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My name is Marco


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I am an Entreprenuer based in Sydney AUSTRALIA. Below is a snapshot of my life

  • 1978


    The start of my awesome life. Was born in Baclieu, Vietnam.

  • 1978-1987

    Lived in Malaysia and Italy

    Parents fled Vietnam as refugees a few months after I was born. Our family spent time in Malaysia before being given the opportunity to live in Italy.

  • 1987

    Moved to Australia

    Our family moved to Australia.

  • 1996


    Completed Year 12 and was accepted to UTS studying Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.) majoring in Telecommunications Engineering

  • 1997


    Met the love of my life

  • 1998-1999

  • 2002


    Graduated from Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.)

  • 1999-2003

    IT Support Officer @ RTA

    Was originally employed by Unisys for a 3 month contract. It turned out to be a 4 year contract.

  • 2004

    Graduated from Masters

    Completed Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) in Telecommunications Networks

  • 2003-2004

    Network Project Manager @ RTA

    Project Management of various network project to specify, install, configure and commission new systems and services for the Roads and Traffic Authority

  • 2004-2005

    Senior Network Officer @ ABC

    A technical role to provide support and maintain voice and data network for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation

  • 1-2006


    Married to my beautiful wife Angela.

  • 2005-2006

    Infrastructure and Telecoms Engineer @ Lilly

    Managed the voice, voicemail, data – (routers, switches, VPN, firewalls), fax, teleconferencing, web conferencing, mobile phones, wireless and blackberry services and provided Tier Support for Australia and New Zealand

  • 2-2006

    First company Advertise Me

    Started my first company. Came up with an idea whilst attending a course and soon after launched Advertise Me. Advertise Me is a digital advertising company that primarily focused on the digital signage industry. The company now look at all that is digital. This includes custom tools, mobile applications, advertising so much more. I've learnt so much since the inception of this company. Visit Advertise Me

  • 6-2007

    First Blog Digital Signage Blog

    Since Advertise Me was specialing in the Digital Signage industry, I came across the opportunity to start the Digital Signage Blog where we share our case studies, our thoughts and opinions about the digital signage industry. This is where I started to learn about blogging. Read more

  • 11-2007


    My son Jayden entered into this world.

  • 8-2011


    My daughter Olivia joined our family. Our OJAM (Olivia Jayden Angela Marco) clan is complete.

  • 5-2012

    Launched Squeak

    Whilst working on a number of projects for Advertise Me we saw an opportunity in the mobile space to create an exciting app that helps consumers shop and find great sales based on their interests. Visit Squeak

  • 9-2012

    Launched StinkyThePig

    Helped started a cool and funky brand called StinkyThePig. I turned a friend's idea into an actual product.

  • 6-2015

    Launched Social Wall

    Our parent company Advertise Me launched a new product and website called Social Wall. The idea with this product started as we saw a need to be able to display social media posts on digital screens. Social Wall is a simple and easy to use tool to aggregate and display social media posts on any digital device. Read more

  • 1-1-2017

    Launched this website

    Decided to start my own personal blog and here we are.


  • Loves to execute ideas and turn ideas into reality

  • Specialties: Information Technology, Project Management, Digital Apps, Startups, Affiliate Marketing

  • Holds a Masters Degree in Telecommunications Engineering

  • Born in Vietnam, lived in Italy and currently residing in Australia

  • Father of two beautiful children

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I’ve done it. You’ve probably done it. We’ve all done it! I’m talking about making spelling mistakes in an email, websites or any text-based chats.  I recently noticed (on the 26th Feb 2018) a spelling mistake on the web version of the Instagram app ( and was quite surprised to have discovered this. The word “someone” was incorrectly spelt as “somone”.  I would have assumed someone from their team would have discovered this before publishing the App because the typo is blatantly obvious (for me). In any case, I wanted to do the right thing and report this spelling mistake to Instagram but I didn’t realise how hard it is to contact someone from Instagram.


Firstly, let me show you the spelling mistake:

Marco Tran - Instagram Spelling Mistake Somone

This seems to happen only when you have no activity on your posts ie, brand new accounts and when logged in via the Web browser. When logged in via the Mobile app there is no spelling mistake so the error seems to be related to the web app.

