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The Creative Person Podcast

Welcome to the Creative Person Podcast with Paul Solt – where I take aspiring iPhone app developers and make them sellers on the App Store using Kickstarter and simple product design. Schedule: New episodes every Thursday for Season 1

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18 – 141% Funded on Kickstarter . . . And Here’s How I Did It

At the beginning of October, I launched a new Kickstarter project, and it’s now officially funded with over 172 backers. I also have a few unannounced stretch goals that I think are going to push it even higher.Subscribe on iTunesPlease rate the Creative Person Podcast on iTunes. Post a question you have about the Kickstarter and I'll answer it in an upcoming episode. Super Easy iPhone AppsProject page: Back it today!Why was I worried?Stretch goalsCaptionsLive CommunityQ&AsLive Chat1-on-1 LessonsQuestions about Kickstarter? Rate the Creative Person Podcast on iTunes + ask a questionTweet at @PaulSolt


12 Nov 2015

Rank #1

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17 - My new Kickstarter project is live! So why am I so nervous?

I’m launching a new Kickstarter project that’s been on my mind for the past six months. Find out why I’m using Kickstarter . . . and why I’m so nervous . . . Subscribe on iTunesPlease rate the Creative Person Podcast on iTunes. Post a question you have about the Kickstarter and I'll answer it in an upcoming episode. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-creative-person-podcast/id981714428?mt=2New Kickstarter projectSuper Easy iPhone AppsSwift 2, iOS 9, Xcode 7Course SeriesHelp you learn fasterReduce friction and frustrationLive/recorded Q&A sessionsWhy am I nervous?Will people like it?Will people support it?Will I reach my goal?69% funded on October 7th 6pm…Project page: Super Easy iPhone Apps Questions about Kickstarter? Rate the Creative Person Podcast on iTunes + ask a questionTweet at @PaulSolt


8 Oct 2015

Rank #2

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16 - WWDC 2015 Developer Highlights for Apple Watch and watchOS 2

Apple is making Apple Watch even more powerful with native apps using the watchOS 2 SDK and WatchKit. Get access to the hardware to run code and query the sensor data for your own app experiences. Subscribe on iTunesPlease rate the Creative Person Podcast on iTunes. Post a question you have about the Apple Watch and I'll answer it in an upcoming episode. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-creative-person-podcast/id981714428?mt=2Apple Watch - watchOS 2TimepieceCommunicationHealth and fitnessMapsDevelopmentTimepieceMost customizablePhoto facePhoto album faceTime-Lapse faceHong KongNYCLodonComplicationsMake your own detail viewsFlight timesHome controlelectric carSport scoresFuture informationWeather later todayNext meetingTime travel (digital crown)CommunicationSize buttonMore friends and groupsMultiple colors in drawingsReply to emailFaceTime audio on wristHealth and Fitness appFavorite fitness apps on the watch Other apps can contribute to your daily activitySiri can start workouts without touchingApple PayStore cards and reward cardsWallet store your reward cardsTransitSee transit lines on your wristSiriSiri can give you mass transit navigationsSiri set your HomeKit dinner sceneSiri show me the Instagram glance face (quick access to third party apps)Development for Apple WatchWatchKit - enabled thousands of apps using your iPhoneNative apps - move UI + logic to watchBetter performanceBetter responsivenessApps can communicate with known wifi networksMicrophoneBring audio into your appPlay audio out of speaker (short form and long form)Play short form videoAccess to native health kit (streaming heart rate with Strava)HomeKit - natively on watchAccelerometer + movement dataTaptic engine - for app development (different feelings + audio)Digital Crown with rotation (super easy to change values)Apps open quickerVery responsive apps


2 Jul 2015

Rank #3

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15 - WWDC 2015 Developer Highlights for Xcode 7 + iOS 9 + Swift 2

