a shower but change, take those pjs off, prepare your breakfast and get yourself in a work mood. This will allow you to separate being at home with rest and being unproductive. So, set a routine you feel comfortable with.

Some people enter in a fast and the furious “work mode” and forget to have breakfast or even take breaks. Working from home is often thought of as a sort of privilege, so, some people feel the need to be extremely productive and work throughout the day. This is exhausting for your brain, so make sure you, at the very least, eat when you are supposed to and go to the bathroom before your insides feel like exploding. You are allowed. I suffer from ADHD, so working from home has provided me with a space where there are very limited distractions for me to fall victim of. And though I have been a fast and the furious work mode lady, I have found that the healthiest way to go about my day is by setting a schedule and keeping to it. I even use my computer to tell the time whenever there’s a change of hour. This allows me to work and be efficient in a way that is healthy for my body and my mind.

There are other people who can’t focus on their work because they feel they are not in a work ambiance. Well, if you don’t get out of bed and take off those pajamas, getting in a working mode is going to be that much harder. But some people really do need a space that says work and not home. So, pick a space anywhere in the house where you will work. It can be any part of the house you want to be, just as long, as you can use it during your work hours without any disturbance. By disturbance I mean, you hit the lunch hour and if you have to move your stuff to make space for your food because you are at your kitchen table, that won’t work. And stick to it.

If on the other hand, if you don’t have these types of problems and you are able to efficiently work from anywhere in your house and you can move from spot to spot without it ruining your productivity. You most likely suffer from bindweed syndrome. This is what we call a person that goes to one place and leaves evidence of their existence there. It can be a book, or your cellphone’s charger, or your ipad, where you keep your notes, an empty cup of coffee, anything. But all your work stuff ends up scattered around the house. At one point this becomes overwhelming because you have to trace your steps back everytime you need something. Not to mention the unintentional mess you have to get to eventually. Remember, nothing steals away your work hours faster than merging home chores into them.

To avoid this, create a mobile office. Use a large enough container or a tupperware where you can fit everything you use to work. You agenda, all your chargers, your notebook, books, ipad, laptop, pens and pencils, everything goes in there. Any time you are going to move to another spot, you get everything together in your container and then, and only then, move to another place.

Good communication is a given in any situation that involves more than one person. So, distanced teams need to have excellent communication skills. This doesn’t translate to having to video call your team for everything, but make sure you have different ways of approaching your team when needed. It is also important to know and understand that your team functions as a living organism and everyone has an essential part in it, and in order for the organism to grow everyone needs to do what they have to do.

Respect your schedule you create for yourself. It is important you learn to set boundaries. You alone know how to arrange your working hours and how you manage them. Working for home can smudge the lines between your working hours and your free time. Since it is quarantine and it’s not like you are going to be going places, maybe it’s fine to pick up the phone or send that email late into the night, you aren’t busy with anything else, right? While you can certainly choose to do that, it will always be best for you and your mental health to respect the work hours you used to have in the office.

And most importantly. Be patient with yourself. Going from being in the office or out with clients to suddenly doing full time home office can be difficult, so be patient and kind with yourself and your team. When you get a little more used to it, you’ll fall in love with it, that’s when you contact us to help you implement it for the foreseeable future. Think of all the rent money you’ll save!



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or you want to learn how Magic Mirror Developers or our partners can help you achieve your business goals, don't hesitate to reach out to us! We're Here To Help



What Is A Meme


The assimilation of the internet and the digital world into our daily lives has provided us with the opportunity to create and modify the way we communicate with each other. From acronyms like Afk or Lol to the most successful form of communication to this date: the meme.

Memes are a format for social communication. In the simplest of terms, they are conformed by an image, video or a construction of images with a text portraying a particular concept or idea that emotionally connects with a person. It feels familiar and relatable. The image, images or the video can be altered and built upon allowing a continuous and fast evolution from the original idea or an altered form of it. It is a cultural phenomenon that exploded with the introduction of social media to the digital sphere.
The power behind the meme is that it is able to convey complex ideas, moods, a state of mind or a shared understanding way quicker than text ever could.

Why are they important for your business?

A meme can give you the opportunity to connect with your audience in a way the best copywriting in the world could never really do. You’d get the opportunity to connect emotionally within a second. And creating that point of connection is the first necessary step for any given person to share something on their social media.

Now the trick in this, and where most businesses fail when creating content in general, It is not about what you want to say about your brand but it is about what your audience wants to hear. You may have the most comfortable contact lenses available in the market but the fact remains that for the user, no matter the technology your lenses have, blinking your eyes when you take them off feels amazing. Connecting with that particular pain, even when your product promises to relieve it, shows your customer that you understand what they are going through. It makes your brand, your company, your business human. Worthy of their attention and a place on their social media.

It is also very important to understand the meme before you are in on the joke and sharing it around with your audience. As a cultural phenomenon there are certain rules behind the image that you use, the text you write, and the feeling, emotion or connection it's meant to evoke.

There are plenty of resources to help you with it, the most popular one is Know Your Meme. Which will give a detailed explanation on how a particular meme came to be, how it evolved, and the usage it currently has.

Often memes find themselves in constant evolution, that does not mean that every meme serves the purpose you want it to serve. Your content creator should decide upon the format that best works for your audience and your brand. And sometimes, a wagon will come and you will have to let it go. Other times, you will jump right at it and be part of the fun which will gain you reach, engagement and relevance within your niche.


The creation, alteration and replication of memes is only accelerating and keeping track and understanding all of them can turn into an impossible task. However, it is important for businesses to understand those within their niche so they can use them, alter them and or create them to connect with their audience.



If you have questions

or you want to learn how Magic Mirror Developers or our partners can help you achieve your business goals, don't hesitate to reach out to us! We're Here To Help



Take care of the Earth by taking care of your business.


Earth is our home and it is a beautiful multicolored, extremely diverse, wonderfully rare entity floating around a star that at the same time simmers in a galaxy that playfully explores a vast universe in which it appears, it exists alone.
As human beings we have forgotten how we are but a part of this vastly rare and diverse freak rock we call home. We seem to have orchestrated this idea that it, the planet, exists for our benefit. Whether it was created for us by a God or we evolved enough to become its masters. We use it accordingly. But we, dear reader, are wrong.

Enter businesses. Saying that one goes into business without wanting to make money is really romantic and highly poetic but in and of itself it’s kinda a lie. The truth is that most businesses exist solely and exclusively to create profit. And at times, this profit is considered to be so important that the means in which we acquire it, do not matter. The end justifies the means, a man who considered himself to be wise once said - and boy have we believed him - Innovation, technology, progress as we have called it has come with a cost so infinitely high we never could have imagined: we are killing the planet and digging our own grave in the process. All in the name of profit.

But in a world where the ends justify the means, how does one take care of our home without sacrificing the sole reason why one starts a business in the first place?
One does not simply throw away waste into rivers because it is a good idea… It's a good idea because it's cheap. It reduces costs. It saves money. All hail profit.
One does not simply make a football field of Amazon forest disappear because we hate trees. It’s a good idea because it allows us to do business. It is cheap. It makes money. All hail profit.
One does not simply wrap everything up in plastic because it’s so glamorous and nice. It’s cheap. It reduces costs. It saves money. All hail profit. One does not simply eat animals because we need them to survive. But it makes good money. That in turn makes money for other industries like the pharmaceutical and medical companies that come to your coronary artery’s rescue. It helps the economy. It helps money go around. It’s good for business. All hail profit.
One does not simply dig up dinosaur goo because it’s pretty, or dig up minerals because it’s fun. But they make money. They fuel, pun intended, the transportation industry, which in turn aids other industries and that is what we call economic growth. Making the money go round and round while we make our rare rock less and less diverse and alife. All in the name of profit.

There has to be something more, right? We’ve all had this feeling from time to time...

So, what steps can you take to take care of the Earth but also take care of your business? Innovation and technology, though they have contributed and come with a high cost of helping us die from climate change, can also be a powerful tool and ally to prevent it.
From going paperless, to implementing home office, or even exploring new technologies in order to create more efficient ways to produce and distribute your products. Choosing ethical sources, supporting ethical trade and finding ways to reuse and reduce waste. Evolving entirely. There are a lot of things companies and small businesses can do to effectively mitigate climate change.
Sure, some investments towards making this type of changes will cost money, increase costs, and likely reduce profit. But it will give us a chance to fix what we have broken.

