Best Online Business Ideas To Make You Rich In 2019.

best online business ideas

best online business ideas

25 List of best Online Business Ideas For Beginners In 2019

  1. Blogging
  2. Affiliate marketing
  3. SEO Business
  4. Freelancer
  5. Selling Online Course
  6. Online coaching
  7. Consulting Business
  8. Real estate business
  9. Virtual Assistance
  10. Mobil App Busines
  11. YouTube business
  12. Funnel Business
  13. Website Design
  14. Selling an eBook
  15. Kindle Business
  16. Software Business
  17. eCommerce Business
  18. Print On Demand business
  19. Selling Domain
  20. Web hosting reseller
  21. Seling Images and picture online
  22. PPC Business
  23. Review product
  24. Copywriter Business
  25. Website Flipping

If you’re reading this blog post, it means you are looking for the best online business ideas you can start to make money online without quit your day job.

Free Training:  How To build 100k per month Business Selling on Amazon In 2019

It doesn’t matter if you want to do it as a full time or part time, you only need to start somewhere. There are many online businesses and some are not profitable but can still make your money.

For those that want to quit, 9 am to 5 pm job, here is an opportunity to find the type of online business you can start to make a living without the need to depend on your boss.

Related: 72 best home business Ideas to make money

One of the advantages of this business is that you don’t need to quit your day job, you can easily combine it without affecting each other.

When I first started, I was a classroom teacher working from 8 am to 4 pm and yet, I still find time to start my online business which also earns me decent money before I finally quit.

If you want to start a real online business that can generate you 5 to 6 figure per month, then you need to work hard and smart, dedicate your time to achieve want you want to achieve. There are many internet marketers that are making 6 figure per month but it doesn’t happen in a day.

It took them months even years before they start making such amount of money. If you believe that you can do it and be successful, then set your goal.

What are the requirements needed to start an online business?

You may be thinking you need thousands of dollar to get started or maybe you don’t even know where to start, don’t panic. The major tools you need is computer/Laptop and internet connection.

Once you have these, then you’re on your way to build a successful online business that can make you money for years.

What of Investment?

Yes, of course, you are very right, you need to invest little money to make the work easier for you and to grow your online business faster than you think.

You can start as little as $200 while some may not requires money but your experience and skills. If you don’t have any knowledge or experience on most of the business listed, you can learn some within a few months and become an expert.

25 best online business ideas you can start in 2019 that can make you rich.

  1. Blogging

If you are looking for the best online business idea for beginners, I recommend blogging. It is a process whereby you build a website and update it with quality contents. Blogging is one of the best ways to make money online. It does not require more investment, you can start as little as $200.

Steps to start money making a blog

If you want to start blogging, you can create a blog based on your experience and skills or what you are passionate about. For example, if you are a fitness expert, you can build a blog on fitness and create a quality content that can solve some problems faced by people who want to lose weight, want to build muscle etc.

Also, if you know how to cook very well, you can start a food blog or you are a photographer who can shoot air, you can start a blog teaching people how to take pictures, photo, recommend the best camera etc.

Here are the types of blog you can build depending on your interest and knowledge.

  • Food blog
  • finance blog
  • Travel blog
  • Pet blog
  • Fitness blog
  • Nutrition blog
  • Weight loss and diet blog
  • social media blog
  • DIY blog
  • and more.

What do you need to get started? You asked, here is the answer.

Domain name and web hosting.

The domain name is the name of your blog. For example, you want to start a fitness blog, you can register a domain name like This is the name of your blog where people can read about your content. You can register a domain name for less than $12.My prefer register is NameCheap.It only takes you less than a minute to register your domain.

Web hosting is a company that helps you host your domain. There are many web hosting on the internet but here are few of them that I can recommend for you.

You can check any of this hosting companies and choose anyone but the price may vary depending on the plan you choose. With less than $100, you can register for any web hosting for a year.

If you want to learn more about blogging, here are best articles to help you build your first blog in less than 5 minutes.

How to start a blog on Bluehost in less than 5 minutes

  1. Affiliate marketing

Now that you have learned about blogging, another easy online business idea to make money is affiliate marketing.

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a process of selling people’s product or service and get a commission when people buy through your affiliate link. You only need to promote a product and when you make a sale you get a commission.

For example, let say you promote a product that is selling for $45, and the affiliate commission is 50%, that means you will get $22.5 per sale.

With affiliate marketing, you don’t need to create your own product, no sales page etc. There are many ways to promote affiliate offers such as blog, social media, email marketing, solo ads etc.

If you want to go for affiliate marketing, the first step is to learn how affiliate marketing works. This is very important if you don’t want to waste your time and money.

There are many courses that can help you to get started, some are free while some are paid. Here are the best articles on how to start affiliate marketing.

Related: Affiliate marketing for beginners

Here are the free training to help you understand how affiliate marketing works

super affiliate marketing training

The best place to find the affiliate product to promote

  1. SEO Business

Another online business idea that can generate you 6 figure per month is SEO business. You can start your own SEO agency and make a lot of money. SEO means search engine optimization.

SEO is a multimillion dollar business and a lot of websites owners want their website on the first page of Google to attract targeted traffic.

There are two types of SEO, on page SEO and off page SEO. You need to have in-depth knowledge on both before you can even think of starting SEO business.

Here are the resources to help you and learn more about SEO and how you can turn it into a multimillion-dollar business.

  1. Freelancer

Freelancer business is a business that does not require money if you have any experience or knowledge and skills to help people solve their problem.

As a freelancer, here is the list of work you can do and get paid.

Writing article: If you are very sound in English and you can write very well, then you can make a huge amount of money writing content for website owners.

Logo design: Are you creative in logo design, there are many freelance online that are making thousands of dollar every month by just designing a logo for webmasters and companies.

  • Creating video and animation
  • Video marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Influential marketing
  • Web and mobile design
  • Photoshop editing

the list goes on.

You can find more ideas on

  1. Online coaching

Online coaching is a lucrative business where you can show your skill and experience in your field. There are many people who make more money through coaching. If you’re into fitness, you can start fitness coaching where you can help people who want to build muscles, lose weight, gym and more through videos.

