Posts By Roger Stringer

Roger Stringer is the founder and lead developer of The Interviewr. He also blogs over at
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May 22, 2022

Seth Godin: “Leading Up”

2013/05 Seth Godin | Backwards from CreativeMornings on Vimeo.

From Seth Godin’s Creative Mornings talk earlier this month, expounding on a principle he calls “leading up”:

One of the things that I hear the most after I give a talk or someone reads one of my books is, ‘That’s great, but my boss won’t let me. I’d love to do something like that, but my boss won’t let me.’

Well of course she won’t! Because what you’re saying to her is, ‘I want to do something really cool and really neat, and if it works I’ll get the credit, and if it doesn’t you’ll get the blame. Because you said that it was okay.’

Who would take that deal?

In fact, what we see is that the people who have jobs or who have clients who are making a dent in the universe, are doing it by leading the people who are ostensibly in charge to make better decisions; leading those people to have better taste; leading those people to have the guts to do the work that they’re capable of doing.

The remarks quoted above begin at 05:15, but of course, the entire talk is worth watching.

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May 18, 2022

How to Stick to Any Healthy Habit For Good (And Why You Don’t Need Motivation To Do It)

Link: How to Stick to Any Healthy Habit For Good (And Why You Don’t Need Motivation To Do It)

We all have goals. And what’s the first thing most of us think about when we consider how to achieve them?

“I need to get motivated.”

The surprising thing? Motivation is exactly what you don’t need. Today, I’m going to share a surprising research study that reveals why motivation isn’t the key to achieving your goals and offers a simple strategy that actually works.

The best part? This highly practical strategy has been scientifically proven to double or even triple your chances for success.

Here’s what you need to know and how you can apply it to your life…

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May 15, 2022

Minor update to call handling

In light of a recent bug we found with some phone providers, we’ve made a small change on handling calls coming from your phone number (subscribers):

  1. When you click to begin the interview, you will receive a call from our 206 number to your phone.
  2. The person you are interviewing will see the call coming from your phone number that you have confirmed in your account.

Why do this?

We recently encountered an issue where some phone providers, if they see you calling yourself (your number calling your phone) will automatically forward you to your voice mail box so you can check your messages.

To remedy this, we made this change so that only the person you are interviewing will see your phone number.

When you think of it, that makes a little more sense than wondering why you are calling yourself..

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May 10, 2022

5 Jedi Mind Tricks to Help Yourself Get Healthy

Link: 5 Jedi Mind Tricks to Help Yourself Get Healthy

“These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”

With one sentence and a simple waving of his hand, Obi Wan Kenobi became the coolest guy in the world to 5-year-old Steve.

I couldn’t help but wonder how great it would be to possess the powers of the Force like this Jedi master, getting in or out of situations that I couldn’t normally, simply through the powers of persuasion.

Now, unfortunately the Force has yet to be officially discovered in this Galaxy (or has it?), but it doesn’t mean we can’t actually use Jedi mind tricks on OURSELVES to live healthier lives.

Although you’ll hear everywhere that “eating less and moving more is the key to losing weight,” I would argue that conquering the mental battle before the physical one is the real key to weight loss and healthy living.

Here’s what I mean: our brains are incredible pieces of technology, and they tend to get in the way of our quest to get healthy.

Whether it’s eating too much accidentally, or tricking ourselves into rationalizing and justifying unhealthy behavior, our brains have the ability to move us towards a better life, or closer to the dark side.

Here are 5 of my favorite tactics you can use to Jedi mind-trick yourself into living better.

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May 5, 2022

How Eventbrite built a company culture that scales, by co-founder Julia Hartz

Link: How Eventbrite built a company culture that scales, by co-founder Julia Hartz

Eventbrite‘s fresh take on event discovery and ticketing has helped it grow it to a point where it’s often discussed in the same breath as incumbents like Ticketmaster.

If you’re building a company, the story of how Eventbrite grew from three co-founders in 2006 to hundreds of employees (or ‘Britelings’) today is well worth hearing. Luckily for you, co-founder and president Julia Hartz shared it at The Next Web Conference Europe 2013.

