9 May 2013
We talked with Matt Lee, WIP’s Head of Marketing.
Webstock: What is WIP? Give us an idea of exactly what it does, what problems it solves.
Matt: WIP is a new way for video makers to share and review their work-in-progress videos.
Right now there is a massive disconnect between the video and the feedback: lengthy email chains with time-codes are the way people currently communicate changes. This just seems crazy to us given video makers are visual people and video is a visual medium. Doesn’t it make sense to approach the feedback workflow in the same way?
So that’s what WIP does: we’re a cloud-based platform that lets you upload your work-in-progress videos, privately invite clients and collaborators to give feedback and comment directly on the video. It’s really that simple.
Webstock: So all good products have a founding story. What’s the story behind how WIP got started?
Matt: Like many great products, WIP was born out of necessity. 18 November 2012 was the day WIP’s CEO, Rollo Wenlock, came up with the idea after a frustrating experience trying to share a video with a client and get feedback on it. After searching the web for a better solution he was gob smacked that nothing decent existed. He stopped by Creative HQ on a whim to pitch the idea, this lead to a meeting with soon-to-be co founder and CTO Nick Green and six months later here we are, about to finish New Zealand’s first startup accelerator program, with a full-time marketer and designer on the team as well and a product that’s used by video professionals in 24 countries.
Webstock: You were one of the winners at BNZ StartUp Alley and have been accepted in the Lightning Labs program. How has each of those things helped you and what are you learning from them?
Matt: Webstock was a great launching platform for WIP, it led to coverage in a number of local publications and put us on the radar of some of NZ’s most influential tech and business people, who have been great mentors over the last three months.
The Lab has taught us some of the science behind business and what it takes to run a successful start-up – before that we were just four guys with an idea. The 110 local and international mentors they introduced us to have also been vital to the growth and development of the company.
Webstock: Is there much competition out there for WIP? What sets you apart from your competitors?
Matt: Of course there is competition, it’s extremely rare to start a business these days and not have a competitor and we see this as a good thing, it helps to validate that there is a market out there for WIP.
The problem with many of them is they treat video makers as second-class citizens, they don’t understand the user and in some cases their products actually make the process harder by adding complex functionality to the process.
What sets WIP apart is that our team truly understands the problem and the solution and its paramount to us that the user experience is at the heart of everything we do.
We’ve built a platform that makes the video the central focus and the comments appear on the video so they’re contextual. Nobody else does this.
Webstock: Where would you like to be a year from now? What are you plans for the next 12 months?
Matt: I’d like to say we’d be kicking back on a yacht in the South of France, but we’re here to make a great product, which takes time.
The Lightning Lab will draw to a spectacular close next Wednesday with the investor Demo Day. So there are three primary focuses for us: 1) securing investment, 2) product development and 3) thought leadership and media relationships.
We have two major product releases scheduled for September 2013 and March 2014, which will enhance the feature set and functionality, and allow us to focus our marketing efforts and concentrate on the USA, which is our biggest market opportunity.
Thanks Matt! We’re looking forward to seeing WIP’s progress over the coming months.
2 May 2013
Timely, along with WIP, were the winners of BNZ Startup Alley at Webstock ’13. Timely will be visiting Kiwi Landing Pad soon as part of their prize. In the leadup to their visit, we caught up with Ryan Baker from Timely and with Catherine Robinson, Kiwi Landing Pad’s San Francisco Director.
Webstock: What’s the one big thing Kiwi start-ups wanting to operate in the USA should know, but don’t?
Catherine: The USA market is a 100 times bigger than New Zealand, and 100 times more competitive. This is great for “sharpening your saw”, but be prepared to adapt, change the way you conduct and operate your business.
Webstock: What are some of the main reasons Kiwi start-ups haven’t succeeded in the US market?
