Monday, March 6
Just last month we celebrated 10 years of Nozbe and today, I'd like write about a few learnings from this experience. I’d like to share my experiences and advice on how not to let anyone convince you that you “cannot” do something and pursue your own goals to achieve success. You deserve to be successful and when somebody tells you that something "cannot" be done, you should pay attention and instead of giving in, find the ways you can make this work. Here are the 5 "cannots" people have been repeating to me over:
Note: The following article appeared first in the February '17 issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there. That issue of iMagazine was really special for me as we celebrated Nozbe's 10th anniversary at the time. On that occasion apart from my regular column February edition featured a special Nozbe cover and the following article.
1. You “cannot” develop a business “after hours”
As I wrote in the article about Nozbe’s 10th anniversary and my interview, my app was created as a side project. It was just a hobby: I wanted to test GTD principles (the “Getting Things Done” (Amazon|Audible) time management methodology developed by David Allen) and Web 2.0 technology in real life. Even after launching the project in February 2007, I still developed it after hours, working on Nozbe in the afternoons. Even though I acquired my first 100 customers in May of the same year, I still wasn’t sure about the future of the project. I continued to develop it, hoping that it would succeed but it wasn’t until 2008 that I decided to make Nozbe my main source of income and quit my job.
Many wise people argue that in order to achieve success you must drop everything and focus solely on your new venture. I disagree with this and my story proves that if the new project really has potential, you have to give it some time, work “two jobs” for a while and develop the project to such an extent that you are really able to devote 100% of your resources to it.
I’m not the only one who thinks this way. My friend Michał Szafrański, author of the blog “How to save money” did the same and he’s achieving even bigger successes.
OK - so obviously you CAN develop a business "after hours". But there are 4 more "cannots" to go:
Monday, February 13
This month we’re celebrating Nozbe’s 10th birthday!. It’s the perfect time for a short summary of the past decade – in the context of business and technology developments. It's really interesting to see how Nozbe started as a Web2.0 product and later embraced the smartphone, desktop and the watch...
Note: The following article appeared first in the February '17 issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there.
2005 - why a Nozbe web app?
I read David Allen’s book “Getting Things Done” (Amazon|Audible) and realized I needed to get organized. As a freelancer involved in internet marketing I was taking on more and more clients and I wasn’t able to manage all of my obligations. I searched for various tools to implement the GTD methodology in my life but I couldn’t find anything that I liked.
Thanks to PHP and MySQL magic I wrote a prototype of Nozbe in a single weekend!
I decided to use web technologies because I wanted to have access to the app from anywhere on Earth. Over the next few months I improved the project, rewrote it about twice, and finally in 2006 I decided to start getting ready to show it to the world. If I enjoyed using it, maybe others would like it to. Here's how it went down:
Monday, February 1, 2016
My company Nozbe just celebrated 9 years today. Wow, it was a crazy week, an interesting year and an amazing stint so far. Not everything went as planned but I think it's safe to say we're on the right track. And I still can't believe how the time flies. Just read my posts after 7 years or 8 years to compare. And this year I'm even more bullish on Nozbe than ever. Here's why:
We doubled our core team to 20+ people
Just as I wrote on my 2015 review blog post, we practically doubled our team at Nozbe in a year. And now we're all in to capitalize on that and really find our spectacular growth. The longer I'm running Nozbe the more I realize how much more can be done. How many more people can be reached. How many you still have to convice to stop using email for collaboration. How many teams should just communicate through tasks...
This year with my bigger team we have bigger goals than ever before.
We launched Nozbe Business
It's a big deal. And we've had our first customers today already sign up for Nozbe Business. It's a whole new world for us but we're ready. New challenges, new features, better support and most of all - helping companies implement Nozbe to literally multiply their productivity and "internal happiness" of having people get lots of stuff done in sync with each other.
I particularly love the new "shared projects" with three roles: admin, user and guest. And I can't wait how our customers implement this in their organizations.
New logo, new design... and the best Nozbe ever
I can't highlight enough how much I love new Nozbe 3.0 and what my team has done to make it an amazing release. I pushed them and they pushed me... and together we made miracles happen to make it the Nozbe 3.0 release for our 9th anniversary - and I say it was worth it. This year will be all about 3.X Nozbe branch, with lots enhancements, polish and great collaboration features.
