Ben Beecher is going to share why making mistakes and iterative learning has been the keep to improving his skills.
He’s the co-founder and Cheif Technology Office of Lightmatter, a software development firm based in New York City.
He says he’s basically trying to help businesses use technology more effectively to better engage their customers, as well as help them make better use of all the data they collect from them.
Ben has been working for himself for the past 5 years. The first 2 years he worked as a freelancer and a few years ago he pivoted to starting a firm with a partner. Last year they did a $1 million in revenues!
Some lessons from our chat include:
- How using the agile development process creates more effective technology solutions for their clients and better relationships with them.
- How he learned software development skills from his side hustle creating games.
- How he’s institutionalized failure as a positive force into his workflow.
Life Skills That Matter In This Episode
- Self-directed learning and experimentation.
How Ben Works and Thinks
- Wake up time: 8:30 am
- Core work activities + habits: 1) Translate programming work to smaller tasks for employees 2) Quality check employees’ coding 3) Programming.
- Ideal work environment: Needs to change work environments. Prefers very quiet, close spaces.
- Definition of success: Self-discipline, measure own success against his own goals.
- Regains focus by: Very self-aware of his behavior when beginning to spiral into unproductive activities.
- 90-day goal: Close 2 to 3 government contracts.
“A feature is something that adds value.”
“You can never anticipate what’s going to work ahead of time.”
“Get really good at something by trying and failing.”
“There’s something intoxicating about working for yourself.”
For those interested in learning to code, Ben has some tips for getting started:
1) Learn to read documentation. Read it 3 times: scan it, read again, then really focus in.
2) Choose a code language that someone you know uses so you can ask for advice.
3) Learning how to teach yourself is invaluable when entering the rapidly-changing world of coding.