Catherine: Firstly there are already a number of successful Kiwi companies, like Litmos and Aptimize for example but we want to see a lot more of them. In my experience there are several key issues that can affect kiwi companies:
- Don’t try to “boil the ocean”. Choose a single vertical and concentrate there. This is a foreign concept to many NZ companies because we’re from a much smaller market, we tend to generalize our approach
- Speed to market. We create great innovative products in NZ, but markets and demand change rapidly and this has left many companies scrambling to adapt to the changes. Worst case it means missed opportunities for success
- Cost. Starting a company to be global from day one used to be prohibitively expensive for most early stage companies. In the last five years this has quickly changed, and the cost to enter market can be dramatically lower
Webstock: For Kiwis freshly arriving in SF, Silicon Valley, the hub of the web… what should they expect in the way of culture shock?
Catherine: Silicon Valley is vast and there is no big “Welcome to Silicon Valley” sign. It’s 1500 sq miles of tech campuses, strip malls, housing estates, business parks and cities that merge together.
San Francisco is about 70 kms from Santa Clara – one of the cities inside Silicon Valley. Prepare to spend a lot of time traveling and have plenty of buffer time built in. Being late is not a good start to a meeting here.
Technology plays a significant role in the Bay Area. If you are lost or need help there is an app for that.
Contrary to popular belief-there is good coffee in San Francisco!!
Webstock: A year or so down the track how’s Kiwi Landing Pad going? How would you sum up the year and what are you looking forward to in the future?
Catherine: KLP is a long term play – the vision is to provide a landing point for an increasing number of Kiwi businesses wanting to expand into the US and in doing so reduce their risk and the time it takes to set up an office and accelerate their business development plans through our knowledge, networks and community.
In the last few months we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of companies wanting to establish residence at KLP, a reflection of a growing awareness and more companies thinking globally.
Timely founders with the winning cheque at BNZ Startup Alley
Webstock: What are your expectations around a visit to SF and the Kiwi Landing Pad?
Ryan: Our expectation is that it’s going to be frickin’ awesome! For both Andrew and I this will be our first visit to San Francisco. Although, one of the cool things about being part of the cloud ecosystem is that we’re already working with a few SF based companies – so there’ll be familiar faces for us to meet with right from day one.
The Kiwi Landing pad will be fantastic to use as a home base. We’re hoping to corner all of the residents there and hear their war stories of getting traction in the US.
Webstock: The US is a huge market. Is it a realistic target for you? If so, does that scare you? Excite you?
Ryan: Yes, the US is a huge market, with lots of potential customers for our product. But inevitably that also means more competition as well. The US is already our largest source of customers for Timely – but currently our conversion rate sucks on US accounts – so there’s something that we’re not doing right and it’s great timing for us to get over there and figure it out. It’s exciting for sure!
Webstock: Are you expecting anything in the way of a culture shock, going from Dunedin to SF?
Ryan: I’ve been to other parts of the US before – so not expecting general culture shock. But in terms of Silicon Valley culture – yes, I’d say the maturity and size of the startup/tech space over there is going to be pretty different to what I’m used to!
Webstock: A couple of months on from BNZ Start-Up Alley at Webstock, how are things progressing? And in what ways has winning the competition helped you?
Ryan: The timing of winning Webstock was awesome. We are using the prize money on advertising and this is already starting to bring in new customers. We’ve also had increased interest from investors, which was always part of our plans once we had the demand for the product proven. The geek-cred has been cool too – and we’ve met a bunch of other start-ups that we didn’t know before who we’ve kept in touch with.
Webstock is the second best thing I’ve ever won in my life (in the 80′s I won an Omnibot, that will never be beaten).
Webstock: Where to from here for Timely?
Ryan: We are still growing at a really healthy rate – so the challenge will be to keep doing what is working well and to manage that growth. We will be hiring over the next few months – and building a team of ridiculously awesome people will be a big focus for us.
