Organizing PDFs like eBooks

My gateway into books

I didn’t read a lot when I was young. Still I liked to look at pictures. My mom had this policy that when we were in a bookstore I could get one book for free. Mostly I read “How and Why Wonder” books about lost cities, treasures, electricity and what not.

Slowing getting into books

When I was about thirteen I actually read my first book. It was a book about computer hardware. It was very basic but I loved it. At the same time I started to build my own computer and my friends also did so. This was the time when I started to understand how a computer works. Rather fast, I bought and read my first book about programming in Turbo Pascal. And I remember my first program which was basically a text adventure.

I need to know

Then my reading habits stalled for a while. I didn’t read many books but mostly read online tutorials about photoshop and html. Still I wanted to learn more and more.

The next boost came when I was 18. Somehow I felt that now I can read books which are meant for adults. I started to read tons of books about programming, software development and project management. Then I started to read books about personal development and philosophy. When I entered college my interests went more into economics and about two years in I started my 111 books challenge and read since then. Nowadays I read about 40 – 70 books a year.

The magic of ebooks

When I started working I didn’t want to carry books around. Thus, I started using ebooks with the Kindle and it was pretty nifty. Slowly, I didn’t buy hard copies anymore and just read on my kindle, later on my kindle app.

PDFs and ebooks

Today, I read most of my books with amazon’s cloud reader which is an online kindle app. The great thing about it is that it is easy to use, isn’t resource intensive and you can mark & leave notes. I love this.

Why I was writing scientific papers I worked a ton with pdfs and this feature would have been great. Then I worked with pen & paper.

Is there are cloud reader for pdfs?

I looked for a kind of cloud reader for pdfs because I started to work more with pdfs but there isn’t any satisfying solution, so far. The beauty about the cloud reader is that it is organized and you can get your notes pretty easy. Working with mac preview and notes / marks doesn’t feel so good.

Here’s the deal. Build an online book reader which accepts formats like amazon ebooks, epub and pdfs. These files are hosted on your platform and can be synced to a mobile app. All notes and marks are organized by your software. Profit.

Notes from How to Write A Good Advertisement


  1.  Get attention
  2.  Show People an advantage
  3.  Prove it
  4.  Persuade people to grasp this advantage
  5.  Ask for action

Get Attention

  • The reader buys something for news, entertainment or instruction so you got to deliver the same
  • An ad should be easier to read than to skip“ – awesome sentence. If you think about it is in the headline. The reader needs to think that he will miss out if he doesn’t read your ad.
  • The headline must offer a reward for reading
  • Two types of headlines:
    • a) how the reader can save, gain or accomplish something
    • b) how the reader can avoid risks, worries, losses, etc. aka. consumer benefits

Elements of a great headline:

  •   secret / simple / hidden
  •  little mistake / little something
  •   by me / my
  •   advice / how to
  •   egoistic interests / who else?
  •   new / discovery / ever / never
  •   exact numbers / specific information
  •   or your money back / or pay
  •   almost / some
  •   colloquialisms
  •   which of these? / any of these / such
  •   Paradoxes
  •   thousands / 70% of people / 2 out of 3 woman / an other
  •   you / your / yourself
  •   label interests: town, state, country
  •   today, this year, now
  •   underdog
  •   here
  •   before – after
  •   stopper: THROW AWAY, BUY NO
  •   avoid brand name
  •   what will you be? how will people view me?
  •   suppose / would have / ought
  •   but / only / limited
  •   FREE

Here’s an other great headline:

Profits that lie hidden in your farm


  •  don’t perfectly balance it
  •  pictures of people (woman, young child, baby for women; man for men), children, animals
  • bigger and less pictures
  • show product in use
  • shouldn’t look like an ad, e.g. Ogilvy’s How to create advertisement that sells

Show people an advantage

  •  What will your product do for me? aka. WIIFM: What is in for me?
  •  Sell an experience or even better an identity
  •  Imagine how people will receive your ad
  •  „advertising which does not get under this epidermis of position or circumstance, which does not get down to the most basic human appeals and motivations, misses a lot of people—and sales.
  •  Don’t neglect your first paragraph: easy to read, relate to the headline

