Quick Update

Quick Update

Weeks of 7 November – 27 November 2016.

Been a crazy few weeks. Completely forgot about jotting down my quick updates. Thought I’d try can catch-up on the bulk of November 2016 in one post, re-created by looking through my calendar and photos.

7 November – 13 November

  • Had quite a few interviews. Made one new hire that started almost immediately. Looking forward to the impact the new hire will make to the team.
  • Loads of conference calls during the week – WhatsApp is slowly starting to overtake Skype as the default voice / video calling solution. The call quality is so much better.
  • Posted two videos – Exercise as Productivity Hack and Punching Through the Ceiling. Really want to focus on getting more video content out.
  • Went for a haircut at Blokes. Dig the second store near Cape Royale – the first time in 3 years Brian hasn’t cut my hair. Have massive trust issues but Jordy pulled it off.
  • Attended Romanda’s graduation fashion show at Fedisa. Incredibly proud of the hard work she’s put in over the last few years – the show was amazing.

14 November – 20 November

  • Quite a busy week with AfricaCom happening in Cape Town. Got to see a bunch of of old faces and many new ones.
  • Caught up with Vincent Maher over some drinks at La Parada. Glad to see the launch of Mega8 eSports. I definitely think eSports is set to become a really interesting space in South Africa over the next 24 months.
  • Saw the “super moon” which was a pretty rad experience, although rather brief.
  • Had a great lunch with Erik Hersman at Villa 47. Caught up on BRCK – some really exciting things happening. Again, my excitement about doing business in Africa made stronger.
  • Dinner at Kloof Street House with Brad and some OpCo people then popped over to Hussar Grill for Josh’s birthday.
  • Woke-up at 3:00am to be in the office by 4:00am. The plan was to migrate our billing engine infrastructure from Virginia to Ireland and then the database from MySQL to Aurora but a minor issue held us back.
  • Quite a few product updates and sprint planning meetings throughout the week.
  • Sadly missed gym for the entire week.
  • Dad (Pops) was in town for the week, came to spend the weekend with us. Showed him around Cape Town and surrounds – took a drive through Chapman’s Peak to Simon’s Town and dinner at La Mouette.
  • Decided to go hiking on the Sunday with my Pops, Romanda, and Luigi. Pops and I decided to split away and do the Platteklip Gorge route up to the top of Table Mountain. It was tough but we made it, really worth it.

21 November – 27 November

  • A week essentially dedicated to reviewing how we are progressing with the recently implemented JIRA / Confluence setup in the business. A really intensive transition as we move away from Trello + other tools. It’s going well so far though.
  • Triaging a lot of work at the moment. We have some ambitious goals for Q4 and so as the time available compresses to reach them, and the constraints start to arise,  a lot of co-ordination is required to ensure the right things are focussed on.
  • Got into the office at 4:00am again this week to migrate the billing engine (I was moral support more than anything else). This time it was a massive success – such a huge system with so many moving parts was moved seamlessly without any major disruption. Really happy.
  • Again, missed gym for the week. And my diet was terrible – I’d like to call it binge week. Did loads of walking over the weekend though. A great way for me to decompress. Looking forward to getting back on track next week.
  • Ate at a few good places during the week, namely Jarryds, Manga, Nobu, Tashas, The Butcher Shop & Grill, and Villa 47.

Just 3 working weeks to push hard and hit our Q4 goals. Really excited to end the year on a high note – but there’s still a lot to do before we can celebrate.

I think my priority for the upcoming week is to make sure I get back to working out and eating right – fortunately I haven’t noticed any decline over the last two weeks.


Quick Update

Quick Update

Week of 31 October – 6 November 2016.

The next few weeks are going to be crazy as we push hard to end the year on a good note. A few more products to rollout, deadlines to hit, hires to make, and plans to execute on. Quite excited about the infamous Cape Town summer that is starting to show itself again.

