Hack Retreat

IMG_5099I imagine most people are familiar with the concept of a ‘hackathon’ at this point: a semi-cloistered block of time dedicated to writing as much caffeine-soaked code as physically possible, by one or a few people, also usually in the context of other groups hacking on their own things.

I’d like to describe another time-boxed structure for focused productivity: the “Hack Retreat”. I did this during one weekend in November to focus on a specific project, and I’m easily two months of ‘nights and weekends’ ahead of where I was when I embarked on the retreat. (Full disclosure… this concept was initially inspired by an article I once read about Jon Carmack, so I can’t claim full credit.) Continue reading


My friend Eric tweeted an expression a few weeks back that has been on my mind recently. I’m not sure where it came from, or I’d source it:

“If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”

Frequently, I’m reluctant to bring in others on the projects I’m developing, and I’m not sure if my reasoning behind that is a fear of loss-of-control over the end result, or the loner side of my extrovert that just doesn’t want to worry about orchestrating or coordinating with anyone else.

I’ve been reflecting on this as well as what, if anything, I should do about it. I’ve looked at each project, how and when I’ve collaborated on it, and tried to form a mental model to help determine if or when is the right time to work with others. Continue reading

Short Story RPG Launched!


A world of adventure, right from your dining room table.

Posting a little late again this week… but it’s been a pretty crazy week!

I rebuild the lead-gen page for Valour, now that I’ve spent the time to put together a lot of the backstory and details, but more importantly…

I just flipped the switch last night on a brand-new website for one of the projects I’ve been cooking quietly over the last year!

Short Story RPG

It’s based on the premise that role playing games are actually a really cool medium for storytelling and human interaction, but complex rules, over-the-top themes, and difficulties with scheduling long-running campaigns all conspire to scare many people off. Continue reading

30 Day Mobility Challenge

Hot on the heels of the release of our first card deck, I’m excited to announce the Mobility on Demand “30 Day Mobility Challenge”!

It’s a 30-day email series delivering a new mobility exercise directly to your inbox every morning. We even link to an online timer so you can start your mobilizing right from your smartphone when you check your email, wherever you are!

Here’s the sign up: http://www.mobilityondemand.cards/30-days-of-mobility

We’ve got hundreds of people on the challenge, and they are loving it so far! So go get signed up, and forward the link to your friends — everyone could use a little more mobility!

The Importance of a Catch Sheet

One of my most valued characteristics is both a blessing and a curse. I have a creative mind and am constantly coming up with ideas for projects, gadgets, games, apps, solutions, etc.

This is awesome, and I love it, except that it never takes a vacation, including and especially when the time comes around to actually execute on anything. As anyone who has ever tried to build something knows, it’s really hard, and requires a huge investment of time, work, and emotional effort. This is difficult enough on its own, but when ‘focus time’ becomes beset by every shiny cleverness vying for attention, it becomes demoralizing.

In an effort to quiet this noise, I’ve implemented a process using a tool I call the “Catch Sheet”. I’m not sure where that name came from, and there may be some ‘more official’ term, but, whatever.

The process works as follows: Continue reading

Ignite Ticket Swap Postmortem: Ignite 24

Another Ignite Boulder sell-out can only mean one thing: A busy December for Ignite Ticket Swap! If you’ve never heard of Ticket Swap, you can read a bit about it here.

Yule Ball Ticket Swapping by the numbers:

# of people asking for a ticket: 75
# of people who posted extra tickets: 13
# of swaps brokered: 15

I definitely attribute these larger-than-ever numbers to some great marketing help from the Ignite Boulder crew; as soon as tickets sold out, they were sending people my way. This boon didn’t come without challenges, however. Continue reading

Asana Instagantt Chrome Plugin

Asana Instagantt Chrome Plugin in action!I’ve been using Asana for a while to manage my personal to-do list, as well as projects for Flightless.co, and I’m really liking it. I have a few gripes, but that’s probably better covered in another post.

Recently, I tried out the Instagantt<->Asana  integration, and it’s really awesome. In fact, it actually remedies one of my complaints with Asana for timeline management. After playing around, however, my laziness got the best of me, and I was annoyed that I had to open Instagantt separately (#FirstWorldProblems, amirite?).

I decided Asana needed a link to open Instagantt directly from the Tasks dashboard, so I wrote an Asana Instagantt Chrome plugin that would inject one 🙂

It’s really simple, but gets the job done. It also shows some basics (and one or two not-so-basics) of Chrome Plugin building, if you’ve been thinking about writing one yourself. Take a look at the code on Github.

Update: “Open Instagantt from Asana” is now available in the Chrome Webstore!

Ignite Ticket Swap

Hey hey! Ignite Boulder 23 is upon us, which means that before long, there will be folks out there in need of Ignite Ticket Swap. I originally built Ignite Ticket Swap for Ignite Boulder 21, and over the course of two events, it’s now helped ten slackers who missed the ticket buying window 🙂

As we wait for the last ticket to be sold, let’s see what’s new for Ignite 23…

  • Far and away the most requested feature is “cancel” a listing — either an Extra ticket or a Need for a ticket. That’s finally possible.
  • It now  asks users to confirm before making an offer. This ought to cut down on awkward “oops I didn’t mean to swap that to you” messages.
  • After someone posts an extra ticket, we will ping them when new asks arise. This should help make sure anyone who is trying to unload a ticket has the best chance of doing so.

What features do you want to see for Ignite Boulder 24? I love the response this thing has gotten from the Ignite Boulder community, and I want it to be as useful as possible. By that same token, do you know of another event that sells out which might benefit from this? Post to comments or reach out to me (@woodardj) on Twitter!