Learn everything you need to know about changes for the Apple Developer program. One program to target all apps on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch. Apple continues to innovate with Swift and Xcode. Subscribe on iTunesPlease rate the Creative Person Podcast on iTunes. Post a question you have about the Apple Watch and I'll answer it in an upcoming episode. Development iOS 9 Supports all previous devicesiOS 9 download will be just over 1 GB, not 5 GB !Anyone can run apps on their iPhone (no need for paying for developer membership)Extended GameKit APIsGameplayKitRule-based games (agent + behavior)State machines for AIPathfinding ReplayKitRecord gameplay (or app usage)Playback and shareSocial interaction outside the gameModel I/O3D models (mesh)Realistic lighting of 3d objectsImport from industry standard file formatsLoading and exporting 3d assetsApp Thinning Reduce download sizeBitcode - support new features + optimizationsWill you need to test more platforms?On-demand resourcesNice to have, but getting your game out should be your first priorityXcode 7Improved asset collectionsLevel editor for SceneKit games (hopefully much better than prior support)Improved TestingUI TestingCode coverageSwift 2Open Source later in 2015Linux supportMicrosoft Swift port?Goal of Swift: Make your intent is clear from first lines of codeFaster compiler (bigger projects)Control flow improvementsif letguardif case (case pattern matching everywhere)for case Migrator to convert Xcode 6 to Xcode 7Should work better than the previous migratorsKeyword naming rules for functions and methods are the sameFelt divergent in Swift <= 1.2Protocol extensions allow functionality to be added to protocolsExposes logic to collection types that was missingPrevious collection functions were global, and didn’t appear in auto complete suggestions or APIOther topics“do while loop” is now the “repeat while loop”do infers scoping, which helps with memory releasing or new error handling logicguard - new way to reduce if let syntax indentationprintln is becoming printError handling (i.e. smarter exceptions)NSError APIs all changing in Swift 2try, catch, throwNo longer pass in error, instead it’ll propagate out using throws keywordExplicit  and easy to seeNot everything throws an exception by default – helps regular error handling logic’defer keyword (error recovery logic) Generics are part of Objective-CWill help make APIs more Swift-like and easier to use in SwiftImproved code suggestions and error messagesPrevious demos of improvements felt minimal – there are a lot of errors you can run intoSome of the changes demonstrated looked promising – time will tellBetter documentationRich text in QuickHelp (Markdown variant)Header view – get the high level view of your source files methodsImproved PlaygroundsResources folder (easy to add to)Source folder (add supplemental files to assist with code examples)Build workbooks with multiple pagesPermalink


25 Jun 2015

Rank #4

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14 - WWDC 2015 Highlights for OS X El Capitan and iOS 9

Apple made a ton of announcements at WWDC 2015 for Mac, iPhone, and Apple Watch. Learn about the biggest takeaways from the event with iPad multitasking, smarter spotlight and Apple Music Subscribe on iTunesPlease rate the Creative Person Podcast on iTunes. Post a question you have about the Apple Watch and I'll answer it in an upcoming episode. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-creative-person-podcast/id981714428?mt=2OS X El CapitanBig update that unifies the development environment with iOS.Easier to write code that can run on both iOS and Mac with El CapitanXcode 71 Developer account membership for all platforms (unified)6 Mac HighlightsSwipe gestures from iOS on Mac (gesture recognizers for trackpad!)Spotlight is smarter – makes finding your resources easier with natural language processingBetter windows management – hopefully simulator + full screen Xcode (haven’t tested)Easier to move windows to different desktop spaces (great for small screens)Improved performance with app launching and multi-tasking (faster animations?)Metal for Mac games - removes legacy single threaded constraints of the graphics pipeline on the CPU50% improvement in Core Graphics + Core Animation on Mac (big!)10x faster draw call (maybe Mac games can finally keep up with Windows)iOS 983% users installed iOS 8 (you can target latest iOS version for your app + write less code)FoundationExtending battery life (low power mode)Developer tools to help diagnose battery hogsFaster performance using MetalIntelligenceSiri improvements (faster + more accurate) … we’ll see More natural language + easy access to different sets of data (photos from Utah last year)Deeper search integration into apps (i.e. reference related apps)Anonymous – not sending unique data to Apple, respecting your privacy unlike Google or Facebook who sell your dataAppsApple Pay UKWalletNotesMaps TransitNews appQuickType bariPadNew multi-tasking on iPadNewest features only on iPad Air 2PiP videoSplit view (2 apps at once)Task switcherDeveloper APIs support multi-tasking (Auto Layout + Size classes)Apple MusicStream all of Apple’s music catalog for $9.99/month or $14.99/month for families24/7 radio station (not supported by industry)Better curated playlists (not just algorithmic)What do you want to learn about?Permalink


