Virtual coworking with Focusmate: Taylor Jacobson on accountability and remote work

Virtual coworking with Focusmate: Taylor Jacobson on accountability and remote work

Full Transcript

Curtis Duggan: Hey everybody. Welcome back to another episode of Remotely Serious, where we explore the evolving world of remote work. In this episode, I'm speaking with Taylor Jacobson, the c e o and founder of Focusmate and Focusmate's an interesting company because when I looked at the website in preparation for this episode, I was researching Focusmate, got a guest coming on, what's their company all about?

I. Thought that the company was essentially a video, a piece of video conferencing software for collaborating with peers. The kind of thing you might expect in the post pandemic world, a new startup that handles, oh, we need to jump on a huddle at our company. Let's get on a video call. Or we need to have a video meeting.

And zoom is famous for that. And there's other companies that are famous for this kind of thing, but the actual insight. The behavioral insight at the core of Focusmate is quite different, and the product actually does something a little bit different than what you expect. So stay tuned to find out what that is, and let's jump right in.

Welcome back to the Remotely Serious podcast. I'm here with Taylor Jacobson, the CEO of Focusmate. And I got introduced to you by a previous guest of the podcast, Jordan Carroll. Maybe we'll start there. How do you know, Jordan? It sounded like you were collaborating on something or working more closely together than just a quick, warm intro.

It sounded like you were collaborating. Is that correct? I know Jordan

Taylor Jacobson: because he started using Focusmate. Yeah. And he just hit me up on LinkedIn and was just fanboying really hard and being super friendly. And we took our relationship to WhatsApp Voice Notes, which is something that I do.

And then I had this gut feeling that he might be into the men's group that I was part of. So I like told him about that. And he wound up joining my men's group. And so we got really tight. Through that. And we actually did a retreat together, like a self-created retreat in Mexico a few months ago. What part of Mexico did you go to?

He lives in play Dale Carmen. So me and one other guy. We went and met Jordan there. I live in in Mexico City actually. And then, yeah, he's, we've started to dip our toe into more like professional collaborations as well. We're building a webinar together right now, letting it flow in different directions.

But he's a very special person. I love him. Would you consider

Curtis Duggan: yourself a digital nomad? I know that's not, we didn't, you never said that you were, but I'm just hearing that, you went to play at El Carmen, you live in Mexico City. You don't sound like you're from Mexico. I. Not that I should pre prejudge anything like that these days.

But you sound like you're from further North and North America at least. Do you consider yourself a nomad? You have a product that supports people that work virtually, but I'm just curious, how long have you been doing that and what's, how long have you been in Mexico

Taylor Jacobson: City? Yeah, I. Do not consider myself a digital nomad.

I would say I live here, I live in Mexico City. I did some nomad really just while I was like between homes. I spent like a year between New York maybe almost a year and a half between New York and Mexico City. Not really knowing where I wanted to be, so I definitely did the. Hopping around lifestyle and learn some of that.

But no, I would say I'm, if we're gonna categorize, I'd say I'm a RO remote worker. Focusmate, we don't have an office. Everybody's remote. So yeah, I'm just in Mexico City 'cause I like it. So what does Focusmate do? What Focusmate does is it magically makes you insanely productive even if you have ADHD or.

Chronically procrastinate or work in a very isolating environment or any number of factors that make it hard to be focused and productive. That's what it does. Does. How it does that, it is a global community. A lot of people who have those kind of circumstances, a D h D, procrastinators, freelancers, remote workers, digital nomads, and using our platform, you can schedule a video call.

With another member of the community, either 25, 50 or 75 minutes. And the purpose of the video call is to keep each other company while you work. You're not collaborating, you're just keeping each other company. And basically it's it's like a study buddy almost. So the first minute of the call, you're greeting your partner and you're just asking them what they're gonna work on.

With the time, and then they're asking you what you're gonna work on with the time. So you're, it's a peer-to-peer experience. There's no like coach or anything like that. It's just keeping each other company. So after the first minute sharing what you're gonna do, you both get down to work, you'll mute the microphone maybe your partner.