At this point in time making the choices that will take care of our home are the same choices that will take care of your business. Take it from me, I am a millennial nearing my 30s who has her own money and has an addiction to shopping. I will spend twice the amount of money on any given product if I know it has an ethical eco-friendly company behind it. I have sworn off coke and bottled water because of the waste it creates.
Stopped drinking commercial beer because it uses too much water that, at least in my home country, is stolen from native, indigenous land. Decided to work with companies that share my values and stay away from those that don’t.
I am vegan and will pay more than double the amount of money for my cruelty-free and organic butter not just by choice, but gladly. Because my choices are helping companies create profit in a way that isn't contributing to destroying the planet in which I live. And these types of thoughts and ways of being a consumer are not weird within my generation or the younger ones, these types of thoughts are growing, multiplying, and thriving. And if companies don’t get on board with this new type of consumer, they will inevitably become extinct. Don’t believe me? Take a moment to google what is happening to the dairy industry in the States.
The point is, when you as a business owner, make the choice to be a better product and service creator, provider, or distributor even if it costs you more at first, you will have a hoard of people who will reward you for it. Or who will punish you for representing an economy model that we, those who will face the climate change crisis, will learn to loath.

Also, please wash your hands upon finishing this article.



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or you want to learn how Magic Mirror Developers or our partners can help you achieve your business goals, don't hesitate to reach out to us! We're Here To Help



What Does It Mean To Be Healthy?


Celebrating World Health Day during a pandemic seems a little bit odd, if not inappropriate to some, to us it is a perfect moment to ask ourselves and our audience vital questions:
Is being healthy just the absence of disease? Or does it mean a little bit more? Or a lot more?
What does it mean to be truly healthy?

I’ve always had an inclination towards the word healthy. My father has been a constant preacher of the word throughout my life. Last year, at the age of 60 he ran his first ever complete marathon at a pace that for his age group was above average. He also did it with an injury in his calf. He used to be very pushy while I was growing up about being athletic, eating right, using home remedies to better oneself and one’s productivity. Whenever I think about early mornings and getting ready to go to school, I always see my dad coming down to the kitchen and drinking two freshly pressed grapefruit juices with a Ginseng pill or oil. And, whenever I think about weekends, my Sundays hardly ever include him because he goes mountain biking, a hobby he took around the time I was born, one he tried to pass down to me (and failed), and religiously does to this day.
I’d always been more inclined towards a yoga and meditation sort of healthy but about two years ago I managed to find myself inside a crossfit box and developed my very own religious habit.

But is intense exercise the only path towards a healthy lifestyle? Most doctors will often recommend 2 things: eating healthy and exercising. But what does it mean to eat healthy?
Some people will think that exercising 5 days a week is as healthy as one can get. But then completely change their minds when I add to the mix that I am a proud vegan. Then they start talking about nutritional deficiencies and pushing my body’s limit too much. But then, eating animal products has been proven to create more damage than good in the human body and recommendations for a healthy diet will always include fruit and veggies more than animal products. To me, not eating animals has always been more about aligning my thoughts and beliefs to my actions. This congruence makes me genuinely happy and gives me a lot of inner peace. So...

Do emotions play into the healthy scheme? Is being happy about what you do and how you do it an important factor into your overall health? More and more professionals are agreeing that health is not just the absence of disease, nor is it just intense exercise or a balanced diet. It is a mixture of all these elements and a few more. Human beings are incredibly complex creatures with equally complex needs that need fulfilment in order to be healthy. Mental health and physical health professionals will agree that you need a healthy body but also a healthy mind and a healthy environment to thrive.

As a species we’ve faced global pandemics before, and although COVID19 does not have an incredibly high mortality rate, we’ve never faced a disease in the way we are doing today. And when we put together these three factors; Mental, physical, and environmental health as a trifecta to accomplish overall health, one does have to wonder… how did our environmental health or lack thereof come into play to create the crisis we face now? It’s hard to think that we as a species could be healthy when our home is clearly not. She is running an all time high fever with no signs of lowering it and her lungs are being burnt out and only when this happened did we give her a moment to stop, to rest, to recover even if it’s just a little bit. More than ever before we are realizing how bonds matter and how community matters. How it is so important to think about the whole before thinking about the self.
Being healthy is more than just the way our body reacts to pathogens, how many weights it can carry, how many miles it can run, or how high can it jump; it is more than eating right, eating balanced, eating plant-based; it is more than taking care of your mind, resting, and being at peace with who you are; being healthy is about all of these things, but it is also about how we treat others and how we relate to them, to our community, our environment, our home.



If you have questions

or you want to learn how Magic Mirror Developers or our partners can help you achieve your business goals, don't hesitate to reach out to us! We're Here To Help



What To Do During Earth Hour


Now more than even it seems important to raise awareness about Earth Hour. With most of us staying in doors due to COVID19 and following the social isolation recommendations we are using electricity a little more than what we usually do. Which is why giving the Earth break for just one hour is more important than it has ever been.

So, what can you do during Earth Hour you ask? Earth Hour is not just about sitting in the dark for an hour of your time. It’s about unplugging any unnecessary lights and using that time to connect with your family or friends and raise awareness about our planet’s health. We’ve put together a small list of fun and easy things you could try doing during this 2020.

Number one is to unplug. Switch off everything that isn’t essential. This is the core of the movement.

Tune in to the live streams that are going to be happening on the official Earth Hour page. You can also tune in to the one specific in your region or country. This will allow you to learn more about the movement and connect with like-minded people.

Camp in your living room. When I was a kid, I used to be a master creator of camps. And I don’t see why you shouldn’t try doing one yourself.
The fun is in creating a tent out of pillows and blankets and not to use an actual tent. This can become your setting for watching nature documentaries during the hour or the official live streams. As you would do in any other type of camp, remember to bring your snacks, your furry companions and now that you are an adult: your vino.

If you have roommates or kids: Organize an indoor scavenger hunt! You can even make them solve riddles whose answers are related to simple ways they can help the earth beyond doing earth hour. It’s a fun way to create awareness about a subject you care about while also having a bunch of fun.

Be brave and be artistic! Challenge yourself to paint under candlelight! We would just like to note that Magic Mirror cannot be held responsible for any mess created during this activity.

Dine under the stars. Provided you have a backyard or a balcony consider cooking your dinner before the hour starts and enjoy a quiet dinner under the starry night sky. If you don’t have a backyard or a balcony consider having a candlelit dinner. If you live with your SO, it could give you an opportunity to have a romantic date night without having to break quarantine.

Learn about the issues our planet is facing. So, you might think that humanity has its hands full with the COVID19 pandemic, but really, the Coronavirus is just a symptom of a much greater disease we are all facing. I know learning about all these problems can sometimes feel overwhelming, even just talking about this new virus can bring on anxiety to some people. However, not being aware of the problems our planet is facing has brought forward the current crisis we are currently experiencing. And if we don’t act now, if we don’t inform ourselves and consequently modify our behavior and the way we connect and relate to others and nature, this pandemic will be the mildest symptom of a terminal illness.



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or you want to learn how Magic Mirror Developers or our partners can help you achieve your business goals, don't hesitate to reach out to us! We're Here To Help



Happiness In Times of Quarantine


Being confined to a set of walls with the same people for an extended period of time can be challenging, to say the least. Which is why I come bearing a gift, a list of things you can do to make quarantine better. Hell! Maybe even a happy experience but I will settle with not a crappy one. So, here goes:

In the world we live in today, so fast, so full of everything, it's easy to lose connection with oneself. We are always doing something or going somewhere and the idea to suddenly stop it all can be scary. We are used to living in a go mode that hardly ever truly stops. So take these next days to take a breather and just stop. Take a step further and actually listen to yourself, meditate a little, do a little bit of yoga. Connect with the most important person that you have: you. Be brave enough to have the thoughts and conversations with yourself you are usually too busy to engage in.

Take a moment to enjoy the fact that your commute can be a small walk to your favorite chair! And while you're at it, all those meetings CAN be emails now! Home office is a blessing but you also need to do it right. Being productive at home can be challenging to some people, so make sure you create a designated space for work hours and respect those hours. The fact that you get to work in your pajamas does not mean you have to do it around the clock without the breaks you would usually take in your office. When you work from home either one of two things happen: one, you can’t do it because everything becomes a distraction or you don’t stop because since you are home; you don’t feel the need to stop.
For those who find everything to be a distraction, it is vital that you find a space that functions as an office. And for those who can easily work hours on end on their coach, set an alarm and respect it.

Most of us share our home with furry companions and to them the fact that you are staying all this time is probably the weirdest surprise in a long time. Do make the best of it, you probably don’t get to spend as much time with them on a day to day basis. So take time everyday for the next few days to make them feel all the love you aren’t able to give them when you are at the office or running errands. It is very likely that while you are getting anxious about not getting out they are probably thankful for it. Plus, they will be the ones giving you a reason to smile when you run out of series to watch on Netflix. Take pictures and videos of their reaction to you working from a designated office space in your home or on your favorite couch, you will break the internet when you share them, for sure.

