Le Wagon’s Product Pitch

I’ve been pretty busy recently with Le Wagon Mexico’s boot camp where you have 9 weeks to learn about product development from the ground up.

The 5th week is done and the course has been all that I expected and even more. The program is really well done, the culture is enlightening and the meta learning will be useful for the rest of my life.

It is now clear to me that the future of education is in these kinds of ‘trade’ schools where you take on a topic and learn all its intricacies and take them to the limit in the shortest amount of time possible.

I’ve had a lot of conversations with my fellow course buddies and teachers and each time we’ve come to the same conclusion: the future of education is already here and we are experiencing it at Le wagon.

The ultimate goal of the course is for everyone (no matter their background) to be able to build any digital product from the ground up.

The program walks you through From the back end to the front and teaches you the way everything glues up together and shows you the tools that real world tech businesses and startups are using today to build their game changing ideas.

In that way, the course is arranged so that the last weeks are for building your own projects after having a week of pitching, voting and team generation to build the most popular ideas of the batch.

Today was our first day of working on the pitches and I just finished mine:

TARGET or who’s your customer?

As creative entrepreneurs we are always trying to create things that we like and that’s not bad at all but if we want to actually experience the joy of people using the stuff that we build we must focus on making things people want.

So the first step would be to clearly define the pain point (problem) and then create a solution and not do like most times and create solutions in search of problems.

This could be very simple: If you build something that you yourself would use because you are ‘scratching your own itch’ you sure as hell will find more people that will pay you for the solution to the same problem.

In this example I’m trying to scratch my own itch:

I’m an avid reader and I’m always searching for the ‘next big book’ to read and enjoy in a wide range of topics: historical Japanese novels and authors, business books, great transcendental biographies filled with lessons, sci fi stories that get you hooked, etc.

The first thing that I do is search for the best places depending on the category: I go to Product Hunt’s top book list or one of my favorite tech startup founders personal blogs if I’m in search of a business book.

If on another category then I just browse r/books or pray for a good book recommendation while browsing twitter which has happened maybe once before so it’s not a really good way of doing it.

I then browse through the top new books from Amazon, NYT or mainstream blogs (not a smart choice I know) but in spite of having all these different places and options I end up being more confused than when I started my search.

How do I know that those places are actually being transparent and fair in their reviews? How do I know that the book is actually any good and that the amazon stars are not fake?

There should clearly be a better way of indexing all of the information that we have available to make a buying decision for x category of books no matter if they are new releases or the top books of all time.

Why can’t I just go to a filtered lists that combines what people are really saying about ‘x’ book + its mentions and display it in a clear simple understandable way for me?

A sourced list of the best books to read by category with a mention counter + sentiment analysis indicator to know what people are really saying about the book would help solve the issue of really knowing if the book is any good by the average sentiment of people reading it.

It would also show the real ‘popularity’ of the book and would be useful to make a buying decision. If things are taken further it could even start aggregating new book recommendations based on the things people are saying about it.

By combining a human chosen list of good places to source information and some API’s that help clarify what’s being said with affiliate links.

If the product is good enough the earnings could help fund the next phases of the project and keep iterating based on user feedback until the platform is advanced enough to add different categories of products that people could search for.

Think of it as a wire cutter with auto generated lists with up to date information.

That’s what I’m gonna pitch and work towards for the next weeks if the product is selected. Wish me luck 🕊

6 Tools to boost productivity on your Mac 🔥

When you work with computers everyday it becomes really important to know the tools to boost your productivity on your Mac. I think it was Tim Ferris who said something like: “You got to pay attention to the tools you use everyday because your productivity depends on them”

This is really important and true because everyday I’m using software that helps me achieve my goals at work and personal projects on my Mac and if I’m not careful, a tool could cause bottlenecks that would cause my daily performance to go down.

