The First Metric

Would this get me to jump out of bed in the morning?

There. That right there. That’s the metric.


This has brought me a lot of joy over the past decade: writing is a form of creating I enjoy. It now takes about two mornings to publish a post from scratch.


This has brought me a lot of joy over the past month: it’s pushed me to the edge of my skill set.

  • Recording – Listening to yourself is weird. I think I’m too breathy, but this may be how I trained myself to hold remote meetings in a public & noisy setting such that I don’t annoy my neighbours. My voice, though… it seems too high… I always thought it was lower. (In my head, I also bench 225 lbs.)
  • Editing – Fun challenge! Recently learned ‘automation’ to vary volume mid-track. What else can I pull off in GarageBand for iOS on the iPhone 8’s tiny screen?
  • Publishing – Still not the smoothest, but it’s still fully doable from the iPhone 8. The quicker I get this step down, the fewer sessions it’ll take to get something to done.
  • Style – Much like I’ve found a voice ‘n’ style in the medium of the blog, what can I transfer over to, or newly unveil for, the podcast?
  • Content – This is particularly exciting for me, since I get to incorporate the daydreams of my younger self. Which of my audio/musical ideas can I inject into this platform?

So yeah, podcasting is getting me to jump out of bed in the morning: I feel like I’m playing.


Here’s a venture where I can share the process along the way. This feels right. I can also share the product along the way. This feels Agile. Plus, who knows when any of us will die – memento mori – so why wait? This feels right. After sitting with why I want to do a ScrumOfOne book, I’ve settled on a few reasons.

  • Selfish: intellectual – solidify my thinking, so I can be a better Agilist
  • Selfish: revenue – make money via sales & talks (Again, in my head, I also bench 225 lbs.)
  • Selfish: significance – satisfaction from making a unique mark on the world
  • Communal: educate – inform others: you can apply Scrum to Personal Development
  • Communal: deepen – inspire fellow Agilists to better understand Agility through acting it out by themselves, for themselves, so we can be better Agilists

The first & last reasons are the most resonant answers for when I ask myself for ‘the why’. It’s the big WIIFM (What’s In It For Me), and I guess… um… the big WIIFU.

So yeah, writing the book is getting me to jump out of bed in the morning: I feel like I’m… called to do this.


Look, you’re right. I already said I’ll write a book, and then I said I’ll write a musical. In starting the Agile Musical, I found it wasn’t enough to write music – because trust me, I have lots of cute ideas to riff off of. The message behind the musical is deep. What I want to ‘say’ is more than the shallow level of thinking I have put into it thus far. I definitely have more homework here, so in a way that “feeds two birds with one scone” (thanks, PETA), I can deepen my work on the musical via writing the book. Plus, from an Agile perspective, it’s easier to get book content through to done than musical content, at least for me right now.

Euphemistically, my whole life is an Agile musical – y’ain’t gonna stop me from singing in the staff meeting before it fully begins.


Besides updating y’all on what I’m working on, and the thinking behind it, writing about ‘The First Metric’ reminds me of when I wrote about ‘The Last Metric’. So let’s compare, rephrasing slightly.

The First Metricthe jump-out-of-bed metric:
“If I just woke up, would this get me to jump out of bed in the morning?”

The Last Metricthe deathbed regret metric:
“If I were on my deathbed right now, would I regret not doing this?”

After adding some emphasis, I see three things.

  • The answer comes from one’s deepest self – going for a gut-level sense of either jumping (happy reaction) or regretting not doing (sad reaction).
  • The answer is binary – it’s a yes or a no. When you consult your deepest self, it becomes simple.

Spotlight is on You

Think of a thing you want to do. Go ahead. I’ll wait. Got something? Good.

If you feel called to do that thing, this will likely get you excited enough to get you, possibly by way of a jump, out of bed. First Metric applied.

Now, in doing this thing, if you think you’re not doing wrong by your dying self, you can rest easier. Last Metric applied.

Oh wait, I just noticed a third thing.

  • The answer is a drive towards action – the jump pushes you forward, and the regret stops you from sliding back.

It’s not enough to make an assessment. These metrics speak to how much your deepest self is simply driven to act on your idea.

Speaking of Action

I should mention: to do deep work on my creative stuff (blog / podcast / book), when my mind is freshest, before anybody else gets up, I get up at 4:30am.

This is also how I’ll eventually bench 225 lbs.