  1. Sell online course

Selling online course is a great business idea and very profitable. You can create an online course and start making money without the need to invest much money to get started. You can create videos, files such as PDF, or in word and allow people to get access to it when they have paid a certain amount of money.

One of the best ways to build a successful business by selling online course is to find problems people are facing in any niche or market and provide a solution.

For example, if you’re a social media influencer, you can create an online course on how people can use social media to promote their business.

Let look at another example like a programmer. A programmer can create an online course teaching people who want to learn coding or programing language such as PHP, JAVA, PHYTON etc. There are thousands of people who want to learn how to code in different coding languages.

The best and profitable business ideas for people who have knowledge and skills is to start an e-course business where people can learn from them.

No matter any market you find your self, there are people who are hungry to learn something from you.

If you’re thinking of where to sell your online course,you’re not alone, there ‘re many platforms where you can get started. Here are few of the best places to sell your e-course without any stress.

and more

  1. Consulting Business.

Starting a consulting business is a good idea if you have what it takes and all the resource required to be successful. Here are the types of consulting business you can start depending on your interest and skills.

Dating consultant,business consultant,social media consultant,marriage consultant,real estate consultant,marketing consultant,legal consultant,IT consultant,public relation consultant etc.

  1. Real Estate Business

Another best online business to start is real estate business. Many people are investing in housing and real estate. It is a multimillion dollar market and demand is increasing every day.

One of the amazing things about starting a real estate business is that you can simply learn it online and start your own agency without need much investment. Get this book to unlock your real estate business.

  1. Virtual Assistance

Virtual Assistance is a business you can consider if you are ready to do all minor job or work for companies to complete a small task and get paid for it.

What is Virtual assistance?

A virtual assistant known as VA is someone hired to provides support services to other businesses from a remote location. Many small businesses use virtual support, especially for specific tasks such as social media management.

Being a virtual assistant may not make you rich, but you can earn more through it without affecting your own business.

Learn more about virtual assistance here

  1. Mobile App

Mobil app business is a multimillion dollar business and as you are reading this article, maybe through your Mobile. Check your mobile phone, you will see that you have few or more application on it that are helping you to complete a small task in one way or the other.

The mobile app business is a huge market and despite the fact that there are millions of applications, people are still building a mobile application and making a lot of profit.

To start a mobile app business, you don’t even need to know how to code or write any line of coding. There are some tools available that can help you create your app and upload it to Google Play.

There are two types of mobile app, android and ios. It depends on you, but have it mind that Android has more market than ios.

In addition to that, you can find a company to help you build your app. You only need to carry out your research on the type of application you want to build, give them your ideas and they will get it done for you with just a little investment.

Also, if you are interested in learning how to build a mobile application, the choice is yours and you can get started at Udemy has thousands of both android and ios courses where you can learn how to build a mobile app without the need to break a bank for the training. A mobile app is one of the best online business to start to make a living.

  1. YouTube Channel

YouTube business may not be new to you but if you don’t know how it works,it may be very difficult to be successful. You may not be doing it as a full-time online business but it worth trying as many YouTuber are making thousands of dollar every month.

The first step is to create a YouTube channel for your business and fill all the necessary this such as image, logo, location etc.

To become a professional YouTuber does not require expensive equipment, you can start with any type of camera or your mobile to get started. Also, there are many software you can use to create your video and upload them into YouTube such as Camtasia, ScreenFlow etc.

What type of video can you upload to YouTube to make a decent income?

Well, it varies depending on your skills and experience. If you’re a musician, entertainer, marketers, Fitness trainer, dancer etc. Your video only needs to engage visitors to click the ads shown from your video to make money.

You can learn more about how to start a YouTube business.

  1. Funnel business

Sales funnel business is growing fast and a lot of people are making money by just building high converting sales funnel for companies and internet marketers. Sales funnel is a page built to collect the visitor’s data and information so that you can build a strong relationship with them and turn them to your customer.

Most companies are building sales funnel to sell their products and services to their customers once they have their contact.

The best tool to build and sell your funnels is Clickfunnels. You can create a funnel on any type of market and for professionals in any field such as dentist, real estate experts,etc.

Not only that, you can build a funnel to sell any product either digital or physical products.

To get started with Clickfunnels, you need to sign up for their 14 days trial. They have two plans, one is $98 per month while the second plan is around $297 per month.

You will get free access to their video tutorial on how to build a sales funnel without requiring any coding experience.

I know a lot of internet marketer who is making 6 figure per month from their funnels. In other to get the fast result for those who want to start funnel business, here is a complete webinar on how to build a profitable funnel.

Click here to register for the webinar.

  1. Website design

The next on the list is website design. Starting a website design business is great and if you don’t have any experience before,it is not a big deal. Anybody can learn how to build an amazing website in less than 3 months.

The best part is that it doesn’t cost much money to learn the ins and outs of how to design a good website using different software such as WordPress, PHP, Java etc.

Where to learn website design?

This is a huge market and world is going fast into digital marketing. There are many places where to can get website design job and get more customers and clients.

You can check the following platform to get started.

  1. Selling eBook

Selling eBook can make you rich if you know how to sell to Hungry buyers. We are in a digital age and there is a high demand for e-book depending on your market or niche. You can sell an e-book on anything so far there is a market for it.

But, note that not all market is profitable. If you want to start e-Book business, you need to find a market where there are buyers.

For example, if you’re into weight loss, you can create an e-book on how to lose 5 pounds in 14 days. If you know how to build a mobile app, you can create an e-Book on how to build an android application and name it” 27 steps to building your first android app in 30 days”.

Your book needs to be in PDF for easy download and make it readable.

Learn more how on to start e-Book business

  1. Kindle business

Starting kindle business is a great way to build a solid online business. This is very simple to start and may not even require any cost except you want to outsource the process.

Anybody with skill, knowledge and hobby can start kindle business no matter where you live. You can create Kindle book on any topic such as health and fitness, novel, storybook, baby book, advertising, business, and more.

