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The Problem of Social Discovery – Plenty of Fish in the Sea

Hey everyone, Stas Borukhoff here and the topic today is social discovery. We have all heard the phrase,”There are plenty of fish in the sea.” Well, when it comes to people, the planet certainly has plenty at 7.6 billion. Many of these people are separated into different countries, languages and cultures, but the internet and advanced translation tools are removing borders and helping people connect in ways they never could before. So with so many people all around us, why is it so hard to make real connections with the right people?

Too Many Fish in the Sea

“I love those connections that make this big old world feel like a little village.” – Gina Bellman

With so many people all around us, the bigger problem is social discovery. Finding people to connect with when there are so many choices is actually really hard. Before the internet, meeting people often happened locally and by shared interactions such as working at the same place, enjoying the same hobbies, and having common friends. Your choices for who you were friends with or who you married were likely based on who you went to school with or worked with since these activities where the environments you spend the majority of your days doing.

If you have ever seen the money grab tanks where people get in a tube and air starts blowing money all around them and they have a short period of time to grab as much as they can. On the surface this seems like you would get rich, literally money floating all around you, all you have to do is grab it, but the reality is many people fail to grab much of it at all. The same holds true with connections and relationships. Most people live in cities filled with hundreds of thousands of people and yet they fail to find more than a couple great friends and many can’t even find a single strong relationship. So many choices and yet getting the result is so hard.

The Barrier of Choice

Nobody is stopping you from choosing. This is part of the problem. When you have a ton of choices you have to filter them to eliminate choices. We often think we make choices by selection, but in reality we make choices by elimination. This is especially true when it comes to making choices where there is an abundance of options. The idea of swiping right or left is founded in elimination. The problem is you are making decisions based on an image instead of the actual person. Is that even a photo of the person? The problem of catfishing was born from image and text based bios like I talked about in my post about fake people and fake profiles. If everyone fakes their profiles it gives you more good choices, which actually makes it less of a refined decision and it becomes more random as the system is gamed.

The fact is we want our choices to be narrowed down. There is a saying, “If you give them three choices they will chose nothing.” This statement is not absolute but it highlights that we are binary in nature. We like simple choices between two things: good/evil, right/left, on/off. Life gets more complicated when 3+ options are available. When people game the social media and social discovery game by fluffing their profiles or outright catfishing someone, then they make finding the right people almost impossible.

We are at ease when making choices is simplified. When it comes to technology this really matters, especially on mobile. People don’t want everything, they only want the most important things, and they want them when they need them. The problem with image profiles on apps that have tried in the past to make connections is you don’t really know who that person is based on an image or some text. Since a big part of our app is about connecting people, we decided to go video-based so you actually get a lot more information about a person before making a decision. We even integrated this into our call previews where you get a 15 second video before the call telling you who it is and what they want.

Making choices is at the heart of user experience in everything in life and especially in an app. Every feature you add is somehow tied to helping your user make choices. Since social discovery and communication is about making choices on people and conversations, we found that video gives you the information you need to not only select, but to eliminate people and conversations that aren’t a fit for you.

Nobody is Perfect

The real quality of every individual is in the imperfections. The overuse of filters, editing, and even photos from 10 years ago or of someone else altogether are driven by this feeling that you are not good enough unless you are perfect. This simply isn’t true. Real connections are made by people who embrace your imperfections and you embrace theirs. It is often the acceptance of those imperfections that allow people and relationships to blossom because people can just be themselves. The constant effort put into showcasing how amazing you and your life are on social media put a huge burden on people and increased stress. When people portray what they think others want instead of what it real they lose sight of why they got on social media in the first place. It’s the people and connections that everyone craves.

Everything has a cost. When you find yourself not trying to be something you aren’t the cost of that effort is removed and can be reinvested in the true connections and people in your life. The same holds true in hiring someone. As I wrote before about the principles of hiring freelancers, sites like Linkedin are full of fraudulent scammers with fake resumes. People overstate their skills, experience, or background or outright lie about it. In the end it is a waste of everyone’s time. They would be better using the skills they have of getting people to take action and earn honest money with them instead of trying to rip people off with them.

