It’s the end of another year, and time for Pete and Dom to run down the things that they were most impressed with this year. All the usual categories are covered: Books, Software, Hardware, Podcasts, Services, Courses, Blogs, plus some special mentions.
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End of Year Awards 2012
Dom Goucher: Hello everyone and welcome to this, the last edition of PreneurCast Podcast for 2012. This is Dom Goucher with Pete Williams joining you this week.
Pete Williams: Happy almost new year, buddy. How are you?
Dom: That’s very good of you, sir. I’m very well, very well. And I think it’s finally time for our traditional wrap-up of the year with the 2012 Awards. Again, I think we’re all in between family events, so we’ll just get right into it with this show. We pretty much do the same thing each year, so I’m going to go through the categories that we do.
If there’s something that stands out for you, then we’ll put that down. But if there’s any more categories that you thought of, anything that stood out for you this year, do let me know. Otherwise, we’ll stick to the tried and true method that we follow for a couple of years now.
Pete: I like it. Yeah.
Dom: We usually start out with a book. What book really stood out for you this year?
Pete: To me, definitely, the Book of the Year, being a marketer and being a bit of a media guy as well, was Ryan Holiday’s Trust Me, I’m Lying. It’s a fantastic book. We’ve had Ryan on the show this year. I’ve got up a reasonable e-mail friendship with him, I guess you would call it.
He’s a very, very smart, switched-on guy. Being in his early 20s, he’s Marketing Manager for American Apparel clothing brand, to the mastermind behind some hugely successful book launches for Robert Greene, Tim Ferriss, Tucker Max, and a whole bunch of other people.
He’s a very, very smart media manipulator, and using the media to get exposure and awareness, and interest in his products and services, and his clients as well. For anybody who’s marketing in this day and age online, who’s using blogs and newspapers and online media platforms to do all that, it’s really important to know how the game works. And Ryan just lays it out brilliantly in his book Trust Me, I’m Lying.
Dom: Got to agree with you on that one, got to agree with you. It was a real eye-opener for me. It’s one of those, some of it is kind of, “Oh, wow, yeah, that really makes sense.” And some of it is like, “Oh, wow, really?” That’s quite scary how that works. But it’s a great read isn’t’ it? He’s entertaining as well as being informative to people who do what we do.
Pete: And for those who’ve played along at home for a while and listened to this show, know that I much prefer to consume books in audio format as opposed to actually reading. Whereas, with Ryan’s book, I got a pre-released copy. I’m starting to get more and more pre-released copies of books these days, which is great.
But it means that I have to read them rather than wait for the audio. With Ryan’s, I couldn’t put it down once I started. It was a fantastic read. Very compelling, very engaging. And I really look forward to his new book that he’s working on at the moment.
Dom: Well, then a true compliment from you if you’ll sit down and read it rather than listen to it. Cool.
Pete: Was there a particular book that stood out for you at all?
Dom: I get my reading list mostly from you, I have to confess. It’s one of those little hacks that I do. I let you do my research for me. And I completely agree with you that Trust Me, I’m Lying was pretty much, of the new books this year that we read. There were a lot of contenders for that though. There were a lot of contenders. I mean Tim Ferriss’s latest book.
Pete: Yeah, absolutely. The 4-Hour Chef.
Dom: For anybody who hasn’t read that, by the way, it’s not about cooking, believe it or not. It is about cooking, but it’s about mastering skills. And that’s something that learning and study, and kind of improving your brain power and things like that is just something that I’m very interested in.
It’s my kind of a personal hobby. So that was a very interesting book for me that really stood out from the rest. But we do read an awful lot. And sometimes it is hard to pick a standout book. Yeah, I’m going to go with you with Trust Me, I’m Lying on that.
Pete: Very cool.
Dom: Our next category is Software or App [of the Year] as in iPhone, iPad, smart phone app. Anything that stood out for you this year?
Pete: From a general software perspective, nothing really new has hit my desk that I am enamored with and is part of my daily workflow. There’s nothing really that stood out. As we spoke about last week, I’m still on that tried and true method of using those original tools.
But if you’re going to throw apps into it, a couple of apps I have enjoyed this year have been pregnancy apps in terms of baby apps and things like that. We’re due to give birth to a child in the New Year. So things like BabyBump, and [a] baby tracker [app], and My Pregnancy [Today].
