Why we’re not drinking until we’re profitable.

Posted: July 26th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: General | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments »

I recently launched Tweaky.com with my co-founder PJ Murray and together we decided to give up drinking until we’re profitable.

It’s a ritual I started when I took over Native from Nick Crocker. We took three months off drinking to focus on producing great work and it became one of the most productive periods of my life up until that point.

I’m not generally a heavy drinker, though I’ve had my moments, but like a lot of people I’ll have a drink or two on a Friday night or after a particularly challenging day.

So why are we not drinking until Tweaky.com is profitable?

 

1. To bring the team together and create healthy rituals

One of the big reasons for us to be sober until we’re profitable is that it means we’re all focusing on a common goal of building a successful company.

Not drinking is a tangible manifestation of our commitment.

Not drinking when I’m embarking on something new has become a ritual for me and something I want to pass on. Creating tradition and ritual brings tribes closer together.

 

2. To focus on the work at hand

We’re trying to build something important to us and that takes a lot of time and energy. Coming into work with a hangover or slowing down on a Friday at 5pm when the beers roll out is not something we feel like we can afford right now. We’re playing to win.

While having a few drinks of an evening might only slow down our performance by a few percentage points we want to be operating on 100% at this critical stage of the company.

 

3. To have more quality time outside of work

The little time we have outside of work we get to spend with our friends and partners – quality time that has become a lot more intense without booze.

We’re already turning down a lot of social engagements and spending less and less time with friends and partners, we don’t want to have to turn down more because we’re hungover or tired affected by drinking.

 

Everyones different and perhaps we’ve taken a somewhat extreme approach to starting up but for us not drinking as a founding team has brought us closer together and closer to achieving our goals.

If you’re a founding team taking a similar line we’d love to hear it in the comments.

If you’re a small business looking to tweak something about your website you should check out Tweaky.com: the marketplace for customising websites.

 

“As a cure for worrying, work is better than whiskey.”

- Ralph Waldo Emerson


New Website Design

Posted: May 24th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: General | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

I’ve just relaunched my new personal site. You can check it out here.

The idea was to create a central place for people to find out about me without taking the whole “personal branding” thing too seriously.

Building the site was a truly collaborative effort. The site wouldn’t have come together nearly as well as it did if it weren’t for everyones effort.

I came up with the original idea and wireframes for the site which I’d been thinking about for a while. Ben Patterson from Native suggested the lasers and then worked out a way to build them in CSS + Javascript with a fallback for Firefox.

After a quick chat with Daniel Wearne and Christian Varga we all decided we needed to add explosions to the lasers to push the tongue-in-cheek nature of the site to the next level.

Within a few hours Dan had made the design that you see now and Christian had chopped the design in Compass. Ben Patterson then nailed the most important parts of the site – the lasers which follow your cursor, the sprites and hover state on the photo of me and the explosions.

I’m really happy with how it all turned out and the response online.

What do you think?

Ned

You can follow me on Twitter here.


The future of relationships

Posted: March 30th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: General | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

I’ve been mates with Nick Crocker for three years now. We met after discovering we both ran music-related marketing agencies.

In June I started working with Nick on Native Digital. Shortly afterwards I became a partner in the business, running it as a going concern while he was in the U.S with Boxee. Nick was still actively involved in the business, particularly in strategy and business development, but as of March 1, I took over the business as sole director and majority owner.

In our time working together we’ve taken the business to its largest contracts, its largest quarter, and if all goes well, its best financial year to date.

Yet only today, in one of our frequent Skype calls, we realised we had met in real life on three occassions. The last was 2 years ago.

We’ve built a rock solid friendship and a successful business. Nick has transitioned out and I’ve taken up the reins. And it’s all happened while we were on opposite sides of the planet–with communication split between Skype and email.

Is this the future of business? I’m not sure, but it worked for us. YMMV.

Ned


And now it's in print.

Posted: May 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Projects | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

My mate Ross recently returned from SXSW where he saw a newspaper called Things Our Friends Sent Us For Printing. It was a collection of articles by people like Clay Shirky and Warren Ellis but it was also the inspiration for a new project we’re now working on.