Some of us share our home with other humans, so, you already know what I am about to say. Take the time to connect with them. Whether it is family, a pair of unbearable teens or intense kids, a friend or a roommate you don’t actually know that well, or even a SO you decided to share your space with a few years ago. Take these few days to communicate with them, you’ll be surprised with what they have to say and what you have to say to them.
During these uncertain times it is not unusual for people to start feeling weird or anxious and scared. You might be feeling like this yourself. But you have to remember that even if you don’t know what is going to happen, the best and only thing you can actually do is to support and be there for those closest to you. So step up, be there, listen, talk, and be kind. Except if you are sharing your space with those panicky shopping people. Let them find comfort in all that toilet paper they bought.



If you have questions

or you want to learn how Magic Mirror Developers or our partners can help you achieve your business goals, don't hesitate to reach out to us! We're Here To Help



Women In Code


Today we want to take a moment to honor the women who have paved the way for us in M|M to be able to do the things we love to do. And who have made it possible for women everywhere to immerse themselves in this amazing world that is code. It is also our way to thank each and every woman who is continuously working in creating and innovating in technology. This one's for you.

It is hard to think of programming as something that began making its way into our world in the 17th century. Or due to the stereotype of the nerd, as an all female job. But it did! And it was!

Programming has one of the most interesting stories I’ve researched in a while and it all starts with a woman that was able to predict the return date for Halley comet. She was part of one of the first teams known as human computers, that woman was Nicole-Reine Etable Lepaute. Not satisfied with her contribution to that specific project, she carried on predicting solar eclipses and worked for the Connaissance de Temps. This happened in the 1700s.

In the 18th century the world was witness to the first person to ever imagine that we could have a machine that would help us do our day to day, that person was a woman and her name was Countess Ada Lovelace. Ada Lovelace, was the first person to ever create a computer algorithm. This happened while she was translating the transcripts for the Analytical Engine. A machine made for calculations. However, as she did the translation, she began writing notes that were instructions intended to be followed and executed by the world's first computer. These notes would become regarded as the first computer program ever.
As we said before, she was the very first person to ever dare imagine that a machine could eventually collaborate with humans and society; like we do today with our smartphones. She called this way of thinking “poetical science”. Which is simply genius.

After the civil war a lot of women were hired as human computers, most of them were widows trying to support their families. However, there was also a shortage of men which helped a lot of women to make their way in the field.

Anna Winlock was one of the first women hired to work for 25 cents an hour as a human computer in Harvard under the direction of Edward Charles Pickering, a man that acknowledged that women could work as well as men but took advantage of the fact that he could paid them less or even ask them to volunteer (asshat). The group of women became known as The Harvard Computers. They helped catalogue ten thousands of stars and discovered the Horsehead Nebula. And even though their contribution was enormous to science, they were paid less than factory workers (which were all men).

Then came the 1900s, where women were hired as human computers to help calculate ballistics in the US. Elizabeth Webb Wilson worked as chief computer, but once the war was over she ended up teaching high school math, as the war effort no longer required her services.
During the 1940’s, tedious calculating and computing became regarded as a woman’s job. They even came up with a term “kilogirl” that meant that a kilogirl of energy was “equivalent to roughly a thousand hours of computing labor”. By 1943 most human computers were female. During WWII women began making their way to cryptography and eventually many operated and worked on bombe machines. Joan Clarke was one of the women who worked on the Enigma machine at Bletchley Park (for those of you who missed The Imitation Game, this is the machine used to crack the Nazi code during WWII). She developed a method of increasing the speed of double-encrypted messages that sadly was not named after her.

Can you imagine our life without Wi-Fi or Bluetooth? This little piece of technology we use everyday was invented by Joan ClarkeHedy Lamarr and George Antheil as a way to detect torpedoes remotely. Even though the Navy passed on their idea they patented their work and made it happen so that we get to use it on a daily basis.
During 1944 the electronic numerical integrator and computer or ENIAC for short, was created. This was the first electronic general-purpose digital computer. And the programmers for this were six mathematicians; Marlyn Meltzer, Betty Hoberton, Kathleen Antonello, Ruth Teitelbaum, Jean Bartik, and Frances Spence. They became known as the ENIAC girls and even though hardware was thought to be a men’s job they learned how the ENIAC worked by repairing it and fixing “bugs” in the machinery. In 1964, when the ENIAC was revealed to the public they prepared the machine to be ready and after the demonstration, the University hosted an expensive dinner to celebrate. They were not invited, nor were they mentioned in the official accounts of public events.
In 1943, Grace Hopper began working on computers at the Bureau of Ordinance’s Computation Project at Harvard where she programmed Harvard Mark. An electro-mechanical computer based on the Analytical Engine. She was the first person to create a compiler for a programming language and one of the first programmers for the computer.

NASA, recruited women computers after WWII and by the 1950s, a team was performing mathematical calculations at the Lewis Research Center in Ohio, the team included Annie Easley, Katherine Johnson and Kathryn Peddrew. More known today thanks to the movie Hidden Figures - which, if you haven’t seen, you need to do so now. NASA would not be what it is today if it hadn’t been for them and other women who continuously contributed to innovations in space technology, like Margaret Hamilton in the 1960s. She was responsible for programming the software of the onboard flight software on the Apollo missions computers. And by the end of the decade, women accounted for 30 to 50 percent of computer programmers. However, few were promoted to leadership roles and they were paid significantly less. Which sounds oddly and awfully familiar. But still, a lot of women saw a bright future for their gender in computers and programming.

During the 1970s Adele Goldberg was one of the seven programmers that developed Smalltalk. The first object-oriented programming language and the base of the current graphic user interface. Smalltalk was actually used by Apple to launch Apple Lisa in 1983 and later Windows 1.0 was based on the same principles. Can you imagine that? We often attribute the success of Apple or Windows of a single man, but would their success have been the same if it hadn’t been for the women who innovated before them?

Later in that decade, Joan Margaret Winters began working at IBM as part of the “human factors project” called SHARE. She went on to lead the project between 1983 and 1987. SHARE was researching how software should be designed to consider human factors. Once again taking what Ada Lovelace had once called “poetic science” and pursuing it as an entire research field a few centuries later.
Erna Schneider Hoover developed a computerized switching system for telephone calls that would replace switchboards. Which revolutionized modern communication, it prevented overloads by monitoring call center traffic and it prioritized tasks to enable better service during peak calling times. Her system was the first software patent ever issued.

By this moment in time the internet wasn’t a thing yet. But can you imagine a world without the internet today? It even sounds scary. But being able to access memes from anywhere in the world would not be possible if it hadn’t been for Radia Perlman who was asked to fix the limitations the Ethernet imposed on large network traffic. Stacy Horn is also a huge contributor to the internet as she created the East Coast Hang Out or ECHO an online community where you could post topics and chat with other members of the community it even featured email accounts. I imagine this a really early version of 9gag, 4chann and even Reddit. Could these platforms be what they are today if it hadn’t been for their grandmother ECHO? Where would we get or memes?

As more fields in science and engineering opened up to women, less began seeking computer programming as a career choice. However, they were still making contributions throughout the decade. It was a team of women from Brown University that included Nicole Yankelovich and Karen Catlin who developed Intermedia (a hypertext) and they also developed the anchor link. Apple funded part of the project and incorporated their concepts into Apple operating systems. Jane Walker developed the first system to use bookmarks when she created the Symbolics Document Examiner. Cath Marshall worked on the NoteCards system at Xerox PARC that would later influence Apple’s programs to include web viewers. All of them contributing to creating the world of technology we know today and which we hardly ever take a moment to consider how they came about.

So, how did the idea of a quiet, shy, nerdy guy become linked to computer programming, anyway?

Emily Chang conducted an investigation that realized that the key problem of the gender disparity in IT that came with the 21st century was based on personality tests in job interviews and the belief that good programmers are introverts, which is the basic stereotype of the white male nerd we all know. Which in turn, thanks to the patriarchy, often creates an unpleasant environment for the few women that did make it into computer programing jobs.

Phew! What a history, right? It is crazy to think that in a world that depends on computer programing as much as our world does, these names are hardly known by those who have benefited from their accomplishments and constant innovation.
Honestly, this had to be cut short because otherwise I would have ended up writing a book. But, as a woman who benefits everyday from innovation and technology writing this piece has been one of the most inspiring blog posts I’ve done in a while and I can’t thank my M|M team enough for giving the opportunity to do so.
Today I will be part of the Mexico strike and march through my city holding every single one of these women close to my heart. And maybe, just maybe, talk our CEO into buying me a computer programming course.



