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In this episode, I get to speak with Philip Morgan. Now I’ve been following Philip’s story for over a year and I’ve been reading his PMC daily emails, and we had a chat last year. I was introduced to him by my good friend Fuad Kamal, who was also a guest on this podcast. On the PMC emails, I’ve been getting so much value. I like the way he thinks, and that’s one of the reasons why I brought him on the podcast.

Our Guest

Philip Morgan

Hacks to take Away

  • Find out what are the marketable skills he has.
  • Plenty of room for him to grow as a self-employed person.
  • How he got closer to something he could call a success story.
  • People will pay for once they understand how to value it.
  • Get funding for your idea.
  • Find out interesting things he has done recently.
  • Why he spent a lot of time on video calls with his clients.


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Read Full Transcript

Junaid Ahmed 0:10
Thank you for tuning in to hacks and hobbies with your host Junaid. In Season Two of hacks and hobbies were visited by our amazing guests coming from all walks of life, what to learn their story, their struggles and their journey on how they got to where they are today. So stick around.

And this episode, I could speak with Philip Morgan. Now I've been following Philips story for over a year now I've been reading his PMC daily emails and we had a chat last year. And I was actually introduced to him by my good friend for I Kemal who is also on this episode was also on this podcast, we talked about cycling, but I was like, you know, I've been getting so much value from these emails. And I like the way Philip thinks. And that's one of the reasons why I talk with him. So I bring him on the podcast and Philip graciously accepted the invite. Philip, thank you so much for coming on to the podcast.

Phillip Morgan 1:24
Junaid. It's great to be here. Good to talk to you today.

Junaid Ahmed 1:27
Fantastic. I love it. So some of the things that hacks and hobbies is around is like I mentioned in the green room, I picked up a green room term from being interviewed by a good friend David yesterday. And he's like in the green room, we had this talk like in the green room, we we talked about, you know, the different struggles that I've been going through the many different things that I have been involved in, and just getting my feet wet into these things. And that's one of the reasons why I have the podcast hacks and hobbies. Because I have a ton of hobbies night. I'm always learning about new things and try my hand at it. One of the new hobbies that I picked up this year is acting. And I was lucky enough to, you know, to do lucky enough to do two commercials, paid commercials.

Phillip Morgan 2:28
TV commercials,

Junaid Ahmed 2:29
like TV commercials wonder well, Kaiser Permanente, I still haven't seen their stuff decided it was going to be online. Think that was late last year. And then a couple of months ago I I was in this commercial for for IRA or retirement ad or a company that sells retirement products or investment products that you can use. So that was a good experience. Yeah. So I'm involved in so many different things and targeted Philip in the green room, like, you know, how do I? How do I get to the point where I start monetizing, like what do I do? And sure, I have had experience as a user experience designer, and that's the place that I'm trying to get back into to help other companies and enhance their user experience. But then it's all comes down to Okay, what am I really passionate about? What do I want to do for the next 10 1520 years of my life? Even if I have that? Yeah. Philip had some good, good points, you know, just figure out what works and what's going to get you paid tomorrow, or is going to get you paid in the next couple of weeks. And, and it's it all comes down to Okay, just focusing sitting down and spending that hard work time to put two things together. And we have talked about these things on the podcast with other entrepreneurs. And they said almost the same thing. And it's all comes down to how you manage your time. So one of one of the things that I like to ask my guests is, tell us a version of your journey that no one's ever heard before. Because there's, there's a story that you tell that you tell your people or tell your audience and tell your followers in this is my story, this is how it came up. And then over time, it becomes smaller and smaller and smaller. So what's that journey for you?

Phillip Morgan 4:42
Philip? That's the opposite of a legend, right? Like a legend comes bigger and bigger each time it's told Exactly. What a shame that we we go the other way, be trying to create a legend. Yeah. You know, I was thinking about your question, as you were saying it and going, Wow, that's I'm not trying to psych myself out here. But I email me an email list. I've been doing this for three years since my 2016. So three and a half years, I recently changed how it's doing the list. But for most of those three years, it was you know, five days a week, I was trying to write something worth reading. And that kind of puts me at a disadvantage when it comes to telling a story. No one's heard, take telling parts of my own story three, it was not every time that would get monotonous. But I've been doing that for a long time. Yeah. You know, I think I've mentioned at some point that I was so bad at self employment that my wife and I were selling like pieces of furniture to make mortgage. This was early on in my self employment career, which began in 2008. When I got laid off what a lot of other people that the same company got laid off because the company not doing very well. So you know, that to me is such a vivid picture of in competence and desperation mixed together. And I stuck with it. And I've often wondered why because,

you know, I have,

I had more marketable skills. Because I was doing things like copywriting and writing white papers and that sort of thing. Yeah. Why did I stick with it? Like I could have had a job. But it seemed like it was this thing I just had to figure out. I'm kind of obstinate that way. Yeah, have been for a long time. I got into the college that I got into, which was this college called Davidson College in North Carolina, semi elite, liberal arts school. And the reason I even applied was someone told me that they didn't think I could get in. And I said, We'll see about that. I mean to myself, watch me do it. Yeah. And I did. You know, I applied I got in, and then I called the guy. And I said, I got into Davidson College. And then I think I just hung up on him, though. I've always been obstinate. And maybe that has something to do with what is now starting to become something of a success story. Like there's still plenty of room for me to grow as a self employed person. But I feel like I've figured out some of the basics. And now people you know, pay me to give them advice on on doing that. So it feels like it's getting closer to something you could call a success story.

