The Tech Assassin - Norio De Sousa

Here’s Why You Want To Hire A Full-Stack Developer For Your Marketing Automations

I’m doing some marketing automation for Adam, a new client of mine. He needs to use Sendy for sending his emails because it’s cost-effective for sending in bulk.

He also needs some fancy stuff to happen when people subscribe to his list, and when they click or open his emails.

Thing is with Sendy, is that it doesn’t do much (if any) marketing automation.

Enter The Tech Assassin.

The Catch: You Can’t Just Edit Sendy

The number 1 rule of adding functionality to software you don’t control is that you don’t want the program to break when it gets updated.

In other words, I can’t just go and add some features to Sendy’s core code. Because, if I do, and Adam then needs to update the software because of a security update, then he loses the work I did.


Here Are The Triggers We Need:

Now in this case, we need certain things to happen when…

  1. Someone subscribes to a list.
  2. Someone opens an email.
  3. Someone clicks a link.

The first one is supported in Sendy but not really. Sendy actually supports Zapier. But I can trick Sendy into thinking that my new app IS Zapier, by just adding some stuff to the database.

So far, so good. No breaking the original package. Adam can update any time he likes.

Ruh-Roh! Looks Like We Might Have To Break Sendy

Next up, are the opens and clicks.

Sendy supports simple open and click tracking. If you open an email, a little bit of info is sent back to Sendy and it updates a counter in the database.

Same goes for clicks.

But Sendy does NOT support triggering anything else for clicks or opens.

There’s just no trigger and no database hack I can use.

This is where a “normal” developer is screwed and has to do something dangerous, like modify core code. Or ask his client to NEVER update his software, ever. (Which is dumb.)

The Solution: Hire A Full-Stack Developer

Well it’s a good thing I know the full stack.

(SIDEBAR: A full stack developer understands—and works on—everything from HTML and CSS down to the very server the app is running on.)

So now I can tell our trusty web server (Nginx, in this case) that if it gets any requests to track an “open” or a “click”, to rather send those requests to this other program.

The “other program” is my new app that I’m building for Adam. And it will grab that info, trigger some automations, and then hand things back over to Sendy.

Sendy won’t know the difference but my client will. He’ll have bad-ass email marketing automation without spending thousands of dollars on hosted email apps.

BOOM! (you know where to find me)

3 Kinds of Apps You Can Profit From In 60 Days

The biggest mistake I see my clients making is choosing the wrong kind of app to build. See—I’m a big fan of getting new apps to market FAST because validating new apps quickly lets you profit or pivot sooner.

So if you have an idea for an app but you’re not sure how to build it and get it to market FAST, then here are 3 types of apps that’ll let you do exactly that.

1. A “normal” web app.

This is your typical app that you fire up in your browser. There’s a lot you can do with these babies but the key benefits are…

  • There’s nothing to install. Once someone has bought, just send them a login and they’re good to go.
  • All the heavy lifting is done on your server which means your clients’ computers don’t need to be fast or anything.
  • Upgrades happen automatically. No begging people to upgrade for their own security. If you upgrade the app, everyone gets the new version instantly.
  • All your code is safe and sound on your servers which means it can’t be “jail breaked” like a normal app can.

The next 2 types of apps actually have all the same benefits as a “normal web app” but they have a few extra benefits as well…

2. A “mobile” web app.

This works just like a “normal” web app except it “looks” more like a phone app.

The major benefits to doing it this way are:

  • Your app runs on Android *and* Apple without paying to write code for 2 different platforms
  • These apps are way faster to build than “normal” phone apps and work across a wider array of devices.

In both cases, that means you can validate your idea faster and cheaper than you could with a “normal” phone app.

3. A Plugin as a Service (PaaS instead of SaaS)

So this is a plugin that you’d install on WordPress but that depends on a server somewhere to do the heavy lifting.

The TinyPNG plugin works like this. Every time you upload an image, your WordPress website sends the image to which squishes it. Once it’s squished, your website gets the image back again and saves a local copy.

Another example is a plugin called “Scribe” that also works like this. Every article you publish gets run through their server to check for SEO opportunities and then you get that info back—right in WordPress— so you can use it immediately and at the right time.

The benefit of this kind of app are:

  • It’s easy to install and use and has a huge marketplace (like any other WordPress plugin) but it also…
  • Stops people from stealing your code and it…
  • Stops folks from using your idea without paying for it.

And the reason why this is more secure is because the “important” code lives on your server where sneaky thieves (on a trial, for example) can’t touch it.

And that means that you get an extra “lead” ahead of your competition. They’ll have to start from scratch, replicating your plugin, while you dig your moat deeper by adding new features and fixing more bugs. By the time they catch up with your original app, you’re way ahead of them in other ways.

So… how do you launch one of these in 60-90 days?

Talk to me. We’ll get on a strategy call to see what it’ll take to launch your idea in just 60-90 days.

Book your (free) strategy call here:

4 Ways Zapier Can Cripple Your Funnel

Zapier is pretty good if your funnel is pretty “basic” and uses the same apps and services everyone else uses. It’s solid and it’ll keep ticking along.

