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Features the LTT Labs Must Have

29/01/2023

It finally happened, Luke mentioning that they will possibly be looking to hire a Product Manager – kicked me to get this done, today!

People close to me know well that I am a walking and talking ad for Linus Tech Tips – I mean if you are someone who understands tech, understands business, and understands how hard it is to work with both of these – how could you not have anything but respect for what Linus and the team have done with LMG, Floatplane, LTTStore, and more.

So it only made sense that as someone who has worked on more than 50 websites to date, I should have (hopefully a good) opinion for the upcoming LTT Labs project. Linus has often mentioned that LTT Labs is a must-have for the future of tech as a reliable, no-strings-attached, objective-focused source of truth; that relies on data rather than opinion. I truly believe LMG can do this as there is no financial incentive to wrongly guide the consumers since they have other revenues set up to drive value from the truth LTT Labs will offer down the road.

Quick Update – 12/29/2024 Demo site is live: https://www.lttlabs.com/

Table of Contents

  1. What is LTT Labs?
  2. Cameo For Experts at LTT Labs
  3. Certifications By LTT Labs
  4. Verified Actual Consumers reviews
  5. LTT Labs backed resources
  6. Release Monitor
  7. Quality of life improvement features for LTT Labs
    1. Known Issue Submitter
    2. Sub-feature search and filtering
    3. Pictures with scales
    4. Repairability Info
    5. Downloadables
  8. Conclusion

What is LTT Labs?

Ok then let’s start the article (no Luke I don’t plan to run ads so you stay longer here – it’s just nice to have an intro you know) – LTT Labs is a project currently under development by the team at LMG which will be a comparison website allowing users to openly see the differentiation between the products they might want or have.

The website will incorporate a pretty unique ‘add-to-cart’ approach letting users add products to their cart, not for purchase, but instead for comparison.

I think this is a very user-friendly approach since a lot of people are already used to e-commerce platform functionality, and this kind of user flow is really nice to have for them – also I believe this method is really scalable allowing for more features down the line. I have worked on some QSR web-apps, and the things you can do to a cart can very well be its own project.

LMG Clips Video

Source: We’re doing something different with the LTT Labs site

Most of the comparison websites these days are heavily optimised to be a SEO triggering (heh kinda like this article and the one you are reading right now) – the issue then becomes that most do not have the right vision in mind or they can’t have the right purpose in mind. At the end of the day, you derive value from clicks on a link on a SERP, you WILL do things to please the algorithm and that can be a bad thing for your integrity. For example, LTT is known to be outlandish with their Thumbnails and Titles, but you HAVE TO do that in order to please the YouTube algo – but if they control their own site and have other sources of traffic, they don’t need to clickbait any data or resources present on the platform – lttstore.com is proof of that as they did realistically 0 marketing for it and now it is a multi-million dollar e-commerce product store.

All that being said, I do think LMG has a really unique opportunity at their hand to make LTT Labs something beyond just a comparison website like rtings – and here is my list of features that I believe the LTT Labs must have:

Cameo For Experts at LTT Labs

I am from Pakistan, so I have never or will ever use an app like Cameo, because frankly speaking – money be expensive – BUT LTT Labs will be a place with industry-leading experts working on the platform, experts that are hand-picked, vetted, and trained under the legends like  Gary Key – so I honestly think there are a lot of people willing to get an expert opinion on an expert matter. 

This feature doesn’t really need to be paid either, it can be really aggressive on form inputs with a lot of questions to ask in order to ensure that the person getting requested for the expert advice, is not getting spammed. But I am sure if you make this a paid video response feature, and let the user’s hand-pick the team members they want an answer from, this can be an excellent way to highlight some of the team members that may not be that public on other media channels, and also shed some light on the diverse and vast team LMG leads with right now.

Lastly, I can totally see this feature evolving into a paid consultancy feature on an infinite time scale. LTT has the expertise and pedigree to launch and market products (yes stop calling them merch ffs); I am sure new brands and product manufacturers are looking for advice, if not in the aspect of building the product, then surely in marketing the product aspect, and this can be aimed as a consultancy as a service as a feature for those companies (as a).

Certifications By LTT Labs

Bringing me to my next point, hey you don’t need to be the next ISO, ABC, XYZ but you can certainly be a trusted leader when it comes to products and come up with your own cool and unique product certifications that might have nothing to do with standards. I asked Chat GPT what it thinks some of these certifications should be and it says:

Had to replace with an image of the response because indexing is fun, can’t even use AI as a joke these days.

But for real though, I think having LTT Labs certifications can be a cool ‘badge’ of owner for products out there, especially small product manufacturers, indie products, etc 

  1. Build out criteria for a product to be certified
  2. Certify the product when you finally get to review it
  3. With enough certifications maybe bring the product on to your own lttstore.com 
  4. This process will help you vet what makes sense vs not having your own merch…product store

Verified Actual Consumers reviews

Keeping the flow going, you know what is great about having your own store? The positive reviews and reinforcement of seeing thousands of people using and loving your products. Sorry, I am not edgy enough to say Gamers, but let’s say VAC (Verified Actual Consumers) could be a great way to ensure that the reviews you get on LTT Labs on products are by people who actually own and have used the product. I am sure the team at floatplane.com can come up with a script to verify, yupp that is the Logitech G813 plugged into this reviewer’s computer right now, allowing the review to be a Verified Actual Consumer review.

