The Fetch Blog

The best events and reads for professionals

Coffee talk: Jordan Bishop, flight hacker and founder of Yore Oyster — October 12, 2015

Coffee talk: Jordan Bishop, flight hacker and founder of Yore Oyster

He turned a love of flight hacking into a successful business; he crowdfunded a wildly popular mystery product; and he recently launched a beautiful content site designed to share inspiring travelers and their stories. Today, we talk to Jordan Bishop about his personal journey and how he turns ideas and dreams into reality.

How did you get to where you are today?

I think it’s important to first define “where I am today”, which I think is a curious person who refuses to accept the rules and self-imposed limitations that govern most of society. With that in mind, to get to this point, I try to do everything backward first, and then only revert to the norm when its opposite has been proven wrong. I think it’s an effective, or at the very least, an interesting, way of living.

What was the hardest thing about leaving Toronto in pursuit of life as a digital nomad?

I think my undying love for Toronto is what made it so easy to leave. I grew up in a small town a few hours outside of Toronto, so seeing how quickly I fell in love with the city when I first moved there at the age of 19 gave me the confidence that I would have similar experiences in other places, too. A few months later I moved to Manhattan on my own, and since then I’ve lived in a couple of different cities each year all around the world.

Toronto, Jordan Bishop

It sounds crazy, but sometimes I miss the cold, and more specifically, the fresh feeling of cold air running through your nostrils on a wintry morning. And I miss a few people, but not as much as I thought I would. I’m pretty good at living in the moment, and I try to keep my relationships of the moment as well.

How does your routine vary while traveling? Do you have tips for staying healthy, productive and focused while moving around so much?

I try to keep my morning routine as stable as I can, since that sets the tone for the rest of my day. I start every day by making my bed, followed by 21 minutes of meditation, and then a high-protein breakfast. If I’m in a good writer’s groove, I’ll also write for as long as I can before eating breakfast. Eating makes me think differently and often distracts me from my first few clear thoughts of the day.

I don’t normally go to a gym since I’m often in a place for less than a month at a time, so instead I do bodyweight exercises to maintain good blood flow and athleticism. Push ups and sprint training are my two favorites — the two of them combined make for a good full-body workout that requires no equipment and challenges both endurance and explosive power.

You turned your love of flight hacking into a business by founding Yore Oyster, a company created to help travelers get the best flight deals. What’s been the most rewarding part of working on it so far?

Helping others to explore the world.

Rio de Janeiro by Jordan Bishop

It’s extremely rewarding to hear from clients, many of whom become friends, how life-changing their trips were. I get nostalgic every day when I send people to places I’ve been and loved.

You also just launched How I Travel, a brilliant site that focuses on sharing travelers’ stories. What do you hope people will get from it?

As humans, we’re hardwired to learn most effectively when information comes to us through a story, so the obvious solution to accelerate our own growth is to document and transmit as much information as possible through highly compelling stories. How I Travel is my answer for current and prospective travelers.

Jordan Bishop, Yore Oyster and How I Travel

Columbia, by Jordan Bishop

How I Travel is also designed to inspire people to get out and take the trips they’ve always wanted to take. Travel is a gift that benefits you for a lifetime, and I want everyone to discover it in the ways that I have.

A man of many ideas, you’ve even tried your hand at crowdfunding. With your unique campaign, you got more than 1,000 people to buy something before they knew what it was! What was the secret to drumming up buzz?

I read, write, and think a lot about human psychology, and at that time I was curious to see if any of my friends trusted me enough to buy something I had created before I told them what it was. I never intended for anyone but my closest friends to get involved — but when others did and strangers started trusting me, I realized something much larger was happening.

We are witnessing an early indicator of how trust is quickly becoming a new global currency.

Strangers trusted me not because I had “won” their trust, but because they knew that with the way information travels today, I couldn’t afford to breach their trust. The Internet is no longer the place where you can betray someone’s trust behind a veil and get away with it, but actually the opposite; somewhere reputation is easy to discover and matters more than anything else.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given as you continue to push yourself out of your comfort zone and experiment with ideas? How have you applied it to your life and work?