18 Jun 2015

Rank #5

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13 - The Apple Watch review over 39 days - Sport vs Steel

I have been using the Apple Watch for 39 days (since April 24th) and I have tried out 3 different models with the Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Steel using both 38mm and 42mm sizes. Learn about my one month impressions on the Apple Watch.Subscribe on iTunesPlease rate the Creative Person Podcast on iTunes. Post a question you have about the Apple Watch and I'll answer it in an upcoming episode. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-creative-person-podcast/id981714428?mt=2Why Apple Watch?Two goals: fitness and coffee appA family member died recently and I wanted to step up my game on my fitness habits and tracking.I want to make a coffee brewing app for Apple Watch (limited functionality)BatteryLasts all day – no real problems except when I was really trying to test out a ton of apps (20-30% at night)ScreenThe screen is amazing – works great in doors and it's bright enough out doors. Out of all the screens for a smart watch, the Apple Watch is the best.The other part that goes hand and hand with a good screen is good user input and no lag. Other smart watches are sluggish – the Apple Watch is very responsive with 60 FPS (frames per second). Overall the experience is very fluid.Metal - Steel vs. AluminumMy preference is Aluminum – I’m not big on jewelry and flashy objects. Brushed aluminum fits my style (jeans, shorts, and t-shirts)The Aluminum also feels significantly lighter on my wrist – I don’t notice it as much as the Steel. The original watches I used to wear have all been sport watches, so that is my bias with the Apple Watch.38mm vs 42mmBigger is better, as long as your not petite. Hands down I would recommend the 42mm size.Buttons are all bigger and easier to hit with larger fingers (I’m only 5’5” 162.5lbs with a muscular build).It’s a $50 difference in price for the aluminum and I think it’s worth it.Plus you’ll get longer battery life with the 42mm over the 38mm Apple Watch.BandsMy favorite band is the Apple Watch sport band – it’s so flexible and adapts to all my physical activities (ultimate frisbee).The metal bands were too rigid for me – I want flexible.The leather is ok, but I prefer the texture and feel of the sport band more.Favorite colors are black and white sport bands.Fitness AppI love the ease of use of the Fitness app to start a run, walk with my dog (Australian shepherd), or P90X3.The built in heart sensor helps me understand exertion and when I need to back down or when I push harder again.Activity AppThis is a great way to make sure you are moving and that you fill in the circles. It gives you a few goals to work towards by the end of the day. Just the push I needed to keep going.I can compare easily to Steph and that adds another level of commitment to staying active and working to be more healthy. MetronomeI have been trying to increase my running cadence – so I use the metronome app that works pretty well. You need both the iPhone + Apple Watch to do this, since there are no native APIs yet. Audio would probably need bluetooth headphones.Metronome app linkLuna Sandals (long transition from shoes to prevent injuries)Music controllerOn some runs or walks I’ll control my iPhone in a running belt using the music app on the Apple Watch. This works great – though I didn't’ realize I need to get blue tooth ear phones to listen to music without my iPhone on my runs.SPI BeltFlip BeltApp DevelopmentI really would like to leverage more sensor data in some of my app ideas, but they currently are not possible without the native API. We’ll see when that roles out in the Fall of 2015. I experimented with some basic Apple Watch app prototypes, but put them on hold to work on the iPhone version of my new Brew Coffee App. Apple Watch app idea - requires sensorspushup app tracking/cadence appLearn to program apps for iPhoneReal World iPhone app course - Swift iPhone app course for beginnersProblems, Issues, or Funny StoriesNone of the issues have been major. There have been some frustrating syncing issues, but those might be fixed now with the new update. There have been a few funny moments using the Apple Watch too.The Activity doesn’t always sync – some kind of bug with data. Quitting the app on iPhone sometimes fixes the issue or restarting the Apple Watch.Some touches between Steph and I stopped sending, restarting the Apple Watch seemed to fix the issues.I achieved my exercise goal while in the bathroom – not sure how that worked out.Sometimes the Apple Watch tells me to stand up when I’m already standing at my standing desk. Last week it told Steph to stand up when we were making dinner in the Kitchen.One night I was testing out the heart beats and sending them to Nick (with the Steel Apple Watch) and he was at the RIT Alumni Board dinner with the RIT Provost. They got a kick out of it – he only told me afterwards who was around as he was playing with it.Siri is not great – less feedback than on iPhone and it sometimes works, but usually doesn’t. Apple still has a long way to go to make it better.Who should buy the Apple Watch?Fitness + health (heart beat)Early adoptersApp developers