10 February 2013
If you are coming to Webstock ’13, you may wish to pre-register. The benefits of this include:
- avoidance of massive queues and an unhurried signing-in process
- time to peruse the schwag in a leisurely fashion
- an opportunity to engage in witty banter with the Webstock Welcome Committee
Should you wish to pre-register, come on down to the ground floor of the Town Hall, just inside the main entrance between the following hours:
9.30am – 4pm on Monday & Tuesday
9.30am – 12pm on Wednesday
Happy Webstock Week!
31 January 2013
So the ice cream at Webstock has Been. A. Thing. each year. Honestly, the first Webstock, in the feedback we received, the fact we had ice cream available (yummy and free) was mentioned the most times! We learned from that that the little things matter more than you might first think.
It’s time to up our game though!
With the help of our friends at Wooden Spoon we present three delicious flavours for your culinary pleasure at Webstock:
Webstock Blueberries and Cream
Webstock Blueberries and Cream is our homage to long summer days, hanging out with friends and all-around good times and, of course, Webstock! This flavor combines a sweet cream-y base with a delicious summer blueberry swirl.
Chocolate + Sea Salt
One of Wooden Spoon’s signature flavors, Chocolate + Sea Salt has a little bit of everything in each bite: rich smooth dark chocolate and a hint of sea salt at the finish. It’s complex. It’s addictive. It’ll be gone before you know it!
When we made a test batch of this sorbet we couldn’t stop ourselves from “testing” it. It’s a light, ultra-refreshing, perfect-for-summer flavour. If you’re a fan of sorbets or pineapples or thirst quenching goodness, this one’s for you.
These will be available in cute lil tubs throughout your Webstock experience. Yum!
25 January 2013
This is the second year we’ve run Start-Up Alley in conjunction with the BNZ. One of the joys of it is seeing the range and variety of start-ups that enter. It’s inspiring and humbling to see so many people putting it on the line.
There were 28 entries. We’d love to showcase them all, but there’s only room for the eight finalists. Here they are!
PAPERKUT are making everyday paper receipts, paperless. We’re really looking forward to attending Webstock as part of the BNZ Start-Up Alley. We are very pleased to be selected and wish good luck to all of the finalists!
Nick Harley – Paperkut
Thanks for giving us the opportunity to put the fun and the ding! back into funding. The PledgeMe team is super stoked.
Anna Guenther – PledgeMe
Made on Jupiter
Made on Jupiter – We’re pretty stoked to be part of Webstock and finalists for the BNZ Start-Up Alley. To boot, it’s the first public showing of Spoke Creator, our software for customising 3D products online. You can imagine how excited we are!
Tom and Ross – Made on Jupiter
Stay Today is a hotel booking app that offers significantly better prices than the web. You can book premium hotels in all major CBD’s across New Zealand and Australia. Roll on Webstock – we’re thrilled and excited to be a finalist in BNZ start-up Alley.
Matthew Mayne – Stay Today
I heard that ThunderMaps was invited to Webstock and my eyes started leaking this strange salty fluid.
Clint Van Marrewijk – ThunderMaps
Being selected as a finalist for BNZ Start-up Alley at Webstock and having the opportunity to raise awareness of what we’re doing with our start-up is an amazing opportunity for Timely. The feedback that we expect from attendees and judges will be invaluable. We can’t wait!
Ryan Baker – Timely
WAITLIST revolutionizes the way busy restaurants engage with their customers to provide the ultimate customer experience. Combining mobile apps, social networks, QR codes, SMS and NFC, this all-in-one solution is a marketer’s dream.
Josh Wong – Waitlist
WIP is a collaboration tool for the screen industry filling the gap between work-in-progress and delivery. We are very excited to be able to tell you all about our company at Webstock 2013. Come and find us in the startup ally for a demo.
Rollo Wenlock – WIP
Thank you to everyone who entered. And well done to these eight finalists! We look forward to seeing them at Webstock.
22 January 2013
Here at Webstock HQ we totally get APIs. What’s important to us is sharing — data, information, thoughts, laughs, words and love. And we see an API as a conduit for this sharing. So there’s certain… parameters; certain… constraints; certain… things that need to be in place, when developing our API.
