Asking great questions

I have a few tips for asking better questions:

1. Highly specific questions are better on average.

2. It is often better to preface a question with a confession of some sort, or with information from yourself. That sets a standard for the respondent. Set that standard high!

3. Demonstrate credibly that you are truly listening and that you care about the answer.

4. With any possible question, ask yourself in advance: can the person being asked the question respond too easily in a vague and not very useful way? “Why did you write a book about Napoleon? Well, let me tell you, French history always fascinated me.” etc. If that is the kind of slop you might get back in response, try making the question more pointed or more specific.

5. High status people get better answers than do low status people. So be high status. Or at least credibly pretend to be high status.

6. I have enjoyed Gregory Stock’s The Book of Questions.

7. You might say “listen to other interviewers.” Well, maybe, but perhaps not too much? They will encourage you, by default, to ask the same questions that everyone else does. And too many of the sources available to you are mega-famous people who are getting by using their fame to boost the significant of their questions. (Anything Oprah might ask me would be interesting per se.) So use this standard tip sparingly and with caution.

A missing piece from investment platforms? A new idea?

Or maybe I just haven’t found the app/service I have in mind yet…

I’ve casually invested in stocks and shares for a number of years now, never anything big and only on companies I know. Like everyone else, I simply want my money to grow that little bit more.

I’ve used a handful of platforms so far, some HK based like HSBC and, some UK based like and They all have their pros and cons, some of good prices but bad UI. The difficult thing about these trading platforms (same goes for crypto trading platforms) is the vast sea of information available, all the numbers, graphs showing trends and assortment of buttons can get confusing, especially for new users and those new to investment, the good news is unless the platform is really really awful the user would most likely be able to make the trade they want, that’s not the hard bit…

The feedback loop

I think the one thing most of these trading platforms is missing is providing a strong feedback loop. If I made money with one trade but lost in 2 other trade, I would like to know why! Did I buy at a bad time due something unforeseen such as interest rate hike, or did I buy at a known ceiling price? Perhaps I held on to a stock for so long the dividend gained made up for the price change? I’m not sure how others keep track of their trading history but I have a long hideous spreadsheet. It’s clumsy but it tells me why I did what. 

Actually, I’d love to know how other people are keeping track of their wins and loses, I would really appreciate it if you could comment on this post or PM me 🙂

If I have the opportunity to make this into an actual platform, I’d look into these features

  • A simple list of Good, OK, Bad rating on my previous trades. We tend to emotionally remember the big wins and loses, but what does average look like?
  • Trends in the big macro, industry at the time of trades. Anyone could have picked winning stocks when there’s a big bull market. That’s not skill
  • Significant news or announcements. Maybe I bought Apple shares due to a rumour that turned out to be false
  • Expert opinion on what I did right or wrong, think of it as an investment mentor
  • Hindsight of chart patterns at the time “How could have I missed the Double, Head and Shoulder blah blah blah pattern…
  • Did I make the right decision at the right time? (I really like this one), I might have lost 10% on snapchat stocks, but imagine how much more upset I would be if I lost 40%? The bigger picture is really important
  • What if I traded X instead of Y? I have very limited funds, which means I can only pick a few stocks, I’d like to be able to see if I picked the right one “If only i bought Apple instead of IBM 2 years, I would have so much more”

What do you think?

So what do you think of the above? Useful? Interesting? Have a few million dollars spare to make this happen? Either way, I’d love to chat. Please comment or PM me

P.S on a side note, I personally think virtual monopoly money trading accounts are helpful, but only to a certain degree because when it’s real money on the line we don’t act the same way. We get emotional and irrational, and that’s the biggest lesson we have to learn. 

Surprises from launching

One of the early prototypes for

I actually had the idea for UXstamps more than a year ago. I was in London at the time and shared the idea with a few mates, the response was “OK”, no excitement, no drama. Still, I went ahead and got a prototype done via What came back was a rather ugly bulky 3d printed stamp, it kinda worked but was also hideous, the idea was left aside. Fast forward just 2 months ago, I mentioned the idea to a good friend and was encouraged to make the idea happen.

The very first 2016 Prototype for Uxstamps

So I ordered some prototyped, sacrificed on the size of the stamp for cost and launched a website I was remotely happy about. I wouldn’t allow myself to fire up a woocommerce site, Shopify crossed my mind too, but that also took time to set up). The goal was to test demand and that was it. The plan was pretty simple:

  1. Make a super simple website
  2. Get some prototypes made (cheaper the better)
  3. Give it to some friends in the UX industry to try
  4. Share Photos / Videos on Social Media
  5. Buy some ads on Google and FB
  6. Watch response then decide

What I was expecting

When I launched the site in early November, it didn’t even have payment on it, . The “Buy Now” button was actually a mailto link for users to email me if they are interested in a particular stamp, but then I felt it wasn’t really testing demand if people didn’t have to pay, so i setup payment by Paypal. I then made a video shared it on Instagram and FB

The response was “OK”, nothing like the amount of noise I would like. Almost like an afterthought I decided to post it on Linkedin… and bam, i started getting tons of Likes, Comments, Shares and finally Orders!

