Fire and spam

You do stuff, and stuff happens!

Show Notes:

California is burning, and Justin's got cousins were in the evacuation zone. So, they, their kids and their pets are all staying with him and it's a crowded house for a bit. That affected Justin's plan to use the trampoline daily but he's made good progress on Slider.

Mark got three premium screencasts and one free one published, did a bit of work on the Alchemist Camp site itself, and finally got some work done on Phoenix Igniter! He also survived a fairly persistent spammer attack. It's unclear what their goal was, but they created hundreds of accounts in a short periods of time. Many had odd usernames, such as URLs or a concatenation of obvious spam terms, but those names aren't visible to other users. Mark had to deal with it in real-time, harden the signup process enough to deter them and then do a bit of research to make sure the next bots have an even harder time.

Mark loves the new iPad & pencil! It's completely replaced his Wacom tablet and he's been doing some drawing drills and even putting a few sketches into his YT videos. He's also gotten back into using it to generate ideas about different topics daily (see link to "Altucher Idea Muscle"). One thing that's come out of this is a lot of offerings he could add to Alchemist Camp.

Nugget Bootcamp's stats have worked out to very round numbers. Out of 330 people who started, 30 finished. Of them, 3 bought. So it's about a 10% conversion from starting to finishing the mini-course and about 10% of those who finish buy the full course. The next step is to get feedback from successful students and add testimonials throughout the course.

Today's Topics include:

  • Fire
  • Spammers
  • iPads
  • Idea generation
  • Subscriptions vs One-off sales
  • Freemium as marketing
  • The content treadmill
  • Successful Nuggeteers


Mark's goals for next time

  • Get 5 screencasts recorded

Justin's goals for next time

  • Make a DB abstraction for the Roblox game (Slider)

Video version at

On Apple Podcasts at

Recorded on 2020-09-23



Sorry, no tried and true methods for handling active spammers attacking your site. I probably would have changed the name of the route as a first step and then possibly rate limit by IP address, or even have exponential backoff on the response rate: if an account has been created recently, then wait 1 second before responding, and then 2, then 4, then 8 seconds, etc. You could even go as far as generating random tokens on page load where the token is either included in the route to the new user signup, or is a required parameter to be submitted in the form. If the token isn't present then no new user will be created. Of course, that could probably be automated as well, but it's extra work that maybe they won't go into. Could even cause the token to only be used/required when more than XX accounts are created with a specified timeframe.

I like the idea generation (Idea Muscle) that Mark talked about and showed examples. I think that the various price points, while they may not be particularly practical, the process of considering the various things that possibly could go into products/services at those price points can help generate some good ideas on how to frame/promote/develop the products/services.

- Danilo Celic · 3 years ago

James Altucher's "Idea Muscle" practice has been super helpful for me, both in terms of coming up with content but also marketing and learning ideas.

The Twitter giveaway I'm doing right now is also a product of it and the question, "How can I get a lot of reach on Twitter, spread awareness of my book and not be spammy or annoying in the process?"

- Mark · 3 years ago