The $100 bet to blog

I’ve been wanting to blog consistently for a long time. I think it’s a great way to get better at writing and expressing my thoughts. I have a lot of topics stored in Evernote that I need to write about, yet I haven’t written a single post on my personal site in a long time. That can all change now.

After having dinner with my friend David we both expressed wanting to achieve 2 things. I wanted to blog more often and he wanted to email potential customers for research. We immediately cut to the chase and made a bet. In the next 10 days, both of us will have to do these very things or pay up $100. I decided on 5 blog posts in the next 10 days. He is set on 60 emails in the same amount of time.

So why is blogging important to the point that I need to do this? Expressing your ideas is probably one of the most important skills to have. It helps you connect with others and share your point of view. It also helps you understand the things that you believe to be true. It’s also a great skill to have when building products not only for communcating with a team, but also with your customers.

I think writing stories can help me do two things. Formulate my thoughts, and connect with a group that has similar interests.

At work, I’m currently working on the content portion of the company. We are doing things like user interviews, technical blog posts, and design review posts. Creating content forces us to get creative. 30 minute to 1 hour posts aren’t so powerful. A concise article that is well thought out and designed can be extremely satisfying to make and read.

It’s going to be important to set aside time everyday to do this. I will be traveling with some friends soon, so it would be great to do posts about what we are up to. Once I get back I will look into getting a writing coach. I’ve never really liked writing. Maybe because I’ve always been bad at it. I do like the analytical aspect of it. Being able to express an idea in its simplest form to help others understand. I also like discussing the topics I write about.

My Approach

When I keep a consistent schedule I do very well. It makes it easy for me to do the same thing everyday from X hour to Y hour. Most people are like that. Even though I am writing this post the same night we made the bet, I am going to aim at doing these in the morning regularly. Some of the posts will be really intense where I have to do a bit of research. However they will be on things I’ve been thinking about for awhile. The focus again will be on writing, editing, and then posting it to a few places. Maybe theres a writing subreddit where I can get some help. My posts definitely fall in the more serious category. Perhaps I could try doing some with humor just to change things up. At the end of the day a personal coach and tons of writing will probably be my best bet.

I’m also really curious how David will do. I think there is a lot of insight he will gain from talking to potential customers. 60 emails is a lot of feedback on a product that is just getting started. The number 60 probably feels daunting at first. Hopefully the feedback he gets will converge and help his ideas become laser focused on the first problem to solve. This is something I also want to do as time goes on. It’s always important to learn as much as you can about users/customers. I think it’s something we don’t do enough as product makers. No one has really taught us so it can be hard to know what questions to ask.

At the end of the day every skill I’ve wanted to learn has just been done through sheer effort. I think this will be the first time I take a smarter approach by just asking for help through a coach. Writing as a medium lends itself to getting feedback. Since anyone can give feedback based on how clear a message is. I imagine the professionals will pick up on common patterns and will be able to help me correct them.

So here we go! Looking forward to taking your $100 David.