Junaid Ahmed 7:59
Nice. That's that's pretty amazing. And and, you know, everybody has those layoff stories where they are laid off because the company is not doing good. Yeah. And same similar thing happened to me around the same time probably happened to 2008 or 2010.

Phillip Morgan 8:23
For a few more years after I did,

Junaid Ahmed 8:25
yeah, I probably

Phillip Morgan 8:26
the most valuable skill. Well,

Junaid Ahmed 8:30
it was, it was multiple, like, it's funny, like most companies have lasted back then it was like two years or so two and a half years. Yeah. And this specific one, I suddenly got laid off because I was in touch with a previous CEO. And back then we would print our, you know, driving directions onto the printer and add printed it to the you know, maybe network printer. And the currency Oh, saw the directions you like, I know who the works over there.

Phillip Morgan 9:11
shopping around for another job?

Junaid Ahmed 9:12
No, it was just an introduction is just an intro meeting like I from before, and he's like, Hey, what are you working on? He's like, hey, come check out my stuff. So he's like, he, the next day, he comes to me, he's like, hey, um, I started to one saw our previous CEO, like, yeah, I met him, you know, he's just trying to grow. And he's like, Well, you can't work here anymore. Like, at? And I was like, okay, sure, if that's what you want. But lucky for me, when I joined that company in 2005, the president who had who had signed up my contract, did the contract of a founder. So I had 60 days just to have to pay me. Oh, before they you know, before I could get fired, or best basically, I was my that was the

Phillip Morgan 10:08

Junaid Ahmed 10:09
severance, severance package, you know, two additional months. So I was like, all right. And I didn't find that out till later. Like, oh, that's pretty cool.

Phillip Morgan 10:19
That's that sounds like a like an HR oversight.

Junaid Ahmed 10:22
Yeah, it is. I mean, when they were starting back in Oh, five, they were, you know, small company, there was like 10 of us. Yeah. And they were just getting the business of dead, just finished r&d on this new product does, there's going to go into hotel industry, so it was a hotel industry. And all those systems that you when you whenever you go visit a hotel, they have their their specific DVR, their specific unit. So you would go through their guide, and you have a limited number of channels that are available. So that was one of the products that they had built. And they had a video on demand system in the back. Anyway, so they were just starting up, and I got lucky. And had some experience in that area. Working on that. So anyways, it was it was just fun. And then the second time I got laid off, was the company was doing great, and their web marketing company. And they're like, we're going to hire another CEO, because they he can make us he can help us go public. And, you know, any? Anytime you hear that now, I mean, any time I hear that now I'm like, Okay, I know there's something fishy going on has to be. And one year down the road, the company just was not doing that. Well. The stocks were diluted by this new CEO, we had like hundred 10 people let go. And I was part of that group as well. Yeah. But what's what's crazy is that, you know, luckily, I was able to back on my feet, and you know, finding a job for in the UX area. But this time around, having, you know, so many years of experience, and not able to show it I guess on paper or not, not on paper, but on a portfolio style. Right. Like maybe, maybe I need to do something else. And that's, and it's been, you know, the recent entire reason I started the podcast is because I wanted to do something other than what I was already doing. I mean, it's not I can use that experience and men something comes something out of it. And when you mentioned, you know, you have copywriting experience. Well, that's amazing experience to have, because copy is always going to live on content is king. Right. Right. So yeah.

Phillip Morgan 12:56
You know, as I'm curious if you see this, see it this way, you know, when you're thinking about that transition? Yeah, I feel like there's a spectrum. On the one hand, there's things that people are already paying for, they already value. And then on the other end of the spectrum, there's things that people will pay for once they understand how to value it. And, you know, I think like about the belt, you know, maybe the first smartphone when it was introduced being on that, that far end of the spectrum where Yeah, when you look at the overall human population, they looked at that, and they were like, that is expensive and hard to understand. And, like, I just can't imagine why I would need that the phone I have now works fine. I don't need to browse the internet on my phone. I have a computer for that. Yeah. And then, you know, 10 years later, it seemed like everybody wanted one of those things. Yeah. But you know, companies had to get through that. And sort of doing hand-waving explanation here. I don't know if it was exactly 10 years, but companies had to get through that 10 year period. Yeah. If you're an individual, that's harder, because what would you do? I guess you can get funding for your idea. But if you're more like operating on the self employed service provider, you have this entrepreneurial idea. How do you cross? I mean, Geoffrey Moore would say how do you cross that chasm? You know, how do you get from the people who get it now, which is a tiny minority to this broader acceptance of the thing. So it's easier just to start with the thing that people already understand and value, which in your case might be the UX skills, right? Yeah. But it sounds like you're also kind of, you've got at least one I maybe one and a half eyeballs that far end of the spectrum. And you're like, what, what of these other interest? Could I nurture into something that produces good revenue?

Junaid Ahmed 15:00
Yeah. And that's really interesting. And one thing that, that I find myself into is more was looking at what's happening this week, rather than what should happen in the next two years. Like, I am not a far side thinker. It's just like, what am I going to do next month? Or am I gonna do next week? Unfortunately, I have that. Trouble of looking too far ahead. But I love ideas. I mean, I live on ideas, I'm always consuming ideas, and what they can do for the future. So it's kind of like a double edged sword because because what's funny is my wife is telling me that she's a far thinker. And she was having a conversation with her coworker. And her coworker was like, you know, I wonder if, if the airline will let me take my carry on on board. If it's, you know, one inch shorter on the long side, and the one inch wider on the white side, will instill CO and she's like, Oh, are you going on a vacation? And he's like, yeah, I'm going on a vacation in August. And he's visiting the website for the airline to try to figure that thing out now. Yeah, you know, back in June, and that's like, that's, that's pretty far out thinking. And she's like, you know, it freaked her out a little bit. And then she like, now I understand why people freak out when she's thinking like, two months ahead of time.

