API vs APP: It’s No Contest

In this cloud stuffed world, API development offers significant security, simplicity, and productivity benefits over traditional app development. Bottom line, applications require servers and all the issues that go with managing servers, most importantly perhaps the app server security issues when handling sensitive customer and sales information. APIs on the other hand merely offer structured connections, and do not require (eventually) a server to run and manage sophisticated business ‘applications.’

When the cloud took over the business world, apps were the first stars. Dull APIs, sure, they were given new life too in the cloud, but until now have toiled in the shadows these past few years. Today they are ready to step out and claim the cloud for themselves; small business can affordably invest in API development for better customer services, transaction/payment management, employee management, just to name a few easy examples.

Why API over APP?

You already own the cloud services right now most likely. Meaning your core business systems can probably already do that.

Application development is annoying. Is an app a fundamental part of what you’re selling? If not and you just want to get in front of your customers in a way that’s convenient for everybody, time think API over App.

API is Faster, Cheaper, Better:

  • API in a full JS environment (MEAN, MERN, etc) mean faster speed in real time.
  • API development is by definition built on existing platforms, you are never developing from scratch (unless you want to and even then custom API development is much cheaper than custom App dev, usually.)
  • API is better security management than app dev, again in most instances. Just by the data and access validation requirements if nothing else. API usage allows for more flex server environments, and this definitely can make a dent in the monthly server costs vis a vis app servers.

APIs quick start for small business

Why APIs? Now you can securely and productively own your core business data. How many small businesses manage their mission critical business data in a 3rd party software system – accounting, CRM, inbox 😉 – and could be using APIs for better granularity in their core business information management in a secure fashion. APIs allow you to really truly own your own data, with the existing API platforms accessible, small business owners have the way forward to owning all your data.

When staring with APIs start at the core – Gsuite, Microsoft, Amazon – there are profitable API use cases available to you included in your monthly that you are not aware of. Search:

  1. Gsuite – Google APIs, Google Cloud SQL and Gsuite
  2. Microsoft – Microsoft Graph APIs, Microsoft 365, and Exchange Server
  3. Amazon – Amazon API gateway, internally managed IT, Amazon EC2

The API promised land, where App fades into the sunset

Why has APIs time truly come? 2 words: severless computing. Serverless computing is a simple API engine that seeks to connect existing web services. Serverless computing has a number of advantages for small business, both security and productivity wise. Once serverless computing gets to the mainstream (mid to late 2019?) apps will devolve as add ons provided by your core small business systems provider, whether Google, Microsoft, Amazon, etc.

APIs offer small business a chance to finally own their own data on the cloud, which with the advent of serverless computing, provides a low risk high reward investment for small businesses to leverage APIs for enterprise solutions at a small business level monthly.

Serverless Cloud Services to Investigate:

  • Amazon – Lambda
  • Google – Google Cloud Functions
  • Microsoft – Azure Serverless Computing

So Is App RIP?

No. Don’t fret app makers and app lovers. Everyday apps drive internal and external business systems worldwide, and will continue to do so. For the end user – employee and customer – there won’t be an apparent changes at all. It’s only when you pop open the hood and look underneath API engines provide a more powerful, more secure, and more manageable process for business growth and savings.

Zen and the art of small business data

At some point you have to take control of your business data. 3rd party cloud software costs can easily rival or surpass their standalone counterparts. Additionally, new tools coming on the business cloud software market make APIs look very attractive to small business currently. An investment in APIs through your pimary business systems provider – Google, Microsoft, Amazon – are a good way to begin to see what APIs can do for your business.

Wring More Sales From Your Gmail Inbox

Email Extractor https://emailextract.pro/ is a cheap and powerful program to quickly scan and capture email addresses in your Gmail inbox. A free version is available but pretty much worthless as it only allows for 500 records return. But the paid version is affordably priced at $29 per user annually, and $299 unlimited users annually:

Email Address Extractor

The app uses both the Gmail and Gdrive API which means you’re not running any of your information through a 3rd party server. The app works directly in Google Sheets as an Add-on. It’s a simple search based interface to collect and organize your Gmail emails into a simple spreadsheet in Gdrive. This also makes for pretty fast search processing. But expect to wait a few minutes when extracting larger inboxes the first time.

The multiple search filtering functions are what really makes this app powerful:

Advanced search filters:

  1. Email Address Fields
  2. Gmail Fields
  3. Subject Line
  4. Body keyword/phrase search
  5. Advanced Search (Accepts standard advanced search operators, eg From:Paypal)

The subsequent search results will appear in a Google Sheet containing two sheets, all emails and a cleaned list of unique emails only.

For those looking for a new marketing list affordably, this program is well worth the investment.