All of these apps that Fleur’s been downloading and throwing on my phone so we can watch the progression of our unborn child, have been really interesting. So from that perspective, those apps have been something that I have looked at and played with that I hadn’t historically.
But from a business prospective in the context of the PreneurCast show, there hasn’t been anything that’s really jumped out that I am using that I wasn’t using 12 months earlier. It’s interesting because there’s been a huge progress with new apps, but I’ve never found something that fits in my workflow yet. It’s surprising, but so be it.
Dom: No, but if it works, don’t mess with it. I’m a great believer in that, as you know. Neither of us upgrade for the sake of upgrading. Well, neither of us change for the sake of change, which I quite like. And I’m quite pleased with because change is good, but sometimes change can get in the way of things and give you something else to concentrate on. So what of the old, tried and trusted tools would you kind of put in as your vote?
Pete: We spoke about it last week, Evernote is the digital filing cabinet which allows me to have everything stored digitally, which I use so, so often. You use it in a slightly different way that we spoke about on last week’s show. But fundamentally to me, that’s a big one.
Notational Velocity is something we didn’t speak about last week, but is an app that I use daily. It’s my digital notebook. I keep Evernote for my filing cabinet of clippings, but my own writing and note-taking is all in nvALT, which is a version of Notational Velocity. And that’s something that I do use quite regularly. But I guess from a service perspective, in terms of software, a software package did come out this year.
It was MagCast, which did blow my socks off and impress me. So, for that perspective, I think we should put props out to Ed [Dale] and John [Bass] and the team there for producing that software package. It is an amazing solution for people who want to print and produce their own digital magazines.
Dom: Actually, you know what? You left-fielded me with that completely. There I was about to just completely join in and say yeah, Evernote. On last week’s show where we talked about the Top 10 Tools that we use every day, to me, this year, Evernote has been a new app. It has been a new software. I’ve kind of used it, it was installed on my machine.
Apparently, according to the date log, it was installed in 2008. But I can’t say that I’d ever really used it in anger until maybe even the last two or three months. But it’s a completely different thing to me now and I use it in a completely different way as we talked about last week. I won’t go over it. But it would definitely be my Software of the Year.
But as you left-fielded me with the MagCast platform in terms of apps, and it’s a little bit of a software and app and service that Ed Dale’s put together with John Bass with the MagCast platform. But it is amazing as a publishing platform. And it really is a whole platform, isn’t it?
It allows you to create an app to go into the Apple Newsstand platform to publish digital magazines onto the iPad. And it’s so easy to use. It’s amazing. It really is amazing how easy it is to go from nothing to a fully published and promoted magazine on the Apple Store. So yeah, all due to Ed and John for getting that off the ground and doing so well with it.
I have a funny feeling I know what the answer’s going to be, given your previous answer about nothing really standing out in the software front. But has anything really stood out this year on the Hardware [of the Year] front?
Pete: We talked about this recently as well. And again, from a business perspective, probably to really stretch it, the two-terabyte portable USB hard drive is probably about as sexy as it gets for me for new hardware this year. While looking around my office, the Doxie Scanner was my winner last year. I still use the MacBook Pro, my [Blue Microphones] Yeti [USB] mic.
The hardware I use in my business hasn’t really changed at all this year, which is surprising when I thought about it. You kind of think that something new will come on every year, but nothing from that perspective. The only other bit of hardware that has changed my life this year is my blender. We’ve got a pretty high-end blender sitting upstairs in the kitchen.
I’m doing the whole green smoothie, kale smoothie, morning ritual these days. The blender is probably the only bit of hardware that’s new to my household or office this year that is getting a working every single day. I couldn’t do what I do without my morning green smoothies. And the blender is to thank for that.
Dom: Go on, it’s perfectly valid. It’s hardware. It makes a difference in your life. What is it? Is it a particularly special, well-known brand of blender?
Pete: No, I didn’t go for the Vitamix or whatever the heck those ridiculous $1,200 blenders are. I’ve got a few hundred-dollar one. Not a cheap one, but a reasonable department store-bought one. It’s a Breville. I don’t know the model, but it’s the high-end Breville blender.
