• Writing luxury car rental reviews at Ride Hacks
    • Why: personal transport is economically inefficient, public transport is underfunded, and driving experiences can enable transformative travelling adventures.
    • How: removing the barriers to driving experiences and matching drivers to unique experiences.
    • Progress: startup - testing and development, experiencing the rental industry first-hand, blogging about it, and talking to real people about their past experiences and ultimate driving experiences.
  • Becoming an Linchpin in the world of Data Analytics
    • Why: big data is here, but I don't feel like businesses and brands care any more than they did with no data. I help businesses deeply understand their best customers.
    • How: focusing web data analytics on customer lifetime value.
    • Progress: currently consulting to Switch Digital in Sydney and actively looking for opportunities to build and test scalable products that solve real problems with brand relationships.
  • Travel Hacking unique travel experiences
    • Why: I hate cheap, budget travel - it doesn't do anything for me. Instead, I seek out extraordinary experiences that may have seemed unattainable to myself in the past. It's not about spending more money on better deals, it's about breaking the rules to find remarkable experiences. Usually through creative use of points.
    • How: less time looking for edge-case opportunities and instead focusing on audacious adventures - remote islands, more Asia, and perhaps the Emirates.
    • Progress: 2015 was flying First and Suites Class (Singapore Airlines only), 2016 will be focused on unique hotel experiences, mostly via American Express opportunities for our upcoming trip to Japan in April. Also saving Qantas points to fly to Dubai for the Emirates First Class experience (probably 2017).
  • Learning French using the Fluent Forever methods (particularly this outstanding course)
    • Why: the French language is beautiful, too many people ignorantly misunderstand the French (culturally), and I want to appreciate the world around me in a second language.
    • How: using the Fluent Forever pronunciation trainer and Creative Live course mentioned above. Goals include conversing in all hospitality contexts (hotel, restaurant, cafe) and helping a lost tourist in Sydney.
    • Progress:
      • Completed pronunciation until fluency of sounds, still need to revise.
      • Currently created 126 of my top 625 words in the accompanying word lists (as of the end of 2015)
      • On track to be in full revision mode by mid-february 2016 and moving onto grammar
      • Goal is to be conversationally fluent by the end of 2016

Trusted sources of information

Not a day goes by when someone will recommend someone new to read, follow or to listen to. I've made a conscious decision that 2016 is about reflection and execution, not ingestion of new perspectives. I'm confident that my curated list of people below will guide me to meet those goals above.

Software that I use every day:

  • Segment - the most influential player in web analytics for the future
  • Chartio - the easiest and most elegant data visualisation and SQL exploratory tool I've used
  • PostgreSQL - my default database for data warehousing and exploratory analysis
  • Google Tag Manager - the most efficient way for me to make a scalable impact on any website
  • Google Analytics - everyone uses it by default so it's worth being the best at extracting its value
  • Intercom - the backbone of my communication strategy for RideHacks - on-site and email
  • Squarespace - where this site is built and hosted, not using for any other projects.
  • Foundation 6 - my choice of front-end framework - focus on efficiency and shipping code
  • Slack - getting conversations out of email
Todd Heslin

Todd Heslin

Data Nerd | Entrepreneur | Blogger | Tech Investor