Is on your cell phone off to the side of your computer. Maybe they're in the corner of your screen, but you're just getting your work done in silence with your partner, also there doing their work. And at the end of the video call, there's a bell that goes off that just, alerts you to come back and check in with your partner and you both ask each other how it went, if you got it.

Got done what you were planning to get done, celebrate a little bit. If you really liked your partner, you can save them as a favorite partner to more easily work with 'em in the future. And that's it. It's really just powerful but simple way to get your butt in the seat to get started, to set an intention of something that you actually really want to get done and to just.

Curtis Duggan: Do it. Yeah. I purposely asked you directly, what does it do? Because I actually going back about, several hours or even several days, I was looking at the website to get ready to pitch it for you or intro, Hey, here's what it does. It's a video conferencing software for working re remotely or virtually with others.

And I realized, as I went through the website, Oh, this the concept does more every time I scrolled, it's like the concept does a bit more than I thought. And so I went on this journey of thinking, oh, I understand. It's for bringing colleagues together. You need time to be productive.

But on the first glance, as I scrolled down the. The plot twist moment or the extra tweak to what is the value of the offer, was this idea that you're getting paired up for productivity. So that seems quite different than, the run of the mill huddle or video conference software, and definitely something that makes you stand out.

How does that work? How do you build that community? Build the matching. It seems like magic, but I know that, underneath all the magic and software, there's just the code that does it and the database. So what's driving that process and what's the user experience like for someone who's maybe doing it the first time?

Versus the hundredth time. I imagine, I'm guessing a bit, but I imagine the first time you're like, I'm up for anything. Let's do this. Let's be productive. But then as you use it, many times I would start to have preferences and habits. Oh, and I want to do it with this person. And so I'm just curious how all that community I.

Making works or has worked for you on your journey. Yeah.

Taylor Jacobson: Those are some good guesses. I'd say the most important thing underlying all of that is the culture. And there are rules, right? But that's distinct from the culture of the community. We talked about the structure of the call and the structure super powerful.

And we can talk about science, the science of it if we want to, because we've certainly learned a lot and kind of validated that there's so much science that. Explains why this is so effective. But, part of what we set out to do from day one was create an environment that felt very supportive and accepting and safe.

A lot of people relate to accountability, certainly in the United States as this like drill sergeant energy. The word accountability has this Strictness associated with it. There's gonna be a penalty or a punishment or a shaming or something like this. That's not actually what accountability means.

Accountability is literally just something that's getting measured. At least that's the definition of it. And because we're very social animals, if somebody else is observing us, that is a form of measuring, right? It's you say what you're gonna do and then you say, if you did it, To another person.

That's the accountability. And you couple that in our case, with a very encouraging, positive, accepting culture. It's not about. Oh, you screwed up. You didn't follow through on doing what you did. What we found is just having to tell somebody is plenty. Just setting the intention out loud and then having to tell that person just a few minutes later, really if you did it is plenty, and that people really respond much better to positive.

Reinforcement in a positive environment and people with ADHD procrastinators, just human beings, period, we have a lot of shame. We are conditioned in a culture that is so obsessed with productivity that we have. We have a lot of shame about not getting things done. So yeah, we've just been like crazy obsessed with the positive culture.

And you ask like what the experience is like over time. I think a lot of people are surprised how. How good it feels to drop into their first session. Meet their first partner. If you're new, we let your partner know that you're new for your first few sessions, so that it's like easy if you have a couple questions, they can show you the ropes and Yeah.

And then like you said yeah, for all your first time. It's more of the kind of blow your hair back oh my God, I can't believe how easy that was. I can't believe how focused I was. I obviously, I'm biased, but truly that's what happens when you try this and then, yeah, over time people develop routines.

People really, I think one of the big aha moments for people is they'll wait around being like, oh, like what's the right project for me to do? Should I, I really put off my taxes or my, for me it used to be like writing blog posts. I. They'll wait and they'll use Focusmate for that specific thing.