Phillip Morgan 16:45
You know, I had a funny, very similar realization, I was in the shower the maybe two, three mornings ago. And I sort of saw in a visual format, like a heat map. Like if you took a timeline, and then did a heat map of where my attention is. Yeah. It's, it's, it's a split thing. So there would be like a big red sort of heat spot on the heat map over today. And tomorrow, right? Yeah, very short term, very immediate. And then the other in the only other big red spot on the heat map would be 510 years out. So I immediately realized why I don't take enough vacation is because no one plan. I mean, not no one. But most vacations are not planned five to 10 years out. That's just too far out to like, really plan a vacation, you might aspire to Yeah, a mountain or you might have like a sort of vision of the future, but you're not actually planning. You're not saying okay, on this date, I'm going to leave and no mistake, I'm going to do this. And it's so there's this weird gap between, you know, like three days out from today. Yeah. And five years out from today, where I just don't think much about that time period, that's gonna happen. I would really love for other people to do a heat map like that. So I can understand basically, how weird Am I it's not a question of Am I weird? It's just a question of like, How weird. Yeah. Sounds like your heat map

Junaid Ahmed 18:27
is is very similar. Yeah. That that's a really, that's a really desert, really great way to think about it. It's like, and I think it, it comes to, it all comes down to what we do as creators, making right copy, I design stuff. And most like the need for these things is very immediate, somebody needs a copy tomorrow, somebody needs this design tomorrow, or next week. So that's the span of how far we can think about my wife's job. Like, she is a project manager, you know, she's, she has to project project these projects, and when they're going to launch when that when the you know, and then she's doing a lot of planning with, with all the people and the developers and whatnot. So they have to work on something called like a Gantt chart style, okay, this planning stages initiation, this is the execution, this is the, you know, this is the one it's going to deploy, they have to already think in those terms. And what's interesting that I've realized is, I've seen a lot more woman, I've, I've experienced a lot more woman in the role of project planning and project management, then I'm sure there's a lot of men in that role. And I've worked with very few of them. But a lot of times, I've seen that, you know, and it may be comes inherent with their ability to multitask. That could be could be Yeah,

Phillip Morgan 20:15
I try to be careful about generalizations. Absolutely. You know, yeah, the project manager just cannot afford to have that kind of gap in how they think about the future. They can't say, well, we're going to focus on the next week, and then five years from now, because that gap in the middle is critical. Planning a project. And maybe I'm not a very effective project manager of my own life, on the same boat, be willing to admit that if that's true, or, you know, I, again, I just would love to see people who have had some success as an entrepreneur, do that heat map, and then people who've had some success, maybe working in like a more traditional corporate environment? Yeah. Just like, Are there systematic differences? Or is it just random? I would love to love to be able to see that,

Junaid Ahmed 21:07
well, here's what we can do to get that heat map going, maybe have a form of some sort where people can fill in what they think. So then we can form our own heat map for people like a figure out your next 10 year heat map. What do you think about today? What do you think about tomorrow, next week, one month, and then I think it'll kind of push us in the direction of trying to think in those terms versus well, and I'm sure you have a list of people that fall into many, many of these categories. And they can actually fill out that form and give you that information that you might be looking for.

Phillip Morgan 21:56
One of the interesting things I've done recently is, is a small scale study of how self employed software developers think about investing in their career or not just think about it, but how do they actually do that? Yeah. And I recruited a small sample from LinkedIn, and recruited a somewhat larger, but still small sample from my email list. And it was it has been very interesting. I'm not done with this study yet. But it's been very interesting to compare the two. And there are real differences. So I could probably do the same thing again. But you know, with a different question, which is, yeah, that brings up some real interesting survey design issues. But the main question is, like, Where is your attention focused when you're thinking about the future? Yeah.

So that's a good idea. I'm,

I'm likely to do something about that.

Junaid Ahmed 22:53
Cool. Awesome.

I would love to see those results. And I'm sure you can do can, you know, published as a paper or white paper or something like, Hey, this is where people's attention span, fall based on their job title or something? I don't know.

Phillip Morgan 23:13
Yeah, you're trying to correlate it with some other factor would make it even additionally. Interesting. And then also, this is the kind of thing I could go broader with. Yeah. I could survey a lot of different sample groups. And so a tool like Google surveys, not Google Forms, but their paid survey tool, okay. Could be a real interesting way to expand the dataset now you've got some gears turning here Junaid Thanks for that.

Junaid Ahmed 23:40
Absolutely. Absolutely. podcast. Yeah, yeah, one thing that, that we use as user experience designers is, there's a whole set of tools, that, for example, there's a tool called tree jack. And in that you basically lay out your information architect director for your website, and you put in information. So you basically input this data into the program, and then you ask questions, and then show them how did you get to this spot. And this is DIA for you to search for it. So it basically helps the user the UX team to figure out if the AI or information architecture, architecture that they have designed, accurately maps to their thinking, and helps the user get to the point that they're thinking about faster.