3 Jun 2015

Rank #6

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12 - How to Kickstarter with SilverAir Sock and Oops Tees

Running a successful Kickstarter project is a lot of work. Let’s look at an active project that’s currently 455% funded and approaching $200,000. Learn about the things that Y Athletics is doing right and how you can use their approach to run your own Kickstarter project. I’ll also talk about a great project, Oops Tees, that’s not doing as well as it should be doing. Subscribe on iTunesPlease rate the Creative Person Podcast on iTunes. Post a question you have about the Apple Watch and I'll answer it in an upcoming episode. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-creative-person-podcast/id981714428?mt=2Great Kickstarter project - SilverAir Sock SilverAir Sock - Odorless Socks Made With Pure Silver455% funded ($159,575)22 days to go (47 days)$35,000 goalReward analysis$16 socks (~$23 retail)Simple pricing ($16, $48, $90)Top 3 rewards (Single, Triple, Combo)Other commentsGreat videoGreat pacing on the readGood music (a bit loud at times)Lots of great video (B-roll) with great animationsUser testimonial with 2 week trial and 57 day shirt (prior kickstarter)Pricing could be more simple and easy for customer to calculate (is it $18 or $16 for socks?) Use Kicktraq.com for researchhttp://www.kicktraq.com/projects/yathletics/silverair-sock-odorless-socks-made-with-pure-silve/Previous successful project - SilverAir Athletic ShirtsSilverAir™: Odorless Athletic Shirts Made With Pure SilverReward analysis$34 t-shirt ($54 retail)Simple pricing ($34, $64, $90)Top 3 rewards (Single, Double, Triple)Underperforming Kickstarter Project - Oops Tees Oops Tees 43% funded  ($2,630)7 days to go (30 days)$6,000 goalReward analysis$35 t-shirtSimple pricing (hidden from too many rewards)Top 3 rewards (1, 2, 3)Kicktraq.com for researchhttp://www.kicktraq.com/projects/1504165368/oops-tees/#chart-dailyBoosts are both associated with Updates (do more and keep them relevant to new designs!)Project AnalysisNew video is required to get this project going (audio/video quality were excellent)Video is too slow and not enough focus on the funny products (don't educate me on how to talk about the t-shirt – it's clever... I get that part)Doesn’t connect to customer (all about Steve/Jeff)T-shirts aren’t funny enough (Hay their! is great … others not so much)Pricing is good, but hiddenToo much focus on stickers for a t-shirt projectNewest design and update provided great lift (better design … does it infringe?)Not wearing a shirt was too long… could have been a bit faster to get the point across – probably makes people stop watchingVideo is too long (3 minutes – should be 1 minute)Too many t-shirts reward options (try: 1, 2, 3, 6)No one wants Oops logo (good logo, but not selling point – no brand reputation ... yet)Highest tier is 1 shirt, 2 shirt, and 3 shirtsBetter designs would help this project (they need to connect with a bigger audience)


24 Apr 2015

Rank #7

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11 - App Store Opportunities in the Food & Drink Category

