Why do young companies excel? People want to be led

Young companies excel, by demonstrating leadership.

They’re new, they’re fresh, they’re small, they’re fast.

All the exact opposite of any old company.

Their first customers, are those that want to be led, that want to try something new.

So if you’re a new company, lean in to that, embrace it, it’s what’ll get you a few years under your belt.

July 7th, 2018

Celebrating the small wins

I saw a tweet the other day that the hardest thing for founders can be the half wins. The wins that maybe they hadn’t envisaged.

I call this – celebrating the small wins.

Small wins, the little milestones on the way to big wins. And in the journey towards that bigger goal – they should absolutely be celebrated. Always.

Here’s to the small wins. 🥃

 

 

June 23rd, 2018

To deliver the worlds best products, you have to have the world contributing

A riff on why remote work is essential.

I run a technology company headquartered here in New York with remote teams in India, UK, Sweden and AsiaPac.

We embraced remote working out of necessity but found it has become a real strength of our business. To deliver the worlds best products, you have to have the world contributing.

Here’s what we found:

1) Turn time zones in to an advantage

  • Time zones turn a 5 day week in to a 6 day effective work week. Days can have a 16 hour coverage. Presuming everyone is well briefed and communicated.
  • Public holidays in one country enhance this effect.
  • Compound this 52 weeks/year and it gives you a significant edge over your competitors. And with the same employee investment.

Every Friday, we’re briefing changes/responses in, to deliver Monday morning – putting us ahead, just as everyone is getting started. It’s not about the epic wins, it’s about the always on small wins. This helps us win, by design.

2) Enabled us to be more precise in hiring

  • Opening to remote work means you can be a lot more precise in your role hiring, as you are more likely to find that person with a particular set of requirements.
  • ^ Then your chance of hiring them is a lot higher too.

Remote working allows you to find people wherever they are.

3) Made our internal processes more robust

  • It enforces process at a younger age and/or smaller size.
  • These processes also encourage effective documentation and communication, both of which create better work.
  • If we were all in one place we wouldn’t have had to do this as fast.

People always say to me, oh I thought you were much bigger, it’s because of the discipline, time zone advantage and ability to hire precisely.

I know a lot of my readers, are pioneers in their own ways. It’s important to fly the flag for the future of work mobility, and to help provide enough reasons to help those companies who haven’t made the leap yet. What have you found? Please @bwagy me on Twitter.

Please do share…

If you’d like to find more about us, and/or jobs at Nudge visit https://www.giveitanudge.com

June 16th, 2018

Micro breaks

When things are busy – it’s easy to say no to a big break.

It’s near impossible to say no to a micro break.

It could be as simple as, Wednesday morning off.

An hour out of the office.

A long weekend, which a half day either side.

Taking a Tuesday off, to break up your week.

 

June 13th, 2018

How Facebook should tackle News

Facebook killed off trending news – and now is looking to support live broadcasting.

My sense is they’re going down the rabbit hole again.

The problem with their initiatives is that they aren’t playing on the strength of the platform, to help inform and create a better experience.

What is it about Facebook that could improve the news experience? 

Thats the product question they need to answer.

My take is that they need to look to Twitter as a reference. They organise news topics and highlight the top tweets in their explore tab. It’s not rocket science but it does exactly what I want as a user, the Twitter take on a story.

This is a good model for taking the best of Twitter to be additive to the news experience.

 

How Facebook could tackle this

When a News event happens, trigger it as an event and let people contribute. Make them the hero’s. Lift them up – and elevate them.

What people share on Facebook is more direct, more personal. Twitter is more of our public face. So embrace that.

Then for bonus points, personalize that view for each and every user:

  • Share opposing points of view.
  • Share voices I don’t often hear
  • Elevate the official references of facts

Finally, embrace the small, sometimes for a news story, there is only 2-3 unique points of view worth sharing. That is ok. If you’ve delivered a great experience, the job is done.

 

Enable journalists

To enable journalists to use this and inform their reporting:

  • Provide tools to reach out (or a process) and to get consent for reuse of media.
  • The same for interviews.
  • And/or to ask questions of the audience.
  • ^ This helps the news industry produce better news.

