How to Live a Sustainable-Life in Modern Times

 

Lead a sustainable life to save earth
Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels

Are our lives slowly losing their sheen?

Crazy weather patterns and environmental disasters come knocking at our doors frequently these days. Leading a  sustainable-life in modern times can help us heal the earth.

Awareness and cultivating a few habits. That’s all that it takes. And you’re a contributor to sustainable living!

With that said environmental degradation is an issue sitting smack bang at the centre of our lives. It has damning consequences. Burying our heads in the sand shows ignorance.

Thankfully, it’s a doer’s world! We can turn the tide. Know the facts. That’s half the battle won! And that’s exactly what this blog post is about….

Interested?

Let’s take a deep dive.

The pandemic blues…

And here we are now- dealing with this beastly pandemic. It’s held our life in an iron grip. Refusing to let go!

We’re tired. Some of us in a permanent state of funk. Days are a drag. We long for normal and carefree days. Aw, we want our lives back!

That said, this pandemic and the lockdown have shown us:

  • How fragile our so-called order is (we are in charge of this planet, no way…)

 

  •  How for granted we took our freedoms (a virus keeps us caged…)

 

  • And how little is needed for our daily lives (the basics- food, clothing and shelter)

Human beings are inherently selfish (barring some great souls…). We care about only those things we think will be of some use to us. By that logic, the earth is our home. It shall be home to our future generations as well. So, shan’t we do everything possible to protect it and conserve it?

Without further ado, let’s pull out some facts to know as to how we can live a sustainable-life in modern times.

                                            .       .       .

First and foremost:

What is Sustainable Living?

It’s a lifestyle choice in which we reduce/lessen our impact upon the earth. This is achieved by taking appropriate measures to save energy and reduce pollution.

Some of the examples of sustainable living are be: using cloth bags for shopping (such a simple one…yet very effective), choosing an alternate way of transportation, switching our food habits etc.

Why not get a better picture:

Why is Sustainable living so Important ?

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”

These famous words by Mahatma Gandhi ring so true for our times.

Our daily life makes us consume energy at a blind pace. Connection with nature is zilch.

And the outcome is we:

  • Rip off the earth of its natural resources

 

  • Fill the skies with toxic clouds

 

  • Create mountains and mountains of waste

 

  • Pollute water

 

  • Drive animals homeless and even endanger their existence.

Holy smoke! We’re destroying the planet?

This reminds me of a story where the person- the protagonist (Kalidas) is believed to have sawn off the branch of the tree he was sitting on.

Sadly, that’s what we are doing to our planet.

Let’s see how:

The trap of greenhouse gases…

The greenhouse gases (GHGs) provide us with the necessary warmth to keep life alive on this planet. They allow the sunlight to pass through the atmosphere. So, nah! the natural greenhouse gases are not the culprits. 

But at the same time, they don’t let the heat or the warmth go away.

Now, we constantly burn fossil fuels when we consume energy. Electricity (bulbs, appliances, a/cs, heaters etc.) to run our homes and for commuting (cars, planes etc.).

Then un-planned deforestation! And many more such activities enormously increase the amount of greenhouse gases.

 

Photo by Eelco Bohtlingk on Unsplash  

 This changes the equation.

And they (GHGs) become killer gases. Amplifying global warming. Resulting in catastrophes: Droughts, heat waves, hurricanes, extinction of wildlife, floods etc.

Our bulging population only adds further stress to the stretched resources.

Read this stat: According to earthday.org, the worst impacts of climate change could be irreversible by 2030[1]. What’re we waiting for? Hell, to freeze over.

Living a sustainable-life in modern times is our only salvation. No rocket science. A few simple measures.

Ready to walk through a few of them!

                                                 .       .      .

How to lead a Sustainable Life?

Some set-screws we need to turn for our own good.

1. Cut on Transportation- the driver of pollution

Cars, trucks, buses etc. burn fossil fuels. These trap heat in the atmosphere.

This leads to climate change.

What’s the escape route?

Strike a BALANCE. Pivot to environment-friendly options like:

  • Use carpool whenever you can (sharing is cool)

 

  • Cycle for shorter distances (it’s fun)

 

  • Go walking (a super way of reaching very close destinations)

 

  • Use public transport (metros, buses are a great option)

 

  • Ditch planes for trains when travelling shorter distances

 

  • If you are a car owner ensure regular maintenance (that takes care of the carbon emission)

 

  • If you can’t do without a car then buy a smaller one or a second-hand one (high time to show some maturity…)

 

  • Switch to electric or hybrid cars if that is an option.

Go car-free ….

Now that every man and their dog own a car; consider yourself lucky if you haven’t bought one.

It spares you all the worries of maintaining a car. And bingo! your carbon footprint gets slashed.

Less carbon foot-print = Sustainability-life in modern times.

WFH is a boon. Just no pollution. It saves your buck as well.

2. Cut on Waste- The Toxic Jungle

 

Photo by Anita Lusina on Pexels

Our next challenge: Waste

According to the UN report- the world produces as much as 50 million tonnes of electronic and electric waste(e-waste) a year. Just 20 % of this is formally recycled[2].

The rest ends in landfills. Growth has a fillip side!

Some tips to reduce e-waste:

  • Stop dumping your fabulously working phones or laptops for some shiny newer model (remember the chase never ends…)

 

  • Extend the life of things around you by repairing them (our ancestors, elders did it all the time)

 

  • Buy less (buy those gadgets and appliances, you can’t do without, the rest lie idle in your home or pile up the landfills).

Another form of waste eating into our environment is food.

