Category Archives: Uncategorized

Business Analysis: Earnest

Several months ago, I was interested in working for Earnest, a startup that offers lower-cost student loans for students who may not have great credit, but have high earnings potential.  I didn’t know anybody at the company, and didn’t want my resume to go into a black hole, so I instead wrote up product report on them, and gifted it to one of the product managers.

It didn’t work – they were looking for more technical PMs.  However, it got me a great conversation.  Several months have passed since then, so I’d like to share this with the world.

Here’s what I did:

  1. I conducted interviews with recent graduates and current students who are Earnest‘s target demographic:
    • I gathered data on brand awareness among current students.
    • I asked recent graduates to test out and walk me through their use of Earnest vs. their current loan servicer.
  2. Using the data I gathered along with my own research, I created a short product analysis of Earnest, highlighting its current challenges of offering competitive interest rates, providing usable tools for understanding debt and making payments, and expanding its brand awareness.
  3. I’ve outlined several proposed solutions to each of the challenges outlined above.

Continue reading Business Analysis: Earnest

Unexpected Interlude: Spam!

Suddenly this month, my popularity has skyrocketed – or at least, my popularity with spam bots has skyrocketed.  We are only halfway through November, and I’ve already gotten more spam comments than the last six months combined!
Spam over time

Thankfully, I’ve got the Akismet plugin for my website, so I don’t need to worry about a horde of bots posting spam comments about North Face jackets, website SEO, and other nonsensical babble.

I do wonder though, where did this mob of bots come from?  How did I trigger this onslaught of useless and irrelevant comments?

On a semi-related note, it would be awesome if I got a lot of spam comments on this post.  It would be most ironic.

Excerpts from Jonathan’s Dream Journal

For a year or so now, I’ve been making an half-assed attempt at lucid dreaming.  Done right, once you start dreaming, you know that you’re in a dream, and start controlling how the dream goes.  Once accomplished, you can fly in your dreams, avoid nightmares, and have a grand old time.  Once accomplished.  It’s harder than it sounds.

Two of the best ways of ‘practicing’ for lucid dreaming are keeping a dream journal to help you remember your dreams, and constantly doing ‘reality checks’ (e.g. pinching yourself) so you can sense when you start dreaming.

Unfortunately, my dreaming is… unpredictable.  I’ll go for months without dreaming, then have a week where I dream every night.  So I haven’t been able to get this lucid dreaming thing down yet.  But I’ve got a dream journal!  Usually, when I wake up from a dream, I will scramble to my phone, write down some notes on my dream, and proceed to go back to sleep.  An hour later, I have no recollection of my dream, but the dream journal remains.

Excerpts from my dream journal:

– At college party, get tired, go out and (lie down on a hill) to watch the stars, see shooting stars (for the first time in my life.  Shooting stars are amazing.  Friend with me.  Also, see a couple having sex outdoors.
– Went to jail, let out in a day, then put back in by Israel when crossing border (bitches)
– Terminal at Jakarta city, pan taken away
– At swimming pool, then sucked into an arcade game, shooting inside for points, competing against AI, hard to break out, lost phone and toy figurine
– Drop out of grad school, teary, ignored by counselors –> shooting rampage, made into a movie
– Virtual reality game in green fan in Philippines, everyone assigned a fake and “real” name, I’m Magdalene / Jesus Christ, unknown rules, people starting to form cults, somehow connected or disconnected from real world.

My dreams (or at least my dream notes) make no sense.

– The Lucid Dreaming subreddit is amazing.
– The beginner’s guide to lucid dreaming