Finding the Right Fish

The problem with plenty of fish in the sea is you only need one. In the same way that search engines took millions of possible results and ranked them so you can find the one that you most likely will want, there needs to be a way that allows people to find people that are what they are actually looking for. Technology has attempted to help, but in many ways it has failed. They increased the efficiency, but failed to make sure the profiles were accurate. They didn’t solve the plenty of fish in the sea problem because they used the wrong format. I think we got this one right and that is why we built MobiLine app, a place for people to be discovered and connect.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Please leave your thoughts below in the comments and give it a share if you found it valuable. How do you think too many choices has affected the ability for people to connect and meet new people? You can also check out more posts from me by searching Stas Borukhoff on Medium. Thanks

You Get Out What You Put In

Stas Borukhoff here, today we are talking about something that seems so simply, yet it can totally derail your success as an entrepreneur. I’m talking about effort. Whether it is in sports, business or any aspect of your life, you get out in direct proportion to what you put in.

I see so many entrepreneurs out there today that want the big success of everyone the look up to, but they rarely calculate the costs and effort that went into getting those results. It is easy to see millions of downloads for an app and say, “I want that too” but understanding what they did and how much little work led to the success is another thing.

“Timing, perseverance, and ten years will make you look like an overnight success” – Biz Stone C0-Founder of Twitter

Small Thinking, Small Results

Actions are directed by thinking. Before any action ever takes place, thinking has to be right. There are two sizes of thinking, small and big. Small thinking is focused on the present, while big thinking is looking to the future. When building a business, you have to look to the future. As I talked about in my post Small Thinking in a Big World, you have to think of the end game and act on that big thinking today. Since actions won’t exceed your thinking, you need to think big to act big.

Small thinking equals small awareness and that will kill you in a fast-paced business world. You have to keep your eyes open and be able to move fast to win. Small thinking is like having your eyes almost shut and then running. There are many variables in business that can dramatically alter your success and you need to have your eyes wide open expecting issues to pop up. Anything less than that will leave you disrupted and blind-sided.

Success is Hard

Sorry to break it to you, but this isn’t easy. As a matter of fact, it is getting harder every day. As Mark Cuban said, “You have to wake up and work knowing there is someone out there working harder to take it all away from you.” If business is getting harder, then the effort required to win is increasing. Technology and growthhacking can help, but you can’t count on those things any more than you can count that you will make a viral video that will rocket you into absolute success. Businesses are not built on luck and success doesn’t often come from a single right move.

If you want to be like nobody else, you have to work like nobody else. Gary Vaynerchuk is a great example of hard work. When you become obsessed with the success of your project, it won’t guarantee success, but it will raise your chances of success. It takes long nights, huge effort, and quality people to succeed. There is a reason most people don’t succeed, and that is the barrier of effort that makes those willing to do it worthy of their results.

Quality Matters

You can work harder than anyone, but without quality it won’t matter. Look, hard work is one thing, hustle is one thing, but you have to work smart as well. You have to have the right people. Don’t underestimate the value of finding the right people. Many companies have died on the operating table. Working their business and failing along the way looking for success. Your product or service has to be quality.

I remember talking with a founder of another app and I asked him how much he thought I invested in our app so far after he tried it. He said $25,000 because that is about what he spent to have someone in India build their app. I laughed and told him we have invested over $600,000 in the app.” Do you think there is a difference in what we built and what he built? Of course there is. We didn’t limp into the app game with an idea, we developed a game changing app with patent pending technology. Don’t think the companies you look up to or market leaders are there because they dabbled. Don’t think they watched football on the weekends and outsourced development to low skilled strangers. If you want to create something exceptional you have to invest in quality.

What you put in to your company matters, from focus, to investment, to people. Quality resources in usually means quality output. Evaluate your business now. What ingredients went into it and does it match the expectation you have for the results?