But as people learn their ropes, they realize that actually it's more effective to just book a focusmate session during the hours that you want to be getting things done. And then just check your to-do list. Like almost as you're getting on the session, you open up your to-do list and you say, oh, what's next on my to-do list?

And that becomes a thing that you're using for Focusmate. And the reason that works so well is it's like. If you book a 9:00 AM Focusmate session, you're not gonna be procrastinating. You're not gonna be, accidentally doing the dishes or on social media. You have a commitment at 9:00 AM so you know you're gonna be but in your seat.

And then, you're gonna have to be intentional immediately. Like the first thing you do is you set an intention. And that's really powerful for us in being productive. As people get more experience on Focusmate, a lot of what happens is they'll build a routine, whether they're on Focusmate at the same time every day, maybe multiple hours every day.

And it really can, it can become the backbone of how you structure your day and how you ensure that you're being productive, the amount of time that you wanna be, and then also that you like, feel good at the end of the day. That's I finished my last session and now I can like peacefully give myself permission to move on to whatever else I wanna be doing.


Curtis Duggan: do you find that most of your users are solopreneurs or people that are working on mix of personal and professional items? It could be the personal taxes, the three blog posts. Are there situations where a manager of a company or teams of 10 or 20 are choosing this or their manager is saying, our engineering team is going to use this, or is it predominantly just individual people saying, B two C, I'm gonna sign up for this and use it.

Personally and personally, professionally. Yeah. But generally as an individual?

Taylor Jacobson: It's definitely both. We have it's remote workers, freelancers, and students, kinda categorically, roughly a third of each of those. A lot of those people have a D H D. Then, yeah, actually it's surprised us, the extent to which we'll hear from teams that have said, oh, we've we've just built a culture of using Focusmate and our culture is so clear that this is not a monitor your employees type of vibe.

This is a. Help your team, be their best kind of energy, right? We haven't seen people force their teams onto it so much as create like a hey, like everybody, let's try this. And you'll see some members of teams just get super, super excited about it. And for other people, they don't struggle with procrastination or they just have some other workflow.

But yeah, we've seen both for sure.

Curtis Duggan: So it's free to start. Then there's some freemium model or the pro or premium tier to access a certain number of sessions. Is that the business model?

Taylor Jacobson: Correct. Yeah. It's free to start. It's, there's actually is a free plan. So you can use Focusmate up to three times a week for free forever.

And then there's just, right now there's just one paid plan, which is 10 bucks a month or 82 bucks a year for unlimited

Curtis Duggan: sessions. Yeah, it makes me think of, this is tell a quick story, but going back, it's almost, it's more than 10 years ago, but when I first had my first entrepreneurial venture, it was an iOS and Android app agency or shop.

When making those kinds of apps was relatively new and companies would have websites and so we would build apps for them and that was the first time where I went from, I'm just a person trying out. Different ideas totally on my own to eventually, at some point, we had a few engineers, we were a small team and we had a physical office.

So this is 2012, 2013, 2014. So back when you, you probably wouldn't have a physical office doing that kind of business now, but back then it just seemed like I. The thing I needed to do in order to be an agency and we should have an address and an office and desks and 360 reviews and all that kind of stuff.

And yeah, one thing, so one thing, way, way too much over optimization. Before we had hit, a million in revenue and figured out the actual agency model way too much businessy business stuff instead of just, figuring out how to go get more customers and do it really lean. So lots of lessons there.

But I remember it was, so it was the first time that I was thinking about this kind of, these ideas of focus and procrastination and what drives performance. I had only up until that point, thought about managing myself. I was a, I was a good student when I, in high school and university when I was motivated and I was a bad student when I wasn't.

So I knew my own psychology, but then I remember that one of the things that we talked about, Really early on that seemed so pedantic or mundane was whether the open plan desks, if you can imagine, we just had a typical kind of desks where they're not offices, they're not cubicles, but you're there's like a desk block.

Everybody's got their white desk, their set up, their monitor, but there was an argument over whether. We should turn the monitor so you're against a wall so no one sees your screen. And then, or we should have them open and that people, some people would complain, I don't like being looked at.