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How to Use Valentine's Day For Your Business


Key Lesson: Understand 3 important components for successful marketing campaigns.

Key Action Point: Review your current marketing strategy and see how you can incorporate the points to it.


The world of marketing is full of exciting campaigns and creativity. All of them aligned with a single purpose in mind -- getting you to believe in something is so good and so right for you that you will want to be a part of it.
Here we’ve gathered three components that make successful viral marketing campaigns that will hopefully get your creative juices flowing for you to devise something just as memorable for your business. Or maybe just give us a call so we do it for you.

Miscellaneous partnerships. Sometimes you don’t need to create a campaign around your product or your service. Sometimes all it takes is to partner with the right kind of people to boost all your KPIs by sharing something that is of unique value to your customers. In 2019 Adult Swim partnered with Rick and Morty and announced their release date on their social media through a video. It got 3.78 million views, 194K likes 96.8K retweets. Which is so much more than their regular engagement.

Social issues. This is a double edged sword because when you use (that is what we do, use social issues) as a way of giving awareness to your brand, you need to make sure that your brand isn’t taking advantage of the status quo a popular social movement is trying to eradicate. Otherwise you may have to deal with the backlash your company might get. But creating a campaign that is in sync with both how you manage your business as well as what matters to you, creates a magnificent potential of being heard -- of inspiring and making people want to be a part of what you are offering to the world.

Engaging with your customers. Customers are people, and people, as a general rule, love attention. So, when you as a brand or a company or a business engage with them and show them that their opinion matters to you, they will love you for it.

Last year Wendy’s showed us how it is done by retweeting a tweet by Chance the rapper mentioning that Wendy’s would bring back their Spicy Chicken Nuggets one day. Wendy’s then reacted by saying that if their tweet got 2 million likes they would bring them back.

The tweet reached 2.15M likes and managed 396.4K retweets.

Remember, marketing has the power to put your company out there but it also comes with great responsibility. You need to really think about the message you are sending and why you are sending it. As we enter more into an age where people care about socially and environmentally conscious companies your message needs to be aligned with your actions.

A wise man once said “With great power, comes great responsibility.”



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Happiness In Times of Quarantine


Being confined to a set of walls with the same people for an extended period of time can be challenging, to say the least. Which is why I come bearing a gift, a list of things you can do to make quarantine better. Hell! Maybe even a happy experience but I will settle with not a crappy one. So, here goes:

In the world we live in today, so fast, so full of everything, it's easy to lose connection with oneself. We are always doing something or going somewhere and the idea to suddenly stop it all can be scary. We are used to living in a go mode that hardly ever truly stops. So take these next days to take a breather and just stop. Take a step further and actually listen to yourself, meditate a little, do a little bit of yoga. Connect with the most important person that you have: you. Be brave enough to have the thoughts and conversations with yourself you are usually too busy to engage in.

Take a moment to enjoy the fact that your commute can be a small walk to your favorite chair! And while you're at it, all those meetings CAN be emails now! Home office is a blessing but you also need to do it right. Being productive at home can be challenging to some people, so make sure you create a designated space for work hours and respect those hours. The fact that you get to work in your pajamas does not mean you have to do it around the clock without the breaks you would usually take in your office. When you work from home either one of two things happen: one, you can’t do it because everything becomes a distraction or you don’t stop because since you are home; you don’t feel the need to stop.
For those who find everything to be a distraction, it is vital that you find a space that functions as an office. And for those who can easily work hours on end on their coach, set an alarm and respect it.

Most of us share our home with furry companions and to them the fact that you are staying all this time is probably the weirdest surprise in a long time. Do make the best of it, you probably don’t get to spend as much time with them on a day to day basis. So take time everyday for the next few days to make them feel all the love you aren’t able to give them when you are at the office or running errands. It is very likely that while you are getting anxious about not getting out they are probably thankful for it. Plus, they will be the ones giving you a reason to smile when you run out of series to watch on Netflix. Take pictures and videos of their reaction to you working from a designated office space in your home or on your favorite couch, you will break the internet when you share them, for sure.

Some of us share our home with other humans, so, you already know what I am about to say. Take the time to connect with them. Whether it is family, a pair of unbearable teens or intense kids, a friend or a roommate you don’t actually know that well, or even a SO you decided to share your space with a few years ago. Take these few days to communicate with them, you’ll be surprised with what they have to say and what you have to say to them.
During these uncertain times it is not unusual for people to start feeling weird or anxious and scared. You might be feeling like this yourself. But you have to remember that even if you don’t know what is going to happen, the best and only thing you can actually do is to support and be there for those closest to you. So step up, be there, listen, talk, and be kind. Except if you are sharing your space with those panicky shopping people. Let them find comfort in all that toilet paper they bought.



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How to Use Valentine's Day For Your Business


Key Lesson: Every holiday presents an opportunity to grow your business.

Key Action Point: Take a minute to think about 2 holidays you like and plan ahead to make it fun for you, your team, and your customers.


Heart day is fast approaching and while some brands are already experts at using this day to increase their sales, you might think your brand or services cannot afford jumping onto that bandwagon. I am here to say you are wrong and that it is the little things, like Valentine’s day, that can help you inspire loyalty from your customers (and your employees).

Small and quick marketing campaigns work great for Valentine’s Day, mostly because they allow you to connect over something everyone knows and craves: love.

Go Old School. Send your customers Valentine cards. Most brands are going to be using their digital platforms to send their message across, which is why sending out something physical will make you stand out from everyone else. While most people will be getting emails they are not even going to open, getting a card will definitely come as a welcomed surprise.

Give back. Valentine’s day is about love and that doesn’t necessarily need to mean romantic love. A fantastic way to gain credit with your local community and also, pun intended, spread the love is by choosing a way that allows you and your customers to do some good. Either by donating a small percentage of each bill to a local charity or asking them to contribute in some way that works for you and your business.

It’s all about partnering up. You can find ways to partner up with another business to offer exclusive deals and both of you can benefit by getting new clients form a business that is not in direct competition. This can work with physical businesses as well as online ones.

Notifications. If you already have an app, please make sure you incorporate it into your marketing efforts by creating a small push notification that either reminds your customers about the deals you have for the day, or just to wish them a happy day with those they love. Do not overdo it as it can get annoying for customers.

Last call. While some people may be planning what they are going to do on Valentine’s Day weeks in advance, some people will forget about it entirely. So, find a way to make your business the savior of the day.

Self Love. Not everyone has a partner to cuddle up with this day, so make sure you don’t alienate your single customers. Instead, offer them a chance to also treat themselves to make them not hate this day so much.

Be extra thoughtful of your existing customers. While getting new customers is always a must, make sure you give special treatment to your existing and loyal customers by offering something exclusive to them. Be more thoughtful about what you might offer them. Instead of a simple coupon meant to lure new customers in, offer them a bundle of products or services that makes them feel extra special by being loyal to you.

Remember, holidays can be an amazing way for you to connect with your customers and to humanize your brand, so be sure to use them in a creative way. They are already here and happening, so why not make the best of it?

Further Reading:



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or you want to learn how Magic Mirror Developers or our partners can help you achieve your business goals, don't hesitate to reach out to us! We're Here To Help



What is 5g?: A Business Person's Guide


Key Lesson: 5G is a new revolution in the speed of mobile business and leisure

Key Action Point: consider how you might change your activities once you have mobile internet like your high speed home network connection


The Cellular Evolution

Cell phone networks work by using distributed cellular radio towers to act as “nodes” so that your phone can communicate over long distance, much like the millions of internet nodes act as intermediaries for messages streaming through the cables that connect us all together. Originally, cell phone signals used analog radio, more or less like radio waves that we used to listen to on our AM or FM transistor radios as gen-X kids. But analog signals are easily distorted and have no means to confirm their accuracy through error-checking, whereas digital signals fix these problems. Digital cellular signal types included CDMA and GSM, many of us early cell phone adopters recall these standards, and that phones on these networks did not always work when we travelled into areas not covered by the protocol we had. With digital modes came the ability to send digital information, and to use cell phones as wireless modems. Speeds were still very slow, so sending more than an email was tedious, and large files not even worth it. Of course, phones were still not yet “smart” and no one was zipping photos or dank memes through the ether, much less live video calls.