As per theworldcounts.com, about 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted every year[3]. An irony! In a world where millions of people are suffering due to hunger.

Let’s get organized and be food-wise:

  • Buy food that you intend to eat

 

  • While ordering it from outside, be sure about the quantity

 

  • And in case you’re cooking your own meals, keep the no. of people eating it in your mind.

Food looks great on your plate, not in your dumpster!

These little considerations  will certainly contribute to  a sustainable-life in modern times. And they will be easy on your pocket as well.

3. Block those energy leaks at Home

Just look around your home. And reduce the consumption of energy:

  • Unplug your appliances and laptops when not in use (do it right away!)

 

  • Using energy-efficient bulbs like LED (switch now!)

 

  • Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or washing your face (reduces carbon footprint and BTW resources are not limitless)

 

  • Stop the usage of plastic bottles (they release toxic chemicals, instead stainless steel is a great option!)

 

  • Cut on the usage of air conditioning or the heaters (make yourself a little tougher J)

 

  • Order less to avoid packaging of the stuff. Go out and shop locally (remember to carry your eco-friendly shopping bags)

 

  • Buy things sensibly (stop getting gaslighted by marketing gimmicks)

 

  • Eat less meat and switch to plant food (meat produces greenhouse gases).

You can add more to the list. Just don’t forget to share them.

4. Be a responsible tourist

The tourism industry has been in the doghouse since the pandemic. Hopefully, the rough period won’t last. The pent-up demand must be on the cards.

That said, the international tourist arrivals are expected to reach 1.8 billion by 2030[4]. Expected to boom. Yeah! we love to travel, explore hidden gems and bump into new people.

Perhaps this could come with a caveat:

  • No littering please (collect your trash)

 

  • Do not throw waste in sea or sea-beds (it kills aquatic animals)

 

  • Do not use plastic (it piles the landfills, chokes our water bodies and takes ears and years to decompose)

 

  • Choose a smaller accommodation (it saves energy)

 Go camping…

Gotten used to staying in hotels! Give it a break. Camping is a super-duper way to enjoy your vacation. One: you’re closer to nature. Second: it adds an air of freedom to your holidays. Besides, it’s sustainably wise in modern times.

Just don’t forget to carry your reusable bottles and reusable bins. Leave no trail of muck.

5.  Minimalism- the way to be

Photo by Kaboompics.com on Pexels 

Happiness is a state of mind.

Who believes it?

Boatloads of money, more stuff, bigger cars, more houses…yes, we get suckered into this dream of happiness. In this mad scramble of overconsumption and vanity, we oft lose time, lose the meaning of life and happiness eludes us.

Amidst this noise, there is a small section of people (but growing in numbers…) who think and live differently. Meet the minimalists.

They refuse to get handcuffed to the pre-conceived notions of success and happiness. Some Millennials are Gen Z are nailing the minimalist idea.

  • They keep stuff which they actually require (tossing out the clutter….)

 

  • They don’t indulge in overconsumption (outgrown materialism)

 

  • They invest in emotions which help them evolve (gratitude, compassion…)

 

This freedom and fewer things to bother about…. they feel freer and lighter. Exploring life.

  • Aware of the fact that time is a precious resource…. They focus on their passions zealously (without getting obsessed with mindless growth…)

Happiness and contentment are the consequences of their actions. Their carbon footprint is tiny. They are a classic example of  sustainable-life in modern times.                                                                                       

                                               .      .      .

 Conclusion

Scratching the itch but ignoring the rash. Doesn’t washFresh air and freshwater are fast becoming a luxury.

Living a sustainable-life in modern times shows our love for the earth. Tweak your lives in whatever way you can. It’s not big of an ask.

Just a quick recap:

1.  Bye-bye to Use and Throw Culture

Reuse, rehash, rent and repair- are the golden mantras. Live by them.

2.  Holler, Message and Connect- to build a Network

Foster online communities. Talk is cheap. If we can talk the talk, then we can walk the walk.

3.  Ignore people who are tone-deaf

People will be shackled to their views. Disconnect with reality makes you a Luddite.

4. Keep an eye on Cleaner Energy

Yeah! That’s the future. We’ll have to leave fossil fuels at some point. The churn has begun. Renewable energy is making waves.

Every drop and every bit counts. If these thoughts resonate with you, then we’re on the cusp of a beautiful change.

Healthy future = Sustainable-life. Become woke and stay safe.

 

[1] https://www.earthday.org/5-terrifying-climate-change-facts-scare-halloween/

[2] https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/press-release/un-report-time-seize-opportunity-tackle-challenge-e-waste

[3] https://www.theworldcounts.com/challenges/consumption/foods-and-beverages/food-waste-facts/story

[4] https://www.unwto.org/archive/global/press-release/2011-10-11/international-tourists-hit-18-billion-2030

 

What is a Full Stack Developer?

 

What is Full Stack Development

Full-stack development is all about the front end, also known as the client-side as well as the back end, otherwise known as the server-side of a web application. It encompasses designing the whole gamut of a web application as well as the website itself.

The work involved in full-stack development covers the nitty-gritty of the front end, back end and database development as well as the debugging of web applications as well as websites.

 

Photo: Casper Camille Rubin/Unsplash

 

Full-stack development requires the full mastery of not only HTML and CSS,[1] but also the ability to leverage jQuery, JavaScript, Vue or Angular to program a browser and use Python, PHP, ASP and Node to program a server. That apart, it requires the ability to program a database as well, leveraging MongoDB, SQL or SQLite.