To get started, you can sign up your account following this link.

If you want to learn more about Kindle business, simply check this e-book as it can help you to build a profitable business selling on Kindle.

  1. Software Business

The software business is more than just ordinary business. It is a multimillion dollar business. If you’re thinking of a real and lucrative online business that can give you passive income, then think of Saas business.

The main disadvantage of the software business is the investment. You need to hire designer and programmers to build your software. Apart from the programmer and designer, you will need to pay for web hosting, buy a domain and some other things.

The cost to get started varies and it depends on the type of software products or services. There are categories of the software:

Web-based software: This type of software runs in a web browser. Examples are Facebook, Pinterest, Clickfunnels, Grammarly etc.

Smartphone software: This types of software runs on a smartphone via an app. Examples are snapchat, WhatsApp’s etc

Computer software: These are types of software that runs on your desktop or laptop’s operating system. Examples are Skype, Avast, Ccleaner and more.

Gaming software: This is a software that runs on gaming consoles. Examples are Warcraft, Super Mario etc.

Now, you got the ideas of how to start a software business, if you’re ready and want to learn more about software business, then get software secrets by Garrett and Scott.

  1. e-Commerce Business

Now let’s get into another online business that is shaking the entire internet. e-Commerce business has gone beyond people’s imagination and the market has hit billions of dollar in 2018. Last year,, the giant in e-commerce business hit more than 10 billion dollars a year.

If you are thinking of online business ideas to start, don’t just overlook e-commerce as it can make you rich in the next 12 months.


Yes, I know what I am saying. I know some people who started selling on Amazon and within 12 months, some made more than 1 million dollars.

Here are a few types of e-commerce business you can start and build a successful business without the need to invest heavily to start.

Selling on Amazon: Selling on Amazon is not so difficult but there is some learning curve. You can’t just look for a product to sell and create your account, then be expecting money to be coming in.

You need to work hard to make the money. You need to learn how selling on Amazon works. The best part is that to get fast result, you need to learn from the experts who have built a successful business selling on Amazon.

There are few online training teaching you how to sell on Amazon and build a successful business.

Amazing Selling Machine training

The second e-commerce business is drop shipping like selling on Amazon but it is a bit different as Amazon help you fulfil your product without the need to worry about shipping, but in dropshipping, you will need to find means of shipping your product to customers.

Don’t fret because of shipping, there are lots of companies that can help you with just a click of a mouse.

Here is how dropshipping works.

You buy a product at a cheaper price, say from China, mostly on Alibaba or aliexpresss,you build a store on Shopify or other platform and upload the image of the product. When a customer buys the product say $25, you go to aliexpress and buy the same product as low as $7. You ship the product to your customer at a cost of 10 dollars. You get $8 per product.

You can use obelo to make your work easier. It allows you to find a product from aliexpress and upload it to your Shopify store with just a click of a mouse, no extra work

You can automate your work using other software and get an amazing result. Drop shipping is a business that has future for those who are looking for a profitable online business to start.

Ready to drop shipping on Shopify, get 14 days free trial now.

Click here to get free part 10 video training series on how to sell on Shopify.

  1. Print on Demand Business

Print on demand known as POD is more or less as e-commerce where you can sell your design to customers. You may need to be creative in design except you’re ready to outsource your design.

Print-оn-dеmаnd publishing iѕ соmmоn, еѕресiаllу in thе self-publishing .T-ѕhirtѕ, hats, caps, leggings, books and оthеr digital contents аrе printed individually when a customer place order instead оf bulk printing bеfоrе рrоmоtiоn аnd ѕаlеѕ.

Sites That Offers PrintgOn Demand


With POD, you hardly lose your money because you only design and print when a customer ordered.

You can make a custom design in the following niches:

  • Teacher
  • Nurse
  • Dogs
  • Lawyer
  • Fishing
  • Cats
  • Hunting and more

Click here to learn more about POD

  1. Selling domain

Domain business may be new to you but people that are in this business are making decent money from buying and selling a domain.

I have seen a situation whereby a domainer bought a domain for less than 12 dollars and sell it for $50k.

This type of business requires you to familiarize with the business before you invest in it.

You can register a new domain or buy from auction sites and resell them to make profits.

If you’re interested in domain business, check the to learn how this business works.

  1. Web Hosting Reseller Business

Web hosting reseller is a process whereby the reseller purchases the host’s services wholesale and then sells them to customers to make a profit.

Here are best web hosting where you can start reseller business.

  1. Selling photos and pictures online

Selling pictures may be the best business you can do if you are passionate about taking pictures or you are a photographer.

You can find a good location where there are many attractive images that can catch the attention of the people in any market.

Here are a few websites where people can sell their pictures and images online.

  1. PPC Business

Starting PPC business may be fun if you know how Facebook and Google algorithm work. Both are giant when it comes to pay per click advertising.

Pay per Click advertising business is growing fast and a lot of companies are looking for experts to help them show their brand and service to millions of targeted customers to increase their sales.

PPC advertising business is a lucrative online business but requires skills and knowledge to get started. It is not what you can just research how it works online and start making money. You need to learn the ins and outs of how it works if you don’t want to lose your money and ruin your business.

The most important thing to do before you start is to learn or get trained by PPC experts and professionals.

  1. Review Products

Reviewing a product may be a good option for people who are looking for online business ideas to generate decent money online while still working full time.

To get started, you will need to find companies who can pay you to review their products and services.

This type of business is related to affiliate marketing where you get a commission when customers buy through your link.

To write a product review may require you to have experience about or passion for the product. This is very important or alternatively, you may need to research to learn about the product to give you more ideas of what to write about to convince your readers and make them take action to purchase the product you review.

Here are steps to start a review product business

  • Find a niche
  • Research the market and make sure it is evergreen and profitable. Means people are spending money on such market.
  • Buy A Domain and build a blog
  • Find products and write review articles.
  • Launch your review site.

Here is the type of review site that are making millions of dollar every year.

  1. Copywriter

Copywriting is the process of writing for the purpose of advertising or forms of marketing. The product, called copy, is a written content that aims to increase business awareness and ultimately persuade a customer to take action.