Next came 3G, which got us to 200 kilobytes per second, still not quite up to live video speeds, and then 4G brought us a near-revolution because suddenly we could send large files, stream low def video, and essentially do much of our work from our now laptop-quality phones (and phablets, countermanding the previously expected trend of ever-smaller phones). Coverage areas for 4G systems like LTE now include most cities worldwide, and it’s increasingly hard to find 3G phones that work most places. 2G coverage is disappearing and eventually, to stay in touch, everyone will need to consider getting at least a 4G phone.

Revolutionary speeds!

5G technologies are not just faster, but more flexible for carriers. They will bring home-speed internet quality to mobile networks and no doubt continue to allow us to evolve the ways we work. 5G actually comes in three versions for now, providing the flexibility for carriers to use bands that are available and uncluttered, but also involving some uncertainty about its speeds depending upon those choices. When you send densely-packet digital signals full of information over more than 1 kilometer, you start to need to compromise speed. Cell networks using the fastest of the three 5G bands need to pack their cell towers densely in order to maintain the very fast speeds that make 5G so revolutionary. This means that for suburban and rural customers, experiencing the blazing speeds of 5G will be a longtime coming yet. There are now upwards of 50 US cities that have some 5G coverage, but most of the country remains uncovered and will for a while.

Is it here yet?

Most phone manufacturers have not release 5G phones in the US market yet either, waiting until market demand due to networks actually being available begins to make the costs of market entry worthwhile. While many apps exist on our phones now that could happily chew through faster speeds, many expect the new technologies to drive the creation of new apps meeting market demands we haven’t even anticipated. Ideas ranging from live telemedicine, streaming games, augmented reality, or even new forms of film-making and journalism all powered by 5G devices are all on the table. Most anticipate that greater, faster connectivity means an even more mobile workforce, perhaps significantly altering the ways we work, sell, trade, and interact with our friends and families.

Autonomous vehicles, like driverless cars, will benefit from 5G, as will the “internet of things” (IoT) in which an increasing number of non-cellphone types of devices will be always connected to the internet. Freed from ethernet cables and wi-fi, IoT devices can interact with networks, provide greater awareness and interactivity, and free us to develop any number of new types of business and personal activities in an increasingly mobile world. Combined with artificial intelligence technologies, IoT networks of autonomous robotic devices will bring the flexibility of the interconnected world of the internet to every streetcorner.

Is it safe?

As with many new technologies, there are concerns about the safety of 5G networks. These concerns are not without grounding. Even radio towers, professional and amateur (like HAM radios) emit radiation that can harm you. When radio waves emanate from or are absorbed by an antenna, they create a charge. Never touch a powerful antenna because you can get burned. Cell towers are no different. Your cell phone’s transmissions aren’t enough to burn you, but the cell towers that receive and then rebroadcast signals can emit high powered radiation. Fortunately, unless you live with one in your bedroom, the dangers from that radiation are extremely minimal. Radiation dissipates according to Isaac Newton’s Inverse Square Law, making the chances of harms almost nil once one is a comfortable distance from a cell tower, like on the ground below the tower, rather than perched on the tower itself.

Making 5G work for your business

For most businesses the best way for you to take advantage of this next-gen tech is to upgrade your marketing and consumer connection. For example, blazing speeds mean more data more quickly, which means we can expect almost ubiquitous use of mobile devices for engagement with your brand and business. Bottom line: you will have an opportunity to position yourself ahead of your competition by ensuring your website, ads, and other customer facing content are built with mobile devices in mind. For other businesses - especially those with a sales force - training your team or customers via video conferencing will actually work and be a reliable method. In fact, there’s a good chance that training and education will occur in VR, fully immersive formats to give learners a more tactile learning experience. Finally, the faster speeds will allow companies to implement more complex cryptographic means of data security, which means more complexity in the backend and less complexity for the end user (think end of passwords, seamless screen passing between devices, etc) - be sure you’re consulting with experts to learn how you can incorporate this advantages into your current projects to avoid high upgrade charges in the future. With speed and data size no longer barriers, what you do to better serve your clients and customers is really only bounded by the limits of your imagination!

While 5G is still on its way, it will be here and rapidly spreading by the second half of 2020, with more availability, more devices, and as-yet untested new possibilities to improve and augment our business, leisure, and lives. It will be interesting to see where it leads!

Further Reading:



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Do you Have Your Employees' Loyalty?


Key Lesson: Review if your company is doing all it can to provide an environment with little stress that produces positive emotions and inspires loyalty in your employees.

Key Action Point: Check your employees welfare and ask them how can you be a better boss or a better company.


An employee’s sense of loyalty is not something that the person you hire is bound to have, or is required to have once they start working for you. It is one thing to feel grateful for an opportunity; it is a completely different thing to feel loyalty for a company. That is right, you the employer need to gain, work for, and maintain the loyalty of your employees. It is something that is earned.

We can define employees’ loyalty as a feeling of devotion towards the company. It comes from a belief that their contribution to it matters and that they, as individuals, matter to the company as well. It is all based in emotion. It increases when there are positive emotions around the company and the work that they do, and it decreases when there are negative emotions attached to it.

“But I already have to work for the loyalty of my customers. Now I also have to work to gain the loyalty of the people I pay?! Outrageous,” You say. Well… yeah. Sorry. But it is what it is.
Just as your customers have a ton of other options, your employees kinda do too. People are complex, emotional creatures.

Here we have gathered a short list of the little things that increase positive emotions around a job and a company, as an easy survey to fully understand if you are earning your employees’ loyalty or ...not.

Employees are not machines. See, employees are people, and like everyone else, they have their own thoughts and ideas. Companies that allow employees to be in control of their work hours or how they do that work have a 31% lower turnover rate than those companies that don’t listen and just give out orders to be followed.

Employees don’t like jerks. People don’t like people who are jerks, and even less so, a jerk boss. Or someone who enjoys abusing his or her power over other people. The reality is that people don’t quit jobs, they quit abusive bosses, because it is hard to be loyal to a company that tolerates people that make a habit of being jerks.

Employees enjoy showing what they do, when what they do matters. Everyone in the world wants to feel like what they are doing is meaningful. That it matters. That it is creating a difference or some good in the world. Times are changing and more and more people are caring about issues that we didn’t used to think about before. When a company has it in their ability to care about these issues or even give back to their own community; that makes an employee feel better about their own contribution that makes those things possible.

Employees want to feel safe. It’s hard to believe that we have to put this on our list. There are just so many cases of companies that have had their brand damaged because of reports of unfair wages, discrimation, abuse, unsafe facilities and so forth. So, do take into consideration that employees are like any other person you know, and they want to feel safe in the place they spend most of their day.

Employees have expenses. Pay what’s fair. Even if some employees lack the negotiation skills of some of their peers. Or God forbid, you are paying someone less because of their gender, that’s a huge no-no.

In conclusion: Employees are people. And people, in general, like to be treated with respect. Your employees are not a liability or an expense; they are people who are working to make your company a success. Treat them how you want them to treat the company.

Further Reading:



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or you want to learn how Magic Mirror Developers or our partners can help you achieve your business goals, don't hesitate to reach out to us! We're Here To Help



Will Your Business Survive 2020?


Key Lesson: Understand your most important technology allies for the next decade.

Key Action Point: Review your website as if you're a customer; does it feel modern?


As a business owner, if you have fallen on hard times, sometimes you are just looking to survive. But, what if I told you that you can actually thrive by making small smart changes in certain areas? What if I told you that your business has the potential to provide a better service and product than the big corporations?
Not sold yet? Of the 10 most valuable companies in the world 7 are tech companies, and 100% are data-driven. We have prepared a small list of certain elements you need to consider if you want to make it into the new decade as a thriving small business.

Killer Website. Your business needs a website, maybe you already have one, but is it a killer website? Is it the type of website that will convince your client that you are their best choice by just looking at it? Is it the type of website that inspires trust and communicates professionalism and experience?

Mobile phones are your friend. Okay so maybe you do have a killer website that inspires all kinds of fuzzy feelings in your clients. But, when you open a link on your phone is it still that killer website on desktop, or do things get complicated? Everything your company does needs to be mobile-friendly because people are spending much more time on their phones than on their computers.

Custom Software. A business needs to be efficient. Period. And having endless Excel documents that make everything more complicated isn’t efficient anymore. Nor is having a paper-based system. Custom software can help you do so much more with so much less. It allows you to answer and address your pain points -- anything you feel isn’t working -- and adapt in ways that work for you and the company.

Social Media. We know you hate it, but social media can be a huge asset for your company if you learn how to use it right. It allows you to validate and humanize who you are, and also to address who your customers are when they buy from you.

Apps. Social Media is a great way to connect with your customers, but the only way to be actually on their phones and get their full attention is by sending them notifications directly to their screens through apps. Apps are also a great way to keep connected as a company and build loyalty within your business.

