life

How Nike Became Nike

I just finished this book and really enjoyed it.

Any entrepreneur and/or a runner should read it. Such an amazing story of a startup (they didn’t have this term back in 1962) that fight against the giants (e.g. Adidas, US customs, Tiger etc’) and succeed to win. Big time.

It’s told by Nike founder and CEO Phil Knight and he does a great job to describe the inside story of the company. From the early days as a one man show startup and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic and profitable brands.

In 1962, fresh out of Stanford business school, Phil Knight traveled the world. When he visited Japan he was able to get a deal with Tiger (well known brand at the time) and with fifty dollars from his father he created a company “Blue Ribbon Sports“. They had many issues and problems (like any startup) but in the end, Nike’s annual sales last year top $30 billion. The story between these two extremes is fascinating.

It’s a candid and humble memoir. Knight details the relationships he had with the first employees and the (many) risks and daunting setbacks that stood between him and his dream. He is a real problem solver and keep learning on the go but the most impressive quality I learn about him is the relationships he was able to make (with very few words) with athletes, employees and friends.

Enjoy it!
…And go for a run.

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life

Great Books To Start The Year

Few of the best books I’ve read in the past and you might enjoy. There are in no special order, but if you love good stories start with the first and the last.

 

One of the best books I read in a long time. It’s an interesting story about the humankind in the last ~70,000 years and Harari does it so well, you won’t feel it’s a history book.

I like the 2nd book (Homo Deus) as well and found more things in it that I would like to discuss about with the author. I just need to find the right time and place. Continue reading

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bots

Generate TTS Using Your Terminal

It’s not a new hack but it will work well if you have short texts (1-3 sentences) that you wish to convert to speech.

After all, when returning a response to the Google Assistant, you can use a subset of the Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML).

Why?

Because you can make your agent’s responses seem more life-like experience.

How?

Open your terminal and try something like this:

curl "http://www.google.com/speech-api/v1/synthesize?lang=en-us&text=actions+on+google+rock" -o aog-rock-hack.mp3

That’s it.

If you want to use SSML and get fancy, it’s also support it in the request: Continue reading

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bots

Hey Google, Talk to Coffee Trivia Game

During the holidays, I had a bit of time to do some fun stuff with Actions on Google.

It started with an idea that a runner friend brought up during a long run and the results is “OK Google, Talk to Western State Race“. If you are an ultra trail runner, you are smiling now, right?

Later, it was around another passion – good coffee. I used the templates for Google Assistant to create a fun trivia game. It’s super easy, as you only need to copy a google sheet and update it with your questions and answers.

You can check the result by clicking here (on mobile) or just say something like “OK Google, Talk to Coffee Trivia Game”. Continue reading

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Business, life

Books I Enjoyed During 2017

This year was full with good books.

I got to some books by mistake (e.g. Girl with a pearl earring during a trip to Zion national park) and others after getting a warm recommendation. Here is the list of the ones that I like most. There were at least ~12 other books that I didn’t like and stopped in the middle, but I guess, it’s part of life.

One of the best papers I read this year (again) was “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”. The paper is quite short (only 8 pages without the references) but every word there counts and it’s giving a total picture of this powerful invention. It’s much bigger than ‘just’ cash system and in the future we will see this technology breakthrough changing many industries.

OK, let’s jump to the books. Continue reading

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bots

How To Create A Shortcut In Google Assistant?

When you are using the google assistant for common task on daily basis it’s great to make a shortcut so with one word you can invoke a long ‘command’. One of the first shortcuts I have created is ‘bitcoin’ which is translated to “OK google, talk to bitcoin info about the price”. Let’s see below how you can easily work with the shortcuts inside the Google Assistant. See in the short video below how to create it and use it.

 

Continue reading

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bots

Get Users to Your App For The Google Assistant

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Did you know that your app for the Google Assistant can reach users on millions of devices? Over 100 million devices (and many more in the future) already have the Google Assistant with them so when users wish to use your app, you are already there. There is no friction. In this post we will focus on the methods you can use in order to reach users.

There are 4 ways for users to get to your app for the Google Assistant through:

  1. Explicit triggering
  2. Implicit Triggering
  3. The Google Assistant Directory
  4. The Assistant Directory link

Let’s go a bit deeper into each one. Continue reading

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