It has been brilliant. I don’t see the benefit, for the type of stuff I use it for, to go and spend an extra $800. I don’t think it’s going to be able to chop up my kale leaves any thinner than my current blender does.
Dom: You weren’t thinking of moonlighting and adding your own version to the Will It Blend? show then?
Pete: No, nothing like that. The Blendex again, they’re like $1,100 or something like that. They’re great blenders, but I’m blending apples, oranges, bananas, kale, spinach, that kind of stuff. It’s not like I’m trying to blend an iPhone, and drink that every morning or anything like that. So, yeah, it doesn’t need to be ridiculously overly powerful.
Dom: So those rumors are very overrated then?
Dom: A lot of people have been talking about things like that though this year. A lot of the tech crowd have been talking about things like, is it the AeroPress Coffee Maker?
Pete: I don’t do caffeine, so I have no idea.
Dom: Yeah, I know you don’t. That’s why I knew you weren’t going to say that. But it’s a thing. It’s a big thing. The lifestyle things are coming in. As you say, there’s been nothing for either of us that’s been truly kind of revolutionary. I remember when you got the Doxie Scanner and your entire world revolved around Doxie Scanner for a while.
Pete: I used to scan everything I could.
Dom: Yeah. There is something and we talked about it last week. I really shoehorned it into last week’s show because it has impressed me this year, which has been the MacBook Air. Because I haven’t really had laptops for years because I’ve never really traveled very much.
Pete: I’m starting to believe you’ve taken over Ed Dale’s spot as the biggest Mac fanboy in internet marketing space. Because I think Ed’s discussion and preaching of all things Apple has slowly subsided a little bit, but you’ve definitely taken up that mantle and pushed it hard.
Dom: Do you know what? It’s funny you should say that. Ed has really dialed back on his Mac fanboy stuff. I even hear him talking about a Google Nexus the other week.
Dom: And in a positive manner as well, so just to be clear. Yeah, we live on Mac gear and we love it because it’s a tool that does the job well. We’re not just because it’s silver and has a big shiny symbol on the back of it. It’s a tool to me. But I’m coming at it from that point of view, just as your blender does, it blends things.
The MacBook Air to me, the reason why it impressed me, was because when they first came out, they were considered to be underpowered and overpriced. And now, from a portable workstation point of view, for the average to high-end user, they’re very capable machines.
I was totally surprised. I was really worried because it was bought predominately to support the Profit Hacks launch, which were why we spent so much time in Florida. And I needed a machine I could travel really easily with, so it kind of needed to be lightweight and compact.
But it needed to be able to do a lot of the editing work that we did, that we do to produce all of the content. And to support that while away from the desk, because I have a big old desktop machine when I’m in the office. And yeah, there was nothing that it couldn’t do, absolutely nothing.
Just as a side note, and I have mentioned this before I think, the one thing about the MacBook Air that people are worried about is its capability to process video and handle high-end video stuff. Editing wise, certainly for the stuff that we did, stuff that came off my Panasonic GH2 video camera and the Screencast stuff that we would call the ScreenFlow, no problem at all.
Where it did have a little bit of a thinking time was with the export to before you could load it to YouTube or to the delivery platform. And to help that out, the other thing that I was really impressed with this year was my Elgato Turbo.264 HD, which you can’t really get more technical than that, really can you?
Please, don’t switch off folks. I’m going to finish soon. But it’s a little thing that you plug into the USB port on your Mac and it takes over the video processing when you’re doing an export. It just zooms along. It’s just poof, and the thing’s out. So, people worried about the MacBook Air not being able to do that kind of job, for less than $100, this little stick does it for you.
It doesn’t matter how fast or slow the computer itself is, the stick is the thing that does all the hard work. So definitely, kind of new editions to me that have really impressed me this year have been the MacBook Air and the Elgato stick, but actual kind of new, new technology, no. I’m with you there. We haven’t really done that much this year. Moving on to fun things, what Podcasts [of the Year] have stood out this year for you, Pete?
Pete: There’s been two podcasts that I’ve gotten into this year that aren’t actually new podcasts. They’ve been around for a while, but I got off the bandwagon a little bit. I never really, in one case, got really onto the bandwagon. So Freakonomics is a great podcast that supports and talks about the same things that the book series did about just weird economical case studies on different things about how the world works.
