231: TZ Discussion – Dying on Mars

Justin and Jason discuss Philippe Monnet’s visit to Pasadena, a new structure for the show, living on Soylent, the idea of dying on Mars and how to get there fast, the myth of focus, moments of opportunity for startups, echo chambers and the benefits of ignoring the competition, prospecting experts for AnyFu, learning to emotionally disengage from projects, Jason’s weird shoulder problem, how technology is aging in reverse, how Jason is reengaging with his secret project, some benefits of pursing an MVP, getting your arms around a problem, scaling systems at Uber, the incredible efficiency of private instruction and how Jason’s soccer team lost the championship.

  1. Good to hear that you have put the “expert recruitment” plan into action. I think, in the interest of reducing friction, that you should get your assistant to write a first draft of each of the experts profiles, once they have committed to joining Anyfu of course. The experts can then modify their profiles to personalize/extend them a bit. I know it’s definitely not scalable (or maybe it is?), but at this early stage of the game you will need to do things that aren’t scalable to get the ball rolling.

    You also need to encourage your experts to link to their Anyfoo profiles from their personal websites. Something along the lines of “want an hour of my time? Find me on Anyfu”. This will benefit both you and the experts, assuming anyfu is really adding value by reducing the friction of setting up “burst” consulting. You could include this in your profile creation flow: “for best results link to your anyfu profile from your website”. You could even encourage specific wording to get the best SEO effect (avoid skeez though).

    One last piece of unsolicited advice: it would be good to put a redundant list of external links (that appear headings) in the left hand sidebar. The headings are not obviously (to me) links, even with the little link icon next to them. Perhaps also provide links to the experts twitter and linkedin profiles.

    Also, thanks for the great show!! 🙂

  2. According to Forbes, Justin is “a well-known developer and entrepreneur”. That’s a pretty cool recommendation 🙂 http://onforb.es/11MVy7i

  3. Justin says:

    @Stanislaw – 😉

  4. Jason says:

    @Stanislaw Pitucha – What the …? 😉

  5. Matt S says:

    I think James makes a *really* good point about having Sarah (Sara?) write a first draft of the profile. It is another value-add that makes an expert want to use AnyFu – they don’t have to write their own profile (which could be hard for some people who don’t like self-promotion or don’t want to “brag”).

    The “hire me for an hour on AnyFu” widget seems like a must to me. Link juice + more sessions for clients + more publicity for AnyFu = win-win-win.

  6. Hey guys,

    I just wanted to say I have now listened to every single episode (except the lost ones). I did 68 to ~200 and then 1 to 67, filling in with new episodes. I was always a BBC podcast only guy but then I tried HNewsPod and they mentioned you. Then from you I branched out to Rob and Mike and onwards to other startup podcasts. As a software engineer this has been a real education (my only education in starting a business) and I wish I had found you guys sooner :-).

    This is weird: I want to listen to you guys while I do some chores but for the first time there is no new episode available :-[. I hope you guys are busy recording one now :-).

    Thanks for the education and for keeping me company.

    Andrew Cox

  7. Jason says:

    @Andrew Cox – Hey, thanks for the positive feedback! We both got kinda busy the last few weeks, but we’re going to record a show this weekend.

  8. Jason, Justin,

    Let me just echo Andrew’s appreciation. I don’t think I’ve listened to all the episodes, but I’ve come close. The constant story lines about Anyfu, Catalyst, Pluggio, etc are great for those of us that have been listening for awhile. I like the links too, but it’s great to get that transparent communication about how you guys keep on moving forward on your projects. I also have two young boys, so the Catalyst story is fascinating. Jason, when my oldest gets to be Colby’s age in a few years, I’m going to be hitting you up for how to start a session up here in the Northwest!

    Keep at it guys, great job. I promise, you’re not talking just to cyberspace! And I’m dying to hear what that secret project is!!


  9. Hi Jason and Justin,

    Are you guys heading to MicroConf this year ? If so are you going to be having a TechZing get together ?

    It would be great to say hello in person.


  10. Richard says:

    @Andrew Cox – wow, the whole lot! I started about episode 110 and have listened to quite a few from before that but not all.

    When I started listening I had downloaded an episode (on a recommendation) but didn’t listen to it for about six months. Then I started from that episode and caught up in fast-forward mode for a while, so no waiting for new episodes!

    TechZing hits a nice balance of being interesting, educational and having continuing topics that I look forward to hearing updates on but it’s not so ‘practical’ that I feel I should be concentrating and taking notes like with Startups for the Rest of Us, etc.

  11. Again I wanted to say I had a fantastic time getting together with you guys.
    I think it would be cool to have a companion wiki site where listeners help document the main threads / topics of the show – I guess I should look into this …! 🙂

  12. Justin says:

    @Philippe, thanks so much. It was great to meet you in person at last. And of course thanks for your help with the wiki I have registered the domain you suggested and sent you the ftp info 🙂

  13. Justin says:

    @Sam, see you there 😉

  14. netcan says:

    I wouldn’t say my day job is my passion, but you gotta get that stuff done. It’s like getting work done for clients, paying bills, keeping the wife happy, doing the dishes… You gotta get that done.

  15. Jason says:

    @netcan – I’m guessing that’s a quote from me. 😉

  16. Jason says:

    @Sam Howley – Yep, we’ll be there. See you in Vegas!

  17. Jason says:

    @Richard – Thanks, we’re glad you’ve been enjoying the show.

  18. Jason says:

    @Nick Burdick – Thanks so much for the positive feedback. The secret project won’t remain secret for too much longer, I promise.

  19. Hi guys, I’ve been listening since about episode 4 I think (and pretty quickly went back for the others), really cannot recall how I came across the show but it has definitely been a great addition to my 2hr+ daily commute here in Perth, AU. Some of those early shows were pretty rough with regards to audio quality etc but I don’t think that took very long to sort out!

    It has been a great journey and like others commenting above, I think you’ve got the balance right with Catalyst, various tech story links and your continuing development endeavours with AnyFu and Pluggio (and the secret project). Thanks for all the great shows.

    I think it’d be great to have more interview shows but I also understand how much time this likely eats into your very busy schedules.

    This week is also the first time I’m fully caught up with TechZing (seem to always be about 1-2 months behind for all podcasts) so I’m eagerly awaiting the next episode.

  20. Justin says:

    @Scott, thanks very much! In theory we will be recording an episode tomorrow! 😉

  21. Aleksander says:

    Jason, I assume that TV you bought recently is a SmartTV. How do you (or your family) find the “smart” features? Did you even try them out – the “apps” and the rest?

    If not – do you think there’s any point whatsoever putting them there? (Esp. since you’re a geek – if you don’t find them interesting, why would the average Joe Doe. And it certainly made the set more expensive.)