A copywriting is a great business if you know how to write a sales letter that can easily convince people or ready to learn how to become a professional copywriter.

You can find so many e-Books on how to become great copywriter on Amazon or get trained through an online course.

   25.Website Flipping

The last on the list of online business ideas is a website flipping. This is a process of buying and selling websites to make a profit.

This type of online business requires learning from experts. There are many free contents you can read online to get familiar with how to flip website.

Check this site to get more information on website flipping business.

Now that you have at least 25 best online business ideas, I strongly advise you to find one or two and do in-depth research as pick the one that fits you most.

Getting business ideas is very simple but to find the one that suits you based on experience, passion and skills require more time to decide.

The ball is in your court and don’t just leave it there, play it and see if you’re a winner.

Success doesn’t come without a risk, and in any online business, taking risk is part of the business.

If you have any question on these list of best online business ideas, kindly let me know from your comment.

This post was originally published on this site

Photo: AP

With each passing year that the world fails to get a grip on its carbon emissions, the threat of climate change increases. For some, that makes geoengineering—a technique to artificially cool the planet—an increasingly enticing opportunity. But while scientists have shown that blasting tiny particles into the stratosphere could reflect enough sunlight back into space to keep the planet habitable for humans, there’s been little research on what it would mean for the world’s wildlife.

A new study published on Monday in Nature Ecology and Evolution gives us some our first clues. The study shows that while geoengineering could improve life for most plants and animals currently suffering the effects of climate change, it comes with two major catches. The first is that geoengineering itself would devastate the Amazon. The second, even more dire finding, is that once we start geoengineering the climate, we can’t stop because if we did, everything would go to hell in a hand basket.


The planet would rapidly warm at a rate much faster than species could learn to cope with through adaptation or by migrating to cooler climates. The results are a strong reminder that reducing carbon emissions is the only surefire way to make sure we don’t mess up the planet any further.

The study is one of the first of its kind, and came about due to a chance encounter at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference three years ago. Alan Robock, a Rutgers climate modeler who focuses extensively on geoengineering, had just given a presentation on his work.

“Jessica Gurevitch, an ecologist, asked me about the ecological impacts,” he told Earther in an email. “I told her it was an important question, but nobody had looked into it yet, and we put together a team to do so.”


On the climate modeling side, Robock helped implement a geoengineering scenario where starting in 2020, the world starts injecting 5 teragrams of sulfate aerosols into the stratosphere every year to lower the planet’s temperature. That’s the equivalent a volcanic eruption roughly a quarter of the size of the 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption annually. They then compared it to a scenario where humanity cut its carbon emissions starting in midcentury, a trend that would still mean the world keeps warming, but at a slower rate than if emissions continued to increase.

To understand what geoengineering means for wildlife, the analysis looks at the climate velocity. The idea is that every plant and animal has an ideal climate, but the warming and precipitation shifts associated with climate change are causing that ideal climate to shift—generally poleward, or higher into the mountains. In order to keep pace with the ideal climate, species need to move with it. Big mammals, plants with wind-dispersed seeds, and birds that can cover large distances have the best chance of keeping pace, but small creatures or mostly stationary ones are in a tougher spot.

The findings show that keeping the planet from warming further via geoengineering would essentially allows species to shelter in place. In the case of highly climate-sensitive species like coral, geoengineering the climate could prevent them from going extinct. Though, of course, if we continue emitting carbon in that span, ocean acidification will still be a growing problem, so it’s not all roses. Geoengineering also doesn’t address all the other ways humans are stressing out ecosystems.


On land, species would also get a reprieve in most locations, with one notable exception. Cooling the planet by reflecting sunlight back into space would likely cause the Amazon basin, one of the most biodiverse parts of the world, to dry out. That would have a huge impact on ecosystems there, and set off a terrible chain reaction of more wildfires, increasing carbon emissions, and the need to do more geoengineering to keep things cool enough for everywhere else. Oh, and people living downwind would suffer bigly from terrible air quality.

Much of the Eurasian Arctic would also dry out, raising the risk of fires in the boreal forest as well.

More concerning still is what happens if policymakers suddenly decide to shut geoengineering down. The study looks at what would happen if we did that in 2070, and the results are absolutely horrifying.


Aerosols are really short-lived, which is why we would have to continually emit them to make geoengineering work. Suddenly stopping would result in a warming surge that would be much more dramatic than if climate change was just allowed to progress over the course of the preceding 50 years.

Precipitation patterns would also shift again, and the result for wildlife would likely be widespread die offs, and habitat fracturing. The climate velocity would be four times greater on land, and six times greater in the oceans, than recent climate change.

“We found that not only would climate velocities outpace the average dispersal speed of 93 percent of mammal species at geoengineering termination, the temperature and precipitation velocities on land move in different directions in many places, fracturing ecosystems in biodiversity-rich tropical oceans and in the Amazon,” Robock said.


So yeah, goodbye Amazon. And probably goodbye corals, mangroves, frogs and other amphibians, and many land mammals. The Arctic is also probably kaput (RIP sea unicorns).

The findings reinforce something we already know: geoengineering is an extremely risky proposition. And if humanity decides it’s a risk worth taking, then we essentially lock ourselves into doing it forever, or until we develop the technology to suck carbon out of the atmosphere at a scale large enough to stabilize the climate.

It also reinforces reality that the only way to reliably make our climate safe for wildlife and humans alike is to start rapidly reducing carbon emissions. And we better get started soon.


This post was originally published on this site

One common yardstick used to measure the RESTishness of an API design is what has become known as the Richardson Maturity Model (or RMM). Originally known simply as the Maturity Heuristic, Leonard Richardson’s scale defines the following levels of maturity of an API design:

  • Level Zero: One URI, one HTTP method
  • Level One: Many URIs, one HTTP method
  • Level Two: Many URIs, each supporting many HTTP methods
  • Level Three: Hypermedia

We can recognise Level Zero as RPC, or SOAP style APIs.