Marco Tran - Instagram Spelling Mistake Mobile App

To replicate the issue on the web app simply follow these steps:

  1. Use a web browser and create a new Instagram account
  2. Login to the new account
  3. Click on the Heart Icon
  4. You will see the message



I found that reporting the issue to Instagram is like finding a needle in a haystack. On the Instagram website there isn’t a process to report this type of issue.  There is a help centre if you click on the Support link in the footer:

Marco Tran - Instagram Spelling Mistake Somone Support Footer

The support link redirects you to this page

Marco Tran - Instagram Spelling Mistake Somone Help centre


I tried finding out if there was a way to report the spelling mistake on this Help Centre but there wasn’t anything useful. I even tried searching for “reporting spelling mistake to someone”. Marco Tran - Instagram Spelling Mistake Somone Help Search

I thought that maybe I needed to spell someone differently so I tried “reporting spelling mistake to somone”:


Marco Tran - Instagram Spelling Mistake Somone Help Search 2

It didn’t make a difference as there were no results.

The next step I tried was creating a post on Instagram and tagging the @instagram account but didn’t get any responses:

Hi @instagram,

Just wanted to report a spelling issue to “somone” on your team. I noticed this when creating a new account.
Hope someone will fix it soon. Don’t worry, I make typos all the time.

From @marco.tran

P.S: wonder if you will actually read or reply to this but let me know if it was intentional or not.
P.S.S: If there’s a bounty hunt for this then do I win something 😀

Marco Tran - Instagram Spelling Mistake Somone Instagram Post

I didn’t get any responses from this Instagram post. So I decided to use Facebook Chat and send a message to Instagram. The message still hasn’t been seen by Instagram:

Marco Tran - Instagram Spelling Mistake Somone Facebook Chat

I thought that maybe there was someone in my LinkedIn network that could share and help report the issue and someone in my network did notice this post and reshared it to someone who worked in Instagram but maybe they reported it… or maybe they didn’t – who knows. I also tried reporting it to someone who was on my 2nd level LinkedIn connection but they didn’t respond either.

Marco Tran - Instagram Spelling Mistake LinkedIn

I then decided to be a bit cheeky and tried following the Instagram account “somone”. I tried messaging them and asked them if they could like or comment on one of my posts so as per the Instagram instructions and I’m still waiting for their response. I’m thinking that maybe the “somone” account is not even active as there were no posts on this account and there is no one following them. If anyone owns this account, please login to Instagram and contact me. That was my last attempt to do something about this spelling error and just left it for now and decided to track the progress to see when it actually gets fixed. I’ll be tracking this progress via this blog post.


It has been twelve days since I discovered the spelling mistake and it still hasn’t been fixed. I thought I’d see if there were any other ways of contacting Instagram and accidentally stumbled across a menu option in the actual Windows Instagram App. There was a “Report a Problem” option so I clicked on that:

Marco Tran - Instagram Spelling Mistake Somone Report a problem

I decided to press on the General Feedback option as that seemed the most appropriate:

Marco Tran - Instagram Spelling Mistake Somone Report a Problem General Feedback

I sent them this message:

Hi there,

There seems to be a spelling mistake when you login to Instagram via the Web browser for new accounts. The word someone is spelt as “somone” when you click on the Heart Icon. Please have a look at this Instagram post: https://www.instagram/p/BfpuRoJgNgb/

Just tought (yes I spelt it wrong… see what I mean) I’d report it here and see if it will get fixed. Please let me know when it does as I’m writing an article on my website about this spelling error. The article is title HOW TO REPORT A SPELLING MISTAKE TO INSTAGRAM – IS IT GOING TO GET FIXED?

Marco Tran - Instagram Spelling Mistake Somone Report a problem message

I pressed the send button without checking the spelling…haha. Now I’m waiting for a reply, lets see what happens.



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Vegan Breakfast from Woolworths Homebrand

Vegan Breakfast from Woolworths Homebrand

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and as a Vegan sometimes you’re limited to what you can have. What I’ve been having is cereal with Soy Milk, Traditional Muesli and a banana. It’s a cheap and very healthy meal. I sometimes even have it for lunch.