I was at a really low point when a guy I know told me, “Blow kisses to the haters.” The more you achieve and the higher you rise, the more people are going to try and break you down out of jealousy, a lack of understanding, or a generally negative attitude toward life. It’s not easy, but I try my best to ruthlessly eliminate any negative people from my life.

You’ve obviously done your research when it comes to travel; which sites and social accounts do you look to for inspiration, reliable information, and trip-planning tools? Where can we find you online?

My flight hacking company Yore Oyster, which has saved hundreds of travelers tens of thousands of dollars in the past year. I also love the Mike & Jay Explore YouTube channel; they always manage to perfectly balance beautiful cinematography with unique travel insights. I have a list of my go-to travel resources on my site. And I’m a huge Airbnb fan. I’m going to do an Airbnb tour of Asia soon — there will be lots of pictures from that on my Instagram account.

Jordan Bishop, traveler

Which global events, meetups, and groups do you love and recommend?

I’m a part of hashtagnomads.com, which is hands-down the best way to meet other digital nomads (people living abroad and working online). It’s how I’ve made my closest friends over the past 12 months.

I’ve been trying to push myself way outside of my comfort zone, and that’s how I’ve met skateboarding buddies in São Paulo, philosophical adversaries in Chiang Mai, and lifelong friends in Cartagena.

I’m a big proponent of meeting friends of friends (discovered through Facebook) around the world, as well as meeting others spontaneously — wherever you are. 

Last, how do you like your coffee?

I don’t drink coffee! But I’ve never turned down a cold chocolate milk.🙂

Going global: 10 places to find a startup job online — October 5, 2015

Going global: 10 places to find a startup job online

Have you wondered what it’s like to be a part of a small, early stage team? Do you work in the corporate world and find yourself craving a change? Do you love to work on interesting problems, and race to solve them before anyone else can? The booming global startup scene has exploded with opportunity for skilled workers everywhere.

We’ve already shared 20 sites for finding global, remote work and covered the best 15 places to find a startup job in London, so we thought it was time to put together a similarly styled list of resources for finding a startup job online. Good luck with your search!

1. Hired
Hired was built as a unique, two-sided marketplace designed to flip today’s recruiting model on its head — making the process less painful for everyone involved. The platform works by accepting highly qualified applicants and serving them up to companies (Eventbrite, Stripe) who can compete to make the individual an offer. Originally geared toward developers, Hired has expanded and now works with professionals across disciplines. Hired is also available to global workers who are searching for a startup job in the United States.

2. Angellist
Having grown tremendously in the last several years, Angellist is a powerful resource when searching for startup jobs around the world. Get a detailed look at each company with information about the objective, team, open roles and compensation. Completing a profile will allow companies to contact you first, giving you the ability to follow-up if there’s mutual interest.

3. The Muse
Not only a great career resource, The Muse also offers beautifully-designed job boards with many startup opportunities. Though The Muse counts open roles in more than 25 cities in North America, posted positions are US-based only.

4. Join-Startups
This smart site is helpful for job seekers in many major metros, including San Francisco, New York City, Paris, Stockholm, Tokyo, and Berlin. A simple search makes it easy to find available roles by location, many of which are pulled from Indeed.com (saving you from searching two separate sites). Join-Startups also sends a weekly email to those who subscribe and share specifics about their search.

5. Y Combinator Jobs
The Bay Area’s well-known accelerator posts startup jobs on the
Y Combinator website, with listings for startups funded through the program. Join a growing company like BitCoin, Instacart, LeTote, or ZeroCater, among other impressive options. Y Combinator also lists open roles on TripleByte.

6. Dreamers // Doers Gigs
Female-focused (and members only) Dreamers // Doers serves up actionable information, presents networking opportunities, and has a Facebook group completely dedicated to jobs and gigs. The community counts bright founders, savvy entrepreneurs and leading executives among those seeking and sharing open roles.

7. Linkedin
Startups have fully embraced Linkedin, with recruiters using it to find top-notch candidates. Standout with a high-quality, professional photo and an updated profile tailored to a startup job search. To unlock the full power of the professional platform, consider upgrading your account to take advantage of search and communication tools.