Level One APIs have the concept of resources (or representations), but all requests use one HTTP method (such as GET or POST). This fails to leverage the HTTP protocol to its fullest, and as Richardson notes, makes it very easy to destroy data by accident.

Level Two is probably the commonest level seen in production APIs today. It represents all of Fielding’s mandatory REST constraints apart from HATEOAS.

Level Three is REST, including the hypermedia constraint. Though Richardson in his original discussion ( states:

“A lot of people settle for level two because hypermedia is difficult to understand and its value in the web service domain isn’t as clear.”

Unfortunately, the Richardson Maturity Model has been popularised by Martin Fowler in a somewhat bowdlerised form from the original. Unhelpfully, the graphic on his website, often reproduced, chooses to rename the levels above as:

  • Level Zero: The Swamp of POX
  • Level One: Resources
  • Level Two: HTTP verbs
  • Level Three: Hypermedia controls

Fowler's take

Even if we accept the application of a maturity model to API design as being somewhat biased, implying as it does that REST APIs are more “mature” than RPC APIs (when in fact they simply serve different needs and purposes), there is little excuse for using pejorative terms like “swamp”. “POX” also sounds unpleasant, but here simply means ‘Plain Old XML’.

Either way, the popularised version of the RMM makes no distinction between resources and representations and only adds to the confusion between HTTP ‘verbs’ and HTTP methods, which the original does not.

Richardson himself at RESTFest 2015, in a talk subtitled “What Have I Done?”, described the whole thing as “very embarrassing” and clarified that if you want to proceed up the steps of the Maturity Heuristic, you have to have either a technical reason or a political reason to do so. There is also no prize or “glory” at the top – sorry to disappoint. (

Do please refer to Richardson’s original work for more details on this model.

Thanks to Darrel Miller for pointing out Richardson’s later talk.

This post was originally published on this site

Medical researchers in Melbourne have discovered new information on why some babies are born with disorders of sex development.

Researchers at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute say a baby’s sex is also determined by a regulator that increases or decreases the activity of genes that decide if we become male or female.

The study, ‘Human Sex Reversal is caused by Duplication or Deletion of Core Enhancers Upstream of SOX9′ has been published in the journal Nature Communications.

It set out to investigate whether the disruption of SOX9 could cause abnormal sex development.

MCRI researcher and Hudson Institute PhD student, Brittany Croft, is the first author of the study and says the sex of a baby is determined by its chromosome make-up at conception but that can change depending the levels of SOX9.

The sex of a baby is determined by its chromosome make-up at conception but that can change depending the levels of SOX9, according to researcher.

The sex of a baby is determined by its chromosome make-up at conception but that can change depending the levels of SOX9, according to researcher.


“This study is significant because in the past researchers have only looked at genes to diagnose these patients, but we have shown you need to look outside the genes to the enhancers,” she said.

“The key to diagnosing many disorders may be found in these enhancers, which hide in the poorly understood dark matter of our DNA.”

Lead author, Professor Andrew Sinclair, says that “junk DNA” or “dark matter” forms 90 per cent of human DNA.

Rather than carrying genes, this contains regulatory segments of DNA called enhancers that increase or decrease gene activity.

“Importantly, we identified XX patients who would normally have ovaries and be female but carried extra copies of these enhancers, (high levels of SOX9) and instead developed testes,” Prof Sinclair said.

“In addition, we found XY patients who had lost these SOX9 enhancers, (low levels of SOX9) and developed ovaries instead of testes.”

This is the second piece in our series on leadership. You can read the first piece here.
In the 1980s, Harvard Business School professor Michael Jensen noticed a big shift in the career choices of Harvard MBAs. In the late 1970s, about 55% of graduates chose careers in corporate management, but by the late 1980s, only 30% were making this choice.

Jensen was concerned that this meant that America’s “best and brightest” leaders were not going to be running America’s largest companies—and that corporate America needed to increase CEO compensation to lure more Harvard MBAs into corporate management careers. His ideas have been very influential in driving significant increases in executive compensation since the early 1990s. But was his logic correct?

A central premise of business education is that leadership and management can be taught in the classroom. Harvard Business School says its mission is “to educate leaders who make a difference in the world,” where a difference is defined as creating “real value for society.” And so, Jensen’s logic makes sense: Harvard attracts the very best students and, presumably, is good at educating them to be better business leaders, so corporate America should want more HBS graduates running companies—and this logic should extend to MBA programs beyond just Harvard.

We set out to test this logic empirically. We tested three key hypotheses that follow from Jensen’s logic:

  1. The returns of companies run by CEOs with MBAs should outperform the returns of companies run by CEOs without MBAs. A market-neutral portfolio that goes long companies run by MBAs and short companies not run by MBAs should generate statistically significant alpha.
  2. There should be a spread in quality of MBA programs. Some MBA programs should do a better job than others at selecting and training the future leaders of America. We should see the best-ranked MBA programs produce higher-quality CEOs as measured by share price performance.
  3. Not all the “best and brightest” choose to get MBAs. Some choose to go to top consulting firms and investment banks—and these proving grounds for the managerial elite should produce CEOs with similar qualities to those of MBAs. Investing in companies run by former consultants and bankers should provide a replication of the core thesis that better credentialed CEOs should produce higher equity returns.

We share the results of each test below.

Do CEOs with MBAs generate higher returns for shareholders?
For an initial test of our first hypothesis, we formed monthly portfolios that go long companies with MBA CEOs and short companies headed by non-MBAs. Figure 1 below displays the outcome next to an equal-weighted S&P 500 index from 2000 to 2018.
Figure 1: Performance of Long MBA, Short Non-MBA Portfolio vs. S&P 500

Source: Verdad research

This backtested portfolio did not produce any statistically significant alpha and, in fact, had negative returns over the period tested. Admittedly, this was a net bull market for the S&P 500, so some might argue that comparing a long-only strategy to a long-short strategy is not appropriate. But there is clearly no alpha in the long-short strategy.