Phillip Morgan 24:42
So do they recruit people for you to give you the feedback? Or do you do that part yourself. So true, jack,

Junaid Ahmed 24:50
will treat jack is just a software. Okay, and so you will go in there, and then you're already working at a company, you will recruit, you know, users in the company, for example, the the test that we did was, you know, the HR site was convoluted. So, we did a design of the structure inside here, what it currently was, and we brought in a whole bunch of people, and we basically set up laptops in the cafeteria area and had people hate come to this little thing, you get a free, you know, drink voucher or something, or, you know, you get you get some, they have some incentive to, you know, actually take that survey, and it probably took them five to 10 minutes to take the survey. And now, when we look at the results, we can see, okay, people were having trouble getting this type of information from this area, because they thought it was here, but it should have been over there kind of thing. So it keeps, it gives you a lot of great, you know, data back, and I'm sure that kind of stuff can be done. for your purposes. I mean, it's an opens offer. And there's a lot more tools than just tree jack. I mean, there's this immense amount of tools just around user experience. Because it It helps figure out the psychology of, you know, our users. And, you know, products are designed for users. Unless it's device that is created just out of pure innovation, like the iPhone introduced back in 2006. And everybody was like blown away, like holy smokes. Right? When when January of 2006. See Jeff, you know, it's like, it's got music, it's got internet. It's got email, music, and the you just kept repeating. It's like it's a single device. And it was interesting, you know, and you were mentioning earlier, about people having to spend that much money on it on a single device. Well, while we have a smartphone, right, I remember very clearly, before the iPhone came out, I had the same phone for three years. Three years, I had the same phone. Yeah. And I never had to take it in to get a repair an hour to do any of that. Right. It just worked. I might have spent some time with this offer. You know, trying to hack this offer, try to get some applications on it. But that was about it. On the iPhone came out. The first one was $650. Yeah. And then later on years, you know, we had to subsidize option. But now people are spending anywhere from, you know, nine $750 to 20, under 1300. dollars on a single device that they're going to get rid of next year.

Phillip Morgan 28:05
And people wind up on the sidewalk, Oh, yes.

Junaid Ahmed 28:09
Everybody lined up,

Phillip Morgan 28:10
to be able to, you know, be one of the first to spend $650 for a thing that most of the other people in their life did not understand did not value in the same way. Yeah. And thought was just crazy that you would do that

lined up on the side

to do that. So it's really fascinating to think about those kind of entrepreneurial wins. Those are not the only kind, they're much, I think, much more I mean, to be bought much more boring. And but they still have the same. Same sort of contours of not everybody gets it. And so and it just it takes something pretty, pretty interesting combination of factors to to get to that kind of success. But it's you know, again, there's things people are buying today that they value today. And, you know, if you were someone who just happen to get like a data science degree, it's interesting me because now I mean, like right now, that's a red hot skill or expertise or whatever. Yeah. But you would have possibly made the decision to get that PhD, before it was red hot. Yeah. And so, you know, the lead time that you would need to acquire that skill is so significant, that there's just no way you could have known that it was going to be a desirable skill. So it's really interesting to look at those cases. And you kind of have to, I think, say, that was more luck than anything else. Yeah. You know, a data scientist now who's doing some work that's highly valued. I'm not sure they could attribute their financial success to foresight, or good planning or, you know, site or what have you.

Junaid Ahmed 30:18
Yeah, about that? Well, one interesting thing, that there is a really amazing point, because it does take time, right, it'll take you three to four years to get that degree. And in three and four years, you know, something might change completely, the need for it, and having data science degree now, like them would have meant that you thought about it hard enough. And that's exactly what you're passionate about to doing it. And a lot of the times, you will follow the trends, okay. Oh, attorneys making a lot of money, let's, let's let me go and be an attorney. Well, you've taken yourself out of the pool for two years. Right? Um, so yeah, there's going to be demand for it now. But maybe two years down the road, it might be a little different. And I've seen a lot of people that, you know, they went for what they thought was going to be great. And then they come out all graduated. But there's no jobs. And there's a lot of people with bachelor's that couldn't find a job. So they were like, Oh, let me go get a masters. Taking yourself out of the equation again. And then after you got your masters, well, I still can't find a job in the area that I thought was going to be awesome. So some of the things that help can help people is to be subscribed to knowledge that people share, like, for example, for site tells you Okay, what are you going to be the hot jobs in the next 10 years? Well, that puts you on a path of, you know, other a better thought, because now you know, what's going to be hot in the next 10 years, or the next five years. And so you have to see the trend of where technology is going. Because there's so much automation now. And data science is helping with that automation, there's machine learning, super hot AI is dependent on machine learning. And so, all of these things, it all comes down to Okay, where's technology going? Because 10 years from now, I couldn't do all of this stuff on my phone that I can do now. And that's also helping because I just heard, I just read an article today, that iOS 13 can now correct your I positioning, what you're doing FaceTime call, because lot of time when you're doing a FaceTime call, you're looking at the screen and not the camera, see your eyes. And a lot of people when they're taking selfies, right, they're looking at the screen. And you can tell from those selfie photos that they're looking at the screen and not the camera. And I have you know have to make that judgment whenever I'm taking a selfie. But with iOS 13 they're already fixing that with our with augmented reality, they're shifting where your eyes are supposed it's like you're looking at from down to up where the camera service.

Phillip Morgan 33:38
I know that to me, that's I installed on my iPad Pro, which is actually my primary work device like I do 90% of what I do on an iPad Pro, and I installed the iOS 13 public beta. Yeah. And then a few hours later reverted back to iOS 12. For me, the most useful thing was the ability to use a mouse like that. I am super excited about that. Until it's officially released, and it'll still be beta quality software. But yeah, hopefully not as bad as what I loaded on my device.

Junaid Ahmed 34:16
I totally agree. So let me

Phillip Morgan 34:20
jump in Absolutely. This feature you were talking about?

