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#472 - “Netflix of Restaurants” Side Hustle Earns $50,000/Year


A contest idea turns into a restaurant recommending algorithm, earning its creator an extra $50,000/year. 

Side Hustle School features a new story EVERY DAY of someone who started a hustle without quitting their job. You’ll learn how they got the idea, how they overcame challenges along the way, and what the results are.  Share: #SideHustleSchoolShow notes: SideHustleSchool.comTwitter: @chrisguillebeauInstagram: @193countries 

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
hello hello. What's up welcome back. This is critical of recital school every Show I'm telling true stories of people who create site hustles beside us, unless I define is an income generating project that you create without putting your day. Job is very different from the start up world. This is very different than driving for goober are participating in the so called gig economy. It's not about working harder. It's about working, smarter that you can do more of what's important to you and today story is all about algorithms. Now, as I say that I feel like, I have to provide a disclaimer, don't turn out, it's actually really good story. I say algorithms, I'm talking about things like the Amazon dot com recommendation algorithm. If you have ever checked out, purchase something on Amazon dot com which cannot be shocked. If you haven't you wanna see a bunch of other products have to you clicked up.
Just button? Is gonna say you know, other people who bought this also bought this other people who bought acts also about why this is a recommendation algorithm, and this is used across the internet, Amazon pioneered in lots of ways Netflix. When I talk about Netflix today, Netflix has a very powerful recommendation engine as well the more stuff you watch on Netflix, the more customize personalized recommendations you get, and this is a pretty significant industry that technology behind it drives Kinds of purchasing decisions Acacia today story is about the netflix of restaurants, aside hustle that allows its creator to earn an extra fifty thousand dollars a year at mid point. He also experience is a disaster when Google changes the way displaced results. He goes from doing really well to not doing so great at all. Does he manage recover and rebuild spoiler. Yes, he does, but how does he do it? I'll stay tuned in about speaking of recommendations, I have a book recommendation for you when you give it to you at the end of the episode
so don't go anywhere it. Let me say, quick L, a thank you to today. Sponsor support for this punk cast comes from progressive. What would you do With an extra eight hundred dollars by a plane ticket pay down yours, loan treat yourself to those shoes. You ve been eyeing with progressive. You can find out ex going into a restaurant without having at least some idea of what to expect it. Being the person that recommended a new restaurant is like playing with fire Save dot com and see how much you can be saving national average we'll car insurance savings by new customer surveyed who saved with progressive in twenty nineteen. Nobody likes into a restaurant without having at least some idea of what to expect it being there
in that recommended. A new restaurant is like playing with fire, it could go really wealth or it could also burn. You now is a risk that might then Haiti, a product manager based in Austin Texas, got tired of taking MIKE is a self described nerd at heart, who was well versed in application algorithms. So, when Netflix launched a contest, ass people to predict the rating there. Two and a half million customers would leave for a hundred million movies. Mike was entreat by the church. Netflix offered a prize of one million dollars. If you can beat their algorithm by at least ten percent.
Mike didn't know much about building a recommendation system. They didn't let that deterrent. Since Netflix it set up a forum for the competition. My found himself doing lots of research into how to begin building this kind of system. He saw immense benefit and watching people with more experienced in him discuss their problems and process. Although might didn't win that Netflix challenge, he did come up with a flexible algorithm. He could use for other occasions. This gave him his big idea if people could have restaurants recommended to them in the same way that Netflix recommends movies than the entire process and deliberate And would be simplified so MIKE spent a day building a simple prototype to test how his algorithm responded to the restaurants. He already knew he liked Anna. And he knew he wanted to go to a few tweaks here, adjustment there and while there you go photo fifty four ass. He called it was the life of the party. Studios algorithm was complex, but the concept with simple users would wait. A few restaurants in Thea would learn about their tastes and suggests.
Places they might like every new rating, that a user posted would help the system learn more about their preferences. The collaborative bring also allows users to refine their future recommendations. Mike's flourish of genius came when he additives. Sure that would apply ratings from restaurants to anywhere the user went so they'll be able to find a proper spot wherever they were traffic to the site. So he began to grow through word of mouth and recommendations, but my kept it completely non commercial for the first year. He knew that the easiest way to help video grow with through advertising, but he was initially hesitant to do it. Finally a year into his studio side? Hustle? He decided he was ready enough and he turned Google adsense a platform that allows nurse to earn money through targeted at placed on their site. That turned out to be a good decision, because it was almost immediately profitable. A year later, MIKE had made fifty thousand dollars over the next two years.
