220: TZ Discussion – Give It a Go

Justin and Jason discuss email etiquette, Justin’s workout progress, skiing vs snowboarding, CJ’s thoughts on Catalyst Class, Jason’s plans for Catalyst Academy and his difficulty in getting MongoDB to work on AppFog, why Jason feels that doing more things makes him more productive and his plan for launching multiple projects, Justin’s experiments with paid advertising and Jason’s argument for why statistics is not destiny.

  1. Jason says:

    Well, it turns out that I didn’t coin the term “full stack entrepreneur”, which based on a cursory Google search, has been in use for at least a couple years at this point. That said, it’s still probably worth a blog post. 😉

  2. Happy New Year to both of you and thanks again for another great year full of interesting TechZing shows!
    I guess the official motto for this year is “Just Do Stuff”! 🙂

    A couple other themes from this show and the past one are:
    – try new things even if your previous attempts did not succeed
    – identify then leverage your “unfair advantage”
    – focus on deep and narrow functionality (and integrate the heck out of it with other products)
    – make an extra effort on off-site marketing for your product

    I thought the discussion about the product manager and full-stack entrepreneur roles was very interesting.

  3. William says:

    Nice show! For snowboarding/skiing I guess my experiences were different. I started both as a postdoc–I started with skiing and went out with some friends. I took the intro course and tried to catch up with my friends on the blue slopes as quick as possible–I fell a LOT and since it was icy, the snow plow didn’t work…Snowboarding, I loved–I guess I’m used to falling a lot from martial arts, so I just got back up :-p

    The Catalysis Academy sounds really interesting! Do you think it would work online? Or, do you think it would lose a lot by not being in person? At my facility, we have opportunities for middle schoolers to come in and do hands on science on saturdays and a number of universities have similar programs–but I think there’s a big challenge in reaching motivated students in areas with less resources…

    Good luck!

  4. William says:

    btw. one thing that you might try for the future high school edition of your academy is to give students projects that they can own and care about–I’ve found that motivated students can do really impressive things!

  5. Jason says:

    @William – I’d like to ultimately move the curriculum online, but that may take a little time since I’m still figuring out what the curriculum should be. 😉

    I agree that projects are a great way to learn and I’m planning on introducing them very soon. We’re just trying to nail down some of the basics at this stage.

  6. Jason says:

    @Philippe Monnet – Thanks so much for the positive feedback. 😉

    I agree – the motto for 2013 should be “Just Do Stuff”!

  7. Navi says:

    Happy New Year to everyone in TechZing community. Justin and Jason thank you for the great show that is a wealth of ideas and inspiration. 😉

    Loved the listener question segment because i myself often have a problem of being seen as rude and difficult in ” different forms of text communication “. It’s possible this is do to the fact that English is not my native language and i haven’t mastered it sufficiently to understand the deference between what is taking strong position in an argument and being difficult. My solution has been like you suggested to use a lot of smiley faces when ever possible, like when leaving a comment on a blog of an discussion show podcast 🙂 . But to me this approach looks very unprofessional if you are sending an email to a potential client explaining why brown text on a black background is not a good idea, they might think you are laughing at them and not smiling with them.So i started compiling a swipe file that i use in my text communication.

    In regards of people sending email in all caps, now when somebody sends me email in all caps they get this message:

    I genuinely think you will not be happy with my services and will be better off with a different provider. I reserve the right to sell my services (or not) to whom i choose, and I do not see this as a good fit for either party.

    Swiped it from Rob

  8. Ruben says:

    The last couple of episodes you’ve guys have had some really interesting conversations about focus and multiple projects/products. While I’m solely focused on Bidsketch, it’s very deliberate and takes a fair amount of work to fight off the urge to start something new.

    Of course, there’s no right/wrong way to do it; I just find that focusing on one product works best for me (right now). Plus, I feel like there’s still so much that I can learn (and accomplish) and that keeps me excited.

    Justin – I’m excited to hear that you’re focusing on getting more traffic for Pluggio. You’ve done an amazing job on the product side and you do better than I lot of people I know at converting traffic. Scaling things for Pluggio at this point is all about getting more targeted traffic to your site. It’s not easy, but the more targeted traffic you get, the easier everything will become.

  9. Matt S says:

    So where’s the number to call in? I listen to another podcast that setup a Google Voice number and listeners just leave a voicemail message. Just sayin’!

    Here’s a list of the TechZing 2013 Podcast Resolutions:
    * Get new “glamour shots”
    * Redesign the website
    * Book an interview with Elon Musk
    * Beat Rob in the iTunes Competition
    * Jason will spend at least one show talking less than Justin 😉
    * Justin will try out for Jason’s soccer team
    * The job advertisements will actually get read
    * Colby will be interviewed on the show
    * Guyon and Sebastian will have an epic TZ side-kick rap battle on air


  10. Stanislaw Pitucha says:

    Happy new year guys! I started listening to you in 2012 and hope that there will be many more years of interesting content in the future. Thanks for all your work 🙂

  11. Justin says:

    @Stanislaw @Matt @Ruben @Navi @William @Philippe Thanks so much for your support of the show and happy new year 🙂 Can’t wait for another great year. Justin 🙂

  12. Tony says:

    Great episode, gents. “Full Stack Entrepreneur” sounds infinitely better than “Jack of all Trades”.

    Jack of all Trades
    Full Stack Entrepreneur

  13. Still only part way through, but wanted to leave a couple of comments before I forget.

    @Justin, really pleased to hear you’ve embraced the resistance training, I think people are finally starting to cotton on. For a long time, whenever someone has told me they’re trying to get fitter or lose some weight, and I ask them if they’re hitting the weights, the response I got was that they don’t want to get bigger! People actually think they’ll turn out like Schwarzennegar overnight.

    Mostly agree with everything said about the skiing and snowboarding, I’ve done both, though mostly snowboarding for the last 15 years. Any listeners thinking about getting on a snowboard, as far as getting ‘hurt’ when you start out, it’s nothing to worry about, particularly if you’re used to contact sports, it’s just a few bumps and bruises. I remember asking my instructor how to stop on our first day, he told me “you fall over.”

    Happy New Year to all.

  14. Justin says:

    @Dave Thanks for the kind words. I’m hoping this will be my year to “get fit”. Happy new year to you too 🙂