And this is a lot better than just writing cheques for media companies to do what they already do.

 

June 7th, 2018

Token issues for turning up, i.e. a bitcoin for everyone

A coin for each day at work

Coin could be swapped for a share of profits.

A coin for being a citizen, basic income.

A coin for taking the train.

I’m really curious around a coin just being issued, for doing something. Something that we were all entitled too.

 

 

June 6th, 2018

The MRC for AI

Advertising has the media rating council. The council seeks to validate that independent measurement does what it says on the tin through an audit process.

AI algorithms will have the same need.

Each is a black box and with this he need for independent ratings of algorithms will only rise.

Especially in the enterprise sector.

This uber self-driving accident is case in point, there is no way for anyone else to verify that indeed the stated cause is what caused it.

Think of it as a quality verifier. Who is building this? Is anyone yet?

 

May 9th, 2018

Car shows are marketing terrariums

 

I am a bit of a car guy AND a marketer.

What I enjoy attending the auto shows, is how layered the products are.

There is a car for every customer segment, with price & feature differentiation. And at the auto shows you can browse and see how they’re tackling each segment all in one place.

They have their tiered marketing;

  • Brand, the big launches, the hype reel, the billboards.
  • Product marketing at the dealer level, YouTube reviews, car magazines & blogs.
  • Lead-gen to the local dealer, through events, car builders, SEM, social.

As a marketer, it’s just curious to be able to see the whole stack from top to bottom so transparently. But also how it adjusts year to year.

If you’re a marketer – and you haven’t been to one, go next time, peruse.

 

April 17th, 2018

The best reference point for AI initiatives are auto companies

I visited the New York Auto Show last weekend, they had a specific map highlighting where the electric vehicles were.

And it wasn’t the electric only vehicles that were most exciting – it was the Jaguar E Pace or the Range Rover PHEV, current vehicles enhanced by electric.

It’s these types of executions that help the future arrive faster. Yes you want the concept cars, to help us think about the future but you have to follow with a tangible action today.

This is how companies should think about AI & blockchain, not the future but what problems today can be solved with these tools. How can they save time, money, stress.

These are the best executions and likely the best in-market at scale successes, those that were able to be enhanced by it.

 

April 12th, 2018

Drone traffic cams, your on demand tv channel

Drones open up a new type of media, live traffic reporting wherever it is happening.

They can even be programmed, when Google Maps detects congestion, send a drone, pipe the footage down to the cars screens below.

It’s like micro, mini tv stations, created on demand and context.

It’s one of the many benefits that 5G will open up, when suddenly high quality video on demand can be piped.

 

April 11th, 2018

You do your best work when you’re relaxed

I thought I’d shared it here, but I hadn’t, I loved this quote from Bill Murray:

You have to remind yourself that you can do the very best you can when you’re very, very relaxed, no matter what it is, whatever your job is. The more relaxed you are, the better you are. That’s sort of why I got into acting. I realized the more fun I had, the better I did. I thought, well, that’s a job I could be proud of. Source: LifeHacker

You could be mistaken that being relaxed means not having a sense of urgency. It’s that being relaxed in your delivery, in your pitch, in your candor, helps exude confidence, reassurance and doing the best work.

As a leader, I try to create the right conditions for our team, so that they themselves are relaxed and/or their context helps relax them, so they can focus and do the right work.

It means; allowing for mistakes (and failure), nudging in the right direction, high feedback, stating the obvious when the obvious needs stating, providing all the support that is needed and admitting your own failures.

It’s helped us keep on form, not fumble and do the right work when it needs to get done.

The other side of this is also preparation.

To ensure the right training, practice, feedback, gets people set up to be relaxed. Being under prepared is an instant stressor.

I like the training mantra of the All Blacks, to be more fit and on form in the last 15 minutes of a game than every other team is in the first 15 minutes. As that’s where games are won and loss. It sets an exceptionally high bar for them but ensures that when they hit the field, they’re prepared for everything that can and will arise.

In building products, there’s another lens on it, that you build for the extreme edge cases, with the view that the bulk of users will then be all ok. It’s when you don’t cater to the edges, or at least acknowledge where they exist that troubles arise.