 


Client Software Comprising the Front end
Server Software Comprising the Back end
CSS C++
Bootstrap ASP
HTML PHP
JavaScript C#
W3.CSS Python
HTML Dom Java
JSON Node.js
XML Ruby
Angular Express.js
JQuery GO
React SQL
Redux REST
Ember.js MongoDB
Backbone.js Firebase.com
Storybook Less
Grunt Saas
Gulp PaaS (Azure and Heroku)
Meteor.js
Graph.QL

Why Go For Full Stack Development

There are some inherent advantages in going in for full-stack development. Let’s look at what these might be-

  1. A one-stop-shop solution for all of one’s development requirements.
  2.  Exposure to the entire slew of development techniques.
  3.  Rapid development of prototypes.
  4.  The ability to cater to the requirements of the entire team.
  5.  Economical cost of project.
  6.  Faster communication within the team.
  7.  Flexibility in switching from front end to back end based upon the current requirement.
  8.  A better handle on emerging technologies.

Full-stack developers are adept at taking on projects that require them to delve into databases, create user-facing websites and work in conjunction with clients with regard to the planning of projects.

Most clients these days prefer developers who are very well versed in the intricacies pertaining to all the parts of a site, enabling them to deploy just the right tool for the job, notwithstanding whether these can be considered front end or back end

Skills Required to Become a Full Stack Developer

There is a definite set of skills required to become a full-stack developer. Let’s get to know what these are[2]:

 1. Front End Technology Skills

For one to be considered a bona fide full stack developer, it is critically important to be skilled and experienced in essential front-end technologies like CSS3, JavaScript and HTML5, as well as deep knowledge of third-party libraries like Angular, LESS,  jQuery and React.js.

 2. Knowledge of Development Languages

A full-stack developer needs to be skilled in a server-side programming language like Python, Java, .Net, Ruby, etc.

3. Knowledge of Database Management Software and Caching Technologies

https://unsplash.com/photos/f77Bh3inUpE

A full-stack developer needs to be aware of the different types of DBMS technologies. These include MongoDB, MySQL, Oracle and SQL Server. They also need to know about caching mechanisms like Memcached, Redis and Varnish.

4. Server Knowledge 

A full-stack developer needs to be skilled in the use of Apache or nginx servers. Exposure to Linux is of great help in being able to administer servers.

5. Stellar Basic Designing Ability

Any successful full-stack developer necessarily has to have a great designing ability. Besides, they should be well versed in the basic prototype, as well as UI and UX design.

 

6. Knowledge of VCX or Version Control Systems

 

Full-stack developers would do well to get a handle on Version Control Systems, so as to be able to be in the know of any changes made in the codebase.

The distributed version control system Git, for example, empowers them to gain an understanding of the latest codes, as well as the ability to update parts of the code. It also enables them to change other developers’ code in an unobtrusive manner.

7. Ability to Work with API

Knowledge about application programming interface or API is a must for full-stack developers. Good examples of this are the ability to create and consume REST and SOAP services.

Apart from the above, a full stack developer would be well served, if they could possess the ability to write quality unit tests.

And have a firm grasp of the automated process behind the building and testing of a document, as well as implementing it at scale.

Besides, an appreciation of security concerns for each of the layers with regard to their specific vulnerabilities is very important.

Finally, it is also important for full-stack developers to be knowledgeable about algorithms and data structures.

Full Stack Developer Responsibilities

A full-stack developer has a slew of responsibilities on his or her shoulder. These include designing user interactions for websites as well as developing servers and databases that promote website functionality and coding.

They are also expected to code for mobile platforms.

Let’s take a detailed look at what all their job responsibilities entail.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/content-young-male-student-using-laptop-in-library-3771091/

  • Front End Website Architecture Development-

Front end applications need to have a dependable architecture that is easy to maintain and is easy to scale up and down. An ideal way of doing that would be to create a modular and domain-driven one.

  • Web Page User Interaction Designing

User interaction design is more than just the interaction between the user and the application or design. It may very well be about multiple users connecting through that device. It is all about how a product works than the way that it appears.

  • Back End Website Application Development

This is literally the skill that is behind the power of the web. Yet, back-end development happens unobtrusively enabling users to go about the business of browsing myriad sites unmindful of the skills and effort required to make that possible.

  • Server and Database Creation From the Functionality Viewpoint

Full-stack developers should be able to plan the structure as well as create a new project in this regard. They should possess the ability to prepare the web interface, as well as the communication between the application and the database.

They should be able to run the completed application, as well as manage the troubleshooting.[3] 

  • Cross-Platform Optimization for Mobiles

In the mobile-first era, it is a no-brainer that cross-platform optimization for mobiles is a skill that a full stack developer most certainly has to possess.

One should have the ability to make a mobile-optimized site look equally great on an iPhone, Android, Symbian and Blackberry mobiles.

  • Making Applications Responsive

Full-stack developers are expected to be on the ball when it comes to ensuring that applications don’t exhibit any manner of sluggishness with regard to user responsiveness.

This should be regardless of whether resources or service available to the users is at par or below it.

  • Working in Tandem With Graphic Designers

A full-stack developer would do well to work in tandem with a graphic designer in order to create a site that is brilliant both in terms of its functionality and aesthetics.

  • A to Z Project Implementation

A full-stack developer is expected to be involved in a project right from the stage of initiation to its completion.  Needless to say, this requires excellent organizational skills, as well as an eye for the last detail.

  • Designing and Development of APIs

An  API is a critically important piece of technology, on account of it being a platform that empowers diverse software or applications to communicate with one another. It is critical that a full-stack developer be able to design and develop them very well.

