Welcome! Have a great and productive week!

Friday, October 17

✔ It's all about passion! - Passion 3: Product [part 2]

Note: This is the 11th excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!" - The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

It's all about passion - 11

Passion 3: Product

Learn to say NO

Saying NO is a skill. Especially in relationships. I'm this kind of person who'd always want to make everyone happy and I used to say YES all the time. Until my commitments list just grew so big that I simply couldn't keep up with it and almost blew out. Every relationship counselor will tell you that you've got to be assertive - you have to know when it's perfectly OK to say no and how to do it in order not to hurt the other person's feelings.

Saying NO to feature requests is one of the most important skills a startup team can master.

When users are passionate about your product, they'll send you lots of feature requests. It's a good thing. You should read them and reply. But it doesn't mean you're supposed to say YES to all these requests.

Thursday, October 16

✔ Productivity gadgets: Bluetooth headsets review - Productive! Show #82

Drop the cables and get a bluetooth headset. Actually I have two recommendations for you: Jaybird Bluebuds X for sports and Arctic Sound P311 for casual listening to podcasts and audiobooks when around the house.

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Friday, October 10

✔ It's all about passion! - Passion 3: Product [part 1]

Note: This is the 10th excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!" - The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

It's all about passion - 10

Passion 3: Product

"Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work." - Aristotle

You're building a great product, right?

Every startup builds a product or service. A service is a product itself so let's cut it short to the fact, that whatever your startup is building, is a product. Facebook, Twitter, Google Search, Yahoo Portal, eBay... these are all products just like Apple's Macbook Air or Mac OSX.

My Nozbe is my product. I built it because I needed it. Not because I wanted to prove something to someone, or because I wanted to earn money. I needed this product and I built it... and more than 7 years in, I keep on building it.

Every startup product is in constant "beta"

When Gmail (Google Mail) launched in beta it stayed like this for more than two years... and then they removed the "beta" sign... although they could have kept it indefinitely. Gmail keeps on evolving, changing and getting better. It really is at beta stage all of the time.

Tuesday, October 7

✔ A sad story of the last one-handed phone ever - my iPhone 5s - my habits will need to change

In September Apple started selling two new iPhones - a bigger one and a bigger-bigger one: iPhone 6 and 6 plus. People kept asking me which iPhone I'd get... as I'm upgrading my iPhones every year... but because of the new sizes (and my relatively small hands) I didn't know what to think of these new headsets... so I decided to go and check them out in the store:

A sad story of the last one-handed phone ever - my iPhone 5s

Being a geek and all, I should have been excited after a visit to a local Apple retailer... after all, the new gadgets were there! Yay, right? Not so fast... I was disappointed. Yes, I tried both of the iPhones - the humongous 6plus and the big 6... and both proved to be too big for me! Yes, both! Too wide... actually. I couldn't believe it - I checked again, and again... and pulled out my iPhone 5s to compare... and this is what I found out:

Monday, October 6

✔ It's all about passion! - Passion 2: Solution [part 2]

Note: This is the 9th excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!" - The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

It's all about passion - 9

Passion for a Solution

You don't have to bet everything

Many startup experts tell you to just quit your job and bet it all on your grand idea and you'll succeed. Most guys who tell you this have actually never made the leap. I'd tell you to do the contrary. Keep your day job and work on your idea on the side and see how it goes.

You'll have plenty of time to make the leap and take it full time. I started my Nozbe journey when I was married and we were already thinking about having our first child with my wife. And we already had a mortgage. I couldn't make the big leap as I had to pay the bills.

I'm not the only one here. 37signals, the now-famous web-app company was still doing the client work the first year they launched Basecamp - their flagship project management solution. Only after one full year they decided to "ditch the clients" and focus on their web-app. Bob Parsons, now CEO of GoDaddy - the world's most successful domain registrar, started his business of accounting software in the evenings and he failed to get traction his first three years. He persisted and after a few years sold his company to Intuit for millions of dollars.

Only after a year of running Nozbe I decided to take the leap and to work on Nozbe full-time. I hired my first programmer mid-2008 and now after all these years he's still with me and he's my CTO (Chief Technical Officer) and we are working together perfectly. I also hired my first customer-support person and now she runs my entire customer support department. We are like three musketeers.