Prove it

  •  Dr. Charles M. Edwards „The more facts you tell, the more you sell
  • People need and want facts as reasons and excuses for buying to justify to themselves (and to others) a decision which may be based on their emotions alone => „Nobody wants to be a fool.“
  • Emotions form beliefs which are later rationalized
  • „We tend to believe what arouses our desires, our fears, and our other emotions… Once a belief has been established in this way, logic and reasoning may be used to support it.“
  1.  Belief is a matter of feeling and emotion rather than of reason.
  2. The truth is not a primary factor in determining belief.
  3. Belief is a personal matter, a fabric of personal experiences.
  4. Belief has also a social component to be accounted for by the need for conformity with one’s fellows and especially with those in authority.
  5. Belief is dependent upon desire—we believe what we want to believe.
  •  Think and do research long enough before writing
  •  Every product has unexplored angles. Look long enough and you will find attributes which are unique
  •  Incorporate „old“ known facts
  •  These include:
    •  Product details
    •  Test
    •  Expert evidence
    •  Testimonials: don’t edit them too much, keep the natural sound
    •  Awards
    •  Sales
    •  Reseller
    •  Patents
    •  Reputation
    •  Speed
    •  Well-known users
    •  Demonstrations
  •  Keep the facts believable even if they aren’t
  •  Dramatize them
  •  Be specific
  •  Give a reason for price cuts

Persuade people to grasp this advantage

  •  picture benefits in the daily lives
  •  how to get it
  •  sum up story
  •  write for the people who are hardest to sell to

Ask for action

„If a salesman neglects to make a good close he can make another call. But a “poor-closing” or a “nonclosing” advertisement makes an ineffective visit to every one of its prospects.“

  • a) go  to your dealer + why + benefits
  • b) „Do-something“: checklists, tests, questionnaires
  • c) Direct response: use hooks, time limit, limited supply, price going up (on exact date), empathize loss / gain, use guarantees

Be specific, keep it simple and easy

When Gatti-Casazza, the famous opera impresario, asked the composer Verdi for advice regarding the duties of an impresario, Verdi told him: “Read most attentively the reports of the box office. These, whether you like it or not, are the only documents which measure success or failure and they admit of no argument and represent not mere opinion but fact. If the public comes, the object is attained; if not—no! The theater is intended to be full and not empty. That’s something you must always remember.”

How long copy should your copy be

Use vivid present tense, singular instead of plural. Make it al- ready happen to him as he reads. Jim Young once said, “To get a man to do a thing, let him see himself doing it.” For example, from an airline advertisement: “You left the East Coast at one o’clock after an excellent lunch. Now, stretched out in a big, cushioned easy chair, you watch cloud patterns shift on the green and gold checker- board of the farmland below.”

These are just a few ideas on how to let look a copy shorter:

  1. Paragraphs—Short. Indented, not flush. Double lead between each. Occasionally centered. Judicious use of italics, caps, bold face, or oversize initials.
  2.  Copy blocks—Not too wide for proper eye range in relation to type size. Vary widths. Graduation of type size; setting the opening paragraphs in a larger size, then dropping to smaller.
  3. Subheads—Frequent and bold enough to break up any too formidable appearance of body matter; but not enough to distract reader from sequential flow of copy story.
  4. Specification matter—Product specifications, or similar technical details, may sometimes be set in smaller type, boxed. They are there for those who want to know them; but they do not interfere with more attractive display of the more highly motivated copy.

As Gilbert K. Chesterton said: “There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person.”

Yet many advertisements virtually say little more than “Hello— Our product is wonderful—Good-by.”

Ask customers why the brought and use this sales angle in your copy

Don’t underestimate subheads

  • after 2 – 4 paragraphs
  • Use questions
  • Plan them from the start

How to get more inquiries

  •  offer something free which is useful
  •  Refer to your freebie specifically, e.g. page 27 will explain …
  •  Feature your freebie
  •  Write about privacy concerns

How to get less

  •   provide qualifying facts: costs, requirements, etc
  •   small charge

Do copy appeals have a sex?

  •   women are harder to sell
  •   men are more concerned about the future and generalities
  •   sell women on the immediate, imminent and specific


Interesting and instructive split-run tests

  •  use appeal to attractiveness to the other sex if possible
  •  busy layouts work better
  •  choice increases the conversion: which of these?
  •  appeal to nostalgic memories
  •  aim for broader appeal

The hard-boiled attitude – and how to acquire it

  •   Each line must contribute toward profit
  •   The sole purpose if advertising is to make profit not getting awards or compliments
  •   Learn what doesn’t work
  •   Your copy should sell alone; try to get as near as possible
  •   Doubt your copy and criticize it hard

Random observations

  •  include both the gain the reader gets from your product and the loss he gets if he doesn’t buy
  •  sometimes high confidence, i.e. expecting people to buy will work
  •  People want to experience good feelings again
  •  Let the reader dream first and then do
  •  Start small
  •  Write a classified ad even if is for your old lamp
  •  „Use words to paint a picture“
  •  Emotions work: love or hate


Pretty awesome book. I can recommend to grab a copy and work through it.