9 years in... and there's still so much to do. And it all comes down to the same 5 loves (laws) of my work. Thank you everyone who made my February 1st my own personal #NozbeDay.
As they say, the journey is the ultimate destination and I'm priviledged to have you join me. Thank you.
Question: How did you like our Nozbe 3.0 release all the goodies that came with it?
Friday, August 7, 2015
On the Nozbe blog, together with my assistant Magda we wrote how we work together using Nozbe, Gmail and Dropbox. Hiring an assistant and delegating lots of administrative duties to her over the last two years has been one of the best decisions in my career as the CEO. I needed a person who spoke both Polish and English fluently so I couldn't just get a Virtual Assistant just like most of my readers from the States can. I suggest you try it. Just see how we work together:
"Magda manages my email. Although we said farewell to email in Nozbe long time ago, we can't prevent the whole world from using it :) I receive hundreds of emails every week and it is Magda who takes care of them..."
"Magda forwards email to a dedicated project in Nozbe called CEO, using Nozbe’s email-to-task feature..."
"When I don’t reply to a task Magda has delegated to me for too long, she would ping me, by adding a comment to it:
@Michael - I am waiting for your reaction here!"
It's a very detailed post so I recommend you:
Thursday, July 30, 2015
☆ How I use a project template to implement Pomodoro Technique and Unschedule Calendar every day [on: Nozbe blog]
One of the most popular posts on my site is the one I did on Pomodoro technique and Unschedule calendar so inspired by this on the Nozbe blog I wrote a pretty long post showing how I exactly I implement this every day using Nozbe. It's pretty easy when you're using one of the more advanced Nozbe features like project templates:
"I created a new project in Nozbe called "Today" and filled it with tasks that describe each 30 minutes of my day. So first task is "6 - 6:30"..."
"Now every day in the morning I go to my "templates" in Nozbe and open the "Today template" and create a new project from this template with today's date..."
"I've found out that adding comments really helps. It's like a diary. It helps. When I have a lousy half an hour, I'd write it and try to make the next count. It helps me stay motivated and productive..."
Monday, July 20, 2015
We've just released Nozbe 2.1.8 with amazing new features like a native widget for Android and a totally redesigned app for the Apple Watch. As you know I'm a big fan of this new gadget from Apple and I think my team did an amazing job with the Nozbe app for Watch so to celebrate it we launched a dedicated web site for this:
This site explains what is important in creating a "wrist app" and how we think you'll get more things done with Nozbe on your Apple Watch.
Video showing off dictation, force touch and more:
To prove my point, we recorded a promo video with yours truly, showing the power of dictatation, force touch and much much more... what do you think?
Friday, June 12, 2015
On the Nozbe blog I just wrote about how Nozbe was singled out by Apple as one of the "best new apps" on the App Store right on the eve of us releasing a newer version of Nozbe 2.1.8 with lots of improvements for the Apple Watch, bigger screen phones and lots of Android love.
Check out these few quotes or read the entire article:
"Yes, it's nice to see your work being recognized by a big player like Apple. Especially after seeing that they usually recognize our competitors who are not really better than us..."
"Nozbe has been successful despite all that. We've managed to attract more than 300K users without being highlighted by Apple or Google."
"Thanks to you we didn't need to be singled out to be successful and become one of the leading productivity apps on the Internet. For that I thank you so so much!"
Monday, March 2, 2015
This is an interview that I granted at the end of 2014. It was published on Spidersweb.pl - one of the most popular Polish tech-blogs platform. It was a part o a series on Polish apps used internationally authored by Hubert Taler. If you want to dig deeper about my story, check out my Interview about Nozbe and my "about" page on this blog and my recent blog post about our 8th anniversary.
1. Were the Nozbe apps and web service launched at the same time? Which platform did you focus on at first?
Nozbe is not just an app - it's a whole suite of productivity apps for time, tasks and projects management. Apart from the web access, we offer apps for Mac, Windows, Linux, Android… and of course for the iOS platform, meaning iPhones and iPads. When I launched Nozbe in 2007 iPhone had just been presented by Apple. I didn't realize, at the time, how much the world was going to change and thus I thought that Nozbe would be a web app forever...