Do Elite MBA Programs Outperform?
This first test does not necessarily disprove Jensen’s logic. After all, not all MBA degrees are created equal. Post-crisis, even the most obnoxious elitist in Midtown knows to conceal his snobbery about schools. But elitism runs deep in the world of investing. After one too many drinks, he might ask: Why on earth would we mix the nitwits from, say, Northwestern together with the stars at HBS?

To test this hypothesis, we tagged CEOs by the MBA programs they attended. We expected to see the top MBA programs produce CEOs whose companies outperformed the market, whereas lower ranked MBA programs would fail to add value.

We formed monthly portfolios of companies broken down by the b-school each CEO attended. Figure 2 below displays these results and ranks each school by their alpha coefficient.

Figure 2: Equity Returns by CEO MBA Program

Source: Verdad research. Tests of significance included control variables for the market and size and value factors. 95% confidence intervals used for significance threshold.

We found no statistically significant alphas, despite testing every possible school with a reasonable sample size.

The perceived quality of each institution appeared to have no correlation with stock price returns. Northwestern led with an alpha of 0.58% per month. Stanford eked out a barely positive alpha of 0.03% per month. Harvard and Wharton had negative alphas of -0.15% and -0.19%, respectively, per month. While these rankings likely occurred by sheer chance, they do nothing to support Jensen’s thesis.

Our study is not the only one to come to this conclusion. A study by economists at the University of Hawaii asked similar questions and found that firm performance is not predicted by the educational background of the CEOs, except on a few “striking findings.” According to the Hawaiian upstarts, “The most striking finding from this [research] is that the top graduate and combined university (Harvard) is significantly negative in explaining ROI.”

Jensen would not be pleased. School rivalries run deep, even among objective data scientists. Some of the elitist “best and brightest,” like Jensen and graduates of schools like his HBS, might critique the U. Hawaii researchers for bias in their “interesting,” “striking,” not to say “distinctly anti-Harvard” research findings. Given that the Verdad team has three MBAs and two Harvard degrees between us, we hope that we are beyond reproach on the potential bias question!

We were personally quite happy to learn that the study found that attending an MBA program dramatically increases the chances that someone becomes a CEO, even though the MBA has no predictive power for share price returns and thus the performance of the CEO.

Do CEOs from investment banks and elite consulting firms outperform?
Lastly, while not argued by Jensen, we looked at how CEOs who had previously worked at investment banks and elite consulting firms performed. If Jensen’s core thesis is true, we would expect CEOs with these elite credentials to outperform the market. So we hypothesized that this would provide further evidence that the “best and brightest” were indeed better managers.

We formed monthly portfolios for bankers and consultants. As we did before with MBAs, we then controlled for the confounding effects of size and value by running Fama-French three-factor regressions. Figure 3 below shows the results of this analysis.

Figure 3: Equity Returns for Bankers & Consultants

Source: Verdad research

Neither bankers nor consultants produced statistically significant alphas. We also backtested portfolios designed to favor ex-bankers and consultants and found no significant edge.

Our findings suggest that the “best and brightest” do not appear to have a statistically significant edge when it comes to managing public companies. An elite pedigree—the type of pedigree favored by head hunters and corporate boards—is not predictive of superior management. One of the central rationales for Michael Jensen’s campaign (increasing CEO pay by tying it to share price performance) appears, in retrospect, to have little empirical support. These credentials, however, are significantly overrepresented in the CEO biography database. The elite credentials thus benefit the individual, but there is little evidence that these credentials benefit shareholders.

It’s unclear precisely why the evidence suggests that highly credentialed CEOs from our most elite MBA programs and their funnel careers appear to add no measurable value to shareholders. But we saw wisdom in the insight of the oldest living CEO, a 100-year-old billionaire from Singapore who still goes to work every day to mentor his son in leading the firm. His son, Teo Siong Seng, said, “But my father taught me one thing, in Chinese, it’s ‘yi de fu ren’—that means you want people to obey you, not because of your authority, not because of your power, or because you are fierce, but more because of your integrity, your quality, that people actually respect you and listen to you.” Bloomberg shows that “there is no education data available” for the 100-year-old CEO, Chang Yun Chung, so we cannot vet his educational credentials, but we suspect he did not obtain an MBA.

Next week, we will look at the persistence of CEO performance—whether a CEO’s track record predicts future performance.

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The projections or other information generated herein regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results, and are not guarantees of future results. Hypothetical performance results do not take into account the deduction of advisory fees, nor the reinvestment of dividends and earnings. Hypothetical performance results have many inherent limitations. No representation is being made that any account will or is likely to achieve profits or losses similar to those shown. There are frequently substantial differences between hypothetical performance results and the actual results subsequently achieved by any particular trading program.
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Problems: Wicked, complex, intractable or adaptive  … whatever we choose to call them, we seem to suck at solving them and we often get profoundly overwhelmed and stuck.  I believe the reason for this is hidden in the language I used in the title and previous sentence  (… and no it’s not the adjectives … )

Two words: “problems” and “solving” …

I’ve sat in many workshops where well-meaning people try to tackle what they invariably end up calling wicked problems.  From transforming organisations, to health and safeto to larger issues like youth unemployment to wildlife crime to systemic poverty, we keep circling around and around these issues and never seem to make much progress.  Here’s how I see it:

What we think we need, but often don’t …

  • problem solving skills (and a solution mindset)
  • new and different answers
  • expert advice and proven practices (best practices from other areas where they’ve had some success)
  • clarity: e.g. clearly defined problem statements (preferably at the level of root causes and drivers) & clear goals and focus areas
  • a clear vision of the ideal end state
  • alignment (of stakeholders etc)
  • measurable outcomes
  • a lot of money and the very best technology

What we actually need … (but often avoid)

  1. Sense-making skills and pattern intelligence

We are always dealing with different contexts.  Looking for example at wildlife crime, there are aspects that are quite ordered and predictable for example obtaining a permit to export lion bones legally; or drafting a new quota policy.  However there are other aspects that are profoundly complex e.g social dynamics and perceptions around social justice, subsistance and conservation.  This means that something that should be straightforward, like implementing a quota can have profound unintended consequences.  Before we jump into linear problem-solving, I believe we need to do sense-making. The framework I prefer to use is Dave Snowden’s Cynefin framework as it enables me to distinguish between ordered aspects (where I can find root causes; do problem solving, involve experts;  apply best practice; manage change etc) and complex aspects where I am dealing with emergent patterns with no clear linear causality.  Here,  I need to engage with the system to gain an understanding of how things are connected, run safe-to-fail experiments and learn and adapt as I go.  If we apply linear thinking and ordered approaches such as root cause analysis; traditional scenario planning and best practices to complex problems we invariable end up making things worse.

