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Apps and Productivity Tools from betawork’s Matt Hartman

“I’m kind of a productivity tool geek”

Matt Hartman is Director of Seed Investments. He’s also host of the awesome podcast, Doing Your Business. In this awesome interview with HackToStart, Matt reveals his favourite apps, content and productivity tools. For more from Matt, listen to his interview with HackToStart.

Anchor, I use that a lot. Which is a fascinating way to connect with people over audio (Note, Betaworks is an investor in Anchor)


On the productivity side, I’m kind of a productivity tool geek and so I try lots of things in that category, too. I don’t just say this because this company is at Betaworks. I use Instapaper every single day and the thing that I use, and this is kind of like my life hack, I wrote a blog post about this a while ago. So Instapaper lets you save any website to the app and then you can read it later. And one of the features they have that’s not that well known is the ability for the Siri voice to read the article to you. Now if you don’t like the Siri voice, it may not be for you. But for me, I find that when I’m walking around I can listen to the articles and I can listen at 2x speed. So I actually get through almost 6 hours of reading (per week) by commuting back and forth.


I think Byte, I think that app is really interesting. I use it to, if I need to make, an animated GIF, that’s sort of a flyer to put on Instagram or Facebook, I make it in Byte and then I share it in there. I feel like the creation tool’s on mobile, it’s one of the best creation tools on mobile I’ve seen.
I’ll tell you what book I’m reading right now that I love but a lot of people have already read it is called, The Golden Compass. I became really interested in this after reading Ready Palyer One (by Ernest Cline), which is sort of around virtual reality and another book called Ender’s Game, which is kind of around sort of virtual reality and I;ve been interested in reading books that are somewhat fantasy or sic fi focused that have some relation to productivity. In Golden Compass, for me, because I’ve been so interested in these bots that are acting on your behalf and kind of interacting with you, there’s t his notion of Daemons in Golden Compass where people have a relationship with them but also people also have relationships with other people’s Daemons and I think there’s a lot of analogy to some of the products being built right now.
On the content side I read the Economist, which is only published once a week and I noticed if they wait till the end of the week to publish something and ar e actually thoughtful about it, it ends up being just as valuable as having read the news event as they unfolded because you actually get a bit of analysis around it. So I enjoy that and i look for other types of products like that. I think the information which is a kind of technology industry publication has that kind of feel where it’s deep reporting about specific topics and so i really enjoyed that. I’ve been reading a ton on medium and publishing not that frequently but I find that the content that people are creating and publishing on medium is pretty good.
On TV I watch lots of different TV shows on Netflix and I have trouble keeping up with these series that are now so long that they feel like they never end.
SEPT 9, 10, 11, 2016