Nearly hit a hundred thousand dollars at one point. The traffic to video is growing so quickly tat. He considered quitting his day job and making his sight hustle his full time job. But then disaster struck when might look at his stats one he thought the sight had gone down given driving back to us in from a trip to Ohio and pull the car over to double check his web browser. It turned out that Google, updated their guidelines overnight and launched. An important update was changed how they showed website in their rankings. Traffic had declined by seventy five percent in one day and video was squashed. I can overripe Abaco MIKE relies he'd made a critical mistake. He had focused on a recommendation: algorithm depended on ratings, making, reviews and other
content secondary. Most of his restaurant listing pages only consisted of a name address phone number and rating. In other words, he published a lotta pages, but there wasn't a lot of value on others pages. This was a big learning opportunity for MIKE and his side oscillate venture and he took it ass, a scientist which is focused from s YO optimism and towards creating a better user experience. He realised that we optimize his sight just for the search engines than he would always be chasing Google and always running the risk of being crushed by unforeseen updates. But if he switched focus towards users, however, then maybe Google would chased him his web traffic might be down, but fifty fifty four was not out.
Google's new update, helped him ship that focused toward additional content in the form of hundreds of thousands of menus over ten nine images of five million reviews and lots of other data and a form of restaurant business hours, menu, price points and the addition of social media profiles. In short, he paid much more attention to content that would be helpful and interesting to visitors. This road to recovery took much, but he slowly and steadily built back fifty fifty forests Let's he hasn't recover to that point of earning almost a hundred thousand dollars in a single year, but he still hovering play played around fifty thousand dollars a year. The project remains a sight all my colleagues at the skills he's gain could have only come by doing something on his own, not through regular job. He stopped to one day be self employed, and one of his next step is to grow the thirty fifty foresight into a stand alone: phone application. You could say he's planning to branch out.
What are some so speaking of recommendations are set. I gotta put recommendation for you. I recently read a book and provided a blur for it, and endorsement finnish version came an the I started reading it again because I liked it so much actually went in so about the audio version, because I don't ever recommended book that I dont purchase myself like, even if I get it for you like to go and support the author. So without further ado, this book is never lose a customer again by Joey Common and the I don't turn any sale into lifelong loyalty in a hundred days.
I went to write an Amazon review. In addition to my blog- and I said something like you know, this is the book that I need to read myself. Basically because I'm gonna starting things, I'm not so good, always at maintaining thinks and as you might yes from the title subtitle it it's all about customer retention, it's all about doing a great job, your customers, so that they will continue to be your customers for a long time and enjoy is the master at this. He has actually been speaking on this topic for at least ten years, if not longer tightest, throw that up to you to anybody out there who has a customer centric business. If you want your business to grow and be more successful, so you're not always hustling for new customers, you're not dependent on something like a Google update, it's gonna take away. Seventy five percent, your business. You want to check out this book again. It's my joy common, never lose a customer again and ass. This story,
First of all congratulate my comment. Fantastic Elefante not only built this project, he also rebuilt it when a disaster struck a kind of proof that he wasn't just lucky like he may have been a little bit lucky they beginning with any awestruck, and I took a step back and reevaluated said: ok, what's next, you know how we're gonna improve after Google comes and takes where business always a good thing to be self reliant. Of course, that is a major value satisfy school, and I also think about this project in particular, it's kind of a good site vessel for someone who is really interested in data because for anything I just mentioned about customers with this kind. I take you never actually have to talk to anyone. You have no clients, you don't mean to interact with most of the people who come to the website. The way tat you can do. Our job with your project, is to improve the data and, if I go out, ok collectively went to these people want these people that are coming to the website. So it's not so much about any one. Customer client is about making the service better for a lot of people, always gotta. Think about your skills and your personality. We are trying to decide what kind of side us all to start
that's it for me today. Remember. Inspiration is good, but inspiration with action is so much better today shows include. Links to MIKE site will increase. That book recommendation. Anything else I talked about just gonna status will score that calm, slash for seven too. At Ispra episode, Seventy two up you'll join me again tomorrow. It's an honor to make a shovel and much more, is on the way plenty miss Cristel about four side of,
Transcript generated on 2020-08-05.