Perhaps one of the most fascinating features because I mean, there's so many little interesting aspects to it. I spent a lot of time on video calls with my clients. When I do these days is not copywriting. It looks a lot more like advisory services. And Tom on the iPad, it's most convenient for me if that's in landscape orientation, which puts the camera on the left side of Yeah, on the left edge. I had thought I mean, this issue is always on my mind. Because the perception of me not making eye contact with someone I'm trying to help and yeah, I wonder how is that jarring for them? Do they? Do they just sort of mentally compensate for the lack of eye contact? Because they know well? No, we're on the computer and I look at the camera, you're not really seeing the other person's face? Yeah. Or is it disruptive? I thought the solution to all of this would be that they would find some way to embed the camera, basically in the middle of the screen. Yeah, like somehow behind the screen. And I thought that would solve the eye contact problem I had didn't think at all about, you know, some them using their augmented reality. capacity to solve it. Yeah. And it's fascinating. I don't know if it's going to work. Well, I'm usually on zoom, not FaceTime. Yeah. And I'm, again, I'm the cameras not above where I'm making eye contact, it's to the left up. Yeah, I don't know if it'll work in that situation. But it's just a fascinating thing. And then you realize, wait, there, this person is no longer looking at a store. So relatively unprocessed video feed of me there now. There's now this layer of processing. What else could that do? You know, will? Will there someday be a video chat application? That kind of is like the HR person in elite that movie Liam, just like this robot? And you know, it's completely divorced from any reality? I don't know, just to kind of get your mind spinning with all these possibilities of what might be. It's really a fascinating feature. Yeah, dark mode doesn't have that kind of fascinating future possibility built now.

Junaid Ahmed 36:53
It doesn't know it's nice feature. No, absolutely. So they had. So that's funny, because what's interesting is sure they did not talk about this. Attention correction and FaceTime on the keynote, because a lot of people are not going to buy the device just for that reason. And right, like, oh, dark mode is going to increase your battery life. Well, that's the feature we're going to talk about. I didn't watch the keynote, so I didn't watch it either. I just I just went through the attention to it. A little more tension. Yeah, I was I was pretty upset that I didn't get to watch the live one this time around. Because I liked it religiously every year or whenever they have a keynote. So the interesting point, you mentioned about you know, having to look directly in the camera when you're doing your zoom calls. Yeah. And what I've done, I've got a semi I use the desktop to zoom calls. And whenever whenever I'm doing the video, have the camera. Because I can move the camera around. It's portable on I can put it right in the middle of the screen. And then and then align the the video window. Yeah, the video window behind the camera. So it feel like I'm looking directly into the camera. I've done that too.

Phillip Morgan 38:21
And got a little table top. Yeah, it's not a tripod. It's like a light stand. But same idea. Yeah, put the camera on that and then positioned it so that it's in a you know, now the cameras like blocking that person. Yeah, it is part of their video. Yeah, but I've done that. I have I designed I mean, design, I thought about creating some sort of like periscope type device that would kind of in the place where you want to be looking in order to have the appearance of solid eye contact. But then the cameras actually located elsewhere. Yeah. I mean, I've just, like have spent an inordinate amount out of time on this issue that I think most people are like, Why do you care? Yeah. But it's because I'm trying to make the most of the way I've chosen to work, which is Yeah,

Junaid Ahmed 39:11
yeah. No, that's, that's really interesting.

Phillip Morgan 39:14
And then there, there goes apple and they fix it.

Junaid Ahmed 39:19
Now, all comes down to Okay, if its attention correction and face time, they'll have to have an A I'm sure. I'm sure they have didn't have a arcade or AI kit available. So the zoom can tap into it. Because thing and zoom, you can already do a virtual background if you're using any of the devices. So that's that's pretty cool.

Phillip Morgan 39:43
Yeah, I think I bought right.

seems to be doing a lot of things right. These days, like before behind with some similar feature. Yeah. And then I expect Skype to find 50 ways to screw it up or get paid based on how many UI changes they can make in a given time period. That seems to be how they're compensated.

Junaid Ahmed 40:08
That's really their their long demo looking too far as a foot.

Phillip Morgan 40:14
Yeah, right.

Junaid Ahmed 40:17
Because if they had looked too far ahead, they probably wouldn't have never have gotten into the mobile device space. Because remember, they had the Zune right after the iPad, the iPod. And then they had the Windows mobile phone. I mean, what's funny is my first phone, my first smartphone was a Windows Mobile smartphone. Before the iPhone. Oh, wow. Yeah, it was running

Phillip Morgan 40:45
on you're trying to hack and get?

Junaid Ahmed 40:47
Yeah. And so that was that was really interesting. I mean, Microsoft had done it, right, they just didn't think too far ahead. Very cool. And now they're, you know, now they've accepted Linux. And I think most of their operating systems on the server side, are running on in conjunction with Linux, so they've got some Linux code, and you can like, do bash terminals and windows, it's really fascinating. And it really is a Microsoft come,

Phillip Morgan 41:25
they have embraced, like a really significant level of change. And then, you know, avoided most of the opportunities to screw that up, which is impressive, actually.

Junaid Ahmed 41:38
That is, that is very true. I mean, and the one good thing they've got going on, that they, you know, started back in 2000 was the Xbox. There. The Xbox is a marvel of innovation, I mean, the ability to network and play with other people. It's just mind blowing. And it took Sony some time to, you know, get on that bandwagon and figure out the subscription model, and might not to follow suit with Microsoft, as well as some of the other gaming machines are out there. I think Nintendo took some time as well. To get there, but yeah, there's, there's all you know, you you've got to see who's the leader who's doing the best. And that's what Apple's been doing. They're like, you know, we see how all of these mp3 players are working, there's a big piece missing, how are you managing? How are you managing the software? How are you managing all of your music collection? Right. So that was an innovation in itself, iTunes, and I think iTunes going away with the next version of Mac. Because they're breaking out podcasts and musics apps separately. Yeah. It's interesting how this conversation just turn into Apple conversation.