I find Glenda Eoyang’s framing very useful in this context: we need to learn to see patterns not problems – or acquire pattern intelligence.  If I look at wildlife crime as a problem to solve, I can very quickly become overwhelmed.  To solve wildlife crime I need to (among others) change consumption habits of entire cultures in order to reduce demand;  I need to disrupt organised criminal networks and bring kingpins to justice; on the supply side I need to solve social justice issues; systemic poverty, unemployment and corruption;  and … the list goes on.

A way to become unstuck and feel less overwhelmed is to look at wildlife crime as a pattern, with multiple interrelated influences or modulators and therefore multiple potential entry points.  Instead of trying to find solutions, I focus on shifting the pattern through multiple small interventions, nudges or experiments. Everytime I interact with the pattern it changes, new opportunities open up and I learn more about the system.  A metaphor I find useful in this context is James Carse’s finite and infinite games. If we think about finding solutions, we see it as a finite game with an outcome, a winner and a loser.  Here we tend to think that if we can only find that one breakthrough idea that will unlock everything we can permanently solve the problem e.g we can put an end to poverty forever.   If however we see think about an infinite game, where the rules, boundaries and players keep changing and where there is no clear outcome or winner we see things differently.  The purpose becomes to keep the game going, and becoming aware and adaptive enough that you become the one creating the shifts that other players must respond to, not the other way around.  If we see poverty or wildlife crime as an infinite game or ever-shifting pattern that we can influence, the way we engage with it will be very different, and I believe much more effective.

2. New and different questions (we live in the world our questions create) –  curiosity and different questions

 “We live in worlds our questions create.” – David Cooperider

I think most of us would say we live in worlds our answers create.    Invariably in think tanks and projects we are looking for new answers.  If we can just get the right experts in the room, or enough big data or employ AI soluions, we can find the answers we need to solve the problem.  I believe if we start from a position of curiosity and finding new and different questions to ask, it would be much more useful.  Answers are based on our current questions which are based on current assumptions or knowledge.  In volatile and fast-changing contexts, what we think we know today may not be true tomorow.  Or what is valid in one context, may not be valid in another.  Discovering new questions, broadening our perspective and being curious (vs judgmental) will get us much farther than looking for answers.

We also need to be open to new and different sources of knowledge: it is often the people we disregard, those with boots on the ground who have the contextual knowledge we need.  If we combine this local knowledge with oblique or naïve perspectives i.e. people from other disciplines or with expertise in adjacent fields the chance that radically different insight will emerge is much greater than when we get a room full of “experts” together.

3. Ambiguity and nuance vs certainty and clarity

Our need for certainty and clarity often leads us to oversimplifying things.  Issues become black and white, people are either good or evil e.g. poachers become evil criminals that we can kill if we encounter them vs the more nuanced view that a poacher may be a desperate human being, trapped in poverty, needing to care for an extended family with no education and no prospects of getting a job.  These simplistic binary views cause us to implement simplistic solutions that end up making things worse.  For example deploying the army to assist rangers with anti-poaching activieties which alienates the communities that we expect to be our allies in the fight against wildlife crime. Or making assumptions about the “demand side” of the wildlife crime problem – that we need to change cultural traditions and behaviour that we view as silly or barbaric.  The solution is to have a communication strategy where we target people on the other side of the world with messages aimed at changing their cultural beliefs and behaviours and making tem more like ours – is this not another form of colonialism?  Who decides what the “right” cultural values are for a nation or people group?

We can also choose to see the root cause of all of this to be economic: it’s “all about the money” – so if we can find the right incentives we can manage the market.  Counter greed with greed.  No unintended consequences there I’m sure …

We need to get to a place where we can see all of these interacting influences; all of the tensions and contradicting values at play; all of the nuance and be able to contain and work within that ambiguity.   It is only when we are able to hold the tension, see the “AND” vs the “OR” that we will be able to engage with the system in a constructive way.

4. Focus on the present and what is possible from where we are (vs working backwards from an ideal future state)

An ideal future state is usually unattainable and described from a limited perspective.  For example, for conservationists the ideal state may look like a world where wildlife crime has been completely eradicated; where animal populations recover and thrive and no one every feels the need to use a tonic made of rhino horn or lion bones again.  I’d wager that that is not the ideal future state that a traditional healer or even an economist would describe.   Defining an ideal state and designing solutions to close the gap is a trap.  While we need a clear sense of direction and purpose, and in the shorter term goals and objectives, we need to be grounded fully in the present; meeting the system where it is and evolving or nudging it towards adjacent possibles (i.e. potentially beneficial patterns that already exist in the system and that isn’t too far away from the current state).  This is a much more pragmatic and sustainable (and often more cost-effective) strategy.    To use an analogy: it’s like crossing a river on stepping stones i.e. I know my direction is towards the other side, but I have no specific spot in mind – I follow the path as it emerges: vs designing and building a bridge.

5. Seek coherence not alignment

We often fall into the trap of wanting alignment between different stakeholders, projects, contexts etc.  Alignment to the same vision or goal; aligned initiatives; aligned values.  But in a world where we are dealing with competing values and tensions, we need diversity to respond to diversity.  Alignment usually requires consensus, and it is valuable in ordered contexts where we are working towards known outcomes with fixed scopes and budgets; where we need co-ordination and collaboration.  Here if we have no alignment it is like a relay race where athletes aren’t ready to accept the baton from each other or a football game where the teams try to score on the wrong side of the field.