It’s really interesting. So I just found that interesting and engaging just to think outside the box and keep my finger on the pulse of creative, unique. So Freakonomics is a fantastic one. They’re short, 20-minute episodes. Another one, which I’ve only really gotten into this year, is Mixergy.
Now Mixergy, Andrew [Warner]’s podcast and video series has been around for a couple of years now, and is quite large and very well-known and respected. But I never got into it early and then kind of ignored it for a while, but got recommended to listen to a couple of shows recently.
And I have to give Andrew some props in that the episode that I’ve been listening to and getting back onto the bandwagon as I said, he calls his guests out. I find that so refreshing because there’s so many people who will get a guest on, and just pander to them a little bit and just let them get away with their answers for whatever they might be.
Whereas, Andrew’s like, “Hang on, hang on. Let’s really dig into this. That just sounds like crap,” or whatever. A great episode he did with Michael Ellsberg who wrote The Education of Millionaires. He really grilled Michael, calling him on some things that sounded like bullshit and was like, “That can’t be right. How can you as someone who isn’t a millionaire write about this?”
He was really asking some relatively hard-hitting questions, which I found very, very refreshing. And on the back of that, I’ve listened to a lot more of the episodes and his interviews now because it’s coming across as there’s a lot more integrity than just pandering in the interviews, which is great.
Dom: Cool. Is Mixergy a subscription service or do they have an iTunes open podcast stream?
Pete: What he’s done, which I think he’s done very intelligently, is that initially when Mixergy started, it was just a series of interviews that you can go and get. He then put a pay wall up and said that at the back catalog, you have to pay to get the back catalog.
So if you subscribe to the iTunes feed, you can get every single episode as it comes out and it’s on your machine, but over time, the back catalog disappear unless you have a membership. I think it’s a very interesting business model that he’s going about now.
How successful that monetization is happening, I don’t know. But on the surface, it looks like a very cool way to monetize a blog in some respect; making people pay for the back catalog, but if you subscribe, you can get the latest stuff. So I’m just a subscriber to the iTunes feed and just get the episodes as they come out.
Dom: Cool. Top tip, I like it. I didn’t even know that there was a Freakonomics podcast, but I loved the book, so I’ll be definitely checking that out. I agree with you about the Mixergy stuff that I listened to, I listened to it on the site. I didn’t actually, again, pick it up as a podcast.
Pete: Again, this is something that you can watch the video. You can sit there and watch the video. But at the end of the day, like we talk about in launching Profit Hacks and the product; realistically, where is the value in the actual content that is being produced?
Is it in watching the guest’s face and seeing what color of shirt he’s wearing today, or is it in the actual articulation of the ideas and the experience and the teachings? So from that perspective, an audio is just as good, if not more effective, as the video version.
Dom: Yeah. It’s definitely easier to consume while you’re doing other things. I find podcasts, if it’s not instructional, if it’s informational, that they’re a great way of just catching up on what’s going on. So I’m definitely going to be joining you on the Freakonomics one because, as I say, I find the book really interesting.
That’s podcasts. What about Courses [of the Year]? Because there are always so many new courses, new products, information products out there to pick up and learn. Have you k done any studying this year of anything new?
Pete: Yeah. Ed Dale- his listings are going to give you some crap again if I say Profit Hacks was the best course of this year. But realistically though, the thing that I really loved this year was, I wouldn’t necessarily call it a course as such, but more of a newsletter subscription.
I’ve been a big follower and subscriber to Dan Kennedy’s No B.S. [Marketing] Newsletter for a while, and I think that’s a must-have for any marketer. It’s like $50 a month or something like that. It’s nothing, but it’s just full of gold every single month. And there’s links on my blog to get it and you put links in the show notes to be able to subscribe to the No B.S. Newsletter.
But something that came across this year that I didn’t know Dan did was a high-end newsletter called the [Look] Over My Shoulder. Basically, what Dan does is every single month to these high-level subscribers, give out and show and basically case- study copywriting work and marketing work he’s doing for clients.
So if he’s in the middle of doing a sales letter for a client, he’ll share drafts and excerpts of that sales letter to this newsletter, and then annotate and describe what he’s writing, why he’s writing it like the way it is, what the angle is, and really allow you to see and learn his thought process when he’s working on paid work for clients, which is very, very cool.