There is room for innovation within the Food & Drink category on the App Store. Free apps are dominated by big brands with marketing dollars that you can’t compete with – but paid apps are mostly useful apps and recipes.Subscribe on iTunesPlease rate the Creative Person Podcast on iTunes. Post a question you have about the Apple Watch and I'll answer it in an upcoming episode. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-creative-person-podcast/id981714428?mt=2Food & Drink Case StudiesPeople like these apps and they continue to buy them – take a look at some of the hot apps within the Food & Drink category for the US App Store. I believe there’s a lot of room for new apps that have better design, UX, and do things that are clunky right now.1. KoHi - Pour Over Coffee BrewingCoffee brewing app for all types of pour over coffee (Chemex, Hario V60, French Press, Clever, etc.)$2.99 (37 ratings – 4.5 stars)No in-app purchasesUS App Store (April 21st 2015)Top Paid App: #69Top Grossing App: #802. AeroPress Timer: For Aerobie’s AeroPress Coffee and Espresso MakerCoffee brewing app designed for the AeroPress brewer device – more narrowly focused than KoHi.$2.99 (150 ratings - 4 stars)In-app purchasesChampionship Pack: $0.99Roaster Pack: $1.99US App Store (April 21st 2015)Top Paid iPhone app: #12Top Grossing iPhone app: #2320,000+ downloads (developer stated in App Store description)3. TieredCakerVery niche app for people who make money selling cakes! The app helps estimate costs and visualizes what a 3 layer cake looks like that can serve 120 people at a wedding.$19.99 (47 ratings - 4 stars)No in-app purchasesUS App Store (April 21st 2015)Top Paid iPhone app: #73Top Grossing iPhone app: #16Paul’s Food & Drink App RecommendationsUse in-app purchases and charge a price (premium features)Free Food & Drink flooded with big brands (paid is not!)Charge more for your food appResearch the competition in iTunes (Mac) or AppShopper.com before you write code, hire a designer, or make a website Food & Drink App IdeasI believe there is room for innovation. All the food and drink apps are pretty lame. The current app ideas I have below have poor UI, UX, and lack features. Just read the reviews and feedback to understand what customers really want. Then make that app!Make a unit converter for the kitchenMake a recipe scaler that can go up/down in servingsRecipe app with OCR (optical character recognition) Ideas: BigOven, Amazon's Mechanical Turk Provide great recipe layout/input with video, photo, text, steps, tips.ConnectLearn to make iPhone apps online.Follow @PaulSolt on Twitter 


22 Apr 2015

Rank #8

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10 - Great branding advice and your simple branding