Marco Tran - Woolworths Homebrand - Healthy Breakfast

Here’s the cost breakdown:

MAX CHARGE – $3.50
Traditional Muesli – $2.55
Soy Milk – $1.10
Banana – $0.30

The total cost is $7.45 and it should last about 2 weeks besides the banana. Therefore the total cost without the banana is ONLY $7.15. Now that’s cheap considering that most breakfast meals at food outlets charge around $5 for a small muffin or even like an avocado sandwich. Maybe the next time you think about what you’re going to have for breakfast, remember this post.

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Starting my Vegan Journey

This month is the start of my Vegan journey. I’ve previously already started cutting down on eating egg and dairy. My son has been Vegan since he was born as he has dairy and egg allergies. Since he was born and knowing he couldn’t eat egg and dairy I also decided to partake in his eating regime but now I’m up to a stage where I decided to commit myself by not consuming dairy and egg. I previously have been eating cakes, pizza’s and chocolates which I found it difficult to give up, however with some determination it should get easier.

I even purchased some Plant Based Protein Powder to help with my protein intake after working out at the gym. Here’s a photo of the protein powder I’m taking:

Marco Tran - Vegan Protein

I survived the first day!!!


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For those Entrepreneurs that dream big and want to achieve Unicorn status, here’s some inspiration.

The article from Business Insider lists 23 US companies that have been evaluated to be worth $1billion or more. After looking at each of those 23 companies, I came to the following conclusion:

  1. You need investors. All of those companies had VC injecting money and it’s probably a reason why the valuation is so high
  2. The only company I’ve heard about from the list is Zoom. I actually had to use this for a client in the education industry
  3. The majority of those companies were Technology based – whether it was a product or a service
  4. Many of the co-founders or founders are young

Congratulations to those great companies and hopefully one day, one of my companies or my future generations can also achieve Unicorn status.

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my reflections from 2017

This will be my last post from 2017. It’s been a great year and as always I have learnt something about life.

Here are my reflections from 2017:

my reflections from 2017

– Words are powerful. Being silent is more powerful.
– Our parents are the ones that love us the most. As they age, learn to be more patient and respectful.
– Fill our journey of life with meaningful memories and not just the memories in photos.
– Appreciate all the things we’ve been given.
– Let go of something. Negativity comes from holding onto that something.
– If it’s fun but does not bring any value or meaning into our lives then it’s not worth doing.
– Nurture our mind, spirit and body with goodness
– Your home is our Temple. Bring peace to everything in the home.
– Use the humble definition as a reference guide but practice this in our daily lives.
– Always smile and be courteous to strangers.

Look forward to 2017. I also ended the year by running 10km.

Final Run For 2017

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Burpee Pull ups My Fitness Workout

In November I was involved in a burpee challenge, where our group decided to aim to complete 1400 burpees for that month. For those of you who don’t know what a burpee is, then had a look at this video.

It strengths all parts of the body and it’s like doing a pushup with a jumping squat.

So for that month, I was able to not only achieve 1400 burpees but I actually did 2040! I’m was pretty happy with myself when I hit the 2000 mark. I roughly did about 50 burpees each day and on some days did over 100. On one particular day, I also did the Prison Burpees where you start with 20 burpees on one side of the room and then run to the other side and do 19 burpees. You continue doing this until you hit 0 burpees. This was actually the second time I did Prison Burpees for the year and it took me 30 minutes. When I first tried it I did it in 26 minutes. Here’s a video of what it looks like:

On some days I combined the burpee with exercises, e.g on my cardio day (Wednesday) I do the following:

  • Lunges with weights
  • 10x Burpee pull ups
  • Frog jumps
  • 10x Burpee pull ups
  • Bear Crawls
  • 10x Burpee pull ups
  • Sprints
  • 10x Burpee pull ups
  • Mountain Climbers
  • 10x Burpee pull-ups
  • One arm shoulder press with weights
  • 10x Burpee pull-ups

So just from that workout, I did 60 burpees pullups.

This is a video of me doing the Burpee Pullups. I tried keeping my core tight and when doing the pull ups, I tried to make sure my chin went above the bar.

Overall, this challenge was quite tough at the end but was worthwhile. I can feel my body feeling a bit stronger – a bit hard to say sometimes.

Do you have a monthly fitness challenge?