MYSQL 8 – Stable Meets Speed

Revamped by Oracle to compete against speedy NoSQL competitors, MySQL 8 is a significant step up in speed and performance, both ingress and egress. Here’s a recent testing done in January with MySQL 8 vs MySQL 5.7 from Several Nines, a DB infrastructure service company. (MySQL 5.7 is basically the standard cloud MySQL version, Google’s Cloud SQL product runs a flavor of MySQL 5.7)


There are tons of improvements that are present in MySQL 8.0. The benchmark results reveals that there has been an impressive improvement, not only on managing read workloads, but also on a high read/write workload comparing to MySQL 5.7.

But be aware the single instance installs of MySQL will need tweaking before it can beat 5.7, and MySQL 8 really starts to perform better when using multiple instances. For instance this Packt Pub test shows MySQL 8 pulls away at the 3 instance environment.


MySQL 8 has the power to be a real time back office operations engine, and has a lot of new features including security and access management tools.


And What About Data Privacy of Small Business on Facebook?

Who cares about the data of millions of consumers, perhaps more valuable still is the data Facebook harvests from small business every second. Adding a Facebook pixel to your site and pressing the Advanced button means you open up your site to basically complete monitoring by Facebook. What do they do exactly with the data they collect from the millions of small businesses? What can they do, what can’t they do? Small business should consider a Facebook audit and review their privacy settings.

The ultimate problem one can easily foresee with all this data Facebook has collected from millions of small business is, who cares if your company makes sure to do due diligance on the Facebook privacy settings, giving Facebook only the data you are comfortable sharing? Because literally thousands of other small businesses like yours have already given away their data. Facebook doesn’t really need your data to sell your competitor insights into your customer that you would like to keep to yourself.

But of course with the Facebook Insights tool you can glean in aggregate a lot of interesting market/industry wide business intelligence relevant to your business planning? 😉

Hyper targeting is the promised land for Facebook advertising, but the problem is, or the limit to Facebook’s ambitions in the end perhaps is that human beings really aren’t that complicated. Once your company figures out its core targets with all the usual tools – internal sales data, test marketing, site analytics, andFacebook’s Insights Tool also 😉 then maybe Facebook small business data won’t quite put small business out of business. But certainly as a small business owner of a Facebook marketing investing company you should spend a few minutes making sure your company’s Facebook privacy settings are where you want them.

Especially companies using Facebook Pixel, a popular remarketing strategy on Facebook, take a minute to protect your company’s information and make sure you are sharing valuable company site data in the way that you are comfortable with.


5 Ways To Profit From Cloud Right Now For SMB

The word of the day for SMB considering migrate to the cloud is iterate. In layman’s terms, baby steps. Don’t think you have to move all or even a large piece of your business systems to the clouds in one fell swoop. Rather, take cloud progress in small manageable bites that allow you and your staff to digest without any upset. For SMB decision makers here’s 5 areas where taking cloud steps now can make an immediate impact on your bottom line. Whether using Amazon, Microsoft, Google or another cloud provider these areas are good place to start your research for potential cloud migrations:

  1. Backup, Access, and Security: Due to the remote nature of cloud data storage and management, cloud services always come with default tools  for backup, access control, and security measures such as custom firewalls.
  2. Connect and Integrate: SMB typically has several software system investments and databases. Perhaps the most appealing for SMB looking at cloud, integrating your various software systems, and connecting overlapping data (customers, transactions, sales) can create significant productivity and cost savings.
  3. Real Time Reporting: SMB can get customized reports, and customized data in those reports to access levels you create. Take accounting, billing, payments, projects, and sales together in one report, and get the business intel you need for agile day to day business management.
  4. Smart & Easy Apps: All cloud services provide easy visual builder app tools to help connect to customers, teams, and projects. If your business processes are unique and hard to fit into traditional CRM or billing software systems, simple cloud apps can cheaply allow you to customize your business flow.
  5. Marketing, Sales, and Service: Cloud services allow for you to consolidate your marketing and sales, get better reporting, and provide tools and services for existing clients and customers.

A Profitable Rabbit Hole: Spending Time With Google Trends

Think a perennial search term has a secret seasonal fluctuation? Want to see what day of the week people search ‘fix my widget’? Want to make sure your messages are reaching the type of searchers you want when they’re searching? Oh, then you want Google Trends.


It only takes a few minutes of noodling around your industry’s common searches that fruitful insights can be discovered. For example, you can search the last 5 years of a search term to see long term and seasonal search volume fluctuation. Or going the other way you can start reviewing searches week to week to see that Tuesday is the day, or Friday. And more importantly that Tuesday is Product A type search heavy and Friday is product B type search heavy.

What’s more it’s easy to get started with Google Trends, just start plugging in your top company keywords into the search bar


After you enter a keyword term you get a broad overview of search trends around this keyword. And here is where you can do more advanced filter searching. You can filter your results by geography, by time, by demo categories, and by type of search.

It won’t take long as you explore these different search filters to yield interesting feedback on some of your core industry and company keywords.