At the time of this blog post, there had been over 1700 Likes and 120 comments via Linkedin, I’m now even sure if I ever had 7 likes on my Linkedin posts before, I’m rather impressed by Linkedin, a lot of users were simply tagging other users, really helping it spread.

The Problem

Somehow, completely without me knowing UXstamps somehow made it to both Hacker News and Product Hunt, had some pretty brutal feedbacks on Hacker News, so much so, i decided to stop reading them. There will always be nay-sayers and that’s fine, they just aren’t my audience.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely a happy problem to have, but I was just not ready for the number of orders I received, I very quickly went into panic mode and had to get everything ready. The stamps itself, the packaging, the posting and making sure the right stamp went to the right people. It was an incredible rush and I did not want to disappoint anyone (If I have, please get in touch with me, I can offer you a refund).

The Result so far

Up until today (11/12/2017), we have sold UXstamps to 8 countries over 4 Continents, I’ve been more than happy with the results and are currently looking for a better supplier to mass produce the stamps in actual size, instead of the current scaled down ones at a more reasonable price. The risk is that I’ve only received the number of orders I did because it’s so close to Christmas and it makes a nice gift, and not because of the actual need of end-users to help them wireframe better, on any paper or notepad they like.
This project is still on-going, please sign up to our newsletters to find out how we are moving forward. I’m also planning on writing a separate blog post on how we put the product together.

Weekly top 5 #69 – The last newsletter for now (With a lot of interesting links)


As much as I enjoy writing these email newsletters to, as helpful as it as been as an exercise in processing and write down my thinkings, curating content and journals my weeks. There is something now much more important for me to focus my energy on, my daughter.
This little “angel/monster” is now my everything, I’ve got to cut out anything not essential, I’ve got to focus on learning to be a good Dad. I will start this newsletter again, I’m not sure when.
Here’s an uber list of interesting products and articles I’ve been saving since the last email, in no particular order:

Weekly Top 5 #68 – Apple Cider Vinegar, Privacy and Death


One Concern: On Privacy

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Do you pay any attention to your own privacy and security? Well, I think you should even if you feel you have nothing to hide. I rather like this quote “If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.” Cardinal Richelieu

One Article: On Death

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We don’t talk about death very often, I wonder if it’s because we fear it so much, so because we know so little about it. This article on Dr B.J Miller is beautiful, yet emotionally complicated. His story on running a special kind of hospice despite being a triple amputee himself is just so incredible. I HIGHLY recommend reading this.

One show: Westworld

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I hope this is boring news to you because if you haven’t watched this amazing show by now you are missing out. The twists and details to the futuristic AI cowboy “theme park” story were absolutely incredible. What an amazing ride! Go check it out and suffer with me in having to wait for tens of months for season 2 (Please let there be a season 2!)

One Great Idea: Give Back Box

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How often do you shop online? Ever wonder what else you can do with those empty aside from the recycle bin? How about using that same box to give away something of yours to those in need for Free? I think this is a great idea it’s making donation almost frictionless. I still prefer charity shops, but this could be a fantastic start for a lot of people.

One Cure: Apple Cider Vinegar

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I don’t normally talk about food and nutrition here, but bear with me on this. I’ve been suffering from really bad nasal allergy for years, it would get so bad I would barely be able to function, and that’s with the aid of nose sprays, eye drops and antihistamines. I was pleasantly surprised to see 2 simple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed in a glass of water a day is all it took to improve my condition 🙂 I can’t believe how magical it was! There’s also heaps of other benefits.

My Week

[The Good] Started a bit of exercise again, I was gaining weight far too frighteningly
[The Bad] Financial woes, same as everyone else I guess
[The Goal] Get one more project ticked off

Weekly Top 5 #67 – Reality, I told you so and Reflexology


One Product: Everlasting Paper

Have you heard of the notebook that you can MICROWAVE to erase and start fresh? Well, this is an even cooler product from the same folks, simply wipe everything off with wet wipes and you have a fresh notebook. Pretty clever stuff, currently on Kickstarter with just 12 days to go!

One Question: Is what we see reality?

Do we really see what’s real? Thinking in terms of evolution, every part of us is about survival, we are biologically developed to avoid danger and live as long as possible. Is it better for our brains to interpret what we see as what it is with every single tiny detail, or just as a simple signal for “danger, run”? A fascinating read!