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Launcher Dock

products, websites

Launcher Dock

Social Wall

products, websites

Social Wall
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Launcher Dock is a free Windows based software tool that allows you to automatically start your programs and dock them exactly where you want on the screen. I had someone develop this for me as I saw a need to use a simple and effective tool to launch different programs I regularly use on multiple screens. At my office, my laptop is connected to two additional screens so in total I have 3 screens. Every time I started the laptop, I found it a hassle to launch and dock each application on the screens so that’s where Launcher Dock was born. It is a free software tool and I don’t really monetise it except for receiving donations and Google advertising but my main goal was not to make money from this – learning the process to build and launch a Windows Software tool was more important.

As of 2017, the application has been downloaded more than 10k times and I haven’t really updated the software. I’ve had offers to monetize the software by placing ads in the software but I never wanted that. Maybe I’ll eventually sell the site to someone who can update it and manage it. If you’re interested let me know.



Sponsor My Articles

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The Sponsor My Articles WordPress plugin was the by-product of many years of managing the website. Being the chief editor, I saw the opportunity to try to further monetise the website by creating a WordPress plugin that allowed businesses to sponsor the articles I wrote. Originally, the requirements were quite simple:

– Set the amount to charge for each sponsor

– Limit the number of sponsors to display on each article

– Limit which categories to exclude from being sponsored. This was needed as some articles were guest posts and I didn’t want competitors to sponsor those articles

– Integrate with PayPal to receive payments

– Option to enable captcha to prevent spam

There was two version we released, the free and the paid version. The intention of releasing a free version was to generate some exposure since it displayed our company details on all posts by default.

A year after launching the plugin, we had a number of requests to add features to the product. One of the most requested features was to add a time-based sponsorship, so a post can be only sponsored for a period of time set by the administrator of the website. The addition of this feature helped increase sales and allowed website owners to generate recurring income.

At the beginning of this year, I then decided to add a few more features and these were:

– Option to use shortcodes which can be placed anywhere in a post
– Option to choose Sponsor Section position, Top, Bottom or Shortcode only (meaning it will only be displayed if there is a shortcode present)
– Option to use custom types. The Sponsor section can be now located in any custom post type

I hope to further increase sales with these features and create more useful content for our users. If you want to purchase this plugin then click here.




Social Wall

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Social Wall simply started as an idea whilst we were working on a Video Wall installation. The idea was to create a tool so businesses could aggregate and display all your social media posts on a digital wall. At the time, there were already a few companies selling this type of product and we saw the cost of using their product and services to be unaffordable for many businesses. We needed something very simple and one that was cost effective – that’s when Social Wall was born.

The first beta version of the tool was simple – it didn’t even have a login page or dashboard, but we decided to test the market and sure enough there were clients who were interested in using this product.

It took us about 6-9 months to get a fully functional system developed that allowed users to log in and manage their own Social Wall – yes it included a dashboard. I also had to spend a bit of time creating the actual website to promote the product. I find creating digital content to be one of the most difficult tasks in marketing. As the saying goes “Content is King” and to a certain extent I do agree with this statement, however this can be debated back and forth. Although time-consuming, creating content is all worth it in the end and it’s also one of the reasons why I continue to keep adding content whenever I can.

I’ll summarise some of my content strategies:

* Write helpful content – HOW TO articles are a great way to connect with your audience and make them feel as though they solved their problem by reading your article

* Create videos – I find some people would rather watch a video than read a long article with instructions. Creating videos not only makes the experience more visual but you can reach a wide audience if submitted to video platforms such as YouTube

* Create tools to supplement your product – I learnt how to code and actually built tools to help promote the product. They were very simple tools and the main purpose was to add them to existing plaforms such as the WordPress Plugin Directory, iTunes and Google Play which had a very large audience – another great way to generate more exposure

We officially launched Social Wall in June 2015. Since then, we have added more features to the product and our client base has also grown. We receive enquiries from all over the world on a daily basis and we can see lots of potential with this product.



Advertise Me

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The first company I started. Learnt so much since the launch of this company. Had no clue about starting a business so it was definitely difficult at the start.

Advertise Me provides digital solutions to large corporate companies, hospitals, retail stores, schools and universities.

Clients include: Campbelltown Hospital, Liverpool Hospital, Thredbo, University of NSW, University of Newcastle, Sherwood Public School, Curtin University, Australian Broadcasting Corporation and many more.


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