Also, check out Google Trends Correlate, which provides broader industry search trends, which can be especially helpful when considering offering new products, or just for some quick down and dirty industry market research:



Google Trends is an excellent free tool that allows small business owners access to sophisticated search volume numbers and trends.

More Click Fraud Commotion, This Time From The Source

It’s pretty disheartening to see the click fraud coming not from nefarious types hacking away in exotic locales, but from the advertising platforms themselves.


Some observers suggested that Facebook’s inflation of video viewing figures affected not only advertisers but also media outlets, many of which made a misguided decision to “pivot” to video, in the expectation that this was how to get people’s attention.

But really this is just another story in a long line of them in the murky world of advertiser safeguards for online advertising. This one though probably should dishearten small to medium sized businesses more than most. Why? Because if you can’t trust the platform itself and you don’t have an enterprise level IT staff to help audit all your digital media, then really what can you do?

Well, a few things. Because as frustrating as this digital advertising world can be for SMB, it’s still a pretty integral one, and one that when working can provide significant cost/benefit advantages over other typical SMB marketing efforts. Consider these strategies to make sure each click/view/swipe you pay for is legitimate.

Multiple Analytics for 20/20 vision

Frequently SMB relies on one analytics package to measure their online efforts. Adding one closer to their actual server logs is typically an affordable and effective way to double check the effectiveness of your campaigns, as well as provide additional visitor information. For example, a company using Google Analytics can affordably augment traffic stats with a service like Statcounter to provide more in depth reporting on campaign effectiveness.

Eschew The Branding and Sell Something

If you are testing new platforms, new ad campaigns, new media, put a concrete offer and call to action around it. And yes connecting campaigns to measurable customer outcomes means sometimes you have to make an offer. A targeted offer of course in the case of your digital media buying strategy. But an offer nonetheless. The numbers that most advertising platforms give to their advertisers can look impressive. But at the end of the day a call to action with an offer is what SMB should ultimately boil down each of their platform’s campaigns and measure the results accordingly.

Use Your Analytics Monitoring Tools

Every Analytics package these days comes with email notification monitoring tools. Google Analytics for example makes it easy to create custom alerts in just a few minutes:


Creating custom alerts can help measure if campaigns don’t meet predefined thresholds for typical analytics measurements such as bounce rate, goal conversions, pages per visit, visitor path, etc.

Click fraud, whether an outside job or an inside one, is a real and continuing threat to SMB marketing budgets for the foreseeable future. SMB would be wise to get ahead of this issue with simple tech upgrades and a monitoring strategy.




Get A Quick and Easy Job Posting Template

Sometimes the right words just don’t come to the surface, especially when tasked with creating a job post. Google Hire, the company’s recruiting SaaS offering, has provided a template for posting a new job along with the typical sections that comprise a job posting. The template basically breaks down 4 primary categories of an effective job post

  1. Explain the core purpose of your company
  2. Outline the high-level daily functions of the position
  3. Detail the day-to-day job duties associated with the role
  4. Explain the qualifications or job requirements

Your job title requires some thought, use these tips:

Job titles are important, very important. Consider these two tips for writing great job titles:

  1. Avoid company jargon or acronyms
  2. Choose a job title that your top candidates would search for

Find the full blog post with link to Google Doc template.


Google Add-ons: Where To Start For Small Business

Michaes Subramanian helms Jivrus Technologies, an up and coming Google Partner development company and publisher of several popular Google Add-ons. He took a minute to discuss how Small Business on G Suite can productively explore the benefits of using Google Add-ons.

For a small business first approaching Google Add-ons, what types of Add-ons should they look at first?

Invoicing is one example of how Google Add-ons can help save time and labor for a small business. Creating forms and managing the day to day business communications is also an area where Add-ons are worth investigating. Add-ons work well with task management, building quotations, proposals, and estimates, as well as 3rd party integrations like analytics data, email marketing, and productivity apps like draw.io.

How do Add-ons work within the Gsuite domain backend? Can Add-ons from 3rd party providers be automatically updated? Can Add-ons be turned on/off for some users or organizations within the domain?

G Suite add-ons are written in Google Apps Script, Javascript, HTML, CSS and runs on G Suite platform. There are auto updates as new releases are made. No need to re-install. Yes, the domain admin has full control over the Add-ons.

How to make sure your Add-ons are secure when working with sensitive files, or files that are bound by compliance regulations?

Google makes it very transparent what permissions are required for each Add-on. So it’s pretty straightforward to review the permissions required to see if it fits within your industry’s compliance regulations. Also, make sure to accept only the trusted developers. As with any developer make sure the Add-on is still being updated, and that support services are available from the developer if needed.

Last Thoughts on Add-ons for small business owners?

Small and medium sized business can implement Google-Addons to improve efficiencies at a very low price. Add-ons function securely within your company’s G Suite domain. Additionally, your G Suite administrator has full access to configuration and permissions.  I am very bullish on the Google Add-ons market and believe it will flourish in the next 1 to 2 years.