Among these are:
- The recognition of alcohol as a ‘social lubricant’ *
Actually. That’s it really.
So we asked our developers at Garage Project to hack something together for us.
We’re delighted to introduce the Webstock API, debuting at Webstock ’13 for your enjoyment.
Beer – the perfect communication interface – brewed especially for Webstock 2013.
Here’s the technical details from the Project Garage guys:
“How do you brew a reverse IPA? In conventional brewing high alpha acid hops are added at the beginning of the boil for bitterness, while low alpha aroma varieties tend to hog the spotlight at the end giving aroma and flavour. For this API we’ve turned the tables, it’s time for the bittering hops to shine. It’s an all kiwi affair with low alpha Kohatu relegated to the beginning of the boil and alpha heavy Southern Cross and Super Alpha (AKA Dr Rudi) coming in at the end.”
The essence of programming a good API is considered thought about how to proceed.
It’s vital that the API has a large enough capacity to handle demand
API, just like IPA only backwards.
The Webstock API. Or as we like to say, Cheers!
* Webstock is a place for good times and responsible drinking. While we doubt this would occur, anyone found to be excessively intoxicated and a bit of a douche, will be told off and may be removed from the premises.
18 January 2013
It wouldn’t be a Webstock without some late-breaking news about the need to, very sadly, replace a speaker. Or two.
We’re very sorry to say that due to unforseen personal circumstances both Whitney Hess and Paul Irish will be unable to join us at Webstock. Both were very much looking forward to Webstock and it’s with regret that they’ve had to pull out.
The one bright side of these situations is that it does give us a chance to bring someone equally awesome in to speak though! We’re delighted to welcome Kitt Hodsden and Artur Bergman to the Webstock ’13 lineup!
So, welcome to Kitt and Artur! And our best wishes to Whitney and Paul.
19 December 2012
Mark: Let’s save people a visit to Wikipedia. Give it to us straight. Who is Jason Scott?
Jason: I’m many things to many people, but these days I’m mostly living the high life as an Idea. The Idea is simple: computer history is important, and online data generated by people has weight and meaning. I run a number of projects, including the TEXTFILES.COM family of sites, a number of documentaries both in production and finished (BBS, GET LAMP, with ARCADE, 6502, and TAPE on the horizon), and working full time as an archivist for the Internet Archive.
Mark: Let’s chat about your job. To me, it looks like one of the coolest jobs in the world. Reading awesome stuff, playing old games, meeting the people who literarily changed the world, browsing GeoCities and a seemingly unlimited supply of hard drive space. Is it really is cool as it looks? What’s the biggest challenge it brings for you?
Jason: It is humbling and amazing to spend every single waking moment doing something I want to do. Yes, it really is as cool as it looks, assuming that doing unbelievably involved classification, investigation, and compilation of data is what sends your motorboat humming. For me, the fact that I help people around the world get access to so much culture and help give hope that possibly-lost history can be found again, is about as good as it gets. It’s kind of amazing to live un-ironically well for a change.
My inbox, however, looks like something that crashed the Yellow Submarine movie into Wargames.
Mark: New Zealand isn’t just a hop and a skip away for you. In fact, it’s a long fucking distance to travel. What do you hope to achieve the most from this visit?
Jason: I had the opportunity to visit New Zealand last year, and I celebrated it by landing there and being sick as a dog for the whole time. I also saw a single city, and my hosts were kind enough to guide my dizzy carcass, like some sort of meandering videogame character, through the streets of Auckland. What I saw was great, so the opportunity to travel and see more of New Zealand is a welcome chance to get it right the second time.
I’m not bothered by the distance – the destination is great! However, the last time I came by, I spent the return flight awake watching movie after movie, and 9 feature films later, I got off the plane stumbling like the creatures from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. So call that a lesson learned.
Mark: You once said : “The computer industry is 50 years of over promise and under deliver”. Is that changing yet?