I hope you enjoyed this post, for more great content check out my other posts on StasBorukhoff.com and leave your thoughts and comments below. When have you seen above average results based on effort, focus, and investment of resources?

The Two Sides of Fake Social

Hey there, Stas Borukhoff here, today we are going to discuss the 2 key reasons people are fake on social media. Social media has provided an easy way to create profiles and control how we are perceived. This creates the problem of fake social, because who people portray themselves as online and what they are really like tend to be two different things. For some people this is simply a chance to embellish themselves, while others will use this ability to manufacture false profiles. Last year Facebook admitted there may be around 270 million fake or duplicate profiles. Lets go over the 2 key reasons people create less than accurate profiles.

1 – They Are Scamming

Scammers have unlimited ability to create fake social profiles for many purposes. There are so many scams online both internationally and even on specific platforms. Scammers each have their own motives, but the methods are similar. They create fake profiles by taking photos from the internet or from other users and even copy people’s bios. By doing this they look legitimate because the people they are copying are actually real people.

The first goal of a scammer is to appear real and credible. We tend to see red flags when something doesn’t look legit, but it is getting harder and harder to tell the difference between a fake profile and a real one. This problem of fake social is worsened when you are on sites like Linkedin, or sites where you are hiring people. It is so easy to create a website and a few social profiles claiming how long you have been in business and all your areas of expertise. People can literally build an entire digital presence within a day. Once they have that, they appear to be legit even with a little checking.

The second thing they do is target people to scam. Sometimes this is done with email, DMs, or even calls. Be careful when hiring someone or spending money with someone who found you. As a general good practice, even if you need a service, you should do your research and then make your choices. Businesses often fall prey to fake social scammers who reached out to them first so they make decisions with little to no information. As I wrote in my post about the power of making informed decisions, you want to think and slow down when making any decisions that could cost you valuable time and money.

2 – They are Aspirational

The second reason people put fake social information in their profiles or exaggerate is they aspire to be the person they are portraying in their profiles. An example is when people put a younger picture of themselves in their profile. When you meet them you may realize they are much older than their profile picture. They are taking the best picture of themselves and using it because it is the most flattering. This is how they want to remember themselves so they see nothing wrong with it.

All is not fair in love and war. The fact is many people have been catfished by people who leave information to get attention only to think they can meet the person and get the relationship they formed with the fake profile to transfer to them. This delusion happens because the person thought they were talking to the profile, but they were actually talking to the real person behind the fake profile. That person who is now getting the attention of the fake profile is only encouraged to enjoy the benefits and at some point may forget they were not for them. This is why some people are as shocked by the negative reaction as the person who has been fooled.

This type of exaggeration is not just because of everything being digital. People have lied on resumes to get jobs that they later were found out to be not skilled enough to do. Now that the online space is a place to hire people and companies, this problem has only gotten worse. There is a difference between optimizing a resume and flat out lying. This often goes unnoticed because the employer simply fires them and assumes they just weren’t as skilled as they needed without attributing it to the fact they may have just lied on their resume. Fake social costs companies millions, and for startups and small businesses the cost matters even more.

Aspirational misinformation may not always be with ill intent. The fact is social media has made everyone think that they need more likes, followers, and shares to keep up with rest of the people. Big data is what drives most social and communication platforms and it has trained people to want a good online presence. The desire for this may push many people into creating the best possible profile and that means stretching things too far for some people.The whole thing disregards the impact on others and only focuses on the selfish needs and wants of the individual. It is a real issue in our digital society and one that has to be addressed.

The Value of Being You

I created MobiLine app to help people be more authentic. The video profiles are a strategy to combat fake social profiles and get people to be themselves. The world will be a better place when you aspire to be yourself. That includes all your flaws. Do you need professional equipment and lighting, no. Livestreaming has really pushed this organic and real communication but not enough. We want to go beyond broadcasting to followers to making real connections and communicating one on one with real people.

