Practicing Pre-mortems

by Scott

Before working on Troops, I was usually pretty good about reflecting on experiences after the fact…doing a “post-mortem” if you will.

Something I was less diligent about was this concept of “pre-mortems.” 

A pre-mortem means taking the time to map out what you expect to happen and the implications of that outcome. It sounds basic, but bringing process to this really makes a difference vs. haphazardly doing it here and there.

Consistently practicing simple pre-mortems at Troops has saved our team weeks worth of time by helping us realize that what we were about to do was not actually an effective use of time. I credit my colleague Aditya Pandyaram for instilling this process into our company and my life.

When you distill it down, trying new things are …
Continue Reading

No Comments, add yours

BD Best Practice: Send A Meeting Agenda

by Scott

Meetings can be a colossal waste of time especially in a field that harbors speculative conversations like Business Development.


When appropriate, one practice I use to maximize meeting efficiency is to email the meeting attendee(s) an agenda 2-3 hours prior to the meeting. These emails typically contain the meeting objective, an outline of what will be discussed, and any questions that I know that I’ll be asking. An example might look like this:

Subject: Meeting Agenda For Today’s Call

Hi Scott,

I just wanted to send you an agenda prior to our 2pm call so that your team has an idea of what to expect.

The goal of this call is to see whether your team is ready to implement our solution within the next …
Continue Reading

5 Comments, add yours

The Problem With To-Do Lists

by Scott

To Do Lists are great for making you feel productive, but they’re not always an effective way to accomplish your goals or lead your best life…at least the way that I was approaching them.

Until about 2 weeks ago, I always approached to do lists in a linear fashion. I’d prioritize my list by putting the most important and difficult tasks at the top. Few things gave me more satisfaction than drop-kicking tasks off my list one by one until I’d accomplished every single thing I set out to do. Three cheers for feeling productive!

But what I realized is that although this method is very good at helping me to get things done, it doesn’t always lend itself to getting the …
Continue Reading

14 Comments, add yours

Conserving Energy and Why I Have A Pushup Alarm Clock

by Scott

This post originally appeared on LessDoing, a project of Ari Meisel, an entrepreneur and productivity geek who decided to share his knowledge of and experiments in efficiency. Ari is an Achievement Architect, helping individuals become more effective at everything.

At SinglePlatform we do pushups on the hour every hour. I love this practice and the benefits extend beyond just making us barrel-chested.


The trigger for my pushups each hour is an alarm clock I’ve installed on my desktop. When the clock strikes 12, a window pops up notifying me its time to drop and give me 20 (actually 34 this week!)


Though practically simple, the pushup alarm clock exemplifies a broader approach …
Continue Reading

3 Comments, add yours

There’s No App for That?

by Scott

Apps make our lives easier…but they aren’t going to actually do the heavy lifting for us. 

One of the attendees of my last skillshare class expressed some disappointment after I described how I manage my network. My personal CRM methodology is built on Google Docs. Specifically, I use a spreadsheet to keep track of the last time I connected with select people amongst other notes).

“I was really hoping that you had some type of app that you used for managing your network. Spreadsheets don’t work for me” he said.

Like anyone who takes pride in their work, I took some time to chew on this comment during my subway ride home…

The reason the spreadsheet “didn’t work for him” is because he wasn’t willing to …
Continue Reading

No Comments, add yours

How to Be A Better Thinker

by Scott

I’m not sure if you can become smarter, but I think there are things we can do to be more effective thinkers. Here are things that have enriched my thinking ability in my own life: 

Value thinking and Give Yourself Permission To Do So:

I write about this a lot, but the pervasiveness of smartphones, email obsession, and information portals often diverts our minds from actually thinking. Many people these days correlate digital activity with “getting ahead”. They assign value to it. “I’m going to respond to emails faster. I’m going to be more engaged on social media. I’m going to read more blog posts, thus absorb more information. If I do all of this I will be a better …
Continue Reading

6 Comments, add yours

I Lost Sight Of My Life Goal

by Scott

A few months ago I had the painful realization that I had lost sight of my primary life goal in the process of trying to achieve it.


I have a lot of life goals, but the most important one to me is to build something that benefits the less fortunate at a grand scale. Whether this will manifest itself in a charity, social enterprise, school or church I’m not sure.
With this goal in mind, I’ve felt like my time is best spent learning as much as I can about how to build a company. I still feel this way.

I’ve tried to squeeze as much output out of every day in order to maximize my learning …
Continue Reading

No Comments, add yours

The War on Mobile Stimulation

by Scott

I love the internet. It solves many of the world’s problems and enhances the lives of countless people. What’s even more awesome is it’s now in the palm of my hand. But as great as the mobile web is, I think there has been some less than beneficial side effects on human behavior. Mainly, the mobile web has contributed to a culture obsessed with instant gratification and digital stimulation. They’re often one in the same. I know because I’m getting shelled in the trenches by these forces constantly.

Six months ago my mornings went like this: Wake up to to silence my phone alarm. Check my email while I’m already there. Efficiency! This inspires me to think about the …
Continue Reading

2 Comments, add yours