Archive for the 'Blog' Category

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

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