In sum. These 5 technological aspects are the first of a long list we believe essential to making sure your business stays relevant throughout the next decade. We are sure that as the years go by, many more will appear. Some will become irrelevant and others will become more important than others. But our job in Magic Mirror is to give you, the small business owner, every technological advantage the world has at your disposal in order to make your days easier and more profitable. With technology evolving as it is, we spenc every hour of our days to make sure your business thrives.

Further Reading:



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or you want to learn how Magic Mirror Developers or our partners can help you achieve your business goals, don't hesitate to reach out to us! We're Here To Help



Are Clouds Safe and Do I Need One?


Key Lesson: Cloud services are essential to modern online business

Key Action Point: Evaluate your services for whether clouds can be used, and how to use them securely


Most of us grew up saving our files on floppy disks, then hard disks (some of us remember cassette tape drives!) and found ourselves slowly, over time, depending on “cloud” storage accounts.
First with emails, when the numbers started piling up, choosing to use Gmail or other cloud email services with large capacities, and then eventually taking it for granted. No longer were we fully in control of our data, and increasingly, your work, even when it seems local, has some form of cloud backup. It sounds ethereal, like something you need not worry about. “Don’t worry, it’s in the Cloud.” So, are clouds safe, can I use them for more than my Gmail or other email service? Will I increase my risk of getting hacked?

What is “The Cloud”?:

Clouds are networked storage systems, simply. But they can also serve as virtual computers, servers1 that do more than store, but rather act upon information, compute, and fulfill any of the functions of the desktop or laptop you use every day. When you pay for web hosting services, as most of us do when we create websites (though you could, technically, serve a website from your stand-alone computer), website hosts run these sites via cloud services. Because the computing is done via clouds, replicating the functions of a computer via “virtual” machines, duplicating the data and processes is quick and inexpensive, so that a “computer crash” is unlikely to bring down the site. This is true also for web “services,” which are behind most of the sites you use, running programs that fulfill customer needs, even while all we tend to see is the user interface. Thousands of businesses pay Google, Amazon, and Microsoft to use their cloud computing and hosting platforms, meaning they can save the costs of hardware for running complex computer code, or even simple websites. Because of the decreasing cost of storage and computing in clouds, they can be highly cost-effective for moving business processes online without investing in new machines.

A cloud, like the internet itself, uses the distribution of resources to avoid downtime and help to secure data and processes, but like the internet it presents us with some new vulnerabilities. Thieves who would have had to break into your house to take your floppy disks to see what was on them now need not leave their homes to access insecure data via the internet. The same is true for data and programs running in the cloud.

1 What is a Server? (1 minute video) Quick Answer: a computer that is linked to other similar "computers" with the ability to do stuff on those other "computers." To highlight a difference: if you want a file from your friend's computer you have to wait for your friend to give you the file (email, airdrop, Google Docs, etc.). However, if a server wanted a file from another server it can access it 'directly'. This is a rough, but effective analogy.

Out of Your Hands:

The benefits of clouds, including their robustness against failures, come with some risks. Connection to the internet means that, theoretically, anyone can find a way to try to access your data, software, accounts, etc. There have been some alarming publicly-disclosed cases of breaches for major cloud-based tools, notably the Yahoo email breach, reported in 2016 but committed in 2014. Yahoo eventually admitted that all of its nearly 3 billion accounts had been affected, and the cause was failing to update security protocols that would have made it harder to crack encrypted passwords. The Yahoo lesson hit home, mostly, and most cloud providers are quite secure, only breached generally through failure to properly protect login info, and not generally through high-powered, hardcore hacking (see how to avoid phishing attacks in the "further reading" section below). Your information is only as safe as those you entrust it to keep it. No provider is totally safe (here is a list of breaches over time), and there are things you can do to protect your data and services in the cloud, including always using two-factor (2FA) identification and notifications so you can help prevent and catch breaches before they harm you.

Cloudy, With a Chance of Disruption:

Clouds are basically unavoidable if you are going to do business in the 21st Century, and at some point you will need to embrace them. Because of their distribution, relative security, and overall integrity, they can help you spin up new businesses online with a minimum amount of costs, and in relative safety.

Further Reading:



How M|M Developers can help:

We focus on partnerships with clients, building strong foundations of understanding along each step of the process of creating an online friendly business.

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Should I Put My Business Online?


Key Lesson: Strategic use of the online world pays dividends

Key Action Point: Look for inefficiencies in your business and decide if they can be solved with improved communication or interconnectivity…


We are 25 years into the internet revolution and many businesses are still not taking advantage of the efficiencies and opportunities that the internet gives us. Most of us are familiar with the need to have a web site, and many realize that the website can incorporate some features of every-day commerce, but to what extent is it possible to move most if not all of one’s business activities online and more-or-less do away with the need for physical office space and infrastructure, or at least cut my costs significantly?
While it largely depends on the type of business you run, there are many options for streamlining any operation by taking advantage of the internet. Let’s look at options for workforce, sales & marketing, and settlements that exist and are easy to adopt, and that may help any business realize increased efficiency and thus profits.

Workforce:

We all know the term “gig economy” and associate it with Uber and other ride services primarily. But all sorts of jobs have been able to be farmed out to gig workers, freeing them to work anywhere they happen to live, and for business to contract for their services as needed and without much of the overhead involved with hiring a staff member. Sites like FlexJobs.com, Freelancer.com and others offer a marketplace for gigs for both employers who need labor, and those looking to supplement their incomes. Many such sites are free to join, and by browsing them you can get a sense of what sorts of tasks you, as an entrepreneur, can reasonably outsource to skills creators. Offloading piecework to specialists is an age-old method of running a business and frees you, as a business-owner, of tasks that are not necessarily optimal for you to perform. Meanwhile, you can concentrate more on creativity and decision-making at a higher level.

Sales & Marketing:

As business owners, we know that we are constantly selling; besides fundraising (which is best accomplished in the long term by selling), making people aware of your products or services is our primary job. Luckily, when you sell online, there are numerous tools that help you keep your brand in front of people who would likely be interested in it. Besides marketing on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, each of which are better for certain audiences than others, Google Ads can help you easily create banner ads that are served for users matching most closely your business’s customer profile, for mere pennies per impression. Unlike ads in traditional media, Google’s algorithms help you make sure your ads reach only those people who would most likely follow through and click into your site, and because they can click through, they can take action and more likely become your customers. A single person can often run a simple online marketing and sales strategy from a cell phone, leaving more time for in-person contacts and creative adaptation to changing business needs.

Settlements:

Business doesn’t ultimately amount to much until someone pays you, and paying for things over the internet continues to become easier for everyone, and makes settling your accounts increasingly easy. Checks bounce, credits cards get declined, cash is pretty much useless for most internet transactions, but many trustworthy options are available. PayPal has certainly become a well-established brand and tool for payments online, but numerous competitors exist, including Stripe, Arygle, Braintree, as well as Google and Amazon solutions. Each of these simplify and automate much of the work of getting paid for delivery of products and services, and require little more than using a simple portal online to track payment histories and download CSV files for your accounting. Finally, as the cryptocurrency laws and rules become more standardized, expect solutions like Coinbase and Gemini to become useful for accepting and sending payments using bitcoin and other cryptos. We will delve into the advantages of these in upcoming posts.

See what parts of your business could be streamlined by moving them online, get ideas from the three categories discussed above, and check out the solutions mentioned. If you know of others, send us an email or Tweet @_techtranslator!

Further Reading:



How M|M Developers can help:

We focus on partnerships with clients, building strong foundations of understanding along each step of the process of creating an online friendly business.

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Resolutions: How to Be Resolute


Key Lesson: You DO have control and you CAN achieve your resolutions

Key Action Point: Take the first 2 steps: (1) Think about why you want your goal and (2) think about how to get it


The start of the New Year always comes with a lot of ideas for us to better ourselves and our lives. It doesn’t matter if we are focusing on our personal life, our career, or our community. There is a lot of enthusiasm for making things better than the year before. And this is all very nice and all. But what actually happens to most of us as the holiday cheer begins to dry out and we return to our daily routine is that we lose that excitement. Consequently, our resolutions tend to fail before we even get to March.
But fear not, dear reader! For here we have gathered 3 key points of knowledge from really positive and intense people to keep your excitement from running out and help ensure you make those resolutions a year-long reality. 

