The goat herding, algorithm cracking, autodidact Tal Perry (Citi, Smart Scribe)

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Episode #15: Tal Perry

This is the third episode of the second season of the Hacking UI podcast, ‘Scaling a Side Project’. In this season we interview designers, developers, and creative entrepreneurs who built and scaled successful side projects  that we admire.

Today’s guest is a very special type of person. He’s not your regular entrepreneur and definitely nor your standard developer.

We sit down with a good friend and a side project hacker, Tal Perry. He’s an entrepreneur but currently works at a large company, a developer, and a serious autodidact.

Tal’s side project is focused on developing an automated transcription software called Smart Scribe. In the episode we cover a range of topics from working on complex mathematical algorithms all the way to cuddle puddles at Midburn, the Israeli Burning Man festival. Tal even goes into detail about how to measures success, and what type of ROI he got from spending his vacation goat herding.

The Side Project Accelerator

The program works in batches, with only 3 batches per year. Registration for the next batch of the Side Project Accelerator is now open until November 10th, and there are only 50 seats available. Apply now to reserve your spot.

Apply now for batch #2 →

Key points from this episode:

  • Learn how Tal used Google to learn how to program, and built an algo-trading startup knowing only the basics.
  • What does freedom really mean in a startup? Find out why Tal believes having the freedom to dream can be both a blessing and a curse.
  • Find out why working for a big company can be a great place for personal growth, beyond what you can learn in a startup.
  • Learn how to go through the proper channels in a company to start a side project and get your boss on board with it.
  • Understand how self promotion can help you to impact a wider audience, but sometimes seeing something you’ve created run independently from you can be just as rewarding.
  • Why is it important to build your personal brand? Find out how a strong brand can lift you a level higher, even when your side project has failed.
  • See why Tal measures his success by the ROI of learning and the experience that he’s gained from each project.
  • What can goat herding teach you? Learn how Tal spent his vacation as a shepherd and the ROI he received from his time there.
  • Learn more about why Tal’s motto has become “be cheap, and outsource”. His approach is to reduce recurring costs and outsource to gain back your time.

Links from the show


If you’d like to read the full text of this episode, you can  download the transcript.

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About The Hacking UI Podcast

The Hacking UI podcast is hosted by Sagi Shrieber and David Tintner, a designer and developer who are also both entrepreneurs, bloggers, productivity/time-hacking maniacs, and all around tech geeks.

We started this podcast off with the ‘Scaling a Design Team series’ where we spoke with design leaders from top notch companies like Facebook, Apple, InVision, and Intercom, to discuss team structures, responsibilities, and workflows.

A few months ago we quit our day jobs to work on our former side project, Hacking UI, full time. So we found it fitting that our second season of the podcast should touch on that subject. The second season is called ‘Scaling a Side Project’, and we’ll interview creative entrepreneurs that we admire in order to get them to share their tips, experiences, and secrets to success.

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