Phillip Morgan 43:02
That was not where I thought we would go.

Junaid Ahmed 43:05
It's mainly because it's, it's something that, like, you and I both follow, you know, religiously, in one effort or another. But when you mentioned, you know, people will stand in lines. And I remember, trying to get home from work, took me like an hour, and then going and standing in line to get that first iPhone.

Phillip Morgan 43:30
So and then you were you, you were one of the early adopters, that sounds like

Junaid Ahmed 43:35
this, right? I am one of the first early adopters. And then the next version. I got one for my wife, as well as like the right one for you. And for me, and I think for at least for three, know, this, were five, six years or seven years, even, I stood in line to get that first iPhone, you know, when it first was over available in stores, and not at the Apple Store, I would always go to the at&t store because I knew the lines would be shorter, and just get there early enough to not wait in the super long lines. And then I was super happy when they started doing the pre orders and just mailing to you. at your home. It's like, all right, and it goes down the bone anymore. I've got kids.

Phillip Morgan 44:23
What's interesting to me is that I you know, I'm fascinated by all this stuff about how how people in you know, create, change, or embrace or resist change. But I myself am not an early adopter. I am somewhere in the probably in the late part of the early majority, or the early part of the late majority.

Rogers adoption curve. And

so that means I'm

weirdly risk seeking in some areas of my life, and then weirdly risk avoiding and other areas. Yeah. So I mean, probably installing the iOS 13. public beta is a good example of that. Yeah. Like I wanted to see if it was usable. Because if it was usable, I wanted to use it. Because if he's few features that I just really highly desired. Yeah.


I'm not going to take six hours out of my day, just a line for some new thing that if I wait three months, I can just have it show up in the mail. That so I'm This, I think, somewhat unusual combination of attributes, like in some areas, and just like, let's go, let's do something really crazy, that may not work out. And another, I'm like, I want every guarantee that it's going to work

Junaid Ahmed 45:48
out. No, absolutely. That's, that's very true. And I'm so there's the waiting and getting something, you know, super early, and figuring out the kinks, and then installing the beta software. I've done that in the past. And I was like, This year, I'm just going to skip it. And you know, and they even mentioned that, you know, this has to be like, do not put this operating system on your primary device. screw something up. Yeah. And it's happened to me, like, Oh, I can't launch any of the episodes that I was using last week. Yeah, yeah. Because you know, they're not ready. Like, you know, I just want I have very little time for to be playing around, you know, with the limited hours that I have in a day, I just want to be all, all of them to be productive. I didn't get on the apple bandwagon to be beta testing, I got on it. So I could be productive. Because then it just feels like you on a Windows bus. You have updates coming every day. And

Phillip Morgan 46:52
yeah, the same thing, I think shows up when you're deciding, you know, as a self employed person who provides services, expertise, yeah, you have to make that same decision. It's like, what am I services for? Are they for people who are going to get some benefit, maybe just emotional from being an edge? Or are they for people like, maybe like you and I, in that we just can't stand the idea of losing time to figuring out half baked beta features?

Junaid Ahmed 47:27

Phillip Morgan 47:29
I mean, both of those are valid or viable markets, they look different, you do everything different in terms of creating value for those markets, but you're both viable. And I guess the mistake is to try to serve both of them with the same thing, because that just does not work. That is so true.

Junaid Ahmed 47:51
That is so so true. Now, one thing that I popped in my head earlier, when we were talking about, you know, collecting data and figuring out what people we'd be doing the next five years versus next week, I have been collecting some of that data from my guests. Now, it's not specific to you know, what they'll be doing. But it's specific to some of the thing, some of the questions that I asked all of my guests, and I was thinking, What if I put that in the chart and put all the people that like, certain type of movies in one area versus certain type of, you know, things in another area, and then co you know, you guys will really like to talk because you both like this movie, or this superhero or stuff like that.

Phillip Morgan 48:39
That is the kind of thing you can do when you start building your own data set. And there's just so many ways you can do that. Yeah. Very simple three questions survey could be, you know, a very in depth to our conversation they have repeatedly where the structure of the conversation is to morning and then look for patterns. So, yeah, yeah. I mean, that's what you're doing with

Junaid Ahmed 49:07
doing especially with this podcast? Yeah. Yeah. One question is that, that pressures are, you know, as that keep thinking about is, you know, what is some of the motivation for things that you do? Or things that people do? So how about yourself?

Phillip Morgan 49:32
Well, the motivation is the you know, it's a mixture of things like I do want to have, you know, an interesting career, I want to do work that I find interesting. Yeah, I think, you know, I sort of burned some ships when I landed on the shores of self employment, and I wasn't super good at it to start out with, but I realized there was this potential for it to be interesting in a way that I never found working for somebody else. interesting in that same way. So I think I just sort of fully committed to that. So for me sometimes that's, you know, in the motivation of what drives me, that creates this trade off between, like, immediate success, like we were talking about earlier. Yeah. If you want immediate success, there are ways to do that. But I do think also about the trade offs that are inherent in that, because usually, you're doing something that's kind of been figured out a little bit. Yeah. And what I want to do is contribute new knowledge, or new ways of seeing things, to, to what exists already. So that necessarily involves figuring out a different challenge. How do you

keep money coming in?

to whatever degree you're looking for? And I've realized that what I'm looking for is, is above average, in terms of business revenue. Yeah. So then you're like, Okay, well, I just have to accept that that's what I want. I'm not going to voluntarily put myself on austerity program. So I gotta figure out how I How can I, you know, stay interested, be breaking new ground, and also meeting financial goals, because you can, you know, break new ground on your own? Yeah. Without the discipline of doing something the market will pay for. And that I think might be easier than the other, which is breaking the ground in a way that the market will pay for, that seems to add an extra layer of challenge. So, you know, that seems to be part of what motivates me is figuring out that challenge. And it is something you I think you can get the idea that other people have figured it out very quickly. Yeah. Because of that 10 year overnight success thing. And because of how the media in the press like to portray those stories.