When dealing with complex problems, consensus is often impossible as we are dealing with competing values, paradoxes and multiple inter-related causal influences.  Experts would often disagree, and be able to offer valid evidence that support these competing views.  Here consensus and alignment are dangerously limiting: so we need to think about enabling coherence.  This is key to being able to implement portfolios of safe-to-fail experiments where some may contradict others.   Having a coherent sense of direction with clear boundaries to create “safety guardrails” allows us to maintain local diversity, implement potentially conflicting experiments and engage with the system with the common objective of learning and evolving together.  If we acknowledge that we are playing an infinite game i.e. there are no winners or losers;  we can experiment, learn and adapt together and hopefully shift the pattern to one that is more beneficial for all.

One final note:

Money and technology are hugely valuable resources:  they are certaintly necessary but they are not sufficient.  Simply throwing more money and/or more advanced technology at a problem will not make it go away.  We need to fundamentally change our thinking paradigm and approach things in context-appropriate ways, otherwise we will never move the needle on these so-called wicked problems.

This post was originally published on this site


Silent Heroes: The sad category of those who you do not know are heroes.

Heroism, ingratitude, and injustice among humans

This publication is a collection of essays on topics such as logical fallacies, mental models, and decision making. Here I try to combine ideas from disciplines such as economics, psychology, philosophy, and more. Subscribe to my monthly newsletter here. Thanks for reading.

iMac was the first thing Jobs launched after he returned back to Apple

Steve Jobs was recognised as a hero when he returned and saved Apple in the late 90s. Bob Igor went and revived Disney. Isaac Perlmutter is the CEO who saved Marvel from bankruptcy.

Like all heroes, these people changed things, righted wrongs, and made things better. Their recognition as visionaries, successful entrepreneurs or legends is very well deserved.

However, a different kind of recognition exists as well. Artists like Vincent van Gogh belong to a category of artists, musicians, and writers who were recognised for their work, and held as pioneers in their fields only after their deaths. Alas, the recognition came a little too late. Only death could give them their much needed career boost. Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin, Johann Sebastian Bach, Edgar Allan Poe, Henry David Thoreau, Franz Kafka and many others belong in this category who got posthumous recognition. We are a superficial race, and we’ve always been unjust to this category of heroes and pioneers.

But this is only the injustice that you are able to see. There are even more mistreated heroes — the very sad category of those who you do not know were heroes.

They who saved our lives, and helped us avoid disasters. They left no traces of their deed, and did not even know that they were making a contribution. These are the heroes nobody know of, including themselves, precisely because they were successful.

Consider this thought experiment.

A house in your neighbourhood catches fire. The parents along with their three kids are able to get out, but they forget the family dog in a hurry. The little dog remains stuck inside. The father, upon realising it rushes into the burning house immediately. Seeing him dash through fire, a local teenager takes out her phone and starts recording. He is caught in action when he saves the dog. Both the man and the dog suffer some minor burns, but nothing very serious.

TV and media soon get hold of the video and local channels start talking about this heroic dad. After garnering enough media attention, the video goes viral. The man is epitomised as an example of a compassionate person. His wife gets extra respect and recognition among neighbours in her next kitty party. His kids are proud, and their friends are jealous of them for having a Superhero dad.

Now consider a flip scenario. Just a week before the fire breaks out, the father becomes adamant about installing better quality fire detectors in the house. He also decides to spend a good amount of money redoing all the old electric circuits. There’s noise in the house all the time because of all the electric work. His kids don’t like it. He also decides to keep the dog unleashed at all times so that he is free to roam around. The neighbours aren’t very happy about that.

After he does all this, most likely there won’t be any fire, the dog won’t get stuck, and nobody would know that he is actually a hero. Instead his wife would pester him for spending so much of money and taking precautions for something very less likely to happen. He’ll go on with his life not knowing what he has actually prevented.

Similarly, if John Scully, Michael Spindler or Gil Amelio had run Apple properly after Jobs was gone, and had gone against the board to stop the launch of the Apple Newton (and all the other products that Jobs eventually slashed after coming back), Jobs wouldn’t have had to return to Apple at all. All these business mistakes became obvious only after they were made.

In movies, heroes arrive only after the crime has been committed, and the deed done. All heroes are rectifiers. Proactive people are seldom recognised as heroes.

In his book The Black Swan, Nassim Nicholas Taleb talks about this injustice through a thought experiment regarding 9/11.

Assume that a legislator with courage, influence, intellect, vision, and perseverance manages to enact a law that goes into universal effect and employment on September 10, 2001; it imposes the continuously locked bulletproof doors in every cockpit (at high costs to the struggling airlines) — just in case terrorists decide to use planes to attack the World Trade Center in New York City. The legislation is not a popular measure among the airline personnel, as it complicates their lives. But it would certainly have prevented 9/11.

This legislator wouldn’t know himself that he is the hero, because he successfully prevents 9/11 from happening.

The person who imposed locks on cockpit doors gets no statues in public squares, not so much as a quick mention of his contribution in his obituary. “Joe Smith, who helped avoid the disaster of 9/11, died of complications of liver disease.” Seeing how superfluous his measure was, and how it squandered resources, the public, with great help from airline pilots, might well boot him out of office. Vox clamantis in deserto. He will retire depressed, with a great sense of failure. He will die with the impression of having done nothing useful. I wish I could go attend his funeral, but, reader, I can’t find him.

But who do we consider to be the the heroes instead?

Now consider again the events of 9/11. In their aftermath, who got the recognition? Those you saw in the media, on television performing heroic acts, and those whom you saw trying to give you the impression that they were performing heroic acts.

Who gets rewarded, the CEO who prevents his company from bankruptcy by taking a couple of hard decisions, or the one who comes later to correct his predecessor’s faults, or happens to be there during its automatic recovery?

Who is more valuable, the politician who avoids a war or the one who starts a new one and is lucky enough to win?

Everybody knows that you need more prevention than treatment, but the act of prevention is rarely rewarded. You glorify those who left their names in history books at the expense of those contributors about whom the books are silent because no one knows who they are.

Humans are not just a superficial race; we are a very unfair one too.

Thank you for reading!

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