Dom: Yeah. Dan came to me as one of those names that if you’re involved in, well, if you’re in business for yourself basically, in any way, then you really should know something about Dan’s work. He’s copywriting, but his perception of the business space is just something that it’s worth having the input from. Definitely.
And I love the idea of the ‘over my shoulder,’ where, as you say, you’re looking over his shoulder as he works through so you’re seeing his thinking process as well. It’s something that Rich Schefren said while we were over in Florida. He talks about that uncommon common sense.
And Dan Kennedy’s one of those people. When you read Dan Kennedy’s stuff and he says, “Look at it like this,” you just sit there and go well, “Oh, yeah, of course.” But in all my days, I probably would never have had that original thought. But the moment that Dan Kennedy points it out, away you go, that’s great.
Dom: So yeah, and I love Dan’s stuff too, as you say. Certainly, the No B.S. Newsletter is pretty much a must-have. But the Over My Shoulder has definitely got added value. For myself, something that you recommended to me actually, that I really resonated with this year, is on my own personal journey. It’s not necessarily a business thing, although it is very much related to business, was Brian Tracy.
Another very, very prolific producer of highly valuable content with great perception and great perspective on the world, produced some time ago something called the Accelerated Learning Techniques course. I’ve recently gone through that again. It’s an audio-based course, which is great. It meant that I could take this in as I was puddling around doing my stuff.
I won’t go into it. Because if you’re not interested in that kind of thing, then it won’t interest you in general. But his argument is that in all kinds of business, in all kinds of everything, being able to learn and take on new information quickly is a valuable business asset, which I totally agree with, which is why I’m fascinated by the subject. It’s quite an extensive course.
He covers all different kinds of learning and some examples of different things you might want to learn. One of the best examples was learning a language, which he has some great tips and tricks for, which, of course, is handy for me living in Spain. But I really enjoyed that.
Very worth the time spent going through it, and also worth time going through it again as a bit of a revision thing. Although I am going to do it, I’m going to sneak it in and Ed Dale can say what he likes. I’m very proud of what we produced this year with Profit Hacks.
Dom: And I would hope that somewhere, on somebody’s list, we appear.
Pete: I do agree with you on that one.
Dom: Moving on, moving on. Services, as in online services, we mentioned MagCast earlier because that’s a hybrid of a service platform, an app of this and that and the other. But are there any Services [of the Year] that you’ve been using this year that have really stood out for you?
Pete: One of the biggest services that we’ve been planning in a number of our different businesses and projects is a service called Xero.com. It’s a New Zealand-based company. It’s kind of like Mint.com. It’s an online accounting business software solution. I’m using that for the Preneur brand.
We’re using it now in the outdoor gear business. We’re not using it in the telco or anything like that because in that business, we’ve got SAP B1 [SAP Business One], which is a very decent, six-figure implementation, $200,000 to $300,000 cost to get it implemented and set up. So, we’re not going away from that for the bigger companies.
But for the smaller businesses where it’s just about invoicing, receiving in some payroll, very basic “functionality,” Xero is fantastic. It’s cloud-based. You can have multiple people logging in. We’ve got people in the Philippines entering, basing their license, AP invoices from suppliers.
Then we have the bank feeds automatically happening, which is a super cool feature. You can link up your bank account with the service. So any transactions of cash pulls it into your software automatically. All you have to do is go through it once a week and match up the invoice that you put in there, AP or AR, and match it with the cash flow.
Tick, yeah, that matches, that matches, that matches. It’s just such an easy and efficient way to manage the books of a business. It does all of your accounting reporting and stuff like that. Very cost-effective. It’s something that we’re using quite a bit on a number of our projects this year, which has been phenomenal.
Dom: Cool. I have a slightly technical question. Can it do the same thing with PayPal?
Pete: I don’t know— you can obviously have PayPal linked up. I don’t know if it automates the transactions of PayPal or not, like it does with bank accounts. But obviously, you can export and import CSVs and stuff like that if you have to. So you still can do the functionality you need, I’m not sure if it automatically pulls the feeds in for PayPal. That’s something off the top of my head.
I’ll have to ask the accountant about that. Once I got to know the basics and my head around it, then I just handball it to the team to get them to do the rest of it. But the one good thing it does have is a photo on the homepage of its website that looks like a very young Eugene Ware who is the founder of the Market Samurai and Noble Samurai who’s a good friend of ours. That’s completely pointless, but it does have a very funny photo of a person that looks like a young Eugene Ware.