Jason: We have a LONG way to go before THAT changes – with endless new people signing on every day, promising them that their phones will turn tears into gold or will rescue orphans from burning buildings is still quite profitable, and with a few notable exceptions, it’s considered the way computers are marketed.
Normally, that’s not a big deal, but when the promises drift into longevity, access, and shutdown times, then my amusement turns to anger.
Mark: One of the things that shines through out the subjects of your work, is an in-depth understanding of the technology stacks some of your interviewees used. They knew how it worked and what the limitations were (and how to push them). There seems to be an increasing number of people that believe such in-depth stack knowledge is becoming a lost art. What are your thoughts? Are we understanding the technology less?
Jason: I think that there’s still access to much of the deep knowledge of how things work but as we spread the reach wider for who can use computers, the motivations of these folks to learn the really hard developer-level stuff just isn’t there. If this handheld computer that makes phone calls does more processing while showing you a map than a building’s worth of home computers did in the 1980s, your first thought might not be “I can’t wait to get into the device layer” and is likely more to be “Oh come on, that road’s been closed for weeks.”
I definitely think there’s a trend towards there being virtue in being unaware of the undercarriage of technology, and that means a lot of people are in the same position they are for their energy or their food – something goes wrong, anything at all, and we’re just completely frozen, with no solution coming forward and nothing to do but wait for the lights to come back on or for the vegetables to stop having whatever took them off the shelves in the first place. It can’t be great to be that disconnected from what keeps you alive and healthy.
Mark: As a sysop growing up, one of the things that was really clear to me at the time was the importance of staying local. Whether it was phone verification for new users or a social BBQ to talk tech over, BBS’s were largely a local community thing. Are such local communities getting lost now days with all the fan dangled new web tech? If so, can it be saved?
Jason: When things started to really move over to the internet, we definitely lost that feeling of locality and geography. Since websites were few and far between in the world, there might be one big online forum or one large news site that everyone around the world posted on at the same time. But over the years, we’re starting to see that locality come back, be it in the manner of mobile apps, attaching geography to social media, or even how people can set up something like a subreddit that services just their college or smaller town. It’s all cyclical, I guess, and things are looking up again.
Mark: You and the team at Archive Team, mirrored Geocities. An impressive undertaking in anyones book. I get lost in there randomly browsing the old neighborhoods from time to time. During the archive process you must have seen some classic stuff. Could you share a favourite you stumbled on during that mirroring work?
Jason: To be honest, what really made me happiest was not individual webpages (although I did find lots of interesting ones), but using this mass of webpages to look for similar items and then group them all together. For example, I really liked tracking down Under Construction GIFs, those animated promises of future work on a website, and putting them all on one large web page. Same for Netscape logos and mail icons. When you do this sweep across the entire collection like that, you start to see trends, artistry, and a perspective unheard of a mere 10 years earlier. To be able to go “now show me what people thought was a good way to promote their browser” or “how many different ways can you say ‘click here to mail me’” is pretty amazing.
Thanks to both Jason and Mark for this interview!
20 November 2012
For our second speaker interview, we asked Webstock ’12 speaker Estelle Weyl to interview Chris Coyier. In addition to speaking at the main conference, Chris is also giving a workshop on “The modern web designer’s workflow”.
Estelle: What is your background? What first got you interested in web development?
Chris: I was a computer nerd as a kid and that just rolled forward. I was into programming and art in high school. Then computer science and design in college. I would have loved to get a web design job right out of college but I didn’t have the chops. So I went into graphic design and the printing business for a few years. All the while I was building websites on the side. Some for fun. Some for bands I was in. Some personal sites. Some freelance. An opportunity for a web job came up, and with that sideboard of work, I was able to get it.
Estelle: What do you consider yourself? A designer? Front End Engineer?
Chris: That’s always tough to answer. That’s why I like joke titles. I was “Lead Hucklebucker” at Wufoo. Certainly Front End Engineer is a big part of it. I also do design but I’m self conscious about it.