8. Venture Loop
With more than 41,000 listed startup jobs, Venture Loop is definitely a site worth surfing. A straightforward search page makes it easy to find jobs by category, location, or distance. Use keywords to find specific employers.

9. Switch
The ‘swipe right’ trend introduced by Tinder has become useful for much more than finding a mate! Switch uses the brilliantly simple functionality to match potential employees and employers in a fun, mobile format — which makes it easy to look for jobs while waiting in line or commuting by bus or train. The Switch app, available on iOS only, is fully functional in multiple countries. 

10. Vettery
This marketplace (currently serving New York City) takes a thoughtful approach to job placement by taking the time to get to know each candidate before matching them with an opportunity. Listed employers include Blue Apron, Hinge, and Uber. New Yorkers take note: Vettery is currently offering a $2,000 bonus to job seekers who are successfully matched!

Bonus: startup research


Now that you’ve kicked off your search, these sites will help you understand which startups are doing well, who’s on the team, and anything else you should know before applying or continuing a conversation:

CrunchBase
The go-to source for all things startups, CrunchBase compiles and lists information about funding rounds, team members, and company insights.

Breakoutlist.com
Like CrunchBase, The Breakout List is a great place to get a list of fast-growing startups, helping you to identify those that are worth joining. The Breakout List is updated four times a year, ensuring that information is consistently current.

Have you successfully transitioned from a corporation to a startup? Know of another site or app for startup job seekers that we should share? Drop us a note in the comments!

Download now: 15 apps every busy professional should know about — September 25, 2015

Download now: 15 apps every busy professional should know about

Much like the desk and computer, the iPhone has become a center of command, home to our schedules, meeting contacts, financial data, and notes. But with more than 1.5 million apps available in the App store, it’s difficult to discover which ones deliver real value.

From downloads for wellness to project management tools and to-do-lists, we asked the Fetch Community for their favorite apps outside of the standard group of essentials (Uber, Facebook, Yelp, Airbnb). The following 15 earned rave reviews:

1. Headspace
Start your day with a dose of zen! Headspace offers meditation in micro-doses, designed to make practicing mindfulness simple and effective. Ten minutes is all it takes.

2. Slack
Get access to messages and archives, as well as notifications — wherever you are. Use the Slack app to stay in touch with your team, answer questions quickly, and stay connected when traveling.

3. Trello
A beautiful tool for organizing almost anything. Trello is perfect for product roadmaps, project management and to-do lists that may be otherwise overwhelming.

4. Sweep
Don’t waste time worrying about your budget; Sweep is one step ahead, with a futuristic view of your cash flow. The app’s best features are custom saving buckets and its ability to identify recurring expenses.

5. Pomodoro
Maintaining focus is critical for busy employees, and Pomodoro will help you produce great work by enforcing time set for specific tasks. Use the timer to customize your workflow, with scheduled blocks devoted to work and rest.

6. Dictionary.com
More than 200,000 trusted, English definitions in your back pocket. Take advantage of audio pronunciations, voice search, and a translator functionality that works with 25 languages — or have fun with ‘Word of the Day’ and quizzes that promise to keep you entertained during a dull commute.

7. Breather
One of our HQ team’s favorite apps, Breather enables people in North America to find, unlock and use beautiful spaces for work and relaxation. Peace and quiet on demand is officially a thing.

Breather, peace and quiet on demand

8. Pocket
This handy app brings bookmarking to a new level. File away videos, images, articles, and web pages during your commute or while waiting in line — and read them from your comfy couch or desk at the office later.

9. Spotify
The music-streaming service earns rave reviews among professionals. This is an extra enjoyable app for those who can listen to music at the office, taking advantage of new releases or collaborating on team playlists all day long.

10. PaybyPhone Parking
This popular parking app functions in Canada, the US, UK, and France. Features include text reminders and email receipts, while updating vehicle registration numbers and payment cards takes only seconds. 