  • Catering to Technical and Consumer Needs

These are really the fundamental responsibilities of a full-stack developer. They are absolutely expected to cater to both the technical and consumer needs with equal facility. That is the reason, why they are so highly prized.

  • Keeping Oneself Updated About Developments in Web Application and Programming Languages

Considering the high rate of obsolescence in the technology sector, a full-stack developer has to stay in the know about the latest developments in the realm of webs applications and programming.

This will ensure that the sites they develop are both contemporary and optimized to deliver.

Most Popular Tech Stacks Full Stack Developers Can Choose From

Let us first understand what stack really stands for.

It is a term used to describe a set of programming languages or software products.[4] Full-stack developers these days are expected to be past masters at managing all manner of issues across myriad streams of software development.

That is the reason why there is such a large demand for full-stack developers possessing the wherewithal capable of web and app designing from the start to the finish, without disrupting any process.

The reason that full-stack developers are the flavour of the times is the fact that they are able to perform a large number of important development functions that they can efficiently perform.

Let’s examine the most sought after stacks that are popular with full-stack developers.

1. MEAN Stack

This comprises MongoDB, Express.js, Angular and Node.js. It is the preferred stack among full stack developers engaged in mobile and responsive web apps.

MongoDB is deployed by the back end for storing data in the shape of JavaScript Object Notation documents.  Express JS on the other hand is the back end web application mounted on Node.js.

Angular enables the front-end web app framework that runs the JavaScript code in the user’s browser empowering an application UI to assume a dynamic form.

Node.js enables a JavaScript runtime environment that allows one to implement an application back end in JavaScript.

This stack is popular not only because it melds four great enabling technologies, but also because it covers the entire gamut of the full web development cycle.

It ranges from the client-side front end development to the server-side back end with the help of JavaScript.

2. MERN Stack

Another very popular stack with full-stack developers, this one consists of MongoDB, Express, React, and Node.js open source components.

These together provide the entire framework of support required by developers to carry out their functions. Quite similar to the MEAN stack, its noticeable difference is that it uses Angular to create front-end web applications, whereas this one uses React.

Like the MEAN stack, the MERN stack too encompasses the full range of the web development cycle including client-side front-end development and the server-side back-end development using JavaScript.

3. MEVIN Stack

This is another version of MEAN, where Angular is replaced with Vue.js as the front-end framework.

The advantage that accrues from using Vue.js is the fact that it combines the best features of React and Angular. Not only is it easy to master, but it also performs exceedingly well, has a clean programming style and a handful of great tools.

4. LAMP

Again, quite a popular stack with full-stack developers on account of its stellar performance, malleability and open-source origins. It is the stack of choice for many on account of its ability to enhance efficiency and reduce costs.[5]

Structurally it is comprised of Linux as the basic layer of the stack and Apache an open-source and free HTTP server that enables the movement of content between the server and the users’ browsers.

Other components include MySQL a relational database management system and the programming languages like PHP, Pearl or Python.

Going beyond these open-source systems one can use different combinations and variations of the same stack which can run seamlessly on any operating system.

When to Hire a Full Stack Developer?

In today’s fraught times most businesses run lean operations. They seek to test and validate ideas by creating a bare-bones but viable product, a full stack developer is definitely the one to turn to.

They possess both the ability and the wherewithal to turn an idea or a feature into a viable and functional prototype.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/code-projected-over-woman-3861969/

We are in the middle of a technological revolution that has made the world of business a hyper-efficient and extremely competitive place.

Over here the best value at the best prices is the name of the game.

In a scenario like this, you could say that full-stack developers are a prized community who are valued for the skills they bring to the table.

The Bottom Line

The role of a developer is key in the world of technology and this is truer today than ever before. A developer needs to update his or her skills regularly to be able to keep pace with the rapid technological changes that have become the norm in today’s times.

That is the precise reason why a full-stack developer is so important.

With their ability to leverage their knowledge of both the front end and the back end they are able to deal with the technical issues pertaining to both the client as well as the server software in use.

They possess the wherewithal to work in a seamlessly coordinated matter with other stakeholders and obtain optimal results.

In the old paradigm development work used to be divided amongst specialist front end and back end developers, testers, database engineers and so on who constituted the various parts of the software development life cycle.[6]

But with the emergence of multiple frameworks, tools as well as libraries it has become possible for software developers to carry out turnkey application development encompassing building, testing and deploying applications.

The number of organizations seeking the services of full stack developers to help them in the implementation of agile projects by leveraging their skill-sets has grown manifold.

Full-stack developers are valued for their extreme flexibility of skills, with regard to both front-end and back-end technologies.

That apart, the fact that they possess a vast amount of know-how and deep experience in an array of technologies makes them the right candidates for entrusting the ownership of a project and expecting total accountability for every aspect of the project.

A full-stack developer goes beyond the development of the code and actually goes ahead and provides it with a structure, besides coming up with the user interface designs. Not just that, they actually go ahead and optimize as well as maintain the existing systems.

Add to that their immense problem-solving abilities, on account of their deep knowledge about every development stage and a firm handle on technology to efficiently zero in on any issues and providing and deploying optimal long-term solutions.

With their extensive bouquet of skills cutting across domains, they are able to both hasten and improve project delivery.

Any organization would be happy to hire full-stack developers for their innate ability to resolve problems pertaining to various aspects of web and app development. Full-stack developers are hot property all right and they are likely to stay that way in the time ahead.