Even Apple's point of view seemed quite similar - at the very beginning it was only possible to build iPhone web apps, not native ones. I remember it very well - they started selling iPhone in the US in June 2007 and I decided to quickly develop a simple "web app" for iPhones which I called "iNozbe". I made it together with my customers - as I lived in Poland I couldn't even touch the real iPhone... I wrote the code for the first version within a week and I released it for testing. The users who owned iPhones reported how the things were and I would fix the bugs and update the app. My zeal was finally appreciated by the industry in September 2007 and I was invited as a speaker to the Office 2.0 conference to San Francisco. It was then when I got my first iPhone and a chance to see how my app works on it. And there's more...
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Note: To get this cool Nozbe sticker, go to Nozbe Sticker (by MakeItStick) web site and choose your sticker size (11" or 13" or 15" or 17") and use coupon code nozbe to get 10% off - for limited time only for my readers
This is not a typical Productive! Show episode. I recorded it as I couldn't resist sharing something with you. What is it? I am going to decorate my MacBook Pro with custom Nozbe sticker designed to fit the Apple computer.
How do you like it?
If you wish to show everyone around that you are productive thanks to Nozbe, buy yourself a sticker too :) You can get it from Mads - the founder of Make It Stick (http://makeitstick.co/)
Question: Have you got any stickers on your electronic devices or you prefer to have it absolutely plain?
Please post your comments below, thanks!
Check it out:
If you have enjoyed this episode of the Productive! Show, please subscribe:
Monday, June 2, 2014
On this blog I have described the way I work, my tricks, gizmos and gadgets many times over. Today I am going to show you what is my job all about and how much in common it has with design. I'm also going to reveal why I read all the books about people like Steve Jobs and Johnathan Ive, why I admire them immensely and why I am such a fun of their products.
Note: The following article appeared fist in the April issue of iMagazine - the leading lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts in Poland. I'm a regular contributor and write my monthly productivity column there.
My job title: Chief Productivity Officer - Chief Visionary
I am the owner, founder and CEO of Nozbe - a suite of apps for getting things done and team collaboration. However I prefer to think of myself as the "Chief Productivity Guy and Visionary". Why? Because I focus mostly on the two things: company and product development. Here, I want to show you how I focus on the latter:
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Wow, time really flies. It's been now 7 years since I started Nozbe and I really feel I'm just getting started. Last year I published a la-la-la-la-long interview with me to give you a whole back-story explaining why and how I started Nozbe in the first place. If you haven't read it, you should. In this short blog post I want to look at the future of my company and give you an idea of where we're going.
Last year was important
I had very ambitious plans for last year for Nozbe but they changed right in the middle of the year when we decided to disrupt ourselves and start building new, shiny Nozbe 2.0 which we internally call "One Nozbe". It's the next step for our tool which effectively will make it truly "mobile first". It's a fully responsive app that works beautifully (and crazy fast) on all the platforms we support.
I'm freaking out about it a little (in terms of both anxiousness and excitement)... and I think in the end you'll be blown away. It ships this Spring. In hindsight I think it was a great investment to decide to postpone other side projects and focus on it. We needed it... and most of all - you, our customers needed it even more. You'll see. But there's more:
Friday, December 13, 2013
Just recently a friend of mine called me up and asked for advice regarding bills, she said: "I usually pay all the bills on time. Especially when I receive them in the mail - they're easy to process - I get the bill and I pay it right then. Recently many companies start sending me e-invoices (via email) and sometimes I slip and pay only when they call me to say my payment is overdue. How can you help me set up my payment reminder system so that I will remember about all these bills and be able to pay them on time? How do you deal with that?". Here's how I do it:
I use Nozbe to track all my bills. (duh!)
As Nozbe founder I use my own software for managing projects, communicating with my team and other business-like tasks... but I also use Nozbe for these small administrative chores like paying the bills. What David Allen says in GTD (Getting Things Done), it's important not to think about something... until you have to think about it. This is why I set up my bills in Nozbe and I'm being reminded about them only when I need to deal with them. Not earlier, not later. Here's how my setup looks like:
Monday, May 10, 2010