Archive for the 'Blog' Category

The Double Space Legacy

My wife Esther and blogger friend Marian always tell me off for the double spacing after a full stop.

It was a paradigm meant for typewriters!  Not digital communications.  I did learn to type on typewriters as our school couldn’t afford enough computers (fortunately that changed after a couple of years) which is where it started.

I still do it – I will probably change in time but it’s a great example of legacy learning, to help shift change you need to teach people en masse the new way of doing something.  At some point that will change and we need to change what we do.  Where we don’t it’s the next generation that will.

In the classic book vs kindle argument, people think they could never do without books.  That’s because they grew up with books, there’s a whole generation of kids growing up reading on a screen more than they ever will paper.  It’s a scale that’s only tipped in the last few years.

We’ve got to be conscious of what is legacy, what will change and what won’t till the next generation.  It’s these shifts which can creep up on, real fast.

October 30th, 2013

It's that time of year

We’re nearing the end of the year – still a wee way to go but it is coming.

It’s weird but at this time I always see a few friends, or personally projects look to wrap up, or people looking to quit.  Usually it’s just part of the ups and downs of working on something meaningful.

But it’s always good to get someone elses thoughts, a great book I’ve found as a prompt is The Dip by Seth Godin. It’s a book I often recommend, loan and gift to other entrepreneurs.  Give it a read when you just feel like that projects not moving along.

When you feel like quitting that’s the exact moment you need to double down.

October 30th, 2013

Getting into a routine freelancing

In the shift up to NY, it’s like starting from scratch again – but with a bank of support behind you (thanks to the team back home!)

But in that shift we’re based out of a shared office in New York (Grind Spaces) which is excellent, I was able to pop in and get started day after arriving.  It’s a healthy mix of startups, freelancers and events being run – I quite like it.

But one observation I’ve noticed, is that as it’s got colder, on a cold day there is noticeably less people in the office.  That is more people are deciding to come in later or work from home.  I understand but if you want to get the business grinding you’ve really got to get more disciplined.

To really crack freelancing and grow it you’ve got to into a routine, consistently, as with consistent inputs you’ll get better results.  Charles Duhigg wrote this great book about habits, what they are, how they form and really how you can adjust your own habits for your benefit.  After reading that I redesigned my morning to develop new habits, things as simple as leaving the keys by the front door, getting my gym gear out and ready – packing my bag before I go to bed.  Simple things but they meant that when I got up my day got off to a great (frictionless) start – which of course a great start sets me up for success each day.

Freelancing is tough – don’t let something easily fixed hold you back.


If you are freelancing, a wrote a blog series on it a while back, growing from that to a business, read it here

And even if you’re not The Power of Habit is a great book to make you look at your own habits.

October 24th, 2013

Being busy is easy

It’s real easy to be busy.

And it’s easy to justify why you haven’t done something because you’ve been busy.

The reality is, we are all busy, it’s about being busy on something meaningful.

Start with 1% or 2% of your time, each day, on something meaningful.  Something that you work on today to improve tomorrow.  And keep at it.  Till you achieve what you wanted.  Then start on the next.

Don’t let ‘being busy’ stop you from what you want to be doing.

October 21st, 2013

Disconnect from ad tracking

I saw the launch of Disconnect, a Chrome Browser extension that keeps your web browsing anonymous so I thought I’d give it a go for a couple of weeks.

In short Disconnect blocks the many tracking cookies that let advertisers target ads based on your behaviour, i.e. search for a barber on google and then you find more ads targeting you around barber.  Or shop online at a store for shoes and suddenly find yourself being targeted by ads from that advertiser.

And now it’s not full on study or experiment just my first hand experiment of what I’ve found.

What I noticed is that ads blended back into the background.  For the fair part I stopped paying attention whereas when I wasn’t using it I would notice these personalised ads a lot more.

I think for advertisers, it shows that ad targeting does work when it has real utility & value through personalisation.  For consumers, there is an upside to tracking, websites for the most part need ads to survive and more personalised ads are a friendlier way of monetising.

It’s still early days yet people are still figuring it out and its quite fragmented but I think it’s about to go through a period of consolidation and thus less confusion for customers.


October 18th, 2013

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