2018 -

Online Offline

2014 -

The 5TH

General Manager
2017 - 2018


Freelance web design


Freelance web design


Digital Marketing
2015 - 2017

Barney Cools

Digital Marketing
2015 - 2017

Subtype Store

Digital Marketing
2015 - 2017

Online Store Guys

2013 - 2015


2013 - 2017

Plan Lab

Sold 2013

Back from a break. Thoughts on ego + an update on BodyWise

Next week I’m back on deck after ten weeks traveling around the world and recharging. I was doing more than upping my Instagram game I swear 😉 – I needed it to be a better mate, a better person to work with and the happiest, most effective and fulfilled dude I can be.


The funny thing about leaving the world of business ownership and joining the rat-race (just kidding – my job rocks!) is that it changes you. It’s very nature pulls you to compete, to be seen and recognised. As a 28 year old who was working for someone for the first time and in a business with twenty other colleagues, I felt myself doing things to be seen and noticed, rather than doing good work for the sake of doing good work that I believed in.

I knew this whole career thing was bringing out a little ego that I didn’t like. So, I travelled and reset. I read, wrote and thought, a lot.

While I travelled a book came out by the young gun Ryan Holiday titled ‘Ego is the Enemy‘. If you think ego is preventing you from doing your best work – or more importantly, being your happiest and most fulfilled self – pick up a copy. You’ll be happier for it.

Feeling fresh, inspired and bloody good. Time to get too it.

P.S. BodyWise

A bunch of you have asked whats going on with BodyWise on the back of my break and tweeting a lot more about digital marketing + eCommerce rather than health and fitness product design.

A few months ago we decided that we couldn’t continue bootstrapping it ourselves and that the market has changed so much since we started that we’re struggling to acquire enough users to viably seek funding.

Thousands of people are using it to track their wellness and have better health because of what we’ve made, something that makes it all worth it regardless of what happens now. We’re working out what brand/charity/person would combine the app with their audience to help more people going forward.

I’m still crazy passionate about making people healthier using technology and without any negative mental effect, but the reality is that it’s too much for me to do alone.

Watch this space…

The (alarmingly) simple key to successful online retail

It’s scary how many established brands that do well at a retail level still struggle online. Walk down the street and you’ll be walking past brands that are doing millions per store in brick & mortar, but would be lucky to make a thousand dollars a week online.

There’s a simple common thread between consumer brands that sell well online and those that don’t. Its so simple in fact, that you dismiss it at first.

Good online retailers respect online.

Good online retailers:

  • View a $20,000 online store as an investment, not an expense
  • Are usually addicted online shoppers themselves
  • Understand the value of data and know that looking the part is only 10% of the battle
  • Tinker with every tool and channel, seeking to learn all that they can
  • Constantly keep their site fresh to give you a reason to come back
  • Are 100x better at hiring than traditional retail

When I decided to move on from Online Store Guys and seek a fresh challenge, I looked around at traditionally powerful brands that were showing signs of going stale and that were shit online.

I liked the challenge of reinvigorating one of these brands and safeguarding them in an age of disruption. I looked at their career pages. None of them were hiring for eCommerce roles. I reached out to over half a dozen of them. Not one responded.

These are the same brands that spend $600k on a shop fit-out amid declining sales.

To do well online, you need to respect online.

eCommerce doesn’t have to be boring

Ad comes on. Brand tries to make you laugh. Between agents and actors, tens of thousands of dollars are handed over in the hope that you'll smile and feel good about the brand.  The ad will of course finish directing to you shop online. 'Click and collect' and all that.

You hit the site and if you're lucky, the home page has that same personality. More often than not the creative will carry on from the campaign and give you a clear direction on where to go. All is fine up until this point.

Now click through to the promotion that you just read about or to a category that catches your eye. Find the product that you're after.

Things start to go downhill.

The adidas Originals Trefoil Tank is cut from premium cotton jersey and stamped with a snake-patterned Trefoil logo.