Watch and learn, and don’t miss her husband and fellow co-founder’s talk about how startups can make their own luck, too.

This video caught my eye when I watched it and had to share it. The talk by her husband is also worth checking out.

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April 25, 2022

Your Business Model Is a System And Why You Should Care

Link: Your Business Model Is a System And Why You Should Care

Lean emerged out of the manufacturing world with a rallying cry for “waste reduction” in the production process. Lean Software drew parallels between hardware and software manufacturing processes and aimed to reduce waste also in the production process.

Then Lean Startup came along and pointed out that efficient production is NOT enough UNLESS it also delivers customer value and emphasized learning OVER production towards that end.

In a startup (or any new product) where you don’t yet know whether what you produce will generate customer value, you are better served by limiting or completely forgoing production (through an MVP or concierge MVP, for example) to first test value creation.

You have to first find a problem worth solving before committing resources to build and scale a solution. This is the essence of what I teach in my bootcamps where I have a “no code rule” and teach how to forgo such production completely until the right time. That said, while I’ve always found this logic highly rational, it’s often a hard pill to swallow for entrepreneurs because we love production and optimization of production processes.

I also couldn’t help feeling that the full impact of all that lean thinking has to offer is left deferred to latter stages when customer value production is in full tilt (after Product/Market Fit).

Then I had an mini-epiphany.

I like Ash Maurya’s posts, and I’m a fan of his Running Lean book, this post is no exception…

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April 3, 2022

Review: The $100 Startup

Link: The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future

In The $100 StartupChris Guillebeau shows you how to lead of life of adventure, meaning and purpose – and earn a good living.

Still in his early thirties, Chris is on the verge of completing a tour of every country on earth – he’s already visited more than 175 nations – and yet he’s never held a “real job” or earned a regular paycheck.  Rather, he has a special genius for turning ideas into income, and he uses what he earns both to support his life of adventure and to give back.

There are many others like Chris – those who’ve found ways to opt out of traditional employment and create the time and income to pursue what they find meaningful.  Sometimes, achieving that perfect blend of passion and income doesn’t depend on shelving what you currently do.  You can start small with your venture, committing little time or money, and wait to take the real plunge when you’re sure it’s successful.

In preparing to write this book, Chris identified 1,500 individuals who have built businesses earning $50,000 or more from a modest investment (in many cases, $100 or less), and from that group he’s chosen to focus on the 50 most intriguing case studies.  In nearly all cases, people with no special skills discovered aspects of their personal passions that could be monetized, and were able to restructure their lives in ways that gave them greater freedom and fulfillment.

Here, finally, distilled into one easy-to-use guide, are the most valuable lessons from those who’ve learned how to turn what they do into a gateway to self-fulfillment.  It’s all about finding the intersection between your “expertise” – even if you don’t consider it such — and what other people will pay for.  You don’t need an MBA, a business plan or even employees.  All you need is a product or service that springs from what you love to do anyway, people willing to pay, and a way to get paid.

Not content to talk in generalities, Chris tells you exactly how many dollars his group of unexpected entrepreneurs required to get their projects up and running; what these individuals did in the first weeks and months to generate significant cash; some of the key mistakes they made along the way, and the crucial insights that made the business stick.  Among Chris’s key principles: if you’re good at one thing, you’re probably good at something else; never teach a man to fish – sell him the fish instead; and in the battle between planning and action, action wins.

In ancient times, people who were dissatisfied with their lives dreamed of finding magic lamps, buried treasure, or streets paved with gold.  Today, we know that it’s up to us to change our lives.  And the best part is, if we change our own life, we can help others change theirs.  This remarkable book will start you on your way.

We’ve decided to start reviewing things that are interesting on here, and The $100 Startup is a book that we bought that is interesting.