 

 

   [1] https://www.w3schools.com/whatis/whatis_fullstack.asp

[2] https://www.guru99.com/full-stack-developer.html

[3] https://netbeans.org/kb/docs/web/mysql-webapp.html

[4] https://medium.com/datadriveninvestor/most-popular-technology-stack-to-choose-from-full-stack-vs-mean-stack-vs-mern-stack-in-2019-d12c0a17439a

[5] https://www.webdatarocks.com/blog/which-tech-stack-to-choose-for-your-project-in-2020/#:~:text=Undoubtedly%2C%20the%20MEAN%20stack%20is,are%20free%20and%20open%2Dsource.

[6] http://agiliztech.com/2019/09/17/how-important-is-it-to-hire-a-full-stack-developer-5-best-reasons/

 

 

 

 

Is it the Best Time to Phase Out Fossil-Fuel-Powered Vehicles ?

Photo by Colin D on Unsplash

Electric Charging Stations

Fossil fuel-run vehicles are smothering the life out of the planet and its inhabitants. Nobody even debates or questions the fact(except for conspiracy theorists and nutty climate skeptics).

In cities of northern India, the pollution is so bad in the winter months that one routinely sees AQI measurements breach even the 700 numerical value, even when 50 is the upper limit of what constitutes clean breathing air.

The air in the Western countries might be more breathable, but they are the progenitors of this whole culture of using fossil fuel consuming personal automobiles.

Besides, their contribution towards vitiating the environment across planet Earth by their mindless pursuit of ever-increasing growth has been extraordinarily large.

Clearly, things have reached a point of no return and the world cannot continue to use fossil fuel to fuel its own growth. It needs to make a clean break from the way it has fulfilled its energy needs.

Vehicles may not be the only source of environmental pollution, but most definitely are a major source of it-especially in urban areas.

The phasing out of fossil fuel-based vehicles is most certainly one of the major steps that the world has to take towards a gradual replacement of all fossil fuel-powered activity on planet Earth.

As a matter of fact, over 14 countries and 20 cities worldwide have committed themselves to stop the selling of passenger vehicles that run on fossil fuels.

Significantly, these include major economies like the U.K., China, Germany, France, Japan and India. All of these nations plan to replace fossil fuel-powered passenger vehicles that run on non-polluting sources of power in the next ten to thirty years.

Can Electric Vehicles Be The Savior?

Though it is highly fashionable both amongst some climate change activists and increasingly Tesla fans among the rich and the famous to tout electric vehicles as the definitive solution for our environmental pollution woes, things are not as straight forwards as they seem.

As long as the electricity that is needed to charge the batteries of electric vehicles comes from coal-run power plants, making the move to electric vehicles is going to be a non-starter. What makes things just as bad is the fact that the electric power consumed by electric automobile plants may again be coming from coal-powered electricity plants.

With major economic powerhouses like China and Japan sourcing most of their electricity from such power plants, one clearly has a problem on one’s hands with regard to adopting electric vehicles on a massive scale.

India, which is the fifth-biggest economy in the world and the third-largest energy consumer in the world too sources a significant 58% of its electric power from coal-burning power plants.

Sources of Global Electric Power

Globally too coal accounts for 36.7% of the global electricity mix, which is by far the biggest single source of electric power. So clearly a very significant part of the total electricity produced in the world is sourced from coal-based power plants.

Therefore any large-scale move to electricity powered passenger vehicles will have to factor this in.

The Path Ahead for Electric Vehicles

The departure of President Trump from office has breathed a new life into the very sane move away from the use of fossil fuels to meet one’s energy needs.

With President Joe Biden’s resolve to return to a position that is more amenable to reversing the impact of global warming by rejoining the Paris climate accord, the chances for finding success on that path have dramatically risen. Critical to the success of that policy is the electrification of road transport, accounting for about 70% of the US’s total oil consumption in 2019.

The electrification of transportation is going to define the 21st century and this is reflected in the performance of major players in the segment like the electric car maker Tesla whose stock value recently exceeded that of Facebook. Electric Vehicles presently comprise 10% of the global passenger market, which figure is expected to hit a healthy 40% by 2040.

The fact that electric vehicles and cars powered by the traditional internal combusting engine will bear the same price tag by the mid-2020s, will have a lot to do with this growth in the adoption of the former.

Photo by Austin Ramsay on Unsplash

Tesla-Classy Electric Ride of the Well-Heeled

Photo by Austin Ramsay on Unsplash

The U.S. in particular is expected to see a year on year, over 70% increase in the sales of electric vehicles in 2021, when compared with 2020. That roughly corresponds to a 50% increase in the sales of electric vehicles, which is the same as the global increase in that category of vehicles in the same year.

The expected corresponding increase in the sale of conventional internal combustion engine vehicles is going to be only 2 to 5%. Even though as a percentage of the total number of electric vehicles sold the sales of the electric vehicles are currently small, the trends show a healthy rate of adoption of electric vehicles as each year passes by.

This is particularly true of China and Europe, which are together expected to account for 72% of all-electric cars sold in 2030.

The U.S. would have a total of 18.7 million electric vehicles on its roads by 2030 up from the over one million such vehicles at the end of 2018.

All in all the road to a total global move to electric vehicles is a long-winded one, but the heartening fact is that the auto companies around the world are stepping up to the plate by investing massively in the technologies that will power this revolution, even though they would likely not see any returns on the large amounts of money spent for quite some time.

Conclusion

Even though we are not likely to see traditional internal combustion engine-powered vehicles go out of production in the near future, the fact of the matter is that the process is inexorably rolling forward in that direction.

This is something that is known to those who are going to be enormously impacted by this change- the oil and the auto industry and they are preparing for it.