No shit. Thats a product description from Aussie eCommerce darling 'The Iconic'. It's sitting next to a photo of a sexy model wearing a fashionable singlet that is nice enough to wear with a pair of jeans but still tough enough for the gym.

Honestly, that’s a waste of a sentence.

There are so many touch points that most of us ignore

  • Product descriptions
  • Product category descriptions
  • Size guide 
  • Cart & checkout pages
  • Order thank you page
  • Email confirmation

They're all opportunities to inject personality and warmth into shopping with your brand online, yet so few eCommerce sites give them any attention.

Mix it up with great micro-copy, branded icons and timely creative.

Your purchasing experience doesn't have to be the same as the generic template or status quo.

If you're feeling a little guilty and want some inspiration, check out VinoMofo and Hunting For George – two of my favourites, mixing creative copy and timely creative to maximise their online shopping experiences.

Full of inspiration, get onto your developer. I promise you that this stuff is quick and cheap to get right.

You'll create happier customers, improve your conversion rate and customer retention will skyrocket.

eCommerce doesn't have to be boring.

Oh, and check out Barney Cools – a brand that I’m doing this stuff with right now.

Every idea needs a champion

We run these events at Online Store Guys called Online Offline where we draw a 75-100 strong crowd to hear us interview someone behind a really clever, emerging brand. First up we had the founder of Bellroy, and more recently frank Body and Adore Beauty.

I love the events, but I realised without my business partner Scott, they probably wouldn’t exist and certainly wouldn’t be what they are.

He’s the champion of that idea. It’s like it’s a point of pride for him. We all put in work to make it happen, but it’s his drive and energy that make them happen.

Likewise, there are other parts of the business that I drive and others that Jordy champions. The work is spread equally, but the energy to get certain things done always comes from a particular person.

Look at other things that are achieved in business and life.

You’re just about to land a big sale but the person you were dealing with leaves. Your sale falls over.
You decide to go to Japan with a group of friends. The one that instigated it gets busy. The trip doesn’t end up happening, yet you’re all dead keen to go and just as capable of organising it.

If you look at anything amazing that is achieved in this world, you can almost always attribute at least the heart of a project to a single individual.

When you sense someone has the passion for an idea or goal, foster that. If the idea sucks, get them to channel that energy to achieving the goal in a better way. If they’ve got the passion and your culture fosters that, they’ll find a way to get there. It’ll be worth it.

I built a thing – My Web Host Search

My Web Host Search

Finding a web hosting plan is impossible if you’ve never done it before.

I built a thing to help you find a suitable host really easily.

Web hosting comparison

There are literally hundreds of web hosts to choose from and your website could work fine on every single one of them.

Most people complain about their web host, so how do you know which one to chose?

Doing blogs, then websites and then larger ecommerce sites has meant that I’ve had to work with dozens of web hosts. I’ve learnt which have terrible support, which go down most frequently and which are most likely to get hacked.

There are web hosting comparison sites out there but they’re basically a list of affiliate links recommending horrible web hosts.

I spent a few days building My Web Host Search to give new business owners and anyone that felt as lost as I once did in how to choose a web host.

How does it work?

The User Interface is a simple filter. It starts by setting you a default server location and monthly price range.

You can add or remove as many requirements as possible. You can view simple categories or choose to filter your search by:

  • Plan type(e.g. Shared, VPS, cloud)
  • Server type (Linux/Windows)
  • Server Location
  • Bandwidth
  • Storage
  • File Storage
  • Automatic Backup

An exercise in how simply you can achieve a goal

You don’t need me to tell you that its never been easier to put something like this together.

I wanted to see how little work could be done to make something that would solve the problem. One of the lessons that I’ve learnt through my BodyWise experience to date is trying to do too much, and in turn doing little exceptionally well.

I used software that did 80% of the job and hacked together the last 20%. Most of making My Web Host Search was in time spent writing up reviews on each company and hosting plan.

Under the hood you’ve got WordPress, a basic theme that gave me half the look that I was after and WooCommerce to power the bulk of plan sorting and recommendations.