The irony is that everyone seeking attention by creating fake profiles or lying on them would probably get so much more attention if they were authentic. We are the best and most unique thing on the planet. People are what makes this world amazing. When you stop trying to be something you are not, you can start being who you are meant to be. Fake social is a big problem and the solution is keeping things real.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Have you found fake profiles or been catfished? How do you think this applies in the business world? What role does video play in authenticity? Leave your thought in the comments and share this post if you found it valuable. Thanks!

Creating Relationships with the Connections Your Already Have

In a world of social media where our relationships are measured by likes, shares, and followers, something human is being lost. Data is everywhere around us, business is being transformed by data and is being run by numbers, but the good parts of society are not numbers and data, it is people. Your social circle is not captured on devices and equated to a set of numbers. Some people call these vanity metrics. Is influence measured by the number of followers a person has? Is the value of your thoughts really summed up in how many likes your post gets? I don’t think so. People have been trained over the last decade to think so, but it isn’t true. This is why social networks are plagued with fake profiles, and fake people. Your connections aren’t a measure of your influence or social status, the relationship you have with those connections is.

Beyond Followers and Connections

In a time when we are more connected to people, brands, and information than ever in the history of time, we are also craving human interaction more than ever. Likes can’t replace a hug, and shares don’t really express appreciation for the ones we care about. It takes only a second to click a button, but human interaction instantly alters our mood and energy. Less followers doesn’t mean you are worth less, and many followers may not be a sign of real relationships.

The action of connecting with someone online or following them is simply the push of a button. In real life there is like saying hi. It is by itself void of substance, depth, or relationship. Many people have been taught that these connections represent relationships. The fact is they are the access to relationships. The relationship is the engagement between connections. There are many critics who say technology is separating people and reducing the human interactions. People are sitting together looking at their phones instead of talking. They collect connections but don’t build relationships with the people they connected with. Connections are weak ties.

It’s time to realize that connections are just the start of a potential relationship. If you want a relationship you will have to nurture and develop that. This one thought is the foundation of our MobiLine app. We want to use technology to help you get to know the people you actually want to call for real interactions. Social media should not be about collecting followers, or sharing content, but being social and engaging with people in a real way.

Enriching Your Network

For most people they have a network of friends, followers, and business connections. But many fail to enrich those relationships with regular engagement. Smart influencers I know make it a point to reach out and talk or video chat with people in their network on a regular basis to turn those connections into relationships. This increases the value of their network and strengthens the bond they have with the people in it.

Your Network is Your Net Worth – Porter Gale

The internet has broken down walls, and allowed everyone with a smartphone or internet connection to build a network that goes beyond close family and friends. Entire careers and companies have been created on laptops. You never know who you may meet that could change your life forever. That includes relationships, friends, business partners, and people who influence you. This is our modern reality and the sooner you start to both build your network and also enrich it by developing strong relationships, the sooner you may feel how powerful the internet really is.

Relationships Create Value

Our lives are filled with memories, and those memories are created by experiences. Connections don’t really do anything, they are passive. Relationships are active and they create memories. Those memories generate value in our lives. It is this concept that people need to understand. We must get beyond data and vanity numbers and get to what is real, what is human, and what is valuable. I challenge you to start looking at your network and ask yourself, when was the last time I actually talked to that person. Go through your followers and ask that question and then reach out to them. It doesn’t have to be a long conversation, but find out how you can engage with them and move the relationship forward. You won’t be disappointed in the results.

If you want a better life, create better relationships. If you want new opportunities, build a better network, we have the tools to manage a larger social network than ever before, but very few people are extracting the value from social media and technology. I challenge you to get started today!

 

Stas Borukhoff on the Power of Informed Decisions

Hello Stas Borukhoff here with another post on a topic I think is very important for people today. We all live in a very fast-paced world. The demands on us are constantly growing and yet the time we have remains the same. Thanks to technology we can now manage relationships with practically everyone we have ever known, for better or worse. From there you factor in the multitude of things seeking to get and hold our attention. As Gary Vaynerchuk says, “This is an attention economy.”, and what you get is a sea of choices we must make every day. Some of those choices include what to pay attention to and what to ignore. We have become very good at ignoring things in a split second. So here is the big problem. People are making more decisions than ever and yet most of them are in real time which doesn’t leave you time to get information to make informed decisions. My guess is this is reducing the overall quality of choices we are making.