  • Monday – Breakfast. Walked to the office. Meetings. Email. Lunch. Even more meetings. Light work in the evening. Watched some of The Office.
  • Tuesday – Breakfast. Workshop with the team at the FNB Business Lounge. Finally working on App we’ve been wanting to build for a while now. Lunch with Brad, Charl, and clients at Grand Cafe & Beach. Got the new iPhone 7 (thanks to Charl). A quick product concept meeting. Had a good gym session after being away for a week. Dinner at Tashas with Romanda.
  • Wednesday – Breakfast with Charl at Loading Bay. Had a morning full of meetings. Lunch with Luciano at Villa 47 before he headed back to JHB. Back-to-back meetings in the afternoon (missed gym). Dinner. Watched The Office.
  • Thursday – Breakfast. A crazy day filled with meetings and conference calls. Had a great call with the CEO / Founder of Flutterwave. Incredibly excited about business in Africa. Late gym session. Evening work. Dinner.
  • Friday – Breakfast. Another day filled with meetings and interviews. Had lunch on my own at Yumcious. I had meetings run late and so I missed my haircut at Blokes. Headed home after spending time with Stephan going through JIRA. Went to a 21st with Romanda at the Bay Hotel.
  • Saturday – Breakfast with Romanda. Quick stint at the Waterfront. Headed to Val De Vie with Mike and Romanda to attend the Cintron Pink Polo. Thoroughly enjoyed the day and watching Polo for the firs time (will do it more frequently now). Had dinner at Noop with Romanda, Mike, and many others. Good times.
  • Sunday – Woke-up in Paarl. Got chased by ducks / swans during breakfast. Headed back to Cape Town. Quick espresso at Shift. Cocktails at Meloncino. Sushi at Willoughby & Co. Headed home. Watched some Shark Tank SA and then wrapped up with The Office.

Didn’t get to vlog as much as I would have liked to this last week. Will make up for it in the coming week. Quite stoked that Draztik has officially given me permission to use the Chasin’ Money track as part of my intro / outro.

Think the next week is about going back to the old me for a while – straight up grind 24/7/365 to smash out the rest of the year. Hope everyone can keep up.

Quick Update

Quick Update

Week of 24 – 30 October 2016.

A decently productive week. It didn’t go at all to plan – which wasn’t an entirely bad thing to be honest. Every now and again I have to remind myself to embrace the entropy of life.

  • Monday – Felt like death from the affects of heat stroke (too much sun the day before). I cancelled most of my meetings for the day but still went into the office to push some things along and do what work I could. Surprisingly had a few impromptu meetings that were quite productive. Didn’t eat for most of the day, although drinking two Cokes in the afternoon fixed me right up.
  • Tuesday – Breakfast. A few meeting. We are busy transitioning to Jira and so there’s a lot of training and planning happening at the moment. Lunch with Romanda and Luciano. A few more meetings and conference calls. Skipped gym (sick). Light work in the evening and some TV.
  • Wednesday – Breakfast with Josh. Workshop with the team at the business lounge in the FNB Portside building. Can’t remember where I grabbed lunch. More planning meetings. Realised we have around 6 productive weeks left for the year – created a priority plan for the team to focus on. Had 60 min power nap in the office (team took photos). A quick catch-up meeting and headed home. Light work in the evening.
  • Thursday – Breakfast. Weekly conference call catch-up with the JHB team. Board meeting for a new investment. A few more meetings and then smashed through an email backlog. Had a great chat in the early evening with David Perel about the new vlog I want to start – got some great advice. Dave also ranted about Apple for a while (justifiably so). Skipped gym (still sick-ish).
  • Friday – Breakfast. Back-to-back meetings. Had lunch with Matt at Bootleggers. Chatted about company culture and growth. Bought some recording gear for my new vlog. The company celebrated Halloween with an awesome party at the office which moved to Arcade afterwards. Ended the evening early to rest up from a busy week.
  • Saturday – Breakfast at Shift. Spent the morning catching up on email and other odd tasks I didn’t get to during the week. Did some shopping at the Waterfront. Quick afternoon nap. Headed back to Shift to record some video with Luigi. Filmed the intro for my vlog and episode 1 of the Weekend Hustle with Luigi. Dinner with Brett, Steve, their two ladies, and Romanda at Den Anker. Had not seen these two lads for 5+ years.
  • Sunday – Breakfast with Brett, Steve, et al at Shift. Hiked to the top of Table Mountain, which took roughly 4 hours. Had lunch on Table Mountain and took the cable car down. Did some more filming in the office for my vlog. Had dinner at Willoughby & Co. with Brett, Steve, their ladies, Romanda and Luciano. Watched an episode of The Office.

I am really excited about the new vlog I’ve started. I don’t really know where it’s going to go. I just feel compelled to share my story and some of the insights I learn along the way. I’ve setup a channel on YouTube for people to subscribe to.

Looking forward to getting back to gym this week. Until next time kids.

Random Thoughts

Random Thoughts

I’ve missed my Quick Updates for the last two weeks. I’ve started drafting them on Sunday evenings but then I get distracted with something else and don’t end up finishing them. Before I know it the week is almost over again.

I am going to wrap up them up and publish them, however I thought I would try another experiment as well. I am going block time as frequently as possible – best case daily, worst case every few days – to jot down thoughts that are currently swimming around in my head. They will be completely arbitrary and most likely not fully formed. Let’s see where this goes.