We have, a interface designer who doesn't like for eight hours a day. 'cause we were all, as crazy as it sounds, we were all in the office, nine to five, walking around, getting coffee from the coffee maker. And the screens of what work people were doing were visible. And so they would say, I want my screen facing the wall.

But then we would run into issues where, for a variety of reasons, we might accommodate the screens facing the wall and giving everyone privacy. But then I would see, like one of our engineers always had the Arsenal or Man United game on, in the morning, that was happening in the evening in England and it was happening in their second monitor.

And they would stop to watch the game, get excited about a goal, and it was this, interesting problem. As a younger manager, I was immediately really emotional about it, and this is ridiculous. We can't have this. But then, of course as you, as I look back, and maybe at the time I could have handled it differently, you start to think about what are we doing wrong?

What does this even mean? Instead of just being like, this is ridiculous, just thinking like, what does it mean that someone has this on? They ask for privacy, and then there's a perceived breach of trust that they have. A soccer game. Is the soccer game just making them happy and maybe they're still working really hard, they just have some entertainment on.

Doubtful about that. But hey, some people, throw on a podcast and throw on their headphones and listen to things while they code and while they design. And that's not the end of the world. In fact, that's pretty normal. So anyway, I went through, this is going back way 10 years ago, and I've managed bigger teams and become, I hope, a better manager since then.

And right now I'm a bit more of a solo person in the sense that I don't have direct reports in my life. I'm pretty solo in everything I do, even if I'm working with a team. And Long-winded story by going on that journey. I've, I still wonder what drives focus and procrastination and, the interplay between privacy accountability and the buddy system, and then like the manager looking over the shoulder.

It seems like something that, that, that whole fear, that fear that I had when I was 24 or 25. Seeing someone watch a soccer game right in the office on their monitor is the fear that. The people in the newspaper saying we gotta get, bring people back to the office. Nobody can work remote. There's no accountability.

It's that fear that people are just gonna slack off. They're, we have no way to see what they're doing. That's what's causing all of this controversy in the remote work versus back to office debate. And so I'm just curious, in the prenot you said you'd thought about this and learned some things about focus and procrastination.

So I just wanted to lay out my cards on, I still haven't figured this out, but here, what you have to say and how you've thought about that, in building this product or in just being a manager of other people in your career.

Taylor Jacobson: I related to a lot of that, certainly the kind of being a younger manager and getting freaked out before even really knowing whether there's something to freak out about.

So thanks for sharing that. Yeah. And you touched on like quite different things, on one end of the spectrum, just understanding how focus works and the other remote work culture and all of that. And what we've learned as a company what I've learned as a manager, I would say, Just starting with the piece about focus.

'cause what you're, what you touched on is really, it's actually out of the scope of focus. It's more on the scope of maybe even motivation or, somebody once said to me the three things that are required for. Let's say output would be motivation, ability, and resources.

Like the correct resources, right? So you know, you look at somebody like that and you don't know, but it could be that there's a lack of motivation, right? So that's, to me is actually separate from, is that person capable of focusing? And the really big misconception that I've discovered in my work in this area is that in our culture, we tend to hold.

Focus versus procrastination is like a mental issue or a discipline issue, and it's really not. It is really a physical, body centric, nervous system centric issue. And I think the, the coolest and maybe simplest way to understand this is through the states of the nervous system and the nervous system is the, or the autonomic nervous system, which is, it's happening automatically is what that means is basically just our body.

Automatically responding to our environment in what it feels is an appropriate response to an environment that's either safe or not safe, basically and the gradients in between that. And really the important thing here is that if we don't feel safe, the body goes into a sympathetic arousal, which is often known as fight or flight or freeze.

And in that state, the body is optimizing blood flow to the spinal column, to the extremities. It's preparing us to fight or to run. What that means is the blood flow is not. In the places that help us focus when we feel safe, the blood flow is now optimizing to the brain, to the facial muscles, to the throat.