I hacked it around to cut out add to cart functionality and instead send you straight to the plans website, as well as some other changes to make it easier to compare web hosting plans.


I’ve set up affiliate agreements with many of the hosts on the site. If you end up signing up, there’s a chance I’ll collect a commission.

Some of those commissions are tiny, but some of them (especially for more enterprise-level hosts) would add up.

I have no idea whether it’ll make money or not. That doesn’t matter so much. I learnt some stuff, shipped a thing and hopefully solved a problem for some people.

What’s next?

This is a quick side project. I need to add a greater variety of hosting plans but I’ll stick to quick and simple improvements.

Basically, I wish I had this site when I was first getting started with my own websites. That’s enough to make me happy.

Find a Web Host

When you’re stuck, ask these questions

When you’re trying to make something big, bold and innovative, there will inevitably be times where it doesn’t seem like things are going your way. Growth is slow and you might even start having doubts about whether what you’re doing will work or is worthwhile.

Those doubts creep into my head every now and then. Usually they’re fleeting but if they stick around for long I know to trust my gut and ask the hard questions.

This is a summary of the questions that I think every startup (maybe even every business that wants to grow or be better) should be on top of, or at least consciously thinking of:

Are people using it?

How often? For how long? What’s retention like?

What do those that use it love about it?

Focus on maximising this.

Who are the ones using it?

Can we define them? Can we get a dialogue with them?

Who do we think should be using it? Why aren’t they?

This reveals more than nearly every other question.

Where are we going?

What’s our vision? What’s the focus to work towards?

What do we need to do to get there?

Define steps. What needs to happen?

Who else is gunning for the same vision?

Keep an eye on them, but back yourself.

What changes in the market are coming soon?

Does your vision align?

What features are missing?

Is there a common feature that users want? What does your gut say?

What experience is missing?

What emotion does your product evoke? Where’s the wow?

What value are we delivering?

What do I get out of using it? Is it obvious or does it take weeks of usage to obtain that value? Is it a unique value in your market?

What forms habit in our product?

Do I have to remember to use it? Is there something more to it?

What questions do you ask to collect your thoughts and understand the big picture?

What would a hungrier version of you do?

Same knowledge.
Same circumstance.
Same options available.

If there was someone in your position, but with absolute determination and burning desire, what could they achieve?

Why can’t that be you? Do you have the desire?

It sounds like I’m getting all Dalai Lama on you now but that’s the question I’m asking myself with BodyWise right now.

To do extraordinary things every now and then you need to take stock and challenge yourself to push harder.

I’m asking myself if I’m committed enough to put in the time for a few extra design iterations that might make the difference. Am I too lazy to go to that event where I could learn something? Am I committed enough to form those relationships with journo’s that might bear fruit sometime in the future?

I can do more.

Inspiration for this post

Blog post by Bryce Roberts: Most People Won’t

This tweet:

Controlling scope in a startup

When you create a product you tend to see months and years into the future.

Inevitably you ask whether you can squeeze these new features into the product. It’s only natural to want to make it bigger and better. How could anyone beat us if we have all these features?

If you’re outsourcing development you’ll inevitably be told “sure, as long as you’re willing to pay for the extra work”, so you probably don’t do it. If you’re working with a developer as part of your founding team, they might feel your enthusiasm and say “sure, I can fit that in” believing it’ll make the product that much more awesome.

Everything is more work than you think it will be and you end up releasing a bloated product that doesn’t do any one thing incredibly well.

I love how Des Traynor describes scope as being the difference between a scalpel and a swiss army knife. One doesn’t do much but its obvious and does it well. The other is hard to explain and does nothing particularly well.

I was more guilty of this than anyone. As the product-focused person within the team my mind rushed to all of the things that we could do.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could just launch with that killer social feature so you can choose a close friend to go on a health kick with.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if we had that killer gamification system so users get a score of how healthy they’ve been on any given day.