But if you have an advanced or “unique” funnel?…

Then there are at least 4 ways that Zapier could destroy your funnel (and your profits)…

1. Every time your “zap” runs, you lose a “task”. Don’t have enough “tasks” for a sudden rush of traffic to your funnel? Bye bye profits.

2. Zapier only supports some apps and services. If Zapier doesn’t support something you use… tough luck. Your business stalls.

3. You’re limited to the features that Zapier decides to support. Let me explain…

Let’s say Zapier supports InfusionSoft but they don’t support the specific trigger called “task notifications”. And let’s say you want to let people in your funnel fill out a form to get one of your sales people to call them back.

In this scenario, you can’t automatically send a text-message to your sales people when there’s a task notification in InfusionSoft. Which means they don’t follow up on time. Which means you lose profits.

4. Zapier won’t just build something because you asked for it. They want to build stuff that *everyone* wants. So you could ask for a feature and your business (and your profits) will have to wait weeks, months or years before you can use that specific feature. And it might never get built at all.

If you have an advanced funnel, you should be using custom-built automations made for your EXACT funnel. Don’t compromise.

And if that sounds like you, then book a call with me and let’s talk about your funnel. No strings, no cost. And if you’re a good fit, I’ll let you know you can work with me.

Book your call here:

How To TRACK Your Survey Funnel To The Bank

I’ve got a client who was struggling to track this survey funnel:

survey > prescription > salespage > upsell > upsell > upsell > thank you

He was using SamCart with ConversionFly but what I’m about to teach you applies to any shopping cart and any tracking software.

The key to tracking a funnel like this is…

You first need to get this to work:

salespage > upsell > thank you


Because for a simple funnel like this, both companies (SamCart and ConversionFly) will be obligated to help you get this working. It’s their job.

Once that’s tracking properly, then you go back and add in your upsells, 1 by 1, until they’re all tracking.

salespage > upsell > upsell > upsell > thank you

Then add in the survey. It’s got to be the last step because most software out there just isn’t designed for survey funnels. So you isolate it from everything else and get it working last.

Don’t have time to muck around with this stuff? That’s where I come in.

Click the link below to book a call with me to see if we can solve your survey funnel woes together.

Book a call.

How To Save Your Web App From A Hulk Smash

You pick up your phone.

The screen turns on. You’ve got 10% battery left.

Your thumb swipes down the fingerprint reader. The phone unlocks.

And then reboots. WTF?

Your face turns red. Your grip tightens around your phone.

You turn the side of your body to the nearest wall and friggin’ launch the piece of shit in your hand at the wall.


The screen is shattered.

Little bits of phone everywhere.

The fingerprint reader balances on the shoulder of your shirt.

And you have no phone. Time to find $400-$600 to buy a new one.

That’s the part that sucks. And that’s the only reason why I’ve never done it but I’ve imagined the hell out of doing it.

But there’s a simple fix to this little issue. Continue reading

1 Thing Stopping You From Launching Your Big Idea

Jon Morrow ( Founder) launched a course for writers a little while back. It cost $2,000 and even though I really wanted it, I let it pass by because I just couldn’t justify the cost.

Fast forward a month or so to this week and I’m still nowhere nearer to being a great blogger than I was before.

And, luckily, some of the students in his course were too lazy to put any effort in. So he kicked them out and re-opened the course to everyone on his waiting list.

This time, I still couldn’t really justify the cost. At least I thought so. So I ignored it for a day or 2. Continue reading

How To Make a Delicious Cup of Web App

A few weeks back I bought 2 different bags of coffee beans. Plus I already had a third bag of coffee beans in the house. So in total there were 3 different kinds of coffee in my house.


Because I was looking for a specific flavour. Something sweet and fruity and light. And I was looking for that because I was recently in Cape Town on holiday and had the most amazing pour-over coffee at a place called Rosetta. It was just the best thing I’ve ever tasted.

So back home, I tried to recreate what I tasted in Cape Town.

I bought the right kind of beans (Thirikwa AB, wet process, single origin, light roast).

Used the right kind of method (pour-over using a ceramic single-cup dripper from Hario).

Followed the instructions to a “T” and can you guess what happened? Continue reading

Why Most “Custom” WordPress Themes Suck (and How to Get a Great One)

I’ve built some BIG themes and some teeny ones. And I can say with no reservation that getting a theme custom-developed is pretty much a stupid idea.

Why? Because it’s a ton of work and it’ll cost you a small fortune when you get the same thing (or very close to it) by using an existing theme and just tweaking it a bit.

Plus you end up missing out on great features that a professional, premium theme usually includes.

For example, most premium themes have some easy way to add in tracking codes. Which means you save yourself from installing yet another plugin.

And a lot of premium themes have good SEO built right in. A custom theme normally won’t have that unless you pay extra to add it in.

So what do you when you want a custom look but without starting from scratch? (And without losing bad-ass features that come with premium themes?) Continue reading

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