Dom: And I am looking, and you’re not wrong.
Pete: It’s awesome. It’s a very cool picture.
Dom: That’s awesome. Oh dear, oh dear. Okay, excellent. For me, I can’t speak to the Xero solution, but something again that you did recommend to me a while ago that I’ve ramping my use up of is IFTTT, If This Then That. It’s proved itself most useful for some very random little things.
Last week, we talked about some of the tools that you’re using. And you use a thing on your machine to automate things called Hazel. And to me, IFTTT is kind of like Hazel out in the real world out on the internet in that you can set up these rules that ‘if this, then that.’
More specifically, on websites or on social media services, and there’s all kinds of different things that you can do. One of the biggest disappointments was at some point through the year, Twitter changed their Terms of Service and you now can’t use IFTTT to read Twitter. You can get it to write to Twitter, but you can’t read from Twitter. I was using it to keep a track on specific things happening on Twitter.
Pete: Which I find interesting. Have Twitter stopped their RSS feeds?
Dom: It’s not that. There’s one line somewhere buried in a paragraph somewhere in the 0.4.7.27.5iii of the Twitter Terms of Service the IFTTT was contravening. And they just said let’s play safe and let’s not do it.
Pete: Fair enough.
Dom: I’m sure there’s a way around it, but I haven’t got it. But I use it for all manner of other things like watching specific RSS feeds and getting an e-mail if something happens. You can get it to post things to things. Some people use it so that if they send something to their blog, it will also do something else. It will go somewhere else.
Take that content from there. You choose an in port and you choose and you choose an out port, and you choose a rule, and that’s it. It’s like a big, huge visual thing. You just click a couple of buttons online and things start happening. But in terms of automating, keeping an eye on things, doing repetitive tasks, it’s a really cool service and definitely well worth a look. It’s totally free. So I use IFTTT this year.
Pete: Cool. I like it. Nice.
Dom: Another thing we talk about, another award that we give out is a Blog or a Website [of the Year] that’s really stood out for you this year.
Pete: I’m trying to find new stuff. And I think the blogs I spoke about last year still definitely apply. There’s been three standouts, two new ones and one that’s been around for a while, again, that I just cottoned on to for want of a better term. One of them is TuckerMax.me.
Tucker is the controversial author of I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell and a whole bunch of other very controversial fratire-type books. A good friend and client of Ryan Holiday’s, but Tucker’s a very, very smart man. Much more intelligent than a lot of people give him credit for.
His blog that he’s created and started this year at TuckerMax.me is basically just his analysis of books and quotes, and higher kind of things, for want of a better term. I found that really engaging. He doesn’t post very regularly, but what he posts I really do enjoy reading his writing on that. It’s definitely a different writing from what he’s known for anyway. A thing that’s been launched only recently, Thrive Forward.
It’s something that’s very cool, but is just a service. Well, it’s not really a service, it’s just like an online portal that’s been developed to promote a product in the Vega sports range of supplements. It’s basically this online portal where you can go and get a whole bunch of really high-quality videos around health, wellbeing and a whole foods, plant-based diet.
But the blog that’s really captured my attention this year, because I’ve focused some attention onto it, is Ramit Sethi’s. I hope I pronounced that right, I always get it wrong. IWillTeachYouToBeRich.com. The book is a good book. If you’re a US-based person, it’s fantastic. Anywhere else in the world, definitely still applicable.
But his blog, he’s brilliant. He does very long article posts, but they’re around a whole range of things. Not just necessarily building wealth or getting a job. He covers things like personal effectiveness and interaction, and just becoming a better human being all around. But his writing is brilliant.
Such an engaging writer, such a very good copywriter, which you don’t really get when you read it. I think most people when they think about copywriting, if you’ve been in that internet marketing world that I know a lot of the listeners are involved in, they think copywriting is very hard, heavy, sleazy kind of deadline, scarcity-driven. But anything that persuades is copywriting.
If you take the time to read Ramit’s writing, it is very persuasive, very engaging and also, it has some great content to back that up too. That’s very much a blog that I would suggest people keep an eye out on for their benefit as an individual, as someone who wants to build wealth, or just to become a better person, but also someone who wants to be a better marketer. There’s worse people you can look at and swap and deploy from.