Estelle: What are you most passionate about when it comes to front end engineering?
Chris: Decision-making is a big one for me. I really like talking through problems and making choices. Of course that could apply to any job but it’s particularly fun in front end because the days are like an endless series of little logic puzzles to solve.
What text makes the most sense here? What should happen if they click here? How does this grid behave at this size? Does this look button-y enough? Is this error message helpful enough? How could we have prevented that error in the first place?
I consider all those things front-end problems.
Things like “should this be a
<div class="subtitle"> or does an
<hgroup> with an
<h2> make the most sense?” are front end engineering problems to be solved as well, but are less interesting to me lately.
Estelle: It sounds like you’re passionate about good user experience design. How important do you think it is for Front End Engineers to also be skilled in UX?
Chris: Fairly important. UX is everyone’s job. If you just mindlessly replicate designs I don’t think you get to be an “engineer”.
Estelle: What projects are you working on now?
Estelle: For people considering entering our profession, what would you recommend them?
Chris: My general philosophy is “Just build websites.” What you need to know becomes clear when you build.
If you absolutely have no idea where to start, I think I’d suggest “Handcrafted CSS” by Dan Cederholm (the book) and read through it and follow the project.
Then pick a project of your own. Build a personal site. Find a business you can build a website for. Anything.
And just do it. You’ll have roadblocks. But now, you’ll have a motivation to do the research and learning you need to do to defeat the roadblock.
(Repeat 1,000 Times)
Estelle: What is your biggest obstacle in your career as a FEE, and what are you doing to overcome it?
Chris: There is fear and there is over-confidence. Sometimes it’s hard to know the difference.
For example, every since I started web design I sized all type on every site I’ve ever worked on in pixels. I’d read stuff about the downfalls of that and alternatives and yadda yadda and dismiss it all.
I’ve been building websites for a while now, I do it this way, it works fine.
That kind of confidence is sometimes super useful. This works for me so I’m not going to worry about it and focus my attention elsewhere.
But at some point I had to admit it was either 1) being fearful of admitting that what I’ve been doing all this time was wrong or 2) overconfidence that my was best without truly considering other options.
So I give sizing all fonts with ems on a project a proper try and it’s better. There are some clear benefits.
That kind of thing can be a constant obstacle. Your own mind can be awfully stubborn.
Estelle: Where do you think our profession is going? What do you think we’ll be focusing on in 3 years?
Chris: Three years is a great time frame to think about it because it’s both close and incredibly far away at the same time. Just one year ago there were a LOT more discussions around IE 6/7. I feel like that’s pretty much over now. There was an attitude like “Oh this HTML5 stuff is neat or whatever, 2030 will be sweet!” Now a year later we’re using a lot of it on live sites. Time passing is a part of it but the rate of change is going faster too.
I think layout is going to be a different ballgame in three years. Flexbox will be starting to be used in primetime in about a year and will totally oust floats-for-layout in two years.
Web components will be a big deal I think. Web apps will be created in a much more modular structure. It will be funny to think of CSS as this huge looming monster over websites like it is now. Instead it will be contained to smaller parts.
Education will catch up a bit, so young people entering the field will have actual web experience. Tools will get better. It’s a bright future. If you’re already involved in the web right now, you picked a good place to be.
Thanks to both Chris and Estelle for the interview!
12 November 2012
In the first of our interviews with Webstock ’13 speakers, we talked with Clay Johnson. Clay has an impressive CV that touches on many aspects of 21st century life — our relationship to technology, our consumption of information and the way these relate to power and politics. He’s also giving what promises to be a unique and, yes, important workshop: How To Take Over Your Town.
Webstock: I want to focus on the workshop you’re giving at Webstock – ‘How to take over your town’. It’s an intriguing title!