  • Time vs Priority – I’ve become really efficient at managing my time. I do slip on occasion though. Every now and again I find myself wanting to do something but don’t because I don’t have enough time. I’ve realised this is a lie. I have more than enough time to do anything – they key is determining whether things are priority or not. If something is a priority, I will have enough time.
  • 2x, 5x, 10x Improvements – When looking to improve something, whether personal or business, I am a 10x person. I prefer to push as hard as possible to get maximum results. However, I have realised that pushing for 10x can have down side which means it’s often not sustainable (ie. burnout, broken process, etc). It is also important to measure the improvement relative to the starting base / point. Right now, incremental improvements that are 2x – 3x are more sustainable and actually compound better over time than a once-off 10x improvement – this applies to personal and business at the moment.
  • Data, Data, Data – Hyve is growing way too fast and we’re having to make some massive changes. Looking at all the different datastore options we have and considering all the various moving parts. A really fun challenge at the moment – the implementation is going to be a hard slog. Right now we’re using MySQL, ElasticSearch, and Redshift. Luckily I have a solid team working through all the details too.

And that’s it for now.

Image by Chris LimCC License

Quick Update

Quick Update

Week of 19 – 25 September.

Had a pretty busy week. Even though I have a pretty good routine, I still feel like there is a lack of rhythm to my day – which may in turn be bleeding into the business (or I’m just being hyper sensitive). Things are going well overall, maybe that’s why I’m uneasy?

  • Monday – Breakfast at Shift. Bumped into Mark & James, who seem to pop past every other morning to grab coffee. Love having impromptu chats with them. Spent most of the day in meetings and on Skype calls. I can’t remember where I had lunch – probably somewhere in Cape Quarter. Spent time on agreements and then a training session with the team. Light work in the evening with a bit Netflix.
  • “Look, I’m not a rich person. I’m a poor person with money.” – Pablo Escobar, Narcos

  • Tuesday – Breakfast at Shift, worked there for most of the morning. An out of office meeting and then lunch with Brad and Maria. Had more meetings at the office and then went to gym. Had a tough session, my mind was lagging behind so I only really kicked into gear 20 minutes in – will look to improve my mental readiness prior. Walked home. Light work in the evening.
  • “Maybe keep a few reps in the bank, you’re going to need ’em later.” – Roland

  • Wednesday – Breakfast (guess where?). Stephan joined me so we could sync on a few projects. Another day full of meetings. Popped past the bank to get a new card. Demo from the frontend team on how they’ve integrated their workflow with Laravel. Walked home. Light work in the evening.
  • Thursday – Breakfast. Another day of meeting apocalypse. Lunch with Ashley from PropertyFox at Yumcious, good catch-up on their journey and good ol’ start-up talk. Leg day at gym. Walked home. Finished watching Narcos.
  • “I’m not worried about making mistakes we notice tomorrow. I’m worried about mistakes that we only realise 30 to 60 days from now.” – Me in a meeting.

  • Friday – Breakfast at Loading Bay with Brad and Charl. A few morning meetings + email. Merged my weekly Ops meeting with Nicole into lunch – rather time efficient, except I end up talking with my mouth full for 45 minutes. A few product meetings and then got to play with our first deployment of Metabase – so stoked, much fun to be had looking at our data. Finished watching the Harry Potter series of movies.
  • Saturday – Breakfast at Shift with Romanda. Uber’d around Cape Town for a while – pit stop at Cape Quarter. Went for a massage at Sorbet Man, was worth it. Chilled for the rest of the day and watched the Jungle Book – double worth it. Decided it was cheat day and ordered NY Slice Pizza – negative worth it.
  • “If you want a new toy, just buy a car!” – Romanda

  • Sunday – Breakfast with Romanda. A walk through Green Point Park onto the Promenade towards the V&A Waterfront. Did some light shopping at the Waterfront. Caught up on The Office, we’ve started watching from Season 1 again. Started the usual Sunday evening prep. for the week ahead.

I’ve pretty much settled on Shift as my default breakfast spot, so from now on let’s just assume I have breakfast there unless I specify otherwise, ok?

Over the next few weeks I will attempt to reduce the number of meetings I have per day. I’ll also have a dedicated day without meetings – hoping I can keep this up. It’s not that meetings aren’t productive, it’s more so that I do want days were I can focus on a single task or two and complete them in their entirety.

Until next week kids.


Quick Update

Quick Update

Week of 12 – 18 September.