Consumers now need to do their bit to hasten the move to phase out fossil fuel-powered vehicles, sooner, rather than later.

 

Why is Marketing-Automation Important? December 29, 2020

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 We live in a super digitally charged world, where businesses have to work on so many fronts to stay alive and kicking.

 

So much to do ………. so little time! Take a breather.

 

Marketing automation is here! This technology redefines marketing as we know it.

 

We all know that your marketing strategy holds the key to success.

 

Using marketing automation increases efficiency, boosts productivity, makes you run a tight ship and most of all helps you sell more.

 

Automation equals SIMPLIFYING and SCALING.

A few things you need to know:

 

  • What is marketing automation? 

 

  • Why marketing automation?

 

  • Uses of marketing automation

 

 Let’s dig in right away!

 

What is Marketing Automation?
 

It entails using software that automates and manages our marketing processes.

 

It does so, by automatically sending messages via emails, texts, social posts targeted at customers. It also involves studying customer behaviour, to devise a way to capture leads and close them faster. 

                                   

51% businesses use marketing automation

 

 

A whopping 51% of companies on an average have adopted marketing automation[1]. And the others are following suit by allocating budgets, to start at the earliest. 

 

They are not revamping their marketing just for the heck of it!

Marketing automation is one of the fastest-growing segments of the software industry. 

 

But not all companies and marketers have exactly started using this tool.

 

Lack of awareness or fearing technology as some dark art can be possible reasons for keeping them away from using these tools.

 

Whatever the reason, if you’re damn serious about growth, you can’t afford to say no to modernization.

 

Automating the repetitive tasks of your business by giving a set of instructions is no rocket science.

 

It’s a skill that your staff needs to be trained for. I’m sure once they get the hang of it, they’ll thank you, for acquiring a new marketing skill.

 

                                                                               .   .   .  

                                                                                                                                            

Why Marketing Automation?
 

You go where your customers are. They are spending their max time in the internet space which is evolving at a fast pace.

     

via gifer

 

                                                                          

You need to keep up with this pace and get in front of a bigger and a wider audience. 

 

You need to connect to more and more relevant people to scale. This is where marketing automation comes into play: to make your task easier.  

 

Let me give you an example. 

 

Imagine this …….

There’s a fashion designer whose designs are simply WOW! But his/her marketing sucks.

 

All he/she manages to find the time to do is some odd social media posting coupled with spray and pray emailing. 

 

The result. Very few orders.

 

On the other hand, if the designer uses an automation tool to take care of the marketing messages; these would go out consistently, to a targeted audience in an organized fashion.

 

Data-driven marketing campaigns would increase the designer’s fan-base.

 

And, constant engagement from the designer’s end could pique the customer’s interest in knowing MORE about the product. It could be posting the latest trends, tips and discounts etc. 

 

The result: quality traffic and leads resulting in conversions. Likes and shares by your customers would further spread the word.

 

This can turn them into super-fans and loyal customers!

 

The outcome?

A business turned around with the use of marketing technology. Like-wise, create your own growth story.

 

I know you are trying everything possible to push your brand.

 

Shooting emails, trying to post regularly in social media, arranging campaigns, building a client base and catching up on the latest trends in the digital space.

 

Oh, boy! You’re very busy and have no time. 

 

But, at the end of the day, aren’t you getting pulled in a million directions! And, are you satisfied with the results?

 

Time is limited, tasks plentiful. 

 

You’ve got to find a way to get out of this rut and FOCUS on other marketing tasks to be able to jump to the upper tiers.

 

                                                                                .    .    .

 

 Uses of Marketing Automation Tool
 

  • Automating Messages 

 

Identify repetitive tasks. For example: sending emails and alerts on mobile phones as well as scheduling social media posts and so on, can all be part of this.

 

These can be handled by automation tools once the instructions are given.

  •  Pulling in more in Leads

 

Lead generation is one of the most sought-after things in marketing automation. 

 

Tracking website visits, which emails are being opened and studying other such similar behaviour, gives you interesting insights into the customer’s profile.

 

With this slicing and dicing of data, you can expect better leads to flow in, which convert.

 

According to sources, an overwhelming majority of companies benefit with an increase in leads through marketing automation. 

 

  • Better Marketing Campaigns

 

Marketing campaigns become easier and target-oriented with the data analysis in front of you.

 

Know the pain points and improve upon them.

 

  • Meaningful Engagement

 

We are all animals of the digital world. But we don’t want to be treated like assembly-line robots. We’re humans and want to stay that way. 

 

As customers, we like to receive emails and other forms of communication personalized. It’s that emotional connect!

 

With the incredible insights provided by automation tools, you can customize communication according to the needs and interests of your prospects. And thus, strike a chord with them.  

 

Make your content compelling to drive engagement. Use of charts, images, stickers, hacks etc. should be done to make it warm and lively.

 

via gifer

 

                                                   

Refresh it, every now and then to keep your customer’s interest alive in your brand. 

                      

                                                                          .    .    .

 

As you start using automation technology by integrating it into your marketing systems, you will discover a whole lot of  other benefits. Fewer overheads, upselling and lead nurturing are some of them. 

 

Once, you decide to automate, don’t go just by the hype. Select the tool, which is a best-fit for your requirements.

 

Final Thoughts 

 

Data and technology are making waves. They’ve touched almost all the modern businesses. 

 

Old school marketing won’t help you nail it. As they say, convention is for yesterday…

 

Innovators are the movers and shakers of the modern world.

 

Step out of your comfort zone and zoom ahead.

