This is the best efficiency hack I know

Have you ever noticed how you floss more frequently when a dentist appointment is looming? 

Our brains have a bias for focus on imminent events. Knowing this, here’s the best hack ever to GSD. 

Set up a meeting which creates a deadline before the work is done. And then make the meeting sooner than you think you can finish the work. You’ll find a way, simply because this leverages another human bias we have – our need to maintain social contracts. 

Getting stuff done is hard, sometimes the  thing we need to hack most in startups is ourselves. 

As seen on Hacker News

It’s easy to believe that reading Hacker News, Techcrunch, Quartz or Aeon is keeping us update with our industry.

It’s not.

Reading this stuff is the reality TV of the technology industry. It’s entertainment disguised as knowledge and personal growth.

All of us have already got a plan, and a list of things to do. If we invest more time executing that, there’s a far greater chance we’ll instead be written about in one of these forums.

So what’s after the MVP?

First ever hammer

Ok, so we know we’ve gotta build an MVP.

Then, we go build our MVP.

Now what?

It’s time to find out if it was actually Viable. Find out if it was viable by the truth of how the market reacted. Did it solve their problem? If it didn’t we need to build a new kind of Viable. What we should never do is make it a bigger Minimum and hope that that increases the probability of the Viability.

Only once we have a proven “V” should we increase beyond the “M”. And we’ll know if we’ve nailed the MVP by the traction or lack of it we achieved.

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Why the order of what we build matters more now

When the connected society arrived on the back of the web, companies who made stuff moved to make networks to connect directly to their customers. But it kinda shows that they are more interested in the stuff they make, than the connections they need. The supply chain has moved from a set of separate steps, owned by different people, to a network which can be staffed by a single firm.

So what we see now is many companies who started by building connections, and added the product once the connection was established. They earned attention and now they plug in the products their audience needs to a system they control.

In a world where connection is the core asset, the latter strategy will become infinitely more poweful than the former. 

A simple Amazon strategy every business can implement

Jeff Bezos Genius

The future is a pesky little thing to predict. Much of it will surprise us no matter how well versed we are in emerging technology. A lot will change 10 years from now in ways we just couldn’t imagine. But, some things won’t change, and it is easy to know what these things are. So much so that this is a key question Amazon leader Jeff Bezos bases large parts of business strategy on:

“What’s not going to change in the next 10 years?…. You can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time…. In our retail business, we know that our customers want low prices, and I know that’s going to be true 10 years from now. They want fast delivery; they want a vast selection. It’s impossible to imagine a future 10 years from now where a customer comes up and says; ‘Jeff, I love Amazon; I just wish the prices were a little higher’ [or] ‘I love Amazon; I just wish you’d deliver a little more slowly.’ Impossible.”

And it is clear to see that while they use technology to make these things possible, the future is predictable and something Amazon or any business can build their strategy and infrastructure around. Jeff said this 4 years ago at the Amazon Web Services forum. With 40% of that 10 year window expired, and I’d say it’s all still true. Seems he has predicted the future, just by flipping the question.

So the only question remaining for your business or startup is this: What things can you be working on that just won’t change?

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This will change your perception of brand loyalty forever

Loyal dog

Brand loyalty is a strange thing, it seems like it is a bit back to front to me. Powerful and large corporations expect you to be loyal to them. But ‘we’ are the one’s who feed them with our money. If a dog should be loyal to it’s owner – those that feed it – then surely brands should be loyal to us?

Here’s another error companies make when it comes to loyalty. They are loyal to marketing methods, social forums and their infrastructure. If there is anything a brand should have total disloyalty to it’s the methods in which they go to market. They are just tools. And tools should always be replaced when a better method arrives. Especially when the objective is serving others.

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Dev Diner -a radical resource

I recently met Patrick Catanzariti aka ‘PatCat’ the founder of Dev Diner who really gets the need for collaboration. We had a chat about all things tech, the future of work and jobs, and how we all need each other. We need our different skill sets, so we can navigate and build the future we want. Hackers need Hustlers, who need Hipsters…. it doesn’t matter if you cut code, or hack media for free PR – we can’t do it alone. Pat is trying to bring people with tech skills to the market place and help them realise their value.

We had a little chat about all things, tech, culture, startup and future below.