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I ask this first out of curiosity- I see so many familiar names and faces over time, but I only really know you folks in terms of your growth hacking/marketing interests. Would love to get to know ya'll better.

I'm not sure if Off-Topic discussions are allowed here- I've never seen one, and there's no category for one, but I can frame it as a Growth question to be safe: side-projects of all kinds, for everybody from individuals to large teams/companies have often resulted in unforeseen ROI. There are people who develop their professional credentials entirely through the success of their side-projects. What are yours, or what would you like to do "if you had the time?"

  • VV

    Visakan Veerasamy

    over 5 years ago #

    For me- I used to blog a lot about local politics and social issues, which was how I got "spotted" by the team I'm now working with. I'm not so much into day-to-day politics anymore (I find it to be very... exhausting), but I've written some essays for pleasure:

    - A rant I wrote about productivity apps once got me to the front page of Hacker News, which in turn got me 20,000+ page views, dozens of comments, and many emails and offers to work together, requests for advice and feedback, etc.

    - An essay I wrote about Mean Girls similarly got me over 22,000+ views, shares from people like Ev Williams (Medium) and Alexis Ohanian (reddit). I've actually had people reach out to me professionally because they recognized me from that essay, or one of my others.

    I'd like to spend more time really digging into these things and writing extensive thought pieces. Baby steps, I guess.

    What are you folks up to when you're not 'Hacking Dat Growth'?

  • AL

    Angelo Lirazan

    over 5 years ago #

    At the core, I'm a few things. I'm a gamer and an engineer at heart.

    I used to play this game called Heroes of Newerth. As a fun project, I made a website for the game using PHP that accessed an API that the game developer made. It allowed me to access match statistics and the such. I ended up scoring people on certain aspects of the game based on match stats. It's interesting how much that project had in common with marketing.

    That website was what actually gave me the experience necessary to get a job doing web development. That web development job led me to become an online marketer. And now I'm here writing this comment. :)

    Nowadays, I play Yu-Gi-Oh competitively.

    • VV

      Visakan Veerasamy

      over 5 years ago #

      Love that you started out doing something that you found fun/interesting, and then found a way to segue from that into something "legit" (that pays the bills). I feel like my trajectory has been similar, and I'm always thinking about how many people are out there who might be able to make the same transition, effectively, but don't because of circumstances or lack of information. Bothers me. Thanks for sharing!

  • ND

    Nate Desmond

    over 5 years ago #

    Reading, traveling, parkour. This last weekend I traveled down to LA to visit the Tempest parkour gym. It's amazing!

  • RS

    Ross Simmonds

    over 5 years ago #

    As much as I enjoy what I do, I have a couple things that act as a break from the ongoing hustle. I play competitive dodgeball on a weekly basis and invest heavily in Fantasy Football during the NFL season.. During the offseason, my productivity goes through the roof and I'm pretty much a boring workaholic..

  • RA

    Rod Austin

    over 5 years ago #

    Fly fishing, but not at this time of year. I try to get some gaming in when I can, but between work and family, there's not a lot of free time left over!

  • MD

    Matt Diederichs

    over 5 years ago #

    Vancouver-based, so I tend to play outside a lot! I find that with talking about digital chaos all day, getting outside and back to nature is key. Biking, skiing, running, etc. #vancityrules

  • DJ

    Deepak Jha

    over 5 years ago #

    I read Case Studies and Growth Hack articles in which people share real experience.

  • JG

    Joel Goyette

    over 5 years ago #

    Fun getting to know this group better.

    I spend my free time cooking, exploring the local food system, and indulging my curiosities by running a wine education group (anybody interested in joining?).

    My latest foodie obsession is anything by Yotam Ottolenghi. If you're into bold flavors and enjoy eating with your eyes, grab this book:

    http://smile.amazon.com/Plenty-More-Vibrant-Vegetable-Ottolenghi/dp/1607746212

  • MT

    Michelle Tackabery

    over 5 years ago #

    After writing and marketing, music is my number one obsession. I collect and enjoy music in all formats and genres. I'm also currently working on upgrading my headphone collection and scoping out new stereo equipment, so if anyone has any advice in that arena, please let me know.

  • SE

    Sean Ellis

    over 5 years ago #

    Surf and coach/play soccer. I haven't been able to surf for the last six weeks though because of torn cartilage in my wrist from falling in soccer.

  • AS

    Adam Szabo

    over 5 years ago #

    Nice to get to know everyone a little better.

    I do street workout with friends (nothing like the pros on youtube, we just do it for fun). Spend time with my fiancée. Read books on my kindle. Play hearthstone, a collectible card game by blizzard entertainment.

  • SC

    Shana Carp

    over 5 years ago #

    I do lots of things involving food.

    Eat it, cook it, bake it, can it, pickle it (i've even grown my own sour, made my own gnocchi, flavoured my own liquer)

    I have a shortlist of techniques I need to learn, and probably will take at some point courses in chef's school (particuarly around pastry and blown candy). I also hope to one day grow (and breed) plants around food because of different flavor profiles and seasonality issues (particularly if i can do good looking aquaponics indoors.....)

    Food, it tastes good

    The other big things on my plate - figuring out how the finacial structure behind ad buying works to offset risk en mass.

    Read/learn more about math - like for instance I learned about an algorithm used to discover different proteins that trigger rare forms of cancer that is rigorous mathematically speaking in certain conditions, as well as benchmarked to be the fastest algorithm of its type, particularly for large, messy datasets. Similar conditions also exist also exist in a social network where you want to target people, but you don't know how to ID those people.

  • KK

    Kris Kayyal

    over 5 years ago #

    Travel. Work hard. Then take 10 days off and travel somewhere. Last time was Fiji. I do it about every 2-3months.

  • BB

    Benjamin Burns

    over 5 years ago #

    Spending time with my family, cyclocross and MTB XC racing, tennis and traveling.

  • JD

    Jason Dea

    over 5 years ago #

    Spend as much time as I can with my family. And I'm a gym guy (used to compete in powerlifting and bodybuilding), keeps me sane, and has since I was a skinny teenager trying to put on some weight for sports. I also play the guitar, the other thing I've done to keep my sanity since I was a skinny teenager :)

  • SS

    Steven Santos

    over 5 years ago #

    Discovering new sounds on Soundcloud and hybrid VSCOCam + Instagramming my travels :)

  • DL

    David Ly Khim

    over 5 years ago #

    Bboy (breakdance), lift weights, read (fiction & nonfiction), and Netflix. I've been learning to relax instead of thinking about work and trying to be productive all the time.

    • VV

      Visakan Veerasamy

      over 5 years ago #

      I totally relate. A little bit of downtime does wonders for the mind- you start spotting patterns and insights that were in plain sight, but you were too worked up/tired to see before!

      What's the best stuff you've read/watched lately?

  • FM

    Francois Mathieu

    over 5 years ago #

    In my spare time I like to read articles, follow social media, test new apps, take Instagram photos and drink good tea. I also eat out a lot and like to travel to big cities.

    • VV

      Visakan Veerasamy

      over 5 years ago #

      nice. What would you recommend for a tea beginner?

      • FM

        Francois Mathieu

        over 5 years ago #

        I'd recommend to start with straight, loose leaf tea until you figure out what are your favorite categories (white, green, oolong, black, etc.) Once you've figured that out, you can experiment and expand with different blends and additives. I buy 99% of my tea from DAVIDsTEA (you can order online).

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