In The $100 Startup, Chris Guillegeau accomplishes something unique. Instead of discussing how to grow, scale, leverage, and sell a new business-typical of much of the entrepreneurship literature-he focuses entirely on “microbusinesses”: tiny, one- or two-person operations that maximize freedom and generate roughly $50,000 per year.
Much of Chris’ advice will benefit solo creatives who rely upon strong online presences. But the stories that he culled from hundreds of interviews with entrepreneurs satisfied my need for a diverse proof-of-concept. Product- and service-based-online and offline-freelance, partnership, and employee-hiring: all such business are represented in this book.

Most importantly, The $100 Startup demonstrates that you do not need to go into debt to start a profitable and meaningful business. If more people took this advice in the realm of schooling-realizing that you don’t need to go into debt to give yourself a higher education-then our world would benefit from an incredible boost in the number of creative entrepreneurs ready to tackle our problems, both big and small.

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April 1, 2022

How much sleep do we really need to work productively?

Link: How much sleep do we really need to work productively?

Every one of us, on average, will be sleeping 24 years in our lifetime. That’s a pretty long time if you ask me and makes it even more important to know exactly how the phenomenon of sleep impacts us.

And still, there are so many unanswered questions evolving around sleep and how much we need of it. In fact, Most of what we know about sleep we’ve learned in the past 25 years.

One of the biggest problems I’ve discovered is that sleep is such an over talked topic. We get the general idea that we know all about it: how much we need of it, how it impacts us and why this or that happens when we sleep. Once I took a step back to really think about where our knowledge about sleep comes from, I realized that nearly all of it is based on hear-say or what my mom told me when I was in elementary school.

With this post, I’ve set out to uncover once and for all what the most important research has taught us about sleep. And of course, how you can use this knowledge to create an unbeatable daily routine.

Another nice post from the guys at Definitely recommend following their blog.

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March 26, 2022

Bulletproof Demos

Link: Bulletproof Demos

We all like to build software which is reliable, but every once in a while it seems like a good idea to demo something still in it’s unreliable infancy. Google Chrome has a little known feature which can help.

Record modes let you record every request Chrome makes. Playback mode serves requests out of that recorded cache just as if they were being loaded on the spot. It doesn’t record where you click or what you open, just every request as it moves over the wire.


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March 26, 2022

How the Browser Phone works

Screen Shot 2022-03-21 at 9.47.04 PM

We’ve been asked how the Browser Phone works versus conducting interviews Phone to Phone, so I thought I’d post about it here.

The Browser phone works with Twilio’s Client software to allow users to conduct interviews straight from their computers. It’s similiar to how you can use Skype to do a Skype call.

When you click the “Start Call” button, the call begins, and a dial pad also appears on the screen:

See the yellow box that says “Ready to start call”? That box will keep you updated on the status of your call, so it will tell you that the Browser phone is dialling and it will also tell you when the connection is made, or if the interviewee hangs up the phone.

The dial pad works the same as the dial pad on your phone, and you can even push buttons on your computer’s keyboard and get the same response. So pressing the number “1″, is the same as clicking the number “1″ on the dial pad.

Why would I use Browser phone over Phone to Phone?

That’s entirely your choice, which is why we left both options for calls. Browser phone we find works great when you want to conduct interviews straight from your computer, you can type your notes on the same page and just talk as you go.

Calls using the Browser Phone are recorded, same as Phone to Phone calls, the only difference is it goes through your computer.

One advantage to using our Browser phone to handle calls, is you don’t have any minutes to worry about if the call was to your cell phone for example.

Phone to phone calls have their uses for on the go, you just have the system call your phone and you can take it with you as you move around.

So really, like I said above, it’s entirely your choice on conducting interviews using the Browser phone or Phone to Phone.. Try one of each and see which you like best.

What else is in store for the Browser phone?

There’s some exciting additions coming in the near future, such as a sound meter to monitor sound, the ability to mute a call, and even stop and restart a recording mid call. We’ll keep you updated as these are rolled out.

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The Interviewr Blog is the official online publication written by the developers of TheInterviewr about their online Interview Relationship Manager, related technologies, and whatever else may fit their fancy—like robots.

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