Of course, it is never that simple with software and I am sure there are shortcomings, but on an infinite timescale, this is possible.

The reviews you get on a product, positive or negative can also lead the way for LTT Labs to become a reference point for brands that are working on their next products, LTT Labs can be a serious partner to these brands and not just another review or ratings website.

LTT Labs backed Resources

Being resourceful should be the mission or vision statement of LTT Labs – everything we have talked about so far will be very helpful to the whole end-to-end tech consumer-to-manufacturer pipeline. But what happens when you become a really good resource? You should consider working on your own resources….couldn’t help it.

Every person and their bro is selling a course online these days, majority of LinkedIn has basically become a stream of ‘buy my course and make me rich so I can teach you to make your course and get rich’ scheme – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t good resources out there. I really love this example of how to have resources that actually bring value: https://thefutur.com/shop (shout out to Chris Do); LTT Labs can certainly work on some for their own website. Here are a few things that come to my mind for LTT Labs to have on their site (no I didn’t ask Chat GPT – I have 60+ PRDs in a folder, trust me bro)

  1. PC Building Checklist, things to have in order before you build out a standard PC
  2. Test Bench Setup Tutorial
  3. Templates for Reviews
  4. Ok maybe I should have asked for ChatGPT, but I am sure you do see value in this suggestion, perhaps.

Release Monitor

I for one though, do miss the value – that Release Monitor brought to me. It was a nice product launched by Marton Barcza over at TechAltar as part of his Crrowd App – a part of that App had a release monitor keeping track of all the products released, when the App was live.

Since Marton was unable to upkeep the huge costs that came with running a software (I know man, and I am sure Luke knows) – that project died out due to no traction BUT I think you can collab or reach out to Marton to get the source code for that project and put it in LTT Labs. 

No need to ever wonder ever again what got released. The LTT Labs release monitor will become the stock ticker for many tech enthusiasts.

The tracker can also incorporate other LTT Labs features within it such as:

  1. A box to request an official review by LTT Labs team – will help with creating a pipeline of what to review (though the shortage might never be there)
  2. Helping you curate more categories of products, good for SEO, if you care
  3. Affiliate linking with the new products to have possible revenue sources setup
  4. Promotion spots for products to be highlighted on the monitor

Quality of life improvement features for LTT Labs

Bringing us to an end of a journey, my final thoughts on what LTT Labs should look to improve, incorporate, or at least think about:

  • Known Issue Submitter: It is absolutely abysmal how hard it is to search for known issues related to very popular products. A lot of brands get away with such things by changing the model number in different regions so it is basically impossible to search for issues if some come up. A well-thought known-issues section is very important for any tech-focused site in my opinion. Also, the fact that you can update the section when the issue gets resolved with a software update and mention that as notes.
  • Sub-feature search and filtering: Feature filtering is common and I am sure you have nailed it down, but I would just love it if websites would allow me to search by a certain feature rather than search for something and then hopefully find an appropriate filter. For example, I want to search all monitors with 2 HDMI ports, I don’t think anyone allows that, or how about a Laptop with 3 USB ports. If you set up your database in such a way that this kind of information is convenient to query, you can have a search that beats every website out there.
  • Pictures with Scales: The amount of times I bought a product and it is either too big or too small, LTTStore has done an amazing job at showing what size is respective to what person, if you can do that here, would love it, and perhaps don’t just show a scale next to the real-life product image, go ahead and throw that headphone on some heads and show how it might look and fit for various people, really need this.
  • Repairability Info: Yes I know https://www.ifixit.com/ dominates this area, but why not work with them? They are your sponsors? Have a widget that populates ifixit info on your site and maybe you have an affiliate deal, I don’t want to hop between sites, I want LTT Labs to fill all the gaps from consumer to the manufacturer
  • Lastly, Downloadables: Have stuff I can download, PDF specs, tutorials, other info? Even software? Do you know how annoying it is to buy a Logitech product and then visit this: https://support.logi.com/hc/en-us/articles/360024361233 – yeah good luck figuring out what works with what you just bought

I am hopeful but unsure

that anyone will even read this

Some may think this article is a way for me to get a job at LTT, and those people are very funny – The logistics of me getting a job in a Canadian firm are null – this article is honestly from a place of love. 

Time and time again I wanted to perhaps comment on YouTube videos, tweet, or go post on the forum but I always shied away from it since I don’t find myself to have an important enough opinion to highlight – but this website is mine and the reason I built the rift is to have a place to be open about what I want to chip to the world.

I will, against my will, try to tweet out this article perhaps and maybe someone will read it. My wish is that some of what I have written here, comes true, and I can be happy about contributing to my favorite tech media platform that sells shirts.


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