One Article: Beginners Guide to Chinese fonts

I confess, although I’m fluent in Cantonese and can read Chinese pretty well, I actually know very little about designing with Chinese fonts, this was a really helpful article for an upcoming project of mine. JustFont and early access Google Webfont looks rather interesting too (Thanks, Judy and Anthony) will start testing soon.

One Podcast: Avoiding “I told you so”

This episode from the Developer Tea podcast is for anyone who needs to work in a team. We all hate to be told we are wrong, we instinctively get defensive and start fighting once we feel like we are being attacked. That is exactly why telling your teammates “I told you so” is so counterproductive, if you want to do what’s best for the long run instead of rubbing one’s ego, listen to this short podcast!

One Proof: Reflexology freaking works

Last week I had the worse case of food poisoning ever! It lasted over 3 days and the medicine was not helping at all, I was constantly in crippling pain with very very little energy. Just our of consequence I was massaging the bottom of my sole because my feet were aching, what surprised me is that it actually eased the pain A LOT! I later discovered the sore part of my feet represented my digestive system and the massage was helping my body recover. I can’t say I understand the reasoning, but it freaking worked!*
*I may be biased since I did create an app about acupressure a while ago, but all of the above is absolutely true!

My Week

The past week has been between heaven and hell for me, Christmas, boxing day and the majority of my birthday (27/12) was really nice, seeing friends and families, enjoying a lot of food. Then I got really ill with a nasty case of food poisoning, not exactly the way I planned to start my 33rd year on this earth. I was barely able to function and extremely weak, finally starting to feel better today
[The Good] I think I might have actually caught up with my sleep 🙂
[The Bad] Was out of action due to food poisoning, the backlog of work is crazy
[The Goal] I HAVE to look after myself better, being ill is not only bad for me, it can also be dangerous for those around me and really bad for my productivity

#66 – Anxiety, Hong Kong and Fake News



One Product: Modular kids bike

Infento is a modular lego like kits for making an assortment of bikes, scooters and tricycle for various ages. I love the idea it is something that can change and adapt with a child. Space is so limited in HK and this provides one type of solution. I also imagine it can provide a lot of bonding opportunities too. This is as much of a toy for kids as it is for adults.

One Plugin: RealDonaldContext

I’m glad there is now so much attention on fake news and click-bait sites. Some companies and individuals will happily cheat and lie to attract an audience, unfortunately, it works because most people don’t fact check! This awesome plugin from the Washington PostFix team is fantastic for seeing when Trump is making stuff up.

One article: How to Keep Going

When times get tough and it will, we all need reminders. “Giving up completely isn’t a real option. Shutting down is just delaying the inevitable. Feeling helpless is valid, until you need to get your s*** together again… ” –Adam J. Kurtz

One Question: What if money was no object

I love Zen pencils comics, this one was no exception. I just wish I could agree with it. I wish life was so simple and direct, that we are free to pursue our dreams without having to worry about our responsibilities at every single turn.

One Video: Hong Kong Hyperlapse

An absolutely stunning Hyperlapse video of Hong Kong from BBC One’s Planet Earth tv show. The amazing level of details and awesome transitions is almost hypnotising. Hong Kong definitely has its problems but it is still a stunner.

My Week Month

I can’t even remember how many weeks it has been since I sent my last newsletter. The past several weeks has been some of the most frustrating time I have experienced, between shingles, tight project deadlines and getting ready to be a Dad my anxiety has been pretty hard. I’m not remotely sleeping enough and I’ve been getting incredibly forgetful. The hustle is absolutely real and not an easy game to balance.
[The Good] I managed to survive on 9.5 hours of sleep over 5 days…
[The Bad] I’m still incredibly tired even after sleeping 22+ hours over the weekend. It’s like my body is failing me
[The Bad] I have never been as out of shape as I am now, yet I’m struggling to find the time to do otherwise

#65 – Cognitive Bias, Survival and Read it later


One Infographic: Cognitive Bias

What an awesome, informative and beautifully designed infographic on cognitive bias. I want this on my studio wall. You can read much much more on the Coach.Me blog

One Studio: Differently

I love this French studio’s style so much. the fluidity and simplicity being able to see the essence of an object and so beautifully craft it out so smoothly. I would love to learn this.

One App: Instapaper

I was originally a pocket user, but has taken an another look at Instapaper after Pinterest bought out, The UI isn’t as slick and modern as Pocket, but I like the ability to sync with Kindle and the progress preview on the listing view is pretty useful too.

One Dilemma: Survival vs Investment

I believer in the importance of learning and improving one self, but lately I have had to put that on hold, it is currently about survival. I no longer have the luxury of 7 hours of sleep nor keep up with learning and exercising. Its now about doing as much work as I can in and out of the office to earn enough. I can’t go in to the details right now, but I fear this will go on for sometime, what hurts most is I know this is really bad but I’m kinda stuck.