Get to the core WHY. Most New Year’s resolutions are very vague mainstream ideas of what we believe is going to make our lives, or the lives of the people we care about, better. The reality of it all, is that you need to go further down that rabbit hole and see what you really want to gain from whatever idea pops into your head. For example, “I want to get more followers.” Nice. But why? “Because I want to grow my personal brand.” Cool. But why? “Because I want to get paid for product placement ad’s.” You see where I am going with this. Go deep into the why until you reach a reason that is fundamental, and therefore actionable. Once you have it, you’ll be able to plan it through, which is how you’ll achieve long-term traction with your idea.

Plan it through. Okay, so I know that we can plan all we want and chance can find a way to ruin it, and the only thing predictable about life is its unpredictability. I get that. But when I say plan it though I don’t mean a 3 year plan from which you cannot deviate. I mean make SMART goals.
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time based. Easy to follow through, simple enough to understand, and flexible to change if need be. If you’d like to know our thoughts on how to go about this send us an email or tweet @_techtranslator

Find like minded people. Humans are social creatures with a tendency to believe otherwise. The fact is that no matter how much the ending of GoT sucked, Sansa did speak the truest words known to man,

“When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.”
So think of life as the snow and white windy winter. The lone wolf that dies is your dreams when you try to tackle your resolutions on your own. And the pack thriving and surviving are the dreams of people that were smart enough to find other people to help them see their resolutions through. Find your pack. Your people. Your tribe. It’s a thing.
Go find yours before winter comes.

Further Reading:



If you have questions

or you want to learn how Magic Mirror Developers or our partners can help you achieve your business goals, don't hesitate to reach out to us! We're Here To Help



10 Ways To Give Back


2019 is on the verge of ending. It’s only a few more days and we’ll be on our way to start a new year. There is excitement, there is an extraordinary amount of cheer in the air, people everywhere are making an effort to see, talk, and hang out with those closest to their heart.
And for most people, this is a time to give back to those they love in the forms of gifts either given by them or by their chosen magical entity.  And while some of us may have a Christmas bonus as extra padding in our pockets, sometimes, trying to give to everyone in our lives can be painful for our wallets. 
Which is why we gathered a list of a few things you can do to give back, touch hearts, and save money. All before 2019 is done. 

1. Make a playlist. Music is a universal language that speaks the words we normally can’t say. And with all the automated music apps in our phones, sometimes it’s easy to lose touch with the music that speaks to you and that special someone. Back in the day, people took time out of their lives to make mix tapes, so take a moment out of all that Christmas shopping and well wishing and create a personal playlist with the music that highlighted your year and that of someone special.

2. Wash the dishes. Christmas dinners are a beautiful tradition until you see the host’s kitchen. Be an overwhelmingly amazing guest and sneak into the kitchen to do a little bit of cleaning before you head off. If you get caught, people will tell you not to do it and will urge you to get away from the kitchen. But, the little that you do to clean or the single fact that you tried, will touch their hearts far more than that pair of socks you got them.

3. Pay for the drink of the person behind you. During these days everyone is hustling like crazy, and one thing that keeps people going is coffee. So, if you’re in line at the mall and you are looking forward to going home, chances are the person behind you feels the same way. So, be a dear and pay for one of those coffees. Spread the cheer! Practice what the season preaches!

4. Do not get trashed at your office’s Christmas party. Just don’t.

5. Bake cookies. There is something very special about giving someone you care about a batch of homemade cookies. It’s not only a yummy gift, but it is one of those gifts that need time and care, precision, self control (because you didn’t eat the cookie dough), and a lot of cleaning after. So, it’s just really thoughtful. Because you could have gone to the mall or to a bakery and buy them something, but instead you decided to rage havoc on your kitchen to make some people happy. And if that’s not the spirit of Christmas I don’t know what is!

6. Watch that Christmas special with the family. Yes, they are corny. Yes, it is the same story told all over again. And yes, Netflix’s The Witcher is probably a way better show, they are calling it the new GOT. But! But, it’s Christmas. It’s not about the corny show of the story you already know. It’s about spending time with your loved ones. Suck it up.

7. Let someone go ahead of you in line. We are all in a hurry. But, hey! This is the season to be jolly. So, give up a spot and watch that person give you a surprised smile. Because, let’s face it, hardly anyone does that anymore.

8. Donate! So, there are a lot of people who aren’t privileged enough to spend the holidays like you normally do. And what a better way to get that holiday cheer going than by donating money, toys, your time, to people who need it the most. I have a friend who spends every Christmas Eve going through hospitals waiting rooms giving sandwiches with juice to the people there. She says the look in their eyes is way better than any gift she could ever get from anyone. So, maybe give it a go and surprise yourself.

9. Say “Happy Holidays” to everyone you see. When we are in a rush it is sometimes easy to forget the reason behind the rush. In this case, everyone is everywhere and in a hurry because it’s the Holiday season. Everyone needs to get things done, everyone needs to get somewhere, everyone is in a hurry. So, be that special someone who kindly reminds other people the reason why they have been struggling through an overly crowded Target by letting out a “Happy Holidays” when you pass by them.

10. Choose kindness. When you are in a position to choose, always, always, choose the kinder way. The world has far more Scrooge’s than we need and not enough ghosts to scare them into kindness on Christmas Eve. So, make the choice, everyday. Sometimes that means letting someone go ahead of you in line, sometimes that means making hot cocoa for the police guard in your street, sometimes it means smiling a little more to strangers, sometimes it means choosing what is right instead of what is easy. So, make sure to do it.


Happy Holiday Season, dear reader! 



If you have questions

or you want to learn how Magic Mirror Developers or our partners can help you achieve these goals, don't hesitate to reach out to us! We're Here To Help



6 Ways to Grow Your Business in 2020


A new year is making its way to us fast! Filled with new opportunities for you and your business to thrive and step into the new decade with your best foot forward. But how, you ask? With technology moving as it is, it can feel like your business may be falling behind and only big corporations have the money, time and resources to keep up with everything and use it in their favor... But guess what? That ends now!
Here in Magic Mirror we believe that small businesses are America’s best treasure, and we want to help you, your business and your employees, not just to survive, but to compete with the big guys. Here we have gathered a small list of things you need to be thinking about in order to make sure your business grows in 2020.

1. Make sure your website works efficiently.

When was the last time you actually checked out your website from your customer’s perspective ? Is it mobile friendly? Can you find what you are looking for fast? Is everything explained in the best way possible? In the digital era, your website builds up your credibility as a small business, it helps you appear on local searches, and it can help you gather client information for your marketing efforts.
"When viewing a website, it takes users less than two-tenths of a second to form a first impression, according to recent eye-tracking research conducted at Missouri University of Science and Technology. But it takes a little longer – about 2.6 seconds – for a user’s eyes to land on that area of a website that most influences their first impression."
[source: LITE.https://news.mst.edu/2012/02/eye-tracking_studies_show_firs/]

2. There’s an app for that!

You know people spend most of their time on their phones now. You can build an app for your internal team to boost sales and avoid monthly fees, or for your customers as a part of your marketing strategy. Having an app can help you connect directly with your customers. You wouldn’t have to wait for them to get on social media channels or even open their email to see the latest discount or product you have to offer. You can just remind them directly on their phone. You get to build your brand, provide value, and get loyalty by engaging more with your clients.

3. Customer experience.

We cannot highlight how important your customer experience is nowadays.. Your brand, your product, your business is what people say it is. Period. In short, rating are everything. And the easiest way to ensure your business doesn’t suffer from a bad yelp review, is by making sure every experience your customers have with you is amazing. Treat them as you would treat yourself. Or better yet, your dog. Don’t believe us? Take it directly from the researchers at Northwestern starting on page 6. Spoiler alert! #4 is really interesting: “5 stars is too good to be true.” Turns out, you’re best off with a lot of reviews between 4.2-4.7 stars (but really anything above 4.0 & below 4.8 is a winner).

4. Data-driven decision making.

The biggest most powerful thing you have at your fingertips is the data you are able to collect from your customers. Sure, gut instinct and opinions from meetings matter, but never as much the data your are able to get from your own customers. You want them to keep buying from you? Set up data recording tools, listen, and plan according to what they say. McKinsey has a wonderful publication on this HERE. And a more recent academic article that gives one of the newest models for data usage throughout the company life cycle HERE (it’s behind their paywall though, sorry).

5. Security and privacy.

Data, as we said is really important but just as important, perhaps maybe more, is making sure your customer’s data is safe. Just take a look at what happened to Cambridge Analytica (they closed in 2018 after the Facebook controversy). You don’t want your business making headlines with a data breach scandal. Here’s an oldie but a goodie, outlining the ways data security can be profitable for business with long-term vision.