 

Just a quick recap: Leverage marketing automation to:

 

  • Streamline and automate your work

 

  • Maximize productivity and be discovered by the right people

 

  • Attract genuine prospects, increase engagement and sales

 

  • Strategize for your future growth.

 

Join the growing club of marketing automation users!  

   

  [1] https://aritic.com/blog/aritic-pinpoint/b2b-ecommerce-automation-guide/

 

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Is Dropshipping Worth It?

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eCommerce a Way of Life. The unprecedented times we are experiencing have us all cooped up inside our homes, going about the business of life in the best way that we can. Normal activities like education, work, business and shopping are now being carried out from our homes. The online world has come good and proven to be our lifeline. The world of today is riding a new wave where Digital First is the hot mantra. For instance, business enthusiasts are searching for viable and profitable eCommerce models to grow and expand.
Dropshipping is one such lucrative, online retail business worthy of one’s attention.

Why?

 

It’s been around for years and years, bringing profits to serious entrepreneurs.

[1]eCommerce sales in India are growing at an annual rate of 51%, which makes it the biggest opportunity for online retailers.

The old ways of doing business are getting disrupted the world over!

This pandemic has become a big inflexion point for digital businesses not just in India but globally as well. On the one hand, the retail footfall is seeing alarming lows while on the other, eCommerce is on a new roll.


In this scenario, dropshipping becomes all the more attractive for those, seeking new ways of monetization.


Let’s understand its basic concepts and relevance in today’s world….

                                                       

                                                    Customer Receiving an Online Delivery

 

Dropshipping is essentially an online retail store where customers book their orders. The details of the order are passed on to the supplier who ships the order directly to the customer.

Some of the key takeaways of this business are that as a drop shipper you don’t have to:

  • Physically store goods or
  • Manage a warehouse or
  • Handle shipments

This certainly gives you AMPLE time to focus on other critical aspects of the business.

 

What do you need to start this business?

Two things:

  • An internet connection
  •  A  laptop

Furthermore, to execute the business you will need the following support:

  •     Supplier
  •     Website
  •    Niche
  •     Marketing Strategy
  •     Customer Support

And you are good to go!

The flexibility of this business lies in the fact that it can be run as a parallel hustle to generate a PASSIVE income or can be run independently.

Let’s quickly understand how to generate a passive income from dropshipping.


Dropshipping a parallel hustle….

The easiest way to make revenue from drop shipping is to run it as a parallel business to your already existing eCommerce business.

This way you don’t need to start from zero user base. Your existing traffic can be used to drive and push your dropshipping business. Money lies in traffic!

Later on, when your dropshipping business picks up, you can scale it.

The sky is the limit!

If you run a dropshipping business alone, you will have to search and build a new client base.

Not that it can’t be done, but it can become quite a TASK in the initial stages of your business.

Pick your battles!

Delving into the different aspects of drop shipping will make it easy for you to understand its functionality and USE in today’s world.


Dropshipping journey

To start with, think of a niche which sells!


Niche

How does one pick the right niche?

One can’t have an answer right off the bat, as this depends on a few factors:

  • trends
  •  competitors
  •  target audience
  • ease of shipping


Trends

Pop-culture (unique) products like coffee-mugs, funky jewelry, T-shirts etc. are the ideal dropshipping products.

Due to the ongoing pandemic shoppers have become cautious with their spending. Health, fitness and home happen to be their prime focus.

This explains the reason for the sudden surge in demand for the following products:

  • Blue Light Glasses          – to reduce eye strain from screens
  •  Resistance Band             – for gym enthusiasts
  •  Smart Watches                – for fitness
  •  LED Strip Lights               – to decorate homes
  • Paint By Numbers Kit    – to pursue a hobby

Trimmers, Juicers and Vacuum cleaners are other popular products.

Pandemic or no pandemic, you can’t forget the special days (birthdays and anniversaries) of your friends and well-wishers! Worry not, however, if you are unable to visit them due to social distancing, you can have them sent a personalized item like an Initial Pendant Necklace.

Sniffing out trends is the first step in selecting a niche. A bunch of other things which could help you in zeroing in on the niche are:


Target Audience

Sales is a result of demand and supply. Research and find out what your audience is looking for. Pitch accordingly!


Competition

You will have to take a call to either compete directly with the biggies like Amazon or you could pick a niche with low competition and potential buyers. There is no template as such, to follow. No size fits all!

You need to check the local competition, demographics and the geographics.

You’ll need to know the prices your competitors are offering. Maybe you will have to undercut them to stay competitive. Brainstorming at this stage can’t be ruled out. Hitting the sweet spot does take time and a whole lot of research.


Ease of Shipping

Selecting a niche which requires light shipping can make your job easy as you can offer free shipping. This SERIES of calculated steps will help you select a proper niche.

Getting a reliable supplier on board is the next step.


Supplier

Suppliers are the backbone of your dropshipping business.

They do a lot of heavy lifting as far as this business is concerned. From storing goods and maintaining inventory to handling shipments.

Hence, it becomes important to make all the necessary inquires before selecting one. Do thorough research on the internet. Check your supplier’s reviews and testimonials.

Once you are satisfied with the credentials, place a test order. This way you can have a first-hand experience about, as to how the supplier operates. Once you are through with selecting the supplier and the niche, it’s time to create your virtual store.


Website

Today’s users’ attention span is extremely low with a zillion things vying for their attention. Thus, it becomes important to have a super cool website which looks good, funky and is super-fast too.

You have a choice between the self-hosted or the hosted platforms.

