Great runners

Runners face this dichotomy.

In a race you need to be aggressive, ambitious, push yourself to the limit, give it all you’ve got.

But to train well you need to push hard and take down time to recover.

I was listening to this interview with Malcolm Gladwell, he was saying it’s half the battle for coaches to encourage runners to rest as by nature they want to keep training! Makes sense.

The great runners are good at both.

The great runners know when to pull back, rest recover and when to swap modes.

It’s a skill that you develop – and a valuable one at that.

 

August 25th, 2016

Write what you want to talk about OR are talking about

Whenever I get hung up on a piece of work, it’s usually because I’ve focused too much on what others are writing about or what they want you to write about.

I get back in sync by reminding myself, what is it you want to write about.

As that’s the easiest part – and also the most interesting.

August 12th, 2016

Pruning your audience to find the real signal

I just got an email this morning from someone I follow Kevin Rose.

And I wanted to shine light on the quality mantra he is embodying.

Kevin does a monthly newsletter sharing cool stuff called The Journal. Now he made a promise early on to cut out those that weren’t reading. In doing so, he can figure out what his core audience is really in to and give them the best experience.

It’s such a great example.

This is the opening line of todays email:

Kevin Rose Email Journal

Let me repeat that:

Member update: We’ve lost some newsletter subscribers.

We dropped from 61,823 members to 55,787.

I purposely removed 6,036 people that hadn’t opened the last four newsletters.

^ Amazing.

Now the data he is getting and the feedback is only from those that are truly in to what he’s up to.

Also it incentivises him to keep at the top of his game.

He can’t just let another email slip out. It has to be up to the standard of the four – because if it’s not…

 

August 2nd, 2016

Tablets are untapped

We tend to group Mobile together as one concept.

But a smart phone customer vs a tablet customer are very different customers.

Smart phones have restricted real estate and tends to be someone in a rush. It’s that lean forward analogy, you’re leaning in to pay attention and get what you need.

Tablets are more lean back, casual browsing with more screen real estate.

But so, be careful to not treat them the same. They are different. And it might just be that one of those modes is better for you.

I was reminded of this, when analysing a campaign for a client. We found the attention on Tablets was twice that of Smart Phones. Very interesting. To address that we’re going to surface that data in our insights tab so its easier to find.

But have a think when you’re planning your next digital initiative, how are tablet users going to use our website, our order flow.

How do we optimize to get more tablet consumers? An interesting point of view is that often ad budgets have run out by the afternoon but peak tablet usage is in the evenings. Worth doing some targeting to experiment. With as high as 47% of internet users owning a tablet it could be exactly what you need.

 

July 31st, 2016

Dumb Data

Dumb Data: any data that hasn’t been enriched with a machine learning / AI layer.

It’s no longer sufficient enough to create and store data, you need to have the intelligence layer on top making sense of it. Automating insight and analysis.

Because if you don’t someone else will.

And then you’re left behind.

This will be the big trend in the next 5 years across most industries and its the realisation of the ‘big data’ trend.

It’s not that we’re going to be thinking about oh this is big data, that is big data, it’s that your regular products will surface insights on your data, and options to act on them.

For example, I’ve been using Gyroscope, an app which connects all your quantified data activity. So it connects productivity data from RescueTime, Step Counts, Movement & location then presents that back to you in a nice dashboard.

At the moment this is dumb data, that’s interesting to know this. But the next step is that in the near future it’ll go, Hey Ben you didn’t catch much sleep last night, we know that impacts your productivity. Maybe cycle to work as that’ll help get you back on track.

This is our inevitable future.

Imagine this, in what you do, whether you’re a teacher, a horse trainer or an entrepreneur.

Exciting times ahead! I can’t wait.

July 31st, 2016

Learnings Chats

This is something we do every month, a dedicated time to talk – asking ourselves what have we learnt? As individuals but also as a company.

How can we improve what we personally do and how does that inform our product.

Suggested by a member of the team and widely embraced it’s been a great success. Each time we do this it creates more change in the right direction. Thus improving the directionality towards our goals.

