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

Mobility is our physicality

This headline caught my eye last week:

Once seniors are too old to drive, our transportation system totally fails them

The problem with (the headline) is, we leap to to the obvious conclusion, driverless cars are the solution here. It’s almost redundant for me to to say so.

But we shouldn’t, we’ve made that leap without dwelling on the concept.

We can’t discount the massive societal benefit of keeping a part of the population who want to be on the go, doing exactly that.

By definition, they’re seeing other people.

So it is a 1+1=3 or 1+1=5.

For every 100,000 you mobilize you could be touching or improving the lives of 500,000 people.

I remember my grandma saying how good an idea uber was, for exactly this, a sense of independence was back.

Uber issues aside- mobility is dignity, is family, is culture.

This is one area where technology as progress is something we can all agree upon.



Do give the article a full read, or a Instapaper, or a pocket for later.


January 30th, 2018

Rigging the system, play fair

BuzzFeed has done a few pieces over the break on content ad fraud.

In essence, people are looking for loopholes to generate traffic which looks real.

If you use an anti-bot detection, it’ll say they’re not bots.

If you use Nudge, it’ll tell you they’re human but not reading the content.

It seems silly that this is required, advertising should be simple, if I pay to get an ad in front of someone, I should only pay if that is the case. Everything else is noise.

Content is worth something, when it’s read/watched/shared. i.e. when it provokes a reaction, and that reaction can only come from consuming the content.


January 17th, 2018

New Year, New You

Start the year right.

I love how language propagates today, how fast a phrase can be pushed all around the world.

It’s neat.

But, would love to see fresh thinking of embracing this, for good.

Here’s one from me, GiveDirectly.

Unconditional cash donations to those in extreme poverty.

$0.91 of every dollar ends up in the hands of the poor.

They even, are running a basic income study, heck you can even create your own.


January 1st, 2018


The best projects are lightweight.

Good questions to ask:

How can we do this with less?

If we had no money how would we do it?

Could it be done in an afternoon?

What feedback do we want?

Could we draw this? Or emulate by building with cardboard?

Could we rough it?

How many/much of do we realistically need?

What will get us by? OR what is pertinent?

^ Is it really pertinent? Could you get away without it?

Does everyone understand WHY and WHAT we’re creating?

What is the specific outcome or impression we want to leave?

What CAN we be precious about? What can we forgive?

Do we need this many people involved?

What steps CAN we remove?

What is this analogous too? What is a similar system, or process?






December 2nd, 2017

Seth Godin: AI is everything a computer can’t do yet

I loved this from Seth Godin on the Marketing Over Coffee podcast.

He’s speaking to how we view AI.

It’s a good perspective, what is it that a computer can’t do yet? Write those down, then chip away at them.

It’s the actual exercise our product team did, in exploring how to use AI as a force multiplier.

It might take a few rounds to really break those problems down.

But a super insightful process, at the very least creating a better understanding of where technology may better help you.


October 3rd, 2017

The internet is much more vast than anyone can imagine

I’ve talked about the open web and how it’s changing, apps and private platforms like YouTube, Facebook, SnapChat have all expanded what you would now call the web in 2017.

And this vastness is hard to capture all in one place, Facebook has an idea of how vast and deep it is but no one else does. The same goes for YouTube.

In tandem, apps like Slack, are they part of the web? Arguably so. Email, email is content? Smart tv apps? Voice assistants? The list goes on.

My point is, that the internet now is very deep and a lot bigger than any of us can ever imagine, all around this premise of connected information.

And with that, there are more opportunities than ever before to learn, to create, to share, to build a business, to seek out your own corner of the internet.

September 23rd, 2017

Create things that only you can create

You have a monopoly on you, so why not use it?

It’s your time – you reap the benefit of creating something.

So why build something that someone else could make?

Give it your spin. Make it unique. Share that expression.

The world will appreciate you for it.




September 20th, 2017

Amazon Prime is Jeff Bezos Minimum Viable Lifestyle

Amazon recently announced their Whole Foods acquisition.

Mr Bezos is basically finding more and more products in your life, that he can wrap with Amazon Prime at the middle.  Once you’re a member you’re in the club.  A club where you are the star.  If you’re in, you’re in – if you’re not you’re missing out big time.

One by one they’re chipping away, they’re probably only a few products away but once they hit that sweet spot I think they’ll face another big growth curve.  Why give Amazon a small share of your wallet when they could be making your life easier with a larger share?

It’ll be phone, internet, content, products, consumables…  what’s next – houses?

Something to think about.  Amazon is fast becoming the Walmart of modern day.

I suspect there’s a future intersection between Amazon Prime & UBI.

September 15th, 2017

Should I line up? Yes/No

In New York a line outside a restaurant/shop means something is good, it must be, otherwise why would people be lining up?

If we unpack that a little bit too – my expectation of a line in New York is that it will move fast. Even a line out the door can clear in 10 minutes.

However, in New Zealand, a line means slow service or they’re understaffed. A line the same length you could be in for 30 minutes. So if there’s a line you tend to flag something.

It’s always funny when someone visits or I return to NZ, to flip it, oh a line is bad now.

I suspect elsewhere in the world, a line means something else too.




September 14th, 2017

Innovation on YouTube

It’s long been a platform I personally haven’t played with too much.

Yet, YouTube continues to grow in dominance, people are creating whole businesses and lifestyles on there.

Sure, I dabbled in the early days.

But I’m actively looking for and keen to see anything interesting you’ve seen on YouTube, whether it’s a neat business model, a great channel, inspiration. Just whatever you find is interesting.

Tweet me @bwagy or send me a note [email protected]

September 6th, 2017

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