Concrete is Awesome!

I warned you about this last week, but I couldn't resist recommending another podcast.

Gimlet Media recently launched a new show called Suprisingly Awesome. The show is hosted by Adam Davidson, of NPR's Planet Money, and Adam McKay who is well known for writing and directing Anchorman and Step Brothers.

Here's their description of the show:

Surprisingly Awesome is a show full of stories like this. Stories about things that sound totally boring, but turn out to be totally awesome.

Episode 3's topic is: Concrete. Naturally concrete doesn't seem to be a very exciting topic but I think you will enjoy the episode.

Listen here.



What's your unfair advantage?

The more you read this blog the more you will learn that Zane and I love podcasts. (You might not have heard but we started our own recently.)

One of our favorite podcasts is Startup. On the most recent episode they did a behind-the-scenes overview of their whole process for creating a new podcast. In the episode they exposed the incredible effort it took to get a podcast from concept to a finished product.

In essence, it is about starting a podcast by one of the best podcasters in the business. The first season of Startup in fact is the story of Alex Blumberg, the founder of Gimlet Media, and his starting a company that is solely focused on creating exceptional podcasts.

Back to this last episode, a particular part of the episode really struck me. Alex refers back to when he was asked by one of his investors "What is your unfair advantage?" This is a profound question to Alex at the time because it helps him to focus on his strengths. After all the unfair advantage that Alex has is the experience and success he garnered while working on This American Life and Planet Money, two podcasts you may be familiar with.

Naturally it prompted me to think about Beloved Robot and what differentiates us from our competition. I could go on and on about what unfair advantage we have over our competition but I'm more interested in you.

What's Your Unfair Advantage?

What is the advantage that you have that no one else has?

What sets your business apart from your competitors?

Is it your speed, design skills, quality, volume, customer service?

What is your unfair advantage compared to those that you work with?

Not that this should be a "I'm better than my co-workers" kind of attitude. But what are the things that you are uniquely talented at that no one else in the company can provide?

Are you extremely talented at one particular business need?

Do have a special connection with people inside the business or customers?

Are you maximizing your talents and skills?

Are you giving your company everything that you have to offer?

What are you doing to maximize that advantage?

Are you marketing to potential clients with stories of your killer customer support?

Are you letting the world know when your company wins awards or gains other recognition?

Taking inventory of the things that you are uniquely gifted with is a powerful experience. It will motivate you to pursue your passions and greater success will follow when you focus on your unfair advantage.



iPad Pro Review Round-Up

With the release of the iPad Pro a lot of great reviews have been published. I spent my morning reading all of them so you wouldn't have to. Here are a few highlights.

First up is The iPad Pro And The Death Of A Metaphor by Matthew Panzerino at TechCrunch.

On the iPad Pro's performance:

This new iPad is powerful — and for various reasons, this is the first time I feel that it’s actually possible to tell. Between this and the Apple TV, we’re seeing Apple’s A-series chips get pushed really, really hard for the first time, and what this thing can do is pretty damn impressive. It’s pushing over 5.5 million pixels at all times, but never stutters or lags.

A nice perspective by Matthew on whether the iPad Pro can replace your laptop:

Instead of dwelling on whether an iPad or tablet can do exactly what a laptop or desktop does, we need to ask ourselves what can it do differently, or better. Not what it can duplicate — what it can enable.

I love this idea.

What capabilities are unlocked by the creation of this device?

What are the things we have never thought about doing on an iPad or laptop that are now possible?

Next up is A New Canvas by Federico Viticci at Macstories. I was most excited to read Federico's review because he works on the iPad full-time. He has a very unique perspective. If you have ever had the desire to do more of your work on an iPad you should be reading Macstories.


The iPad Pro is, primarily, about getting work done on iOS. And with such a focus on productivity, the iPad Pro has made rethink what I expect from an iPad.


The feeling is that you’re not using two mini apps simultaneously – you’re interacting with two full-size apps on a single screen, with more room for app content and controls. If you do the math, it’s almost like stacking two iPad Air 2s in portrait mode next to each other... The end product feels exactly like using two iPad Air portrait apps at the same time.

This is very compelling to me and something that I've always run up against when trying to work on an iPad. Too much switching back and forth.

Those who will only compare the iPad Pro to a laptop will miss the big picture – this is a large tablet that can be used at a desk and that runs iOS. The richness of the iOS ecosystem is what sets the iPad Pro apart, and the reason why, ultimately, people like me will prefer it over a MacBook. It can be used at a desk, but it’s also portable, and it runs iOS.

For me, the iPad Pro may not make the most sense because I spend most of my day at a desk. But for you, who is not stuck behind a desk all day, this is probably the right device. It's portable to carry around the jobsite or throw into the passenger seat of your truck, while giving you the power and productivity features that will make working on the go easier.

On the latest episode of Connected, Federico's weekly podcast, they had a in-depth discussion about his week with the iPad Pro. If you are interested in hearing more about the device then you will enjoy this episode.

Are you planning on getting an iPad Pro? Let us know what you think about Apple's newest device.



iPad Pro Hands-On

The release of the iPad Pro is just around the corner and Apple has been doing some "show and tell" with a very select audience. The most obvious target for the iPad Pro is the Enterprise, Artists and Educators. Fraser Speirs co-host of the Out of School Podcast was able to snag an invite to an Apple Special Event where he got some considerable hands-on time with the new device.

On the latest episode Fraiser and Bradley go in-depth about the iPad Pro. It's a really interesting listen. You can find it here.