Dom: I like that. I have quite an esoteric one. Most of the things I read, I have been reading them for years. And we’ve talked a lot about them in last year’s show, and I’m still reading them. Things like Marco Arment, Marco.org that I read because he has expanded his writing to cover a lot of more everyday topics as well as the business of writing software and being the guy that did Instapaper.
But one I sit and wait for, just to see what’s going to happen next is a blog by a guy called Fraser Speirs at Speirs.org. It probably won’t interest you. But it stands out to me because Fraser Speirs is a guy, he’s an IT coordinator for a school, for I think it’s a middle school, not a secondary school in Scotland. It’s the most random thing ever, right?
Dom: He is just one random guy, or was just one random guy. But this school made this decision to implement iPads in classrooms. They decided that, instead of investing more and more in one computer per classroom. There’s massive investment that a lot of schools go through trying to get a group of computers or to build a computer center and all this stuff. They said we are going to go for one iPad per child.
So he’s gone from nothing. It’s a study in a lot of things, in that, first of all, it’s all the decisions that they have to make. Then it’s all the problems that they’ve had doing it because of the infrastructure wasn’t there to support having that many devices. There’s a lot of technology stuff which I’m interested in.
But it’s also about the learning. It’s about what it’s doing to the learning environment. And what the perception of it is from the children, the parents, so this is kind of like this human thing. But again, he doesn’t write very often, but when he does it’s very well considered, real world perception on what all the hoo-haw that’s kicking off.
So when people say, oh, the iPad’s done its course or the mini iPad is just a big this, or all these technology pundits who just make off-hand comments. But he’ll come in with something that really does look at it from a real-world, grassroots point of view. And I just enjoy the guy’s writing. He’s now doing very well for himself as an independent consultant. He’s asked to speak at a lot of events.
Pete: I like it.
Dom: I just find it interesting. It’s a little bit off-the-wall, a little bit off-the-wall. I can’t say it’s for everybody, but certainly if you’re involved in anything like that or you’re just interested in the technology side of things, it’s definitely worth a work just to see a real world perspective on this instead of just, I don’t know, in gadget, TechRadar, Gizmodo-type articles, going “Whoo, new iPad. Whoo.”
So now the last couple of years you’ve come out with a random, off-the-wall that’s leapt out at you for the year. The last couple of years it’s a TV documentary. Is there anything like that this year or a new kind of topic you want to introduce?
Pete: There hasn’t been any particular documentary that stood out for me this year. I’ve watched a lot as I often do, but nothing again life-shattering or anything like that like there has been the last couple of years. Something that I did go to this year which is a bit of a highlight was the EIA event in Silicon Valley.
The EIA is the Experts Industry Association. It’s for authors, speakers, consultants, coaches, that kind of person who is an “expert” in some level. I was honored enough to be asked to speak at the event, which was such an honor and a lot of fun.
But the people in the room and the stuff that was shared was very cool. That was probably the standout event for me this year. I didn’t go again to a lot of events. As we subtly have shown throughout today’s awards episode is that this year was all about production and getting down into our nitty-gritty, rather than consumption for me particularly and for yourself as well.
So I didn’t get out to a lot of the events that I had previously. I knuckled down and just did a whole bunch of work and projects. But that was definitely one of the better events I’ve been to in quite a while. A lot of fun, great people, and I got to learn a lot. That was definitely something that I would suggest people if they’re in that sort of space on some level, that you might want to consider going to next year.
Dom: Cool. That’s a good tip.
Pete: I’m sorry, the best thing about it was and I think part of the reason that it was such a good event was it was a no pitch event. It wasn’t about trying to sell from the back of the room. Not a single speaker was allowed to or able to or wanted to sell from the back of the room. It was all about just giving good, high-quality content out. I think that’s what made it such a great event as well.
Dom: Cool. That’s definitely a good point. Because I think a lot of people have got a bit shy of these events in the recent years because of the amount of pitching that has happened. But an event that is just people, just transfer of knowledge, I think is a great thing. I remember when you were going to it. And I remember you coming back and saying what a great time you had had. So awesome, awesome.