It’s been a super long time since I wrote an update. Thought I’d get into the swing of it again. My week is basically summed by JHB doesn’t have a decent espresso anywhere.:/

  • Monday – Caught the red eye with Brad and Charl to Johannesburg. Had a mini breakfast at the Slow Lounge at the airport. Caught up on some audio books during the flight (love my Beats Solo). A short mission on the Gautrain and then travelled around from meeting to meeting with B/C + Simon. Stayed at the Holiday Inn Sandton, really impressed with the rooms – construction noise was minimal. Sandton is basically one construction zone at the moment. Gautrain to Centurion – business dinner. Uber drive back to Sandton. Late night email + sleep.
  • Tuesday – Woke up early. Caught up on more email. Breakfast with B/C at the hotel. Gautrain trips up and down JHB – meetings, meetings. Headed home to see the family in JHB. Dinner at Fahrenheit (average).
  • Wednesday – Breakfast at Mugg n Bean (ugh) with Mom. Flight back to Cape Town. Caught up on email while in flight + caught a quick nap. Uber to the office. Meetings (better known as putting out fires).
  • Thursday – Breakfast at Shift (ie. proper espresso). Meetings throughout the day. Tried to get through email backlog caused by travelling. More meetings. Had to skip gym.
  • Friday – Breakfast at Shift. Meetings throughout the day. Had some really good reporting and product meetings. Spending lots of my time thinking about creating more efficiency within the business while giving people more autonomy. A quick table tennis match to end the day, walked home. Fell asleep super early.
  • Saturday – Breakfast at Shift with Romanda. A lovely sunny day but chilly as well. Went to Canal Walk – someone got a new pair of Nike Roshes. Went to dinner at Dash – Queen Victoria Hotel – definitely worth a visit, would love to do lunch there.
  • Sunday – Breakfast at Shift with Romanda. Long walk through the Green Point Park down the Sea Point Promenade. Caught an Uber to Kloof Street. Light shopping. Chilled at Jerry’s Burger Bar – super awesome, very unhealthy. Chilled evening, Sunday evening prep. for the week ahead.

Should start tracking my sleep patterns again and will add those to my updates going forward. I’m still focused on my health – working out more frequently, very conscious of what I eat. Also, started watching Narcos which my brother recommended. Definitely worth a watch.

That’s all for now kids, have a wikkid week.


Quick Update

Quick Update

Week of 18 – 24 April.

Basically a week of practise what you preach.

  • Monday – 06h30 wake-up. Quick jog to gym. Cold shower. Breakfast at Shift. Meetings at the office. Lunch at Food Fitness Factory (FFF) with Brad, Charl, and Maria. Work and meetings. Hair cut at Blokes. Walked home. Email. Upgraded to a Macbook Pro 13″ Retina – life has changed. Dinner at Balducci with Romanda.
  • Tuesday – Take-away breakfast from FFF, super healthy oats. Meetings. Spent time reviewing agreements – really enjoy it, I need to continue with my LLB. Lunch at Bootlegger. Work and email at the office. A brutal gym session. Dinner at home. Rest.
  • Wednesday – Breakfast at Shift. Worked from home for the day. Lunch at Rocomamas with Mike. More hacking. Dinner at home. Watched some TV. Had to stay up slightly later due to some network upgrades on a live project.
  • Thursday – Breakfast at Loading Bay. Work and meetings. Lunch at Manhattans with Brendon and Vince. Spent more time coding. Gym. Walked home Dinner at home.
  • Friday – Breakfast at Bootlegger. Headed to the office. Reviewed more agreements. Lunch at Loading Bay with Mike. A few meetings and email. Headed home. Chilled for the evening.
  • Saturday – Breakfast at Shift with Romanda. Went to the Bokeh Fashion Film Festival. Enjoyed some of the talks. A really nice venue and setup as well. Now fighting the urge to buy a C-Class Coupe, it’s a beautiful car. Had lunch at Tashas. Watch Ted 2 finally – it wasn’t a great film but it was random and funny.
  • Sunday – Breakfast at Vovo Telo. A walk around the V&A harbour, watched some Triathlon athletes swimming. Spent the afternoon working, researching, and catching up on things in general.

In terms of health, it’s been a really good week. I’ve started gym, I’m eating quite healthy, and got fairly good sleep. I’ll start including my Jawbone statistics again next week. I’m quite bummed to be missing AfrikaBurn, however I’m quite happy to be working and resting in between.

Even though I’m walking to work and back home again, I still feel like I’m using Uber too much – and I don’t know why. I think I’m nearing my 1000th Uber trip (I need to check). On a side note, I am using Siri a lot more – especially for timing the steeping of my tea.

Any way, that’s programming as usual. Until next week.