These are, it's helping us to be creative, collaborative, to communicate, but those are only things that the body is letting us do when we feel safe. And another non-intuitive piece of this is, you might be asking like I'm sitting in my apartment, or I'm sitting at a cafe of course I'm safe.

But again, this is a, the autonomic nervous system, so which means it's happening automatically and our bodies are really evolved for a different environment where the stimulus that we're experiencing that could be dangerous is like a lion. And in that case, it's a healthy natural response to, prepare to run or fight.

In the modern environment, we have a lot of stimuli that the body doesn't know, aren't dangerous. So like an ambulance going by, I. That sound is actually designed to stimulate fight or flight in the body. It's designed to scare you. That's why it works. But something as subtle as an email, a new email, especially, I remember when I used to work in management consulting, I really would get stressed out if I got a new email.

Because I didn't know what it was gonna be. I didn't, it might be something urgent. I might've done something wrong. The culture where I worked was just like that, where there was a lot of urgency, there was a lot of kind of stick as opposed to carrot not a ton of positivity. And so I. Whatever it was, without even knowing what the email would be, I would get that, triggered and I would start to feel stress.

And yeah, in the modern environment, we are chronically stressed out. We're constantly stressed out. So much so that we just normalize it. We don't even realize that we're chronically stressed out and all of the health issues that people experience, the vast majority are just stress related issues.

So the bottom line from all that is, We have this crisis of A D H D. It's exploding right now. And I really look at that as just, we live in a society, in a world that is chronically stressing us out, period. And so in order to focus, the answer is not. Discipline is certainly part of the puzzle, but what I really want to land for people and what really blew my mind was no.

This is really about resourcing ourselves to feel safe doing what the body and the nervous system need in order to feel safe. And so things like sleep and sunshine and movement and connection with people that make you happy, good food. These are all things that. If you have them, the body's gonna respond to those and feel safe, right?

If you're too alone, all of the time, your body is gonna start to say, Ooh, this is not safe. We're a tribal animal, right? And as a tribal animal, if you're too isolated, Something's wrong and you're not gonna survive, right? Same with, good food. We may not realize it if we're like eating a Snickers bar or something, but the body knows that's not real food.

It's not it's gonna respond to that as some kind of signal of danger, basically, even on a very subtle level. Yeah, that's the headline of if you wanna be focused, you need to resource your body and really ensure that it's feeling safe.

Curtis Duggan: So there's something really interesting there that I actually haven't thought about this way.

On the one hand I've realized that, a benefit of remote work is that. In the office when you are you're all dressed up in, depends on what gender you are and what the norms are. You dress code. But let's say for me it's a dress shirt and a belt and khaki pants and brown shoes and the kind of, 20th century or early, early 21st century dress up to go to work.

Maybe prior to everything being casual Friday. It's not very easy to necessarily at 10:00 AM if you're sitting, and I found this when I was working in 2009, 20 10, 20 11, back at the very start of my career. It, it was like you couldn't go for 20 pushups right on the floor. You could do it and some people aggressively might do that.

They'd be, might be seen as weird back then to do that, or you couldn't quickly just run around three blocks because you might come back and now your shirt has a little bit of sweat on it, and that's not really what you do. Even if sitting at your desk, you realize. In the office environment you're in, the eight or nine or even 10 hours, depending on how, what your work culture is.

You're sitting there thinking, oh, my eyes are phasing in and out. I'm having trouble reading the sentence. I just need a physiological reset, but I can't do it until five 30 when I can hit the gym on the way home. And so who knows how much productivity is lost because you couldn't. Shut everything off.

Go for a half hour intense run or whatever exercise you like to do, come back, shower, sit back down, and you're probably gonna feel much, much better. And maybe the idea is hey, this is your boss's time. If you wanted to go for a run, you should have done it at six in the morning before the shift started.

That's your business. You gotta work hard just the classic. 20th century approach to work every minute of the time that you're literally on the clock is your company's time. Don't do anything except if there's a sort of a lunch break or that kind of thing. And the tech companies of the 22 thousands and 2010s relaxed this a bit and said, here's a bunch of free food and here's exercise rooms.