Thursday, October 2

✔ Productive school? - interview with Mike St. Pierre - Productive! Magazine #23

It's September - the back-to-school time. This is a great occasion to talk to Mike St. Pierre - the tech and education guy, the President of Morris Catholic High School in Denville, blogger and podcaster. In the interview we talk about the way education and technology can work together, iPads replacing traditional school equipment and student books. Mike also shares his experiences and advises on productivity at schools.

More details in Productive! Magazine #23: http://ProductiveMag.com

Question: In what other ways you think schools might get more productive?

Please post your comments below, thanks!

Check it out:

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Wednesday, October 1

✔ What’s productivity really? Productive! Magazine #23 with Mike St. Pierre

This is the Productive! Magazine No. 23 Editor's Note. Our monthly magazine is free and available online as well as the iOS and Android apps - you have no excuse to miss this issue :)

productive23

I would like to make sure that whenever I use the term "productivity" you understand and feel the same way I do. Productivity that I teach and advertise is optimizing and facilitating processes and actions in order to gain more time and energy for doing the stuff we like and spending wonderful hours with people we love.

I've never meant anything else by promoting productivity. It's not about working more, working harder, working longer hours. It's also not about getting more and more and being richer and more powerful. It's more about looking for ways to facilitate things and make life easier, happier and more satisfying.

Friday, September 26

✔ It's all about passion! - Passion 2: Solution [part 1]

Note: This is the 8th excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!" - The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

It's all about passion - 8

Passion for a Solution

"Visionary people face the same problems everyone else faces; but rather than get paralyzed by their problems, visionaries immediately commit themselves to finding a solution." - Bill Hybels

Just do it. Solve it.

This is the key component to the success of a startup. After all, the startup in theory should be solving some real-life problems and making people's lives all around the world easier.

That's why it's so important to understand your startup's mission as way to solve a particular problem the best way possible. To make sure you're really doing it right, you need to be truly passionate about solving this problem.

Scratch your own itch

The best way to find a problem to solve is to actually look at the stuff that's bothering you and see if you can make it better. Just see if you can scratch what's itching you the most. Usually that's the best start. If you're genuinely interested in solving the particular problem, chances are you'll have more passion and drive to pursue a solution and maybe even build a startup business around it.

Just see what's really bothering you and do some research for available solutions out there. See what works and what doesn't and what is really popular. Chances are you will be thinking: "I know I can do better than that!". If that's the case, go for it.

Monday, September 22

✔ Rolling the dice while winning volleyball world championships

Yesterday I was watching the finals of volleyball world championships and my team won! Poland beat Brazil in an amazing 3:1 game! It was amazing! Now, watching the game and observing how the players handled the pressure of a high stakes game like that reminded me of a business analogy of rolling a dice in a board game... Here's what I learned:

Rolling the dice while winning volleyball world championships

Every dice roll is a new beginning

I read somewhere that we believe too much in the fact that "past performance is an indicator of future success"... And this can be exemplified perfectly in a dice roll:

Every time you roll a dice, you can get any number between 1-6. Any number. The number you got before doesn't influence the number you will get now. You got 6 before? Doesn't mean you will or won't get it now. The 6 of the past doesn't influence the number of now. How could it? Every dice roll is new. The probability of getting any number between 1-6 is the same. Each time...

What does it have to do with volleyball and business? Everything:

Friday, September 19

✔ It's all about passion! - Chapter 2 - Passion 1: Money [part 3]

Note: This is a 7th excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!" - The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

Chapter 2 (part 3) - Passion 1: Money

It's all about passion - chapt 2_3

Money drives passion in a healthy way

When you love your product and your customers share the love by sharing with you their hard-earned cash, it steams up passion from both sides. You're even more passionate about doing what you do as you get this confirmation in something tangible also known as "money".

I've found that to be very true in my case. The more I earn with what I do the more motivated I am to make my business even better, more reliable and strong. Money, when approached wisely is an enormous motivator that helps you drive your passion forward and you share it with your customers along the way.

Earning money is also a skill - learn it

Asking for money is not easy. Designing a product in a way it entices the people to pay you and learning the pricing the hard way (by overcharging or under-charging) is not as straightforward as it seems.

I've met many startup founders who gave up way to easily because they didn't see the affirmation of their work in a form of healthy income coming in because it doesn't "just come" easily.