11. Sunrise
One of the most-loved calendar apps for the iPhone, Sunrise syncs with all of your apps (Evernote, Tripit, Songkick, Meetup) to ensure that your schedule is documented without error. The eye-catching design also boasts smart features like weather forecast by location, Google Maps for making your way to meetings, and photos of people you’re slated to see.

12. Asana
Help cut down on excess team email conversations by moving and tracking work in Asana, where all information about a project is stored in a single place. The app is completely free to use for teams up to 15 people.

13. Todoist
Keep track of tasks and projects across 15 platforms and in more than 20 languages with Todoist, hailed as “one of the best to-do list apps in 2014” by Forbes. With all of the necessary integrations (Google Drive, Sunrise Calendar, Zapier) and an ability to sync across devices, staying organized and collaborating seamlessly is easy wherever you are.

14. Freshbooks
Busy business owners and freelancers will appreciate Freshbook’s streamlined iPhone app, which makes accounting on the go a painless task. Using cloud technology, Freshbooks operates in real-time, making it possible for you to access important information on the fly or invoice a client on the spot.

15. ClassPass
Don’t fall out of your fitness routine when you’re away from home or bogged down by a busy schedule! Instead, use the ClassPass app to access available classes that will help you stay energized and inspired. Buy a flex membership to take unlimited classes at studios in the US, UK, and Canada — with Australia launching soon.

Have a go-to app that saves you time, makes life easier or simplifies work travel? Let us know about it in the comments!

Team building and ROI: is it really worth the investment? — September 21, 2015

Team building and ROI: is it really worth the investment?

As renown educator, management consultant, and author Peter Druker succinctly said: “What gets measured gets managed.”

Corporations are currently faced with a challenging question that has long affected education: what is the best way build a collaborative environment, with measurable values and effects of engagement? In education, this pertains to learning, progress and qualifications  — while in business, this translates specifically to productivity, morale and business output. 

The big difference between the two sectors is that in education, costs are ‘built in’ to salaries and interventions which directly aim for those same progression outcomes — whereas businesses are required to specifically invest capital and/or profit into team-building activities and events, with hope that the investment will be returned.

Though both sectors can qualify the success of team-building efforts in anecdotal ways (“remember the time when…?”), businesses are fast moving into the realm where, like educators, it’s essential to quantify the success of team building efforts in a way that translates into key business performance metrics. This not only enables business managers to recognize what works and what doesn’t, but also reveals opportunities for more effective management in the future.

Measuring tools

Measuring the ROI of team building tactics

Translating team-building endeavors into quantifiable measures can include a plethora of possibilities and methods, but all need a starting point: a baseline prior to implementing a calendar or schedule of team-building activities. For yours, consider looking at:

  • Absentee rates
  • Productivity rates
  • Rates of overtime take-up
  • Daily/weekly/monthly profit
  • Time-and-motion studies can also help identify exactly how time is used by management and a team. This is particularly useful when putting together an overview of the frequency, productivity and purpose of meetings, along with punctuality in relation to staff breaks, pace of work, number of customer complaints, and even staff grievances.

As no two companies will be influenced by the exact same factors and actions, there will be different baseline areas for various types of companies. These examples prove that there are plenty of options to be identified and used, depending on a team, business focus and need.

Building in the bonding

The next action is to introduce newly selected team-building activities. When choosing an exercise, remember that the key aim of team-building activities is to increase productivity — and the main vehicle by which team building events aim to do this is by bonding disparate teams.

It’s worth remembering that such events are about collaboration and not competition, which can often be detrimental to overarching business goals. Be thoughtful in offering creative exercises and activities which include ‘lone’ workers, invite collaboration, and help to define team members’ roles.

Activities should also bring out individuals’ strengths, before empowering staff to take these qualities back into the workplace. Using the services of a team events company to facilitate this can seem expensive depending on the number of people and type of activities involved, but once measuring tools have been defined, measuring and managing the outcome can only be beneficial. It’s reasonable to expect an increase in company knowledge about a team, performance, productivity, and prospects.