But not everybody has that Workplace is very elite and very specific. But so I already knew that, remote work is great because you can manage your physiology like you're saying. It's not just your mind, it's your physiology. But what I didn't, haven't thought really thought about is the idea that being alone will cause you to feel like you're isolated from a tribe, maybe unsafe, and that despite all of the physiological benefits of remote work, You can manage your own physiology, you can manage your own exercise, you can do what you need to do, go grab a glass of water.

Do whatever you need to do to be productive. You also might be eroding something by just sitting at a desk or standing at a desk in your second bedroom, your only bedroom, or at a, a booth of a coworking space, completely alone. And so that's something I, so right now, I physically work alone.

I'm in, I work in my own apartment. And I've done that in one way or another for three years, since March, 2020. I have never really gone back to a situation where I'm at a WeWork or at a coworking space for any extended period of time. So I'm just reflecting on, okay, what is the, what is being eroded if I spend all day physically alone and maybe have a lot of my.

Actual interactions over Slack or over zoom or, maybe I'm just coming around in a eureka moment to the point of Focusmate, but that's totally new for me. The idea that being alone it's all it's obvious that we're social creatures, but I never thought oh, doing an eight hour shift as a remote worker standing at my computer, my standing desk is something that might be causing my physiology to feel like I'm alone.

But it makes sense.

Taylor Jacobson: Yeah. I think you actually hit on a couple really interesting things there. I guess I, I'd start with a question, which is, do you have other rituals in your life that involve being around people that feel good?

Curtis Duggan: Lately, I've found that going to hot yoga, which is, 20 or 30 people in a room, is.

Great. And it is becoming a ritual and distinctly from just going down to the gym and hitting the elliptical, the exercise bike, the weights, the squats, the whatever, the lifts as an individual person the ritual of going through a yoga class, which. This is just my opinion, is, can be, is very beneficial.

I think a lot of men are turned off from it because depending your mileage may vary, but the teachers introduce varying degrees of spirituality from no spirituality. This is just stretching and cardio and toning your muscles to, on the full other end, like a complete spiritual system based on the history of its origins in India and a bunch of things that they've added along the way that some might call new age.

There's all kinds of levels on the spectrum. Fundamentally, I think what I believe is, regardless of what you think about all of that, there's just, there is a benefit to being in a room, doing something a little bit physiologically active with a group of people, even if you don't talk to them. It certainly feels like the kind of thing where I.

This is correct. That feeling of despite what people say criticizing this or saying it's woo in some of its incarnations, there's something correct about the ritual of going to some kind of exercise class that's a modern secular version of what people did when they went to the church of the mosque, the synagogue or the temple through for thousands of years of human history.

So yeah, getting a little bit deep, but it's, it's about finding rituals in. A modern technological society that is largely secular despite people's freedom to, go into whatever they want to do. We don't necessarily have some of the community based rituals that most societies had when they were tribes and medieval villages and preen enlightenment societies.

All over the

Taylor Jacobson: world. Yeah. I ask because, and I think your example hit touches on a lot of important things, and I think it's, as much as I love Focusmate and believe in it, it's also, it's useful to see it in other contexts. And going to a yoga class checks a number of those boxes, right?

You have to go outside, maybe you're walking on the way there and the way back, whether you're introverted or extroverted, doesn't really matter. I'm more introverted. I'm, I might be more inclined to not talk to people if I go to a class, but enjoy being around them. Except maybe that one day I am like feeling super friendly.

And then the movement obvi the movement piece as well is obviously really important. So that would be a ritual that checks Abu a bunch of those boxes at once and I. I use Focusmate when I'm doing work. I also have plenty of calls with my team, but I, I work in other rituals in my life that also check a number of those boxes where for me, I'm usually having breakfast outside at this cafe that's in the park.

And for me, it's like being outside. I'm walking over there, I'm interacting with people when I'm there. I know the food is healthy, et cetera. Or like my men's group, that's every Tuesday night, it's guaranteed intimacy with that group of men, connection, laughter, play, all these types of things.

