Category Archives: Web 2.0

Lumosity Update – Part 1

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A few weeks ago I wrote a post about the effectiveness of brain training games like Lumosity. At the time, I’d be using the Lumosity iPhone app on a daily basis to see if I could measure a noticeable difference in the key areas that the Lumosity games are supposed to improve.

I’ve been continuing to use the Lumosity iPhone app as well as the Lumosity website games to train my brain. So far, my scores have been improving on a weekly basis. At first, the scores increased dramatically, and now they are increasing incrementally.

So the real question is, how are the brain training Lumosity games actually helping me in real life? Well, first off, I’ve been using Lumosity in the mornings to exercise my brain before getting to work and I notice that my creativity and “awakeness” has improved. Some of the Lumosity games actually stress me out a little bit so that helps for waking me up.

I’ve also noticed a slight improvement in my focus, especially in brainstorming and project work. Another added benefit I’ve noticed is that I feel like i’m sharper in terms of thinking quickly on my feet.

Finally, my memory in terms of recalling facts from reading or conversations has improved as well. I’ve definitely noticed this as I’ve had tons of meetings over the last little while and there is often a lot of little details to remember.

I’ve only been using Lumosity for six weeks now, so we’ll see what happens at the end of 90 days. The challenge is that although I am noticing an improvement in the areas I mentioned above, I’m not sure if this can be directly attributed to Lumosity or to other factors that i’m not thinking about.

I’ll check back with you at the end of my 90 trial period!

You should follow Matt on Twitter!

Should I Get an MBA ?

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I’ve been thinking a lot recently about whether or not I should consider getting an MBA. In conversations with business people, academics and friends, I’ve gotten pretty mixed responses about what the perceived value of an MBA is. There are tons of articles out there siting both the benefits and disadvantages of an MBA.

A mentor of mine who has an MBA in addition to a number of other credentials states he thinks the market is saturated with MBAs and so I’d be better off getting a more technical credential such as an accounting designation. His reasoning is that these days, specific skill sets and applied education are more marketable to employers.

Part of the reason why I want to get an MBA is because I would like to get some more formal education. I learn a lot from reading, keeping up to date with the latest industry trends and having great conversations, but it isn’t quite the same as completing a MBA. I remember when I was finishing my undergraduate degree in business administration and I took fantastic class on business strategy. Working with my professor and with my peers, I challenged myself in ways that I just don’t get to do anymore. There was something invigorating about trying to solve business problems with a group of people who are all highly invested in the outcome.

Josh Kaufman wrote a great book called “The Personal MBA“, which delves into this subject at length. The primary idea in his book is that an MBA can be useful; however, it depends on what you want to do with it. He argues that if you want to be an entrepreneur, then classroom learning might not the right fit. As an entrepreneur, I’ve always learned best by trial and error. Another factor he raises is cost. The reality is that MBAs can be extremely expensive these days and depending on the type of job or project you work on after graduation, it could be years before you recoup the benefit from lost time and money.

At this point, I’m still on the fence on whether or not an MBA is the right choice for me. I do want to work towards building a venture but i’m not sure if an MBA will get me there.

You should follow Matt on Twitter!

3 TED Talk Playlists I’m Watching Right Now

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Last year, I made a commitment to try to watch a TED Talk every morning while I ate breakfast. This lasted for a few weeks but in that time, I absorbed an enormous amount of ideas, inspiration and actionable steps for creating great work.

Recently, I noticed that TED now has playlists which are organized by topic or by an individual. This is awesome! I normally find TED Talks by browsing or clicking on a link through Facebook. Having a collection of videos on one topic, in one place is great for absorbing tons of ideas worth spreading.

If you’re looking for a little Sunday motivation, check out these three awesome TED Talk playlists I’m watching right now. (I’ve noticed you can’t embed playlists the same way you share individual talks so the playlist links are embedded in the titles) I’ve embedded my favorite video from each playlist into the post.

1) Work smarter (11 talks)

Work smarter is a fantastic collection of TED Talks including some of my favorite authors such as Simon Sinek (Start with Why), Shawn Achor (The Happiness Advantage) and Jason Fried (37 Signals).

2) The Creative Spark (10 talks)

The Creative Spark includes inspiring talks by Elizabeth Gilbert (Your elusive creative genius), Ken Robinson (Schools kill creativity) and David Kelly (How to build your creative confidence). Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk is one my absolute favorite TED Talks.

3) A Better You (11 talks)

The A Better You playlist is a collection of success masters ranging from John Wooden to Tony Robbins. Make sure to check out Matt Cutt’s talk on “Try something new for 30 days”.

You should follow Matt on Twitter!

A boost of inspiration – TEDx Vancouver Part 1

Last weekend, I attended the fourth annual TEDx event in Vancouver. As usual, the event was filled with great energy, inspiring speakers and of course ideas worth spreading. For those of you who don’t know, TEDx events are independently run speaker events that license the TED brand and feature a mix of live speakers at TED Talks. This year was especially neat because it was the biggest TEDx in Vancouver featuring an audience of over 2300 people.

Some of my favorite speakers this year include:

- Mark Brand – “The Impact of an Unconventional Solution”

- Robin Esrock – “Learn to Travel: Travel to Learn”

- Dr. John Izzo – “The Defining Moment for a Generation-In-Waiting”

Although the videos aren’t posted yet, if you click here, you can check out all the speaker bios.

In the meantime, check out videos of my favorite speakers from last year’s TEDx Vancouver lineup:

Victor Lucas – “The 3D Rules”

Romeo Dallaire – “The Frontier of Social Revolution”

Christopher Gaze – “Shakespeare is Everywhere”

Check back again for part 2 of this post where i’ll be posting some of my favorite photos and quotes from TEDx Vancouver 2012.

Scheduling Social Media

I was at a Make it Business Book Club meeting yesterday and the topic of discussion was Brian Tracy’s classic “Eat that Frog”. This book is a classic on time management, productivity and getting things done. (For a summary on the book, visit “Ignite Leadership International“)

I generally¬† get 2-3 great ideas from attending these book club meetings and last night’s conversation was no different. I’d have to say though that the biggest epiphany I received last night was on the use of Social Media during the work day.

I tend to always be on twitter/facebook/linkedin during the day because these channels allow me to be passively connected to the online world while i’m working on another project. However, I do notice that I get distracted if I’m looking at hootsuite every two seconds. So when the idea of scheduling in Social Media time in your day came up, I was floored that I hadn’t thought of it before. By scheduling in specific time in your day to check twitter/facebook/linkedin you can be strategic about how much time you are prioritizing towards your Social Media efforts. The exception of course is if you make your living as a Social Media consultant or strategist.

As I always have a dozen or so projects going on at once, I find that it’s very easy to get distracted by Social Media because I justify it as a marketing activity. Although Social Media is a marketing activity, you don’t necessarily need to be on it 24/7 for it to be effective for you.

When you start being more strategic about the time you spend on Social Media channels, you will find that not only will your productivity increase but the quality of your interactions on these mediums will also improve.

So for today, I’m going to start by scheduling in 2-3 Social Media breaks and close my hootsuite now. :)