 

 

 

March 18th, 2018

Hemingway, a writer and a reporter are not the same thing

I’ve been listening to Writer, Sailor Spy.

I liked one section, during the Spanish Civil War Hemingway was taking part in two roles

  1. As a reporter, just to report the facts.
  2. As a writer, there to absorb and live the experience.

They’re similar, but not the same.

 

..

 

I’d also recommend Hemingway on Paris if you haven’t caught it.

March 15th, 2018

Dog fooding

I’ve always really hated this term, the ‘eat your own dog food’.

I.e. eat what you sell.

But I do like the premise, I however like the reframing of it ->  to you should lead by example.

But less provocative I guess ha.

The year before last, I had an idea, what if, we took some of our biggest reports, and look at how Nudge could auto build those reports, or at least some of those common insights.

It was born from the premise that most work, ends up as 2-3 bullet points on someones desk. Like a stock report, that is dense and every word is valuable. We thought why not have a crack at helping our users get to those 2-3 bullet points. We called it executive notes.

Through 2017 we launched and refined it. I myself, hadn’t used it in a few months (at least not in a your butt is on the line capacity), but was helping a client last week -> and was able to use it to produce top line insights in 15 minutes, that would have taken at least an hour a year ago.

A great (and satisfying) example of dog fooding.

 

March 8th, 2018

Gyroscope, one of my fav apps that keeps getting better

I caught Gyroscope from fellow kiwi Owen Williams tweeting about it, then joined after chatting with my friend John Gleeson.

We were both chatting about tracking apps, to get a better view of our days and where we could improve.

Both active people and wanting to keep that way.

What I really like about Gyroscope is that it lets you pull in multiple data sources, I pull in productivity from RescueTime, Heartrate from Apple Watch, Location from Moves (and now the Gyroscope beta).

What I like, is where It overlays the two, below is heart rate, whilst it’s detect I’m at the gym – and it’s contextualized it for me over the hour.

When I first saw this, I realized, my heart rate isn’t getting high enough consistently at the gym, so it’s pushed me (again) to raise the bar.

^^ Which is good.

I’m excited to hear, that maybe heart rate variability will come in, which will help give me a better view of my body state, and whether I should push through, or prioritize rest today. A gentle nudge if you will.

That’s not the only use, you can set goals, pull in weight data, mindful minutes, sleep.

I don’t collect sleep as I’m working on, not having the phone in the bedroom.

You might ask, what’s the benefit over Apple Health? I think the lens is different. This is a complete picture of your life and what you’re focused on. Apple Health is more direct health data. Both useful but in different ways. In fact Gyroscope will pull from Apple Health when it can.

I think what they’ve really got right, is making all of this data, playful, relevant and customizable.

What would I like to see in the future?

  • Comparisons against a specific friend (you know, we’re competitive).
  • Rest time/downtime.
  • V02 Max.
  • Re-energising time, things that feedback back in to the system.
  • More advanced options, for form, heart rate data.
  • Insights & decisioning. Even if biased or beta.
  • Greater control around the vault (where data is protected). Ability to export/encrypt for safekeeping.

Things I’m not too worried about

  • Nutrition/calorie intake. (Why? Once have made the change, found it sticks).
  • More goal data. (I see this as ongoing, less of a specific goal, personal choice I guess).

Things I’m curious about

  • DNA.
  • Blood tracking.
  • Weather context, temperature, humidity, wind.
  • Stress.
  • Experimentation mode, i.e. note a variable change (can be outside of the app), and it compares against an anchor variable, heart rate/variability etc. For example I could try to ‘stop drinking coffee’ and see if there’s a noticeable impact, where/how.
  • Deep work – and also quality of work. Maybe an Evernote integration.

Give it a try, let me know your thoughts.

Would also love any recommendations you may have @bwagy me.

February 21st, 2018

My wish, for the internet to recreate that looseness that radio has

I used to do a radio segment with Wammo in NZ, way way back.

I loved it, you’re on, you roll with the conversation.

You do your prep but have to think on your feet. It’s a conversation but the show must go on, otherwise people tune out.

Sometimes the internet is too crafted, would love to see this ebb and flow of conversation online.

 

February 21st, 2018

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