I mean, there's this weird thing, not to take us on too much of a tangent. But yeah, if it takes me 15 minutes to read, you know, like a New York or New York Times profile of someone who has accomplished something impressive. Yeah, then there's this sort of distortion, where it feels like it just took them 15 minutes to accomplish that, because it only took me 15 minutes to read about it. And I know, that's

Junaid Ahmed 52:46
like a weird thing. That's very interesting.

Phillip Morgan 52:49
But I think it's a real effect. And so it's hard for me to feel the weight, the emotional weight of the fact that that was a 10 year journey for them. And I think all of us are subject to that effect. And I don't know if it's a known thing, I don't know if it just exists in my head. I don't know if it has a name. But there's this distortion where the success story and you're like, now you start judging yourself in an unfair way. Like why am I not further along? Even though I'm three years into this, and not 10 or 15? or whatever? Yeah. And so it can become discouraging to compare yourself. It's a little bit of that comparing your insides to someone else's outsides thing. So, you know, all that is a part of this thing of like saying, Well, yeah, there's lots of buckets out there, I could fit myself into, yes, what I want, I want to make my own bucket, and own that bucket. And there's a lot of things you have to figure out along the way, as you're doing that.

Junaid Ahmed 53:58
That's, that's an excellent point. I mean, and that's, that's exactly where I'm at. That's exactly where I have been in the past few months. And I figured this out last year, I was like, you know, I don't want to be working for anybody anymore. I want to be my own. I wanted to do my own thing. I have all this knowledge, I have all this experience that I can put into use and build something and and what what validates you and I tried to do that is that there's hundreds of other people that are already doing it. Like it's not it's not something that's in the fairy tale. It's been done, right. It's not a fairy. It's been done already. Am I following those same steps that they've taken? Maybe, maybe not. And one thing that opened up my mind a lot more was, you know, reading Gary Vantage chokes book crushing it, and there's so many stories in there. And like you said, you know, you read a 15 minutes, you know, your story in 15 minutes, and you discover their 10 year, no struggle, and you're like, Whoa, yeah, he did that in 10 years. Why can't I do it in two or one? right? Exactly. It's it's pretty crazy. how that happens. Yeah.

Phillip Morgan 55:27
Yeah, I just,

I am just really fascinated by this idea that for first, some subset of the human population. Yeah, just fitting into somebody else's bucket is not enough. There's some envious of the sort of personality that is fine with that. Yeah. Because it does seem easier sometimes. But what can you do? You know, we're wired the way we were up? Exactly.

Junaid Ahmed 55:58
All that was notice some great stuff, man, I loved it. I do have some questions that I asked my guests at the end of the, towards the end of the interview.

Phillip Morgan 56:09
I feel ready.

Junaid Ahmed 56:12
I feel ready. Let's do it. Awesome. So what is one hobby, though you wish you got into?

Phillip Morgan 56:19
Well, I have an answer. And I'm doing something about my answer. So mountain biking, is the answer. My wife and I have just moved to Taos New Mexico, which is in the mountains, about 7000 feet elevation. We're still adjusting to that. But there's a lot of really cool mountain biking here. Maybe not on the level that some of the spots. And while we were at the southern end of the Rockies, so it's probably comparable to Colorado for folks who don't know, yeah, different than like southern Utah, which is also like a sort of intense mountain biking experience some really intense stuff there. So we've ordered some some bikes and we're going to kind of try it. When I lived in Portland, Oregon, I biked everywhere. I had a couple bikes, and so I biked a lot more than and then we move to some places that were not biking, friendly, and got rid of the bikes. Yeah, I've ever done mountain biking, per se. I've had a mountain bike that I've written on the road. Sure. So I'm looking forward to you know, a little rougher, Wilder experience.

Junaid Ahmed 57:33
Nice. That's going to be so much fun. The making experience I've had back in Colorado is we went to Vail to take us up to the top. And we just don't know by you know, it's it's much more fun than actually climbing that.

Phillip Morgan 57:55

Junaid Ahmed 57:57
So yeah, it's gonna be it's gonna be fun. My my brother in law has been a mountain biker for many many years and and it's it's a lot of awesome experience. Actually, yesterday he tried going biking. And he was so human. He's like, I bonked I couldn't. It was just too much like I finished two water bottles ate all these dates. And I still is still I just couldn't.

Phillip Morgan 58:21
Came back the opposite problem here. Yeah, problem the summer hot and low humidity, which is also pretty taxing on your system.

Junaid Ahmed 58:30
Yeah, it is. Cool. Awesome. hobby, man. I love it. What is your favorite movie? Or TV show? And if none of if you have a favorite TV or movie show? How about a book?

Phillip Morgan 58:44
It's been a while but

my dinner with Andre is one of my favorite movies, ever. It's weird. It's almost like, you know, these the two actors. I mean, there's some other sort of support actors, but it's really just Wallace Sean and this other guy, Andre, something I don't remember his last name. Having dinner and having a conversation. That's basically the movie. So I mean, in terms of plot, there's not much there. But it's just exploring all these things that have some overlap with my life, like these sort of weird expressions of spirituality or, or art in the ideas of art and, but really also making fun of each of those things. Yeah. It's not the kind of movie that would get any budget today at all. I think I just don't think you can make this movie today. But I just think it's wonderful. Nice TV show. There's this series that I think it's on Amazon Prime called patriot that I just, I've I think I've re watched the whole thing. So I've seen it twice now, which is rare for me. Me, it's rare for me to commit to an entire TV series anyway. Yeah. Even more rare for me to go back and watch it again. Because I thought it was so good.