One Quote: “I am learning everyday to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be”

For me, this quote actually revealed a lot about fear. It’s about knowing I’m not where I want to be but that is ok because I am getting there, it might be slow but it’s positive progress.

My Week

The past 2 weeks is really frustrating, mostly because I’ve got shingles. It meant I had to cancel plans for both weekend to make sure I didn’t infect others if they haven’t had chicken pox already. The drugs meant I’ve been pretty drowsy, it’s get so bad I sometime have difficulties comprehending causal conversations. Which obviously meant work has been incredibly difficult, that plus freelance work and little sleep is not a productive combo.
[The Good] Despite everything, I’ve came up with at least 3 good solutions this week that I am proud of:

  • One UI design work
  • Getting WordPress to do what I want
  • One huge UX piece

[The Bad] The lack of rest and being in survival mode is really effecting my mood

#64 – F**ks, Money and Happiness


One Cartoon: Average Manager vs Great Manager

So simple yet wonderfully illustration on what a great manager does, I’m fortunate enough to seen a few in my career. I’m not saying it’s an easy job at all, I just think it’s really important to know the difference.

Creating a Happy Office

People matters, especially relationships between your staff, being willing to listen to your team and actually care about them makes such a huge difference. I was fortunate enough to see what happens in a business when you put the people first and the result is incredible! Thanks Business 3.0 for opening my eyes.

One Podcast: Why are we still using Money?

Bad people like cash, it facilitates crime, bribery, and tax evasion… etc. So with all the technology available why haven’t we gone fully digital cash yet? I love Freakonomics podcasts, and this was is especially cool.

One article: F**k You Startup

Anyone who has remotely been in contact with the startup world will be laughing out loud when they read this. So funny, yet full of truth “You should celebrate any day that you don’t have to sell off another part of your company.

One App: Airtable

I’ve only just started playing with this app, so can’t say I have a lot of experience yet, but it’s basically a really smart and well laid out spreadsheet app. My main problem is I don’t have a need yet, look forward to trying it out.

My Week

I’ve had some really positive feedback since the last email, thank you so much everyone. The last 2 weeks has been a little hectic, have picked up a few freelance gigs and its keeping me pretty busy, but I think I am getting better at finding the moment to chill a little more.
[The Good] The Walking Dead is back!
[The Good] I’m enjoying getting creative with my 22 push ups, check out this video 🙂 Was regretting when I got to 3, so chuffed pretty surprised I managed to do all 22
[The Bad] Down with another man-flu. Useful Fact: Zinc is great for fighting and defending against cold

#63 – Bartender Theory, Umbrella design and 5 Hour Rule


The Bartender Theory

Not sure if this is funny or a fantastic creativity exercise. Throw in any word with “theory” and make up a business strategy or management policy around it. “The Hulk Theory” anyone?

How To Take Restful Breaks

I am annoying bad at taking proper breaks, specially recently with a lot of personal issues happening around me. Even my sleep at night has become restless, this article has served as a much appreciated reminder on what is actually resting and what isn’t. Such as “Reading websites taxes many of the same mental processes that we use when we’re working.”

The Five Hour Rule

Learning never stops, it didn’t start at school and it definitely should not end the day you left formal education. Having a growth mindset is only the beginning, it’s also about giving yourself the time and space to read, learn and apply new found knowledge. The five hour rule outline how some of the most successful individuals learn and grow.

Fantastic Umbrella Start up

Innovation really is everywhere, think umbrella’s are boring? Think again and check out this Japanese company and their panoramic photo umbrellas.

Who do I want to be?

I almost got in a fight on the bus over the weekend and it was actually a very insightful experience. It wasn’t just the typical shoulder bump or stare down. This guy was actively shouting abuses at me, my instinct reaction was to get ready to throw punches, “I’m gonna show I am the alpha here”. He even deliberately sat opposite me to continue the aggression. I was ready to get physical, I was angry and wanted to hurt him. Even thinking about it now, I can feel the adrenaline pumping through me.
Nothing happened in the end, but it did make me think much more about who do I actually want to be, do I want to be thug like that guy? Or do I want to be the type of guy who can stay calm and handle guys like that without actual violence? Do I really want to waste time at the police station? Do I want to risk getting my wife hurt in the process if a fight did break out?
I have a friend who I imagine would be able to perfectly handle that situation, and that is who I now aspire to be. It’s not about trying to prove who is the stronger / bigger / harder man. That’s instinctive and the easy path. Being a good person doing the right thing against my own aggressive instincts is what I should challenge.

My Week

[The Good] I’ve started doing the 22 push up challenge to raise awareness for PTSD, it both keeps me moving and help a good cause
[The Good] Someone has been in touch with me regarding possible partnership / buying
[The Bad] The commute to work is still the biggest time waster for me, it’s really hard to read when the bus moves so much