Then after reading this article from my friend Colin Nagy on how the green berets operate we’ve adopted more frequent learnings chats, after a big pitch, after a product change.

You might ask why should we learn from the green berets or the military from that matter. Well they’re designed to have agile teams which deliver specific objectives. Highly trained to execute missions over and over. And that’s what building a business is like, a stream of specific objectives which need to be constantly executed, evaluated and then adjusted.

 

July 25th, 2016

Entrepreneurs Limits, They’ll Find You

By nature of entrepreneurs push themselves to the limit.

Whatever your limit is you’ll find it as you force it out of yourself OR the market will. It’s just going to be what happens.

It’s what entrepreneurs recognise in each other, that sense that no matter how far you’ve come you’re focused on that next mountain.

This is the discomfort you have to get comfortable with. It’s like surfing, the waves are endless and once you conquer one there’s another right behind it – but it’s just how it works.

June 2nd, 2016

What if Rental Car Companies Sold like Car Dealers Sell Cars

I find it weird when I’m renting a car you stand inside at a counter renting a ‘generic’ mid size. Cars out of sight out of mind.

Why aren’t they walking me around the lot saying Ben, how about this?

For $20 extra a day you could be driving this or that. 

I suspect people would spend more and enjoy the dramatically.

And it’s a much better experience than the hidden fees trying to make up the margin!

May 13th, 2016

The Inevitable

If you can think it, it’s possible. If it’s possible and you’re determined it’ll become the inevitable.

Case in point, Elon Musk.

May 7th, 2016

Why A/B Testing Never Took Off

By the time you publish something online you’ve done all the hard work, the heavy lifting. You’ve been through design and copywriting, you’ve set up all the goals.

The inertia to get it live is so high that it’s too hard to overcome that again to optimise.

Even though it clearly makes sense.

But so,A/B Testing is incredible but how do you break that out so more people use it?

Predictive Insights.

Taking the A/B Insights and getting them further up the production timeframe.

Letting people upload their website code – and getting insights as they’re producing it.

[stolen from a chat with our CTO Izac]

May 3rd, 2016

If they’re not a customer today they might be tomorrow, next week, next year

A month ago, we won a client we had been trying to win for 2 years, 2 years of meetings, calls, keeping in touch, educating, coffees. Now we’ve finally got lift off.

Keep that in mind, everyone you talk to is at some point a potential customer, whether it’s today, tomorrow, next week, next year, five years from now.

Be persistent, be yourself, be helpful.

May 1st, 2016

Poka-yoke

A japanese term for mistake proofing, or colloquially referred to as idiot proof.

An example is the sim card in your phone, it has the cut corner so you can only put it in one way.

It’s a newfound obsession of mine, ensuring that the product we build works the right way. It’s good for users as builds confidence and helps them create success and it’s good for us as we build better product.

May 1st, 2016

No Clicks Wasted

The internet unfortunately has a lot of wastage in the system, with cheap processing + hosting costs, there is mass abundance.

It also means there is an abundance of clicks, these actions that consumers take, which get them on to your property.

At some point in the near future, there won’t be incremental clicks around, at the moment marketers have found more new ways to get more clicks through more & new ad formats ads.

That’s the zig, the zag is right around the corner, whereby there are only so much clicks to be had. What happens in that world?

Quality. Consolidation. A better internet experience.

..

yay.

 

March 26th, 2016

Volvos Vision

“Our Vision is that no one is killed or injured in a Volvo in the year 2020″

Incredible, breathtaking to take that much responsibility – and to lead a company that way. It’s a mission grounded in the companies history of safety but also one that moves it forward to an inevitable future.

It made me think about this quote I saw on Twitter the other day, from a famous football coach Vince Lombardi:

Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.

You can read more about the Volvo 2020 vision here.

 

 

March 25th, 2016

The Questions You Wish People Asked

That is what you should write and speak about.

The little things lingering in your mind that you don’t feel are being answered.

The things in plain sight that no one sees.

The elephant in the room.

 

 

March 23rd, 2016

What are you doing all the way down here? You could:
- View my about page
- Or for first timers the New Here? page
- Or maybe email this to a friend
- Or subscribe to get blog updates