So yeah, I think, you hit on something important of like we have lost something as we've moved into a more secular society and a, and I would say a hyper independent society that is Toxically independent, the way that we like prize, being able to do things on our own. So definitely want to call out, there's multiple ways to address these needs and hopefully that kind of also highlights why Focusmate can be a really healthy ritual for the body.

And then I also just wanted to double down. I think maybe by accident you called out some really interesting things about the workplace related to safety and related to, sometimes the framing of Safety versus danger. Sounds a little too extreme because most of us experience it in more subtle tones, right?

But like, why would you not go do those pushups or take a break to go run, right? If we're being really strict about answering that question, it's some version of, you don't feel safe to do it. You're basically disassociating from what your body is telling you that it needs in order to, maybe you don't want to be castigated, you don't wanna lose your job would be, and be broke and homeless and whatever.

There's kind of the extreme eventuality of the fear that's like stopping us. From doing the thing that we really need to do. Just for listeners, I think an important piece of my own learning around focus is learning to really come back into the body, really fucking pay attention to what the body is wanting and basically trust that like if we do that, if we break out of the like nine to five sprints, Of I just need to be at my computer this whole time, or I'm bad.

That's been really, transformational and important for me and my own health journey as well as well as my productivity journey.

Curtis Duggan: I'm curious what in terms of the future of virtual coworking, if. Two years, three years, five years. Are there things on the roadmap for Focusmate?

Are there any things you're just seeing as trends in society about even if Apple's vision Pro and the Meta Oculus headsets will change anything in terms of presence with others while working virtually? What's your. What's your take on what's coming in the next five or

Taylor Jacobson: 10 years? I think people can be like a reductionist about this.

Is remote work here to stay or not? And I think the answer is obviously yes it is. And there's always gonna be companies and leaders who are prefer to have different cultures that. Prefer to use the structure of in-person as the primary device for creating accountability for creating a productive workforce.

But, so many of us have just including leaders, managers, CEOs, et cetera, have experienced how I. How life changing it is to have that freedom to, to do the pushups in the middle of the workday or take a nap or go to the doctor or whatever you need to do, to lead a better life.

And so I'm not, Really one for predictions, but I would say, it's self-interested on our behalf to create work norms and cultures that help us lead better lives. And so my personal aspiration, let's say, is to continue to have as much freedom as possible. Also having the support that I need to, not be excessively isolated and not go into procrastination, spirals and have, Consistent, great social connection.

Not just after work, but during work. Yeah, I guess that's, I see. Things like Focusmate really being integral to that pathway where it's how do we give people that freedom and flexibility while also recognizing that if people, if we don't have, if we don't have cultures that provide enough interdependence and accountability, the trend is always gonna be towards entropy, right?

And we are gonna be less productive and people don't want that. I think we do have sometimes this like negative judgment of people that, they're lazy and if we don't hold them accountable, whatever. But. People really, I believe people want to fulfill their potential and at least if they like their job, they're gonna wanna do a good job.

So that's I see the future as like creating tools like Focusmate that are really, how do we bring out the best in people by providing them the resources that they need to actually, be who they wanna be.

Curtis Duggan: That sounds like a, that's like a good a high note to end on.

I'm just, Taylor, I'm curious if people wanna find Focusmate or find you on the internet. Is there somewhere they should go first, social or web to find more of Focusmate and you on the internet?

Taylor Jacobson: Yeah, so would love to invite y'all to join the Focusmate community. Again, it's free to join or and we'd love to connect with any of y'all, individually as well.

Primarily I'm on LinkedIn and Instagram, so you can find me on both of those places.

Curtis Duggan: Great. You got Even in this modern day and age, you got That's great. Thanks Taylor. Hopefully it's a beautiful day in Mexico City and on point for what we were talking about getting out there and getting active.

Hopefully you can find some way to enjoy the rest of the day. Get out there. I don't know if you work inside or outside, but you got a lovely background here with some vegetation we're, it's an audio podcast, but we were just chatting off mic about Taylor setup. So thanks so much again for joining and yeah we'll talk soon.

We'll put your links in the show notes.