That’s a good range. Just to recap as we get close to time on this week; as you say, it’s been an unusual year in one way for us. But I think it’s been a good year that we’ve got down to business. That we’ve been busy doing things. We’ve been busy producing. The major event for us was Profit Hacks that we produced this year and launched. We’ve been almost focusing internally.
Working on the business, growing, changing what we do, moving the direction, and then the last show I’ve mentioned how much I’ve changed. My business structure and my business model and how I’m evolving my business. I think your involvement with the business has stayed the same because that’s how you do business.
You stand up there, and you look down and you do the business. You don’t do the mechanics. You focus on the core things that are going to add value. We talked about this slightly offline; it’s not been a year for huge things this year. The last few years, we’ve had lots to talk about.
Big courses being released and new hardware that’s making a huge difference in the industry, and all that kind of thing. But I think a lot of people have gone through what we’ve gone through this year. They’ve just been getting down to it and just producing content, which is good. It’s important. So that wraps up 2012 for us, 2013 we have big plans which we’ll be announcing soon.
I think the biggest thing we need to talk about, Pete, is the decision that we’ve made. And this is a formal announcement, everyone. Next year, we are moving to biweekly episodes, so one every two weeks. That is a reflection first and foremost because Mr. Williams will soon become Dad. His official title will be changed in the show notes. You’ll be having a baby early in 2013.
Dom: You have no idea how much that is going to change your life, but you have some idea. So we’re anticipating it.
Pete: Well, it’s been almost what, two years now we’ve been doing this show on a weekly basis. I don’t think we’ve missed a week. There’s been some times where we had to backdate or back-publish an episode here or there because we have missed a date or whatever it has been.
But it’s been pretty much an episode per week for two years now, completely free. So we thought that, yeah, going biweekly will give us a chance to get other projects and other things happening. I’m going to be doing a lot more blogging over the next 12 months as well.
Again, amazing content that we’ll be giving away in the podcasts; but it will be blog-based, and things that are much better as a written article or a report than it is a podcast episode. Make sure that you do follow along at PreneurMarketing.com for all that.
Still, interviews, as we do regularly on this show or on the blog. But in terms of hearing our discussions, it’s going to be a two episodes a month-type thing in 2013. It will give everyone, as well, time to consume the contents. A lot of the feedback we’ve had as well is that the contents are awesome, but just people struggle to keep up every single week. We’re going to play to that as well a little bit.
Dom: Yeah, and we are slightly shifting our focus next year, as you said, Pete. You’re going to be producing, doing a lot more blogging. We’ve also got a lot of projects and products in the pipeline that we’ve got ideas for that we want to apply ourselves to.
And I think the big thing we’ll slightly let the cat half out of the bag on this one, is our community. We want to start working more directly with our community, the Preneur Community. So yeah, we’re allocating our time, focusing on things, but we want to continue the PreneurCast because it’s great. We get great feedback with loads of listeners.
We love hearing from everybody and we want to continue to just add this value for free as we have done now for almost two years. So moving into 2013, we’ll carry on and we look forward to hearing from you on iTunes comments, always greatly received. You can catch up with us on PreneurMedia.tv.
All the shows backdated on there for free. All the transcripts are on there. All the show notes are available on there. And you can also leave us a comment on any episode or a little audio comment with the cool tool that we have on there. And yeah, keep an eye on PreneurMarketing.com, as Pete said. Things are going to move forward on there as well. So, see you all in 2013.
Winner: Trust Me, I’m Lying – Ryan Holiday
Mentions: The 4-Hour Chef – Tim Ferriss
Winner: Evernote – Digital note-taking app
Mentions: MagCast – Digital publishing platform for Apple’s Newsstand
Winner: MacBook Air + Elgato Turbo.264 HD – Great portable media production setup Podcast:
Winner: Freakonomics – Fascinating insights into world economics
Winner: Dan Kennedy – Look Over My Shoulder
Mentions: Accelerated Learning Techniques – Brian Tracy
Also: Profit Hacks
Winner: Xero.com – Online accounting software solution
Mentions: IFTTT – Automatically trigger events based on online happenings
Winner: iwillteachyoutoberich.com – Ramit Sethi’s site
Mentions: tuckermax.me, thriveforward.com, fraserspeirs.com
Experts Industry Association Event – San Diego
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