If you are technically fine and have money to spare, go for a self-hosted one. This gives you more freedom.

Otherwise, if you are not sure and don’t want to spend in the early stages of your business, then hosted platform is the place to be.

Big Commerce, Woo Commerce, Magento are some of the examples of hosted platforms. They all come with their own sets of positives.

Choose the one which best fits your bill. Now, your dropshipping business is ready for the BIG leap.

Reaching your customers!

They are the ones who shall play a huge part in making your business count. So, leave no stone unturned to woo them.

Marketing Strategy. There are no two thoughts about the fact that the Marketing landscape has evolved tremendously, especially due to the rise in digital consumption.

Marketing penetrates and operates at different levels of the dropshipping business. Let’s dive deep and explore all the levels and ways of CONNECTING with your potential buyers. The Devil lies in the details!


Deliveries

Instant gratification has become our second nature. We want deliveries and returns to be handled faster. So, talk to your supplier right in the beginning about making your business efficient and CUSTOMER ORIENTED.

All deliveries, returns or complaints if any have to be handled within a time-frame, as promised to the customer.

This will go a long way in bolstering your brand.


Free shipping

                                                                     

                                                                     Free Delivery a Huge Hit

As many as[2]90% of customers choose free shipping as the number one incentive for online buying.

 

Do your best to offer free shipping or maybe discounted shipping.

 

In case you can’t, be transparent about it right from the word go.

 

Never resort to hiding tactics; they show your brand in poor light.

 

Marketing is all about creating POSITIVE vibes. It’s better to stay away from practices where your customer feels shocked or shortchanged.

 

Mobile-Friendly

Nowadays, people of all age groups are glued to their smartphones. [3]In Indiaonline buying via smartphones ranges from 42% to 60%. 

Smartphones are known to trigger impulse buying. So, ensure your virtual store is mobile-friendly to net this segment.

  

 Getting traffic and sales requires you to be nimble.

 

Try the paid advertising space and at the same time work consistently towards getting the organic traffic.

 

You can start your targeted marketing campaigns by putting out:

  • Facebook ads
  • Google Ad words and Bing Ads
 
Other than that, you can adopt these digital tools to attract organic traffic:
  • SEO
  • Content
  • Social Media
  • Email Marketing
 

Optimizing your website is necessary to get ORGANIC traffic.

 

Today’s businesses are all about experiences. Be it the website experience or the delivery experience. Give them the best experiences.

 

ROX (return on experience) shall help you in scaling your business. USER EXPERIENCE is the new SEO.

 

Deliver curated content so that it builds traction and engagement. The effect feels fresh if you keep updating it.

Social Media on our Smartphone

 

 

 

Social Media is all the rage. We can’t agree more!

 

You will find people of all age groups active on these platforms. The Gen Z and Millennials are hooked to it.

 

Social media influencers have become stars of the digital world. They carry clout.

 

You can use these influencers to highlight your products by making videos of 25-30 secs. and thus, gain access to LOCAL customers.

 

Show off your brand and share its story on the different social media channels. Keep posting regularly to make a strong presence.

 

People, usually are scouting for freebies and discounts over these channels.

 

Put out a sale notice on Twitter or Instagram. You can add an element of urgency by attaching a deadline to it. This can have a knock-on effect!

 

Besides generating a sale, you could get likes and shares. That surely spreads the good word!

 

These are some cool ways of GRABBING traffic.

 

There is yet another way of reaching your customers in a focused manner: the email marketing route.

 

It is an old marketing tool, quite popular even with new-age businesses. It works.

 

As such, we all get a good number of emails every day. We do end up reading quite a few of them!

 

Start making emails preferably with a catchy hook line to draw attention. Well written and personalized emails do get noticed.

 

Talk about your product, share videos and highlight discounts (in case you are offering them).

 

Emails carry your message directly to the people in a subtler way without making much noise.

 

Be CONSISTENT with sending emails, they will fetch results.

 

Be innovative and bring fresh ideas to the table. You never know which idea of yours can catch fire!

 

Pricing

There is no doubt about the fact that every sale that happens has a good amount of hard work behind it.

 

If possible, choose a product with a higher value. This is to pocket a good profit with every item you sell.

 



Competition research


EvaluationCustomer Support
[4]

 

Dropshipping is worth your time and attention for these very simple reasons:

  • Low-risk business
  •    Easy entry
  •  Almost no overheads required
  •  Flexibility, can work beautifully as a parallel hustle or can be run independently
  • Can be scaled exponentially
  •  Ecommerce an accepted reality
  • Pandemic has acted as an accelerant to digital growth.
 

[5]As per the Morgan Stanley report, India’s eCommerce market is expected to hit $200 billion by 2026.

 

Online buying has become the norm and is here to stay. It’s practically unstoppable. Take advantage of this growing trend to expand your business.

 

Research, Experiment and Test: 

These are the three levers of the dropshipping business. They will help you survive and soar!

 

Set the ball rolling as this is the BEST TIME to get into dropshipping.

 

Stay Safe and Happy Dropshipping! ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

[1] https://www.oberlo.com/dropship-international/india

[2] https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/320733

[3] https://surejob.in/dropshipping-business.html

[4] https://ecommerceguide.com/ecommerce-statistics/#:~:text=According%20to%2099Firms’%20Ecommerce%20Statistics,conducted%20via%20ecommerce%20by%202040.&text=It%20is%20expected%20th

[5] https://www.livemint.com/Industry/9iUxlQZ4iHwPiXRKscx3LK/Indias-ecommerce-market-to-grow-30-to-200-billion-by-202.html

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