Thanks to the next productivity tools and adjustments for Mac I managed to improve my speed and productivity at least by a factor of one:

1. Speed up your trackpad tracking speed

gif showing the trackpad configuration

The most obvious modification to boost your productivity on Mac that many people ignore. The faster your Mac pointer is, the faster you can do stuff. To change your configuration:

  1. Click on the Apple logo at the top left corner
  2. Go to system preferences
  3. Choose Trackpad
  4. Go to the “point and click” tab
  5. Speed up your tracking speed to the max

It might be hard for you for 5 days or so but you should get used to it eventually and if you are patient enough you will be rewarded with a lot more productivity for your daily activities.

2. Install SPECTACLE on your Mac

gif showing manipulation with spectacle

Since I installed SPECTACLE on my mac, it is now impossible to work without it. It changed the way I work entirely between windows thanks to its really useful commands. I can position every window just the way I want it to be even on the screen that I want.

I really think that if you only had one choice out of the 6 that I’m giving you to boost your productivity on your Mac, this is the best one:

INSTALL SPECTACLE, AND LEARN ITS COMMANDS

3. Install and use caffeine on your Mac

Caffeine App logoThis tool lives on your Mac Toolbar, with this installed you can prevent your screen from going to sleep every time and with a single click you can enable it permanently.

This is perfect when you will not be working directly on your Mac but you want to check the screen for a pending download or you are reading a blogpost, book or just waiting for something to happen.

INSTALL CAFFEINE ON YOUR MAC

4. Measure your productivity with RescueTime

Image 2017-11-21 at 5.03.26 PM.png

RescueTime is an App which will live on your Toolbar and it will help you log your times and activities between all your applications every day. It will also show you a list of all the websites you visit and categorize it so you know if you’ve been unproductive for the day.

DOWNLOAD RescueTime

5. Download and Actually LEARN to use ALFRED

Alfred has been an application that was really hard to understand. Every time that I tried I came up with the same question: Why would I download an App Launcher when macOS has one installed and it’s perfectly fine?

That was the question and I finally could answer it. Alfred is not just another simple App Launcher, if you actually pay for it the app becomes a really helpful swiss army that will help you create MACROS, use it as a text expander and do many different activities that took a long time.

Use case 1: Start Apps for daily work activities

Gif showing how to use Alfred

With a Simple CMD + space and then writing “start work” I can start all my work applications: Slack, Chrome + 2 specific windows, iTerm and CloudApp.

Use case 2: Use shortcuts to create text snippets

Screen Recording 2017-11-21 at 05.14 PM.gif

You can create text “expansions” so that you don’t need to write repetitive texts every time. For example I have an expansion which replicates all emojis so that I can use them anywhere.

You can use it to sign emails, quick responses, FAQ’s, etc. It really depends on your imagination.

I hope that it now becomes clear how does Alfred helps if you really know how to use it. It is also important that you think about your daily activities and analyze if its really useful for your specific cases.

The most important thing about all of this is that you don’t install anything that will not really help you be more productive on your Mac and daily work.

DOWNLOAD ALFRED

6. Hide your Dock and deactivte its pop up animation

gif showing the speed of the Dock when animation is turned off

It might sound aggresive but you are doing something wrong if you are leaving your dock in the middle bottom default part of your Desktop, all that screen real state is being wasted when browsing windows.

It will definitely be better if you changed its location and also make it faster by turning off it’s slow pop up animation:

  1. Click on the Apple logo
  2. Go to system preferences
  3. Click on the Dock option
  4. Activate Dock hidding (or right click the Dock and turn the option ON from there)
  5. When you have your Dock hiding ON press CMD + Space and search for “Terminal”
  6. Paste the following code which will turn off your Dock pop up animation and make it faster:
    1. defaults write com.apple.dock autohide-time-modifier -float 0.25;killall Dock

       

I’ll be updating this post with new apps that I find useful, please leave a comment below or tweet @ignacioaal and let me know what you think about these tips. Where they helpful for you?