I’ll provide a quick summary from a book I read last month and how this book can give you insight for your business ideas, app ideas, or Kickstarter projects. Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind: How to be seen and heard in the overcrowded marketplace by Al Ries and Jack TroutBuy the book on Amazon using my affiliate link below to support this podcast. Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind I highly recommend this book to anyone who plans to make an app, create a product, or provide a service. It has opened my eyes to different trends within the marketplace and helped me to understand the strategy behind naming . . . something that, while extremely important to me, was difficult to describe until reading this book.Get the quick summary, memorable quote, and how this book can make you think about your business ideas, app ideas, or Kickstarter projects.Paul’s quick summary1.     Do NOT use acronyms for your name or business name. It loses meaning and only works for the established players. Use a name that is simple to remember, and avoid anything that is clever just for the sake of being clever.2.     A word has no meaning until someone fills it with meaning. Webster’s Dictionary is not a guide; your target demographic is! Volkswagen means economy car, while Audi mean medium-sized luxury cars. Names need to be associated with a type of product or service (your product can’t be both premium and cheap) The name has to make sense to people, it has to be intuitive, and it can’t just have meaning to you and your business team.3.     Use different names to instantly distinguish your product lines, rather than rebranding your products via line extensions—Dove Soap, Dove Shampoo, Dove Hand Cream, Dove Chocolate. Use names that carry instant name recognition: “Tide” instantly denotes detergent, and “Crest” is instantly recognized as toothpaste. “Dove,” on the other hand, carries less meaning because it is not something that I can reference by its name alone; if I do, you then have to ask me, “Dove what?”4.     Keep your brand messaging simple  “Raisins from California. Nature’s candy.”5.     Be willing to sacrifice some of the market. NyQuil, for example, launched in a crowded space as “nighttime” medicine rather than competing with other all-day medicines. They gave up the daytime market, yet found great success.6.     You are capable of marketing without a marketing background: too much success can misguide you. Xerox had a disappointing record with computers—they are known for copiers. IBM had the same issue with their plain-paper copier—they are known for computers (and now business services).7.     Trying to attack the #1 product in your industry is fatal. Bristol-Myers repeatedly tried to create products that could compete with [insert company they tried to compete with here]; these attempts resulted in $5M and $11M marketing flops. You can’t afford to compete with the marketing dollars of the established players – differentiate your product from them in an area that you could own.8.     Products that focus on being better instead of focusing on something that matters (like “speed”) will always fail – look at Apple’s marketing. To launch an improved product, you need to quantify it in the buyers mind and be willing to spend money on marketing it. Memorable quote“To win the battle of the mind, you can’t compete head-on against a company that has a strong, established position. You can go around, under or over, but never head to head.”Why do I recommend this book?  The book is a little dated with some examples, however, the insights offered and the examination of the successes and downfalls of various market leaders are fascinating—if you’re like me, you’ll find that you can’t put it down. Bottom line: pick a name that is minimalistic and easy to remember while capturing the product’s essence (for example: Mustang), and avoid acronyms at all costs! Your product naming starts hereWhen you go to make your next app or launch a Kickstarter project you are going to have to think about naming. Don’t waste months on this, but do spend 2-5 days thinking through options.I like to take a walk and in my notepad I’ll jot down ideas and then I’ll do web domain checks. If I can get a web domain, then I check the Trademark database to see if anything exists. I’m not doing a comprehensive search, but I am looking to make sure that nothing fills the space in the field that I’d like to make a product.Too many startups choose clever names (remove one or more vowel), compound word, or super long word. These names always felt strange to me and the book gave me real world examples that helped provide context to why I didn’t like them (and how the market didn’t either).Your own personal brand is something that you can establish with simple steps.Buy a web domain (I recommend Hover.com because of clean design and no extra up-sells)Use Squarespace.com to host your blog/business site/portfolio/landing page/email capture pageAdd a photo of you to all your social profiles (make it public – especially on LinkedIn) Do these same steps with any new product – I just made a new website for a new app I’m publishing (2 hours to create – 7 email subscribers). It’s called Brew Coffee, check it out at http://BrewCoffeeApp.com


17 Apr 2015

Rank #9

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9 - Use 5 rules to improve your eating habits, health, and brain power

Change your eating habits to promote clearer thinking and focus at work or at home. Use these 5 rules to guide your next meal throughout the day. Support the Creative Person PodcastPlease rate the Creative Person Podcast on iTunes. Post a question you have about the Apple Watch and I'll answer it in an upcoming episode.Daily Rules (habits)Eat veggies and fruit before carbs, meats, fried food, etc.Drink water not soda/juiceDrink coffee blackEasier with better coffee – i.e.: freshly roasted, freshly ground, and pour over (chemex or hario v60)I have an upcoming iPhone/Apple Watch app for amazing coffee brewingWalk more (5,000 steps a day goal)Meditative after speed walking for 10 minutesMore creative thoughts and ideas flow after walkingPrepare lunch/snacks at night or in the morningA friend or family member makes it less work and easier to startI lost 20 lbs in one yearI've lost around 20 pounds by focusing on what I eat and preparing better meals for breakfast and dinner.Eating veggies and fruit in the mornings and for lunch helps me avoid the food coma that I used to suffer from and allows me to focus better on my creative work.I cut out most dairy during the day (cheese at night) so that my throat doesn't get gunky – which allows me to record with less effort and less takes (usually a single take for my videos or audio productions). Next TimeGet the scoop on my book recommendation for April 2015 and why you need to read it (as it pertains to apps + sales on Kickstarter).Positioning: The Battle for your Mind - By Jack Trout and Al Ries (Affiliate link)ConnectFollow me or ask a question on Twitter: @PaulSoltDo you want my daily smoothie recipe (vitamix)?


14 Apr 2015

Rank #10