So we identified the problem, but let’s dig into to it a little more. Let’s use chess as an example. When strategy matters, you have to think about your choice and the repercussions of your moves. You don’t just make choices without thinking, you need to look at the board and gather information to make the most educated decision you can in the short moment. Chess is like life, there are so many ways things could turn out. People are speeding up choice making, and thinking less. Look at the way people make choices about food, they are choosing fast over smart. This doesn’t just end with food, how about relationships? Speed dating, app dating, and online dating often give people little information about the person they are planning on having a relationship with. Three seconds to swipe right or left is hardly an informed decision. We have all heard the saying that successful people are quick to make decisions and slow to change them, but that thinking simply doesn’t work anymore. Today, you have to make informed decisions and be quick to change them if needed.

So here are 3 powerful benefits of making informed decisions

1- Overcoming Hindsight

When things move fast, you can rack up regret. This is true in our business and personal lives. As I talked about in my post about fake profiles and fake people, time is the resource you can’t get back. You can always make more money but you can’t get back the time consequences of your poorly informed decisions. This can include decisions made about strategies, people, and even relationships. By making an informed decision, you lessen the need to learn form costly mistakes. You can still make mistakes, but they are likely to be smaller ones the more informed your decisions are. Don’t live your life going from one bad choice to another. Many entrepreneurs experience this in marketing. They do random acts of marketing, going from one failed attempt to another. This makes success very elusive.

Forethought is Better than Hindsight

2 – Success in Execution

Many people are executing on wrong plans. Execution alone can cause failure but let’s say you do execute, but you are executing on a flawed plan. This type of failure is hard to handle because you can’t know all possible plans and the business environment is full of variables. The best you can do is be as informed as possible when making choices. In the article I wrote on my Stas Borukhoff Medium blog about how to hire freelancers, I talk about vetting people to make sure you find the right fit, and avoid fraudulent scammers. The world is full of them unfortunately and the online world only makes it easier to create profiles that aren’t real. This is one of the reasons we built MobiLine app. By integrating video profiles, you get away from the fabricated world of profile photos and bios and get to see and hear the actual person. This helps you make an informed decision. Informed decisions allow you to execute with more confidence because they are data driven. The less information you have when making a decision, the more opportunity that things can go horribly wrong.

3 – Reducing Risk

Risk is a big factor in making decisions. Whether it is hiring a person, branding decisions, buying something, or reaching out to meet someone. Having information before you decide gives you an edge. You wouldn’t dare hire a nanny or babysitter without meeting them first, employers don’t hire people without an application or resume, everywhere in our society important decisions are generally made by getting some initial information first before even proceeding. This reduces the risk and allows you to filter out high risk bad decisions. We built this into the heart of Mobiline. You not only get to preview video profiles to get a real feel of who the person is before you reach out to them, but you also get to preview incoming calls with video to see who it is and what they want before you answer.

This all adds up to saving you time, giving you information to make informed decisions in our fast paced high demand world. It also allows you to integrate more human communications while using technology.

The goal of this post is to raise awareness of this trend in quick uninformed decision making. It isn’t good for business, it isn’t good for your personal life, and often you can link this type of decision making to many mistakes in your life. Fear of loss is a sales tactic which is used to make people make decisions instead of thinking about it. Our natural inclination is to wait and it is a defense mechanism. One great lifehack when dealing with salespeople is to step away and think about it outside of the moment. Trust me, rarely is it going to go away. If it is you can find it again. If you really care about the decision, it deserves some thought. Slow down, get information, and make educated decisions that reduce risk, minimize mistakes, and help you execute with confidence.

If you want to reach out to me, just hit contact button on my Stas Borukhoff site and send me a message. Also I would love to hear your thoughts on this post. Do you think people are making more informed decisions or less informed decisions? How do you think mindsets are changing or need to change to keep up with current changes in society and technology? Let me know below.