So, firstly, what’s been your journey to get here. You’ve been involved in politics with the Howard Dean presidential campaign and with Blue State Digital. You’ve worked with the Sunlight Foundation on making government more transparent. And you’ve written a book, ‘The Information Diet’ about the (pretty poor) information we consume and how to improve that. How has all that lead to you wanting to take over the town?
Clay: I don’t want to take over the town. I want us to take over our towns. Or rather to take our towns from charged up political climates into friendly, innovative communities. All politics is famously local. Power, too, is local.
Our media environment, though, makes us pay attention to large, sexy, national or global issues — issues that we largely can’t do anything about. Here — I’ll ask you three questions. No Googling allowed:
1. Who is the president of the United States of America?
2. How has the child poverty rate in your city/town/community changed in the last year?
3. Which one of the outcomes of the above two questions are you most likely to have an impact on?
Now some may say “That’s not fair! It’s very important to know who the president is!” and they’re right. These aren’t mutually exclusive. But what if I replaced the first question with “Name a Kardashian?”
We — the technology community — have to start paying attention to our communities. Two billion dollars just got spent in the United States presidential election, largely raised from concerned americans who wanted to participate in the election in some way. Thousands of people knocked on doors, made phone calls, and asked for votes. Can you imagine what would happen if that effort and participation went into improving public schools, or heck, street sweeping?
Webstock: The workshop description includes the following line, “The future of government isn’t in the code of law, it’s in the code of software.” What do you mean by that?
Clay: Right now the establishment profession of power is the lawyer. They write the laws, make the rules, determine who follows the rules and how best they get followed. But as technology is famously eating the world, isn’t the developer on the rise? After all, the software developers at Facebook are, through software, creating governing law on our interactions — they’re creating rules in the system about how we can communicate.
I think it’s time to start thinking about this critically. And I think it’s time for developers to start thinking “Perhaps I can make a big difference by making some changes in the way my community works!”
Developers have a skill like no other profession: they can rewire society without having to wait on government to change.
Webstock: Who should attend this workshop and what will they learn?
Clay: The developer who wants to learn how to organize people. Above all else, what I’m going to teach you isn’t a political skill, it’s a critical skill about how to move people. Hopefully, you’ll take this skill — combine it with what you already know how to do, and make amazing things happen for your community. But heck, if you just want to use the skills I teach you to learn how to leverage the ideas from US Political Campaigns in your business — that’s fine too.
That’s going to be the first half of my workshop. The second half of my workshop is going to be about having a healthy information diet so that you can stay focused on making great things happen for you. By the end of my workshop, you’re going to have a system for dealing with incoming crap, and you’re going to leave Webstock with more time. Anybody who wants more time on their hands should come to my workshop.
Also, Nat Torkington. And the lesson that he will learn is that he should have given my book a five star rating on goodreads. He will learn that lesson “the hard way.”
Webstock: Changing tack a little, one of your blog posts that I loved was ‘How to focus’ And I even went so far as to try the Pomodoro Technique mentioned there. How has the “focusing” gone for you? We all know it’s one thing to write or think about focusing better, it’s another to actually put things into practice over a sustained period of time.
Clay: I must confess. Focusing has gotten a lot harder for me since my wife and I brought our son Felix into the world in July. I still need to child-proof my How to Focus technique.
But honestly, I still use that technique a lot. It’s intended to be sort of a recovery program: when you find yourself lost in a rut of things that are asking for your attention, having the focus technique available is the thing that gets you out of that rut and back on track. It works every time.
Webstock: What the one single thing you’d recommend to someone wanting to improve their information diet?
Clay: Write 500 Words, every day, before 8AM. Make it the first thing you do every morning. That way, you’re starting your day as a producer, rather than a consumer. And your whole day will revolve around you making things rather than reacting to things.
Webstock: And finally, what are you most looking forward to at Webstock?
Clay: I’ve heard so much about Webstock that I can’t even begin to anticipate what I’m looking forward to the most.
Webstock: Thanks so much so Clay! We’re looking forward to having you here in February.