Giving teammates a voice

ROI on teambuilding

A great team-building activity that often costs less but can still give valuable, measured outcomes is to gather and directly ask the team about various aspects of the company. A session like this can include (but certainly isn’t restricted to) Q&A with teammates on a broad range of topics. Here are a few ideas:

  • Work environment: consider asking about desired improvements, problem areas, or even health and safety concerns
  • Office hierarchy or management systems: is everyone comfortable where they are? Are there line-management clashes which result in some staff feeling de-valued? Are some staff feeling ‘stuck’ and overlooked?
  • Wages and working conditions: although this should come into appraisal or performance management procedures, this is by no means a given with some companies, so staff really should be offered the chance to have their say. This can be a relatively easy fix if the funds are there and will be invaluable in returned loyalty and productivity.
  • Schedules: is the company struggling with poor scheduling which means death-by-meeting Thursdays for some staff, or no time for creative thinking for others? Those that are subject to the schedules will know exactly what’s working, or not, so ask them! After, factor their responses into the development of new processes and systems – and measure those outcomes.

How to manage the measuring

Finally, it’s time to re-measure your outcomes. It’s important to recognize that investing in your team in this way, particularly if it’s something your company hasn’t done before, can take time to get right. While improvements may be seen quickly (and that’s great!), there’s no guarantee that there will be an immediately or obvious return on any investment of time or money spent –- in reality, efforts may be something which gradually drip-feed over a span of months or years after action.

The important thing is to retain the focus, as this will also encourage staff engagement – don’t let them think your efforts were a one-off attempt, as that doesn’t encourage loyalty!

The best is yet to come; the ROI of teambuilding

If the measures show no improvement, try switching tactics with different team events or activities which closely complement your business goals. Be sure to reflect on both the managing side of measurement as well as acknowledging to your staff that they, as well as your company, are worth your investment.

About our writer // Alex Murray is the community coordinator for Team Tactics, based in London. 

Product update: Introducing The Fetch’s new design and newsletter — September 16, 2015

Product update: Introducing The Fetch’s new design and newsletter

We can’t believe believe that so much time has passed since we successfully funded our re-launch on Kickstarter, helping us bring The Fetch to you lovely folks everywhere. Today, we’re excited to share our progress so far – along with a first look at what’s coming next!

A refreshing, new look

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 2.19.30 PM

We kicked off efforts by updating our existing style guide and re-designing The Fetch’s homepage. Designed to make submitting and finding events easy, we focused on simplifying the site to surface information Fetchers will need. You’ll see simple, clean pages in our signature, city colors – a fun, streamlined experience. If you want to secure your username aka vanity URL – make sure you head along to register now!

More focused media

In the new and improved version of The Fetch, we’ve separated local events and media. Dedicated to doing both things well, we’ve created a global reading list in addition to the regular, local event-based email (coming soon). The weekly global reading list will give you much of what you loved in former The Fetch emails: top stories, inspirational professional profiles, and all of the can’t-miss things that caught our team’s attention during the week. Haven’t subscribed to the new reading list yet? Join us here!

An incredible, updated curator community

Just as before, our curators remain an important part of The Fetch community. We’re grateful for amazing representation in the first of our five re-launch cities: Sydney, Melbourne, New York, San Francisco, and Berlin. We’re still taking applications, and would love to hear from you if you know what’s on and think your city needs The Fetch!

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 3.13.56 PM

What’s next

Now that we’ve made it possible to submit events on site, we’re heads down on the next few major milestones:

  • Local events digest: We’re so close to bringing back the local events digest for our first five cities, which will feature the best happenings from the new platform neatly rolled into a weekly email and sent to Fetchers who live there. Our curators will begin testing this week, so expect to see local events in your inbox soon!
  • Individual event pages: Tell or learn more about an event with a description, image, and tags. Each page will have space for an image, along with social sharing functionality and calendar integration. Get a sneak peek here.
  • Event search functionality: From community breakfasts to programming workshops, you will be able to find events by type, category, or skill level.

Our goal is to help you crush your work-life with the best events and great reads with each email, so please continue to share your feedback as we move along. Thanks for your continued enthusiasm – we love hearing from you!

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