6. We are on social media too.

Not using social media as a way to promote your business would be like starting a business and not telling anyone about it. We’ve already established that people spend most of their time on their phones, on average we are talking that people give 2 hours and 25 minutes to social media throughout a day. So, it is important that you think about having a good digital marketing strategy that includes communicating and connecting with your customers through social media and sending them over to your website. Which, if your think about it, is how you got here in the first place. ;)



If you have questions

or you want to learn how Magic Mirror Developers or our partners can help you achieve these goals, don't hesitate to reach out to us! We're Here To Help



The Empirical Business


Key Message: Using data to inform your decisions makes your failures meaningful and fewer

Action Point: Figure out what is most important to your business and find a way to measure it empirically

Building lasting things takes time, and failures abound. Famously, Thomas Edison tried about a thousand different materials before he found the best one for his light bulb. When a reporter’s question suggested that he had failed 1000 times before succeeding, Edison remarked instead that he hadn’t failed 1000 times, but that the light bulb was an invention involving 1000 steps. This is the empirical method, the basis of modern science and progress. Try, try again until you get it right. And then the thing that works is what you do until it no longer works, then you come up with something new and try that.

    The empirical business succeeds the same way. Let’s face it, markets are often quite mysterious, and innovating is always a big risk that is often met with failure. In the empirical method, each failure is a step and taken this way offers us a chance to move forward even if it feels like we have moved backward or hit a brick wall. Faced with new evidence, like the failure to gain traction in the marketplace, or even outright rejection or poor customer feedback, we have choices that include: giving up and moving on, or pivoting.

    Some of the biggest business successes were about to fail until they pivoted. Others, who failed to change course even as history and evolving markets showed their business models to be in trouble, or even doomed, are now lost in history -- footnotes in the log of startups that came and went. Even large-scale, blue-chip businesses can disappear as the winds shift, and they must be prepared to take in the evidence, evaluate it, and adjust. The empirical business is driven by:

  • Data, as much as passion, with the understanding that data overrides passion
  • Constant review and feedback loops to identify change in the marketplace
  • Adaptability, to use incoming new evidence to adjust or even radically change their approach

    Of course, passion, drive, vision, and ideals should motivate us in everything we do, but no amount of these can overcome evidence and facts. The empirical business keeps an eye on the data, the facts, and the evidence and uses these to constantly steer their operations, and to adjust course as necessary. Twitter only exists today because they saw what iTunes had in store for the podcast market (which it was, at the time, solely focused on) and dumped their entire business plan to become the world’s premier micro-blogging site. Edison’s 1000 steps toward the carbon or tungsten filaments that lit our world for a century are a model of perseverance and attention to evidence, bending preconceptions and ideals to fit the facts rather than vice versa, and success in revolutionary and profitable change. Our lesson, from this evidence, is to try always to do likewise.

If you’d like to see a follow up on this leave a comment below! We can detail how to do this if it would be helpful.

Further Reading:“Lean Analytics” by Croll & Yoskovitz; “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries

How M|M Devs Can Help: One of the biggest advantages of us building your website and/or handling your social marketing is that our CEO can provide guidance on critical data to track, then implement custom means of tracking each critical metric to drive substantial and rapid growth.


The Founding of Magic Mirror Developers


Very glad to have you with us on this journey. Welcome.
        I founded Magic Mirror Developers (M|M Devs) because I believe our job and our life should be aligned around whatever driving force provides us with meaning. For me, I find meaning in helping others, in educating, and in a nutshell, in being a part of something bigger than myself.

How is this relevant? Well, when I stepped back I saw 3 major problems, which I believe are worth dedicating my life to address.

  • Data appropriation
  • Widening Gap in Technology Literacy
  • HyperInflation of Population Densities
       Each problem is a complex topic and has volumes written attempting to elucidate its nuances. But here are my rapid-fire thoughts on each one, and what we at M|M Devs are doing in an attempt to address each issue

Data are today’s most valuable natural resources. They are renewable, expansive, and powerful. Data are also mined by a relatively small group of large companies. The problem is that companies (and governments, by the way) are taking this data without restraint and doing more or less whatever they want with it. Why is that a problem? Because in today’s world data is power, and without a natural meter of that power, like some fee or tax for data collection, there isn’t a check on the amount of power a company can subsume. Theoretically, if one company were to absorb enough data and have enough time to process that data, it could wield more power than the national government in which the company operates (many would say this is already true). Fortunately, there are a number of practical limiters to this power absorption, for the time being at least, which allows us small sigh of relief.
        But how can we address this!? I’m not sure. This will be a substantial challenge facing policy makers over the next 10 years. However, I do see another route to provide help in the meantime. The idea is quite simple: localize data. If we provide a means by which local businesses are the main collectors of data we change the power dynamic. More importantly, we create a value loop that doesn’t currently exist with these Goliath companies. By value loop, I mean that small businesses are beholden to their communities and customers while large companies are not. Therefore, in return for the value of the data customers provide small businesses, customers get products and services most relevant to their community with an improved experience that is tailored to them, enhancing the value of purchasing from that business. And the cycle continues.
       While this is far from a utopian solution, it is achievable in the short term and a solution that can be accomplished without the help of legislative bodies.

In 2016, the Congressional Research Service reported that since 2010 small businesses have contributed ~66.6% of net employment increases across the US, while the largest companies have remained effectively neutral during the same period [FAS.org; page5]. This tells me that we need to empower small business to hold their own against the ever increasing pace of market consolidation. To do this we must strip away the complexity of high-technology, which has actuated the technology gap between big and small business.
        We want you to win. We are here to help you win. I have seen first hand the incredible change that occurs when you empower small businesses with the data they need to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and make informed decisions. This change is visible and emotional. It’s a change from:

“I don’t know how much longer I can keep this up. I feel as though I’m on a hamster wheel.”
to,
“I can breathe again. That feeling in my chest, that tension, it’s gone. I feel free.”
        Yet, technology undoubtedly has a dark side. It has raised the minimum standard for a competitive business, forcing the infinite cycle of growth in which we find ourselves. Indeed, as technology increases its power to supercharge businesses, the minimum bar is raised ever higher. The kicker is that as technology’s power increases so does its complexity. At this point, the best technology has to offer small business is too complex to be navigated without dedicating significant time and resources to sufficiently absorb the information and implement a solution. This is the gap in technology literacy. Small Businesses just don’t have the time to deal with such wildly new ideas and methodologies. This terrifies me - it should scare you as well. Where will we be as a country without our flourishing small businesses?
        For many small businesses time & extra resources are not easily available, which is why our clients turn to us to illuminate the opaque world that is high-tech business. For those businesses that do want to tackle this challenge, I’ve found a ubiquitous challenge exists in not knowing where to start; this is almost always the biggest problem our clients face in their efforts to incorporate data into their decisions. The other is, “How do I know it will pay off?”. To the former challenge, I always start with the business itself, your business: what are the greatest needs of your business at this moment?; what information will help you make the right decision?; and how might we collect this needed data? This methodical approach works. It works very well. And with it we’re able to identify the 2-3 key metics that will impact long term business success for our clients.
        Reasonably, a substantial number of business owners tell me they’re not sure which are the MOST important questions to answer or aspects of the business to address. In this case I always direct them to our accomplished consulting partner, SRS Interconsulting, who specialize in using econometric analysis and their +30 years of experience to clear the fog inherent in executive decision making.

This third part is not driven by business or money; rather, it is my raison d’être. It is my intention to establish M|M Devs offices in various major cities around the world - cities which I believe are at the greatest risk of hyperinflation of population density - and establish training and coaching of young people, assisting in their endeavor to become programmers, developers, designers, etc.
       Okay, but what is a hyperinflation of population density? This is the phenomenon of explosive population growth in a city as a result of a rapid & seemingly sudden influx of immigration. This type of immigration typically results from refugees fleeing violence, drought, poverty, natural disasters, etc; effectively, anyone fleeing from inhospitable living situations fit this categorization. When this form of immigration occurs its very difficult for cities to adapt quickly & effectively, which results in high unemployment, poverty, and violence. I happen to believe that over the next 5 years we will see a sharp rise in these traumatic events (in fact, this increasing uptick in frequency has been noticeable for over 10 years).
       Thus, it is our goal to contribute to the employment and education of as many young people as possible - through volunteer coaching, real project training, and job placement assistance in international companies - in order to provide an alternative to what I predict to be extremely challenging living conditions for a large number of people in the not-too-distant future.

In sum, we at M|M Devs are not here to make money or to achieve some crazy software success story (we have already refused funding. twice). We’re doing this because we have a purpose, something that drives us forward through the best and worst of times: YOU. As a small business owner we emphatically believe that with the right tools YOU can provide better service and greater customer value than the Amazon’s and Apple’s of the world, stopping their phagocytic encroachment into your livelihood and our privacy.