It's not for everybody.

Which you can probably guess from my my favorite movie.

Junaid Ahmed 1:00:16
No, no, absolutely.

Phillip Morgan 1:00:18
But it's about this. This guy who is suffering PTSD and depression, and doing a very important covert mission for the US government. Just super fascinating stuff.

Junaid Ahmed 1:00:34
Very cool. Very cool. I will have to check out the movie, because I've never heard that before. And patriots sounds pretty, pretty interesting. Is it just two episodes or?

Phillip Morgan 1:00:46
Oh, it's to see two seasons, two seasons? Right. Right. Right, whatever. 810 episodes per season, something like that.

Junaid Ahmed 1:00:52
Okay, and is it continuing? Or it looks like

Phillip Morgan 1:00:55
they're going to have a third, although I don't think they've announced that officially. But my senses though there'll be a third season. Definitely favorite sci fi TV show would be the expanse.

Junaid Ahmed 1:01:09
Nice. expanses good to all right? What movie would you choose if you got to play a character in?

Phillip Morgan 1:01:27
Probably my dinner with Andre. So you

Junaid Ahmed 1:01:30
get to have dinner with Andre. Right? Yeah.

Phillip Morgan 1:01:33
That's the question. Do I am I Andre or am I Wallace? Sean in that movie? Yeah. Like I physical attributes aside? Like, like, which set of like life experiences what I want to embody? And that's that's a tough one. I'm not sure I could choose.

Junaid Ahmed 1:01:53
Well, that's the question. What church would you play?

Phillip Morgan 1:01:56
Okay, well, I don't get a free pass, and I have a 50% chance of making a choice I regret. So I guess I choose. Andre Gregory, I think is the case.

Junaid Ahmed 1:02:10
Yeah. Awesome. Alright,

a couple more questions. Who is your favorite superhero? If you're into that kind of things.

Phillip Morgan 1:02:20
You know, this is a one of the things in your prep that I really spent some time thinking about.

And I think it would be

max from the Mad Max movie, so particularly Fury Road, because he's, he's a survivor. He's kind of quiet, doesn't call any attention to himself if he can help it. And there's something about that, that's, that kind of resonates for me. And I, you know, maybe folks don't think of him as a super hero. Like, that's something I was thinking about. I'm like, I just don't connect emotionally with these characters who have like superhuman powers. But I do with Max rocket, tell ski or whatever it is. Because he has this almost superhuman level of endurance and ability to survive. And maybe that is a sort of negative fatalistic view of business. But I do think that's an important quality is I think the folks who are successful towards the the middle and end of their careers are successful because they've survived. Yeah. And that's not to take away from whatever else makes them successful. But I think that survival pieces, it's just critical that they've just had an ability to survive longer than others. They've just outlasted others. Yeah, that's true.

Junaid Ahmed 1:03:57
Fantastic. Alright. Last question. If you were a board game, what would it be?

Phillip Morgan 1:04:12
Like anything that involves, like, patterns being part of the success? So Tetris, Tetris. Okay. Was it connect for was that the sort of physical?

Yeah, we dropped?

These things like checkers into a grid?

Junaid Ahmed 1:04:28
Yeah, I mean, again, those are games. They're not specifically a board game. It's true, like Scrabble or monopoly or risk, or some, you know, some that are based on the name, I guess it would be

Phillip Morgan 1:04:42

It's been a long me have played that once or twice a long time ago. Yeah. So let's go with risk. Since that's a board game. Sorry. I keep trying to step outside the lines of your questions. No problem. So.

Junaid Ahmed 1:05:00
So Good, good. Well, where can my audience find you if they wanted to get in touch with you?

Phillip Morgan 1:05:09
I'd send them to my website, Philip K. Morgan consulting. com. I should probably see if I can get the the misspelled version of that, at least according to my parents, which would have two L's in it. Yeah. The way my parents spelled it is with one Ellen. I've carried on that tradition. So it's a pH ILIPMRGAN. And then the word

Junaid Ahmed 1:05:33
Perfect. Well felt it was really awesome. talking with you. This was this is very intense conversation. And I'm looking forward to those Google surveys. I mean, I think those would be super interesting to take a look at

Phillip Morgan 1:05:53
that real thought that like that. Maybe does I didn't think that belonged on my research agenda. When I first had the thought. Yeah, but now that we've talked it through it seems like it could be pretty interesting because you know, it I don't know maybe others have already asked I need to do a literature review. Maybe others have answered the question. Yeah, anyway. Junaid I'm glad I could bring some intensity to it to match yours. And

Junaid Ahmed 1:06:25
thank you for having. Absolutely. Thank you so much. Have a great rest of your day. Talk to you soon. Bye. Bye. Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to this episode on hacks and hobbies. We absolutely appreciate your contribution. You can find additional notes on hacks and hobbies. com. please share the podcast with your friends and tell them what you learned about our guests today.

Transcribed by

Junaid Ahmed has been a user experience designer for over 15 years. As a UX professional, he uses the user-centered design philosophy to come up with solutions. Trust the system, it works!

“People say that we only live once, but I believe in living every day!”

Junaid has been interviewing people from all walks of life on his podcast Hacks and Hobbies.