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In the summer of 2019, I saw something strange

Tesla, the company now worth $700+ BILLION dollars, was valued on the stock market at only $40 billion.

I thought… “Wait what…? Tesla worth only $40 billion? Am I missing something?”

For perspective, many software startups with ZERO plan to get to self-sustaining revenue and profitability have valuations exceeding $40 billion.

Somehow… Wall Street thought that Tesla — the first successful auto startup in 50+ years!!! with REVOLUTIONARY energy technology — was worth less than the average no-revenue-model software startup.

So, I started buying!

I told EVERYONE I’m close to, to start buying.

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A proverb says, “There is benefit in every kind of hard work, But mere talk leads to want [poverty].”

What does it mean?

It pays TO ACT

When you work hard to accomplish ANY productive purpose, you WILL profit in some way.

It may be in ways that surprise you. It might not profit you in the way you hoped. But somehow, someday it will pay off.

But contrast, talking about your plans WITHOUT ACTION guarantees financial failure.

I have a personal story that shows this principle in action.

In 2014, my wife and I were planning our wedding

My wife wanted to rent a video booth for our wedding instead of the regular…

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Photo by Moritz Mentges on Unsplash

Your logo will not make you money.

No one says, this product is TOTAL CRAP, but I’m going to buy it because the logo is beautiful.

No one says, she is a liar, cheater, stealer, lazy, and incompetent, but I buy her service because I love her logo.

In reverse, no one says, my friend said this service was AMAZING!!! But I won’t buy it because I hate the logo.

What’s the point?

Many entrepreneurs waste TOO MUCH time on their logo

When a company is successful, everything it does is considered brilliant. …

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Disclaimer: I am a C# .NET developer, so for many of the suggestions below, I’ve been able to build them myself. If you don’t have programming skills and can’t hire a developer to help you, you can still apply these principles as you customize off the shelf e-commerce & web software.

Over the last 3 years, I’ve generated $1.36 million in sales almost all online.

Below are 3 lessons I’ve learned that can help you make more money online.

#1: Every page on your website SHOULD load in 3 seconds OR LESS

According to 2018 research by Google, 53% of mobile users leave a site that takes longer than three seconds to load…

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Photo by Will Francis on Unsplash

*$1.2 profit is profit after the cost of advertising, but does not include cost of products or services rendered.

I often read comments or articles posted by fellow HN readers that claim digital advertising is a hoax, bubble, fraud, or unnecessary.

An article from made this strange claim, “Is online advertising working? We simply don’t know” (See:

An HN reader wrote, The only good ad is a dead one…With very few exceptions, especially in the consumer space, you won’t need advertising if you actually need something. …

3 years ago, I left my job as a .NET developer to start my own company.

It was successful (e.g. I maintained a 6-figure income). Then COVID hit. 😬 Now, I’m back on the market…

So, today I fired up HackerRank to study for interviews like a high school junior taking the SATs…

This is NOT a compliment of the state of software hiring in tech.

This is madness.

What happened while I was gone…? Why are we now studying for job interviews as if we’re about to complete a computer science problem set?

In all my years in the tech industry (MIT & Harvard startup 2002–2003, Microsoft 2004–2007. .NET freelancing 2008–2011. .NET full-time developer & lead at pure software companies 2012–2017), the ability to code or employ a novel algorithm in 30 minutes was never our urgent problem….

When did companies start to treat algorithms as THE make or break factor for software developers?

I get it. Algorithms…

IMPORTANT: These books are in the order I recommend reading them. You can read them in whatever order you want. But, to connect the dots fastest, I recommend reading them in the order I’ve indicated below.

Special note to Hacker News readers: I will soon be writing an article to de-bunk a common developer myth that digital advertising is a bubble because advertising doesn’t work. My experience shows that concern is invalid.

Screenshot from Facebook ads manager showing my ROAS of 14
Screenshot from Facebook ads manager showing my ROAS of 14
At the time of this writing, my Return On Ad Spend on one Facebook campaign is $14 for every $1 I spend. Even in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, 17 days of ads have generated $25,500 in sales on only $1,822.06 of ads.

Book #1: “Ogilvy on Advertising,” By David Ogilvy

“David Ogilvy was a British advertising tycoon, founder of Ogilvy & Mather, and known as the “Father of Advertising.” — Wikipedia

Ogilvy opened my eyes to this truth:

“The ads that make money look NOTHING like most of the ads you see in most magazines, TV, and digital platforms.” (Capitalization mine)

A picture from my stripe dashboard showing our sales during the 77 days from June 28th to September 13th
A picture from my stripe dashboard showing our sales during the 77 days from June 28th to September 13th
A picture from my stripe dashboard showing our sales during the 77 days from June 28th to September 13th

I hope my story will help you find ways to boost your business’ revenue despite 2020’s challenges.

Before the pandemic, my wife and I had an in-person conference planned for Las Vegas

We invite industry professionals from all over the world for 3 days of intense education.

Average ticket prices were $1722 after discounts, with 200 max capacity

I handle the marketing.

Things looked GREAT; from launching the first ad to sold-out took us only 63 days, unheard of in our industry

I used a combination of Facebook & Google ads to sell out the conference. (My Facebook and Google ad strategy is for another article.)

Then the pandemic KILLED our plans

We anticipated tens of thousands of dollars in refunds.

In just one 4-week period in July we paid out $44,000 in refunds 😬

And there was no end in sight.

We wondered…

Would we have to refund 100% of attendees?

Would attendees even wait until 2021 for a replacement event?

What if 2021 has new problems? How long do you stretch this out?

At many points, like so many of you, we weren’t even sure…

Ayo Ijidakinro

I’m a software engineer turned entrepreneur. Technology, SEO, and Marketing are my passions. Over the last 36-months my ads have made $1.36+ million in sales.

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