The Problem with Fake Profiles and Fake People by Stas Borukhoff

First off, thank you for visiting my Stas Borukhoff site. I hope to share with you my journey and lessons I have learned in entrepreneurship and app development.

When you take your journey of entrepreneurship you are going to meet many types of people. Some people can open new doors and help you realize your goals and dreams, and others will waste your time, try and rip you off, and even hurt you. Who are these people? They may be people you met online, friends, family, or referrals. The fact is that life is too short to waste time with fake people.

Time is Your Greatest Resource

One of the worst things a person can take from you is your time. As you go out to build something incredible you will find many distractions. As I wrote about never taking your eyes off your goal, you have to be able to stay focused, and manage your attention. Master your time and you will master your success. Fail to manage your time and you will find it getting shorter and shorter. The business world is changing and moving so fast these days. Time is now a competitive advantage to those who can use it wisely. Part of that means not giving time to things and people that waste it.

Fakes Waste Your Time

One of the things I wanted to solve with Mobiline app was to solve the problem so many social networks have with fake profiles. If you take Linkedin for example there are tons of profiles saying all kinds of things, but many of them are not verified so people can say just about anything and you may not know if it is true. When you start working with the people you can instantly tell if people live up to their resume. In my experience, it is often rare that they do. If you are a serious entrepreneur looking to grow your project you need to hire good people. If those people can’t deliver then you have wasted your time with a fake. You hired their profile, but that is not what you got. I think about the same things with my Stas Borukhoff profiles. They need to be accurate, you owe it to yourself and the people reading.

Imagine you are climbing up a hill with a bunch of weights weighing you down. This is what it is like trying to build your business or even live your life with fake people. When you start to remove those people from your life, you will find it is so much easier to succeed. You can do this with the people you already know, and thanks to MobiLine you can do this with people you meet.

As a business owner, when assembling a team you want to get it wrapped up so you can get to building, but Jim Collins had it right in the book Good to Great. You have to get the right people on the bus if you are going to succeed and that means you have to sift through a bunch, then realize that maybe half of the people you thought were going to be great because of their online profile will probably not be great at all. It is better for you to know this going in that to find out along the way. Here are 3 tips to steer clear of fakes:

1 – Don’t Believe Everything You Read

This is generally good advice when it comes to the internet. This is why we integrated video into our app because at least if you see the people you can get a sense of who is real and who they are. Profiles are like marketing, they are made to look great. With that being said, don’t be so paranoid that you chase away the great people you are looking for. I have seen people make candidates jump through so many hoops that they end up losing great talent. Weed out the fakes, but not the greats.

2 – Validate Information

If something is important that a person says about themselves or if it is in their profile, validate it. If they say they are an expert in a field, who can vouch for them? Are their endorsements from people who are experts or average people? Are the sources from them, or can you verify them. You don’t need to become Sherlock Holmes, but sometimes just a quick Google search can verify information. If you see something that sounds impressive, ask yourself the context of the information. Is that award easy to earn or something hard to earn? Are their skills that sound amazing tied to working at a job that isn’t exactly the standard for the industry?

3 – Talk with them

One thing about fake people, they often fall short the more you talk with them. Don’t be afraid to dig into a long conversation with a person. Anyone can sound good in the first 5 minutes, but keep talking you will start to see things unravel if they aren’t the real deal. If they are an expert in a subject that you are not, then have them explain things to you and in that you will be able to see if they are just saying nice things or if there is some depth to their understanding. If they can’t explain it well and why it matters, they likely don’t understand it themselves. Ask good questions, don’t be overbearing or suspicious, but just talk and take notes. If they something is important verify with other people in the industry if this is true or the right strategy.

Finally, understand the true value of finding the right people. Once you do, don’t let them go, and pay them well. You have no idea the true value of them until you waste time and money with people who are fake. The total cost of hiring and firing the wrong person must be calculated into the value of the right person. I hope this helps you on your journey. I would love to hear you thoughts below in the comments and thanks for checking out my Stas Borukhoff website!

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