I could list half a dozen things that weren’t part of the original plan that I added in with the blessing of our developer and team.

Over six months from the launch of BodyWise v2 and our training partners social feature doesn’t work. Our gamification system is 20% built.

The things we’ve worked on since are the things that we discovered really matter to users, not the things that we thought a mature product would have.

We’re playing catch up and working back from bloated to simple. It’s working and things are on the up for us but I learnt a big lesson on the importance of controlling scope in product development.

Choose where you start and where you stop. Think simpler early.

Context is bullshit

Everyone’s gushing about adding context to the data that our wearables produce. Shiny new start-up websites talk up the advanced data insight and how they’re going to find correlations in your data that tell you things that you never knew about how you live your life.


Health data context and data insight is an engineers view of how to make data useful.

Tell your average 35 year old man that he’s 44% more likely to sleep less when he has two or more coffees during the day and a month later you’ll have zero habitual change.

Turn that data into a goal, or a challenge delivered just at the right place and time (perhaps at the time that data reveals that you most commonly have coffee number 2) and you’ve got a decent chance at influencing a positive change.

While you’ve got engineers trying to solve health & fitness problems, we’re going to have largely ineffectual wearables and health apps…

Letters to your current and future self

Every year on New Years Eve I write a letter to myself summing up the year just gone and another written from 365 days into the future, summing up the year I’m just about to live.

I’m pretty competitive, goal oriented and very self-motivated so this method gets me in a great frame of mind for the year ahead.

It’s a funny exercise to do and compare results against your future prediction.
Did you do the things that you said you would?
What curveballs were thrown up and how did you deal with them?
Did you manage to have fun along the way and not just tick goals off a list?

My whole thing was learning and shit did I learn this year. At times it felt like 10 years of learning crammed into one.

Letter to 2013 Mike (summing up my year)

You’ve done well Mike.

2013 was one hell of a year. In no short order you managed to:

  1. Live in another country for 5 months
  2. Unwind in Mexico for 2 weeks, learning a touch of Spanish while you were there
  3. Have a video featured by GoPro and amass over 250,000 views
  4. Be part of a collaborative project seen by over 3.5 million people around the world and featured in countless media outlets
  5. Sell your first business, making a tidy profit
  6. Forge new relationships within business networks that you’ve previously admired from afar
  7. Launch an app that was downloaded over 30,000 times

In short, you lived a pretty fulfilled life this year. You didn’t let yourself down imagining something and leaving it at that. You put more energy into the projects that you loved than you ever have before. I respect you for that.

Sure, it was a challenging year. You continue to question yourself on love and what you’re looking for, but man, you tried. You saw a girl you really could see yourself with and went after it. It didn’t work out but you tried. You dated a few other girls for a bit but didn’t feel it. No harm. That’s not in your makeup to just do what doesn’t feel right.

I know you’re questioning whether 2014, 2015 or even 2020 will be the year that you find someone that gets your brain going as much as your heart. Who cares because while you’re happy, it doesn’t really matter. Happiness is the ultimate measure of ones quality of life.

Keep taking chances. Take the 50/50’s in life and see what happens. Continue to explore. Get away for trips by yourself but look for new relationships wherever they present themselves. Sip Whisky in some far away city while gazing at the roof trying to make sense of what you’re learning. Hell, just continue to learn.

You’ve got a big opportunity with BodyWise. It might not work out. You might lose out financially but look at how much you’ve learnt just going through the process and taking a punt on something that you care about.

You stay classy San Diego

Letter to 2014 Mike (written in 2013 to my future self)

Well, another year has gone and holy shit did you learn some big lessons this year.

Last year you took a few bets and had a consistently awesome year. This year you had more ups and downs. You put yourself out there a little more. Sometimes it hurt but the highs were better than you would have imagined.

BodyWise is still in its infancy. It’s making money and getting some good acquisition interest, but most importantly people are using it and many love it.

Yep, the post image is the letter read at the start of Blink 182’s epic song ‘Stockholm Syndrome‘.