“And now it’s in print” is a 16 page full colour newspaper aiming to promote amazing online content to a wider audience. It’s a way of sharing the online culture in physical print. We’re planning on focusing primarily on content coming out of Melbourne but will also be including things we’ve found from around Australia and the world.

We’ve given ourselves a month to get it ready for print and will then distribute around 500 to 1000 copies. This is not a for profit venture, it’s a small part in a series which you can find in our biographies under “awesome shit”.

We’re prepared to run just about any kind of content you can imagine: long form, short form, photographs, tweets, illustrations and even transcripts of podcasts. But there are some limitations:

  • The work must have originally appeared online, and it must still be online at press time. Why? Because each piece will be accompanied by information that should help people find it online as it originally appeared.
  • We can’t afford to pay for contributions. This is a project we’re doing because we want to promote people beyond their current audiences. We’re not getting paid, so we hope if you’re involved you’ll be cool with not getting paid either.
  • You can’t submit your own content, someone else has to nominate you. Who do you know who produces amazing stuff online? Tell us about it and we’ll get in touch with them and see if they want to be a part of this.

So what is this post? I guess it’s a few things. It’s a call for submissions. It’s certainly a call for suggestions of people we should know about. And it’s a public announcement that this is a thing. I hope you’ll find it interesting.

Email me at ned@mynameisned.com or feel free to drop comments on this blog.

Ned


Make misteaks.

Posted: March 18th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: General | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Today we officially shut down Orgnition for good.

We could have kept going, knuckled down and thrown another 6 months at it. Hopefully we would have come out on the other side with a functional business which generated enough revenue to keep us going at it for another 6 months. In the end we just didn’t have it in us to keep going on a business which we no longer believeed in. There was also an enormous opportunity cost in sticking with the Orgnition business – a business we both acknowledged we would not have entered if we knew how hard it was to get off of the ground.

Already looking around at other projects I can see that some look awesome from a technical or business point of view but I am also being realistic about the time involved in putting them together and the hard work and pain that is all in front of me.

Cris Pearson recently sold out of Plasq to focus on Skitch. When the settlement cleared we had a celebratory lunch and he reflected on the business he had just left and the one he was now dedicating his life to. I realised then his success took around 5 years to come to fruition. And now he was just starting that process over again with Skitch – a product that’s been out for a while and which he will be dedicating the next 5 years to.

For Tom and Fenn they’ve been working on startups for 6 years before they started Adioso. 6 years of “mixed results” in various enterprises. Adioso as a business is still at an early stage but building on their previous record and with some solid backing they’re now positioned to make some serious changes in the travel industry.

I was reading a job posting on Hacker News the other day (more out of curiosity than anything) and one line in particular really stood out in the requirements: you must be prepared to make our startup the focus of your life. This one line, combined with the idea that it’s going to take at least 5 years to make something significant gives me new enthusiasm to not only try again but also to dedicate myself to the next project.

I’ve learnt a lot from this “failure” and I think learning anything means that it’s not a failure at all, just a milestone on the path to being successful.

“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” – Henry Ford

Ned


Novelty Events

Posted: May 25th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: General | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

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A while ago my housemate Luke and I were talking about how great it would be to have a big Sunday roast.

“How great would it be to have a big Sunday roast?”
“Heaps.”
“It would be even better if we had a bunch of our bro’s over.”
“What, like a Broast?!”

And the almost monthly broast was born.

Since then I’ve taken on the semi-regular Sunday “Mum Cha” session at Shark Fin House in Melbourne’s Chinatown. Wednesday marks the first session of “Win Peaks” where we aim to get through the entire David Lynch series.

It doesn’t have to stop with puns either. October 31st isn’t all about Halloween, it’s actually John Candy’s Birthday. You should throw a party, we do.

I also recently discovered that I share a birthday with the original Yahoo, Yahoo Serious, on July 27. In fact when I turn 30 he will be 60. I hope we can spend the day together.

It’s good to have a hobby.

-Ned


The First Step

Posted: May 24th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: General | Tags: | No Comments »

first

I’ve been meaning to start a personal blog for a while now and there is no time like the present.

The idea is to document things that I’m thinking about as well as leaving a place holder to refer to in the future. It’s kind of like my public notebook.

-Ned