How to get catchy & good business names ideas

Finding cool company names isn’t an easy task. Gladly, there are different techniques which help you finding business names ideas.

Learn about your competition

It doesn’t really matter which other techniques you use learning about your competition is always valuable. Start googling, use yelp, etc. Write down all the names you can find and start categorizing them. I will use dog groom as an example. Let’s say we search dog groomers in NYC.  I looked up the first 30 entries in yelp.

[table]Wordplays, Location, Personal, Doghouse, Translation, Emotional
The Pawlour,Hell’s Kitchen Groom Room,My Two Dogs,Downtown Doghouse,Le Pitou I,Animal Love Care
Pup Culture,Downtown Doghouse,Walter’s Pet Styles,Lic Doghouse,,
Groomingdales,New York Dog Spa & Hotel,Reme’s Oggi Pets,,,
The Salty Paw,Town House Grooming & Pet Supplies,Marie’s Pet Grooming,,,
Doogie Dearest,NY Puppy Club,Meeka’s Pet Grooming,,,
A Cut Above Grooming Salon,,Rocco And Jezebel for Pets,,,
Doggie Style Pet Grooming,,,,
Perfect Paws,,,,
Happy Paws,,,,
The Shaggy Dog,,,,
Calling All Paws,,,,
Doggy Stylez Grooming,,,,
Rapawzel Dog Groomer,,,,
D is for Doggy,,,,
Bark Slope Salon,,,,[/table]

You can see a lot of wordplays and some location- and personal-related names. You can orient your name on your findings.

Spelling & pronunciation & easy to remember

Whatever company name you choose it has to have three attributes. The first one is easy to remember. It doesn’t matter how great and clever or cool your business name is if nobody can remember it. A good test is to take your top 5 – 20 business names ideas and write them on a paper. Give this paper to a friend or customer or whatever and let them read it for a short time. After a few minutes you ask which name they remembered.

The second most important attribute is spelling or pronunciation depending on your channel. It’s about translating the idea of a name into reality. Let’s say you got an non-internet business then pronunciation should be your second highest priority. People will talk with each other and they will talk about businesses they loved. If they can’t pronounce your name because it is in French, Latin or Zulu you’ve lost. Same thing applies here. Let people pronounce your name and check which one is the easiest to pronounce.

The third attribute is spelling. It’s basically the same as pronunciation but for the internet / sms. Also people may want to look up your business online so spelling is essential. A simple is rule is that if you can’t write your own name without looking it up then it’s to complicated. An other example are those startup names from about 2 – 4 years ago like Flickr, Twttr (now Twitter), etc. Horrible to write but twitter did it right with renaming their service.

Steal it

If you are just lazy there’s one simple trick to cool company names but it doesn’t work for every industry. It works the best for local businesses. Let’s continue with our dog groomers example. You want to open your shop in NYC but you can’t come up with a name. Easy. Go to yelp and look for dog groomers in other cities which are away far enough. For NYC: Boston, LA, Denver, etc. could be great locations to check out. Often you can copy the name directly or slightly adapt it.

Phonological loop Part I: Rhymes

A real great tool is the phonological loop. It’s explained in detail in the video below.

The main idea is that there is a memory function in your brain that starts repeating things over and over. Earworms or brainworms, i.e. catchy songs are a great example of this. A similar effect can be generated by using rhymes in your name. In the dog grooming example. Here are some ideas: Booming Dog Grooming, Humor Dog Groomer, Blooming Dog Grooming, etc. It’s easy and you can start with different words, just look in a thesaurus and brainstorm a bit.

Phonological loop Part II: Alliterations

The second technique for creating catchy names is using alliterations, i.e. using the same starting letter. You can look up words with the same letter in a dictionary without problems. Again examples: Dave’s Dog Dojo or Grooming Grove.

Attribute + product / service

This techniques works well for more product-oriented or result-orientied businesses. Some examples are Quickbooks (quick + bookkeeping), rapidshare (rapid + sharing), simplyhired (simple + getting hired), soundcloud (sound + in the cloud), etc. These are pretty good names because they are easy to remember and they can be powerful because you can advertise your USP directly in your name. For the dog grooming examples this could be names like BeautifulDog or HappyPuppy or easyGrooming.

One word

The last one becomes more popular in the moment. The idea is to use just one common word and work with it. Examples are Apple, Simple or Box. To get these names off the ground however is really hard and I wouldn’t recommend it if you don’t have experience in brand building and/or a big budget. For the dog grooming example this could be Groomers or Dogs.