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Darren Austin

Product guy in tech. Always curious. Co-host of The Better Show. 🎙️ Once upon a time, I helped start the mobile initiatives @ Amazon & Expedia.


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Recent episodes featuring Darren Austin
Better Home Automation Redux
The Better Show
We break down four types of home automation solutions and highlight the pros and cons of each.Why you may already be employing some home automation tools and don’t eve know it.We recap the story behind the start of the Ring camera-enabled doorbell and discuss the usefulness of a camera-based doorbells to thwart package thieves during the holidays.Some easy ways to get started using home automation to make managing your home easier.Some really crazy things you can do with a fully connected home and where home automation is likely to go in the next several years.and lots more!
Automate Your Life Pt.1
The Better Show
Show Notes2:50 — Why might you want to automate certain tasks in your life?6:04 — The advantages of reducing friction in your life.7:03 — Three questions to ask yourself to discover areas where automation might be advantageous for you.8:50 — March shares the areas in his life that he has happily automated including bills, discovery of relevant news, and retirement savings.9:59 — Why you might NOT want to pay attention to your investments.13:22 — Ian shares a few things that he’s automated in his life but laments that this is one of the few areas where he is not an early adopter.15:45 — “Just in time” shopping.16:50 — Darren shares his philosophy on how he thinks about life automation and lists a number of services he and his wife, Mardee, have used to automate basic life tasks.19:32 —The strangest thing that Darren has automated in his life and a reference to Episode 29 where he shares the story of what motivated him to do it.21:57 — Five things everyone should automate.25:55 — How Ian broke the central heating system in his new home.33:28 —Five surprising things that you can benefit from automating including food delivery, shopping for deals, and feeding your cat.35:54 —Darren gives a hearty endorsement of Sun Basket, the food delivery service that he and Mardee use regularly.43:49 — How to keep track of cool stuff in space.45:25 — How to use automation to get out of annoying or difficult conversations.49:10 — The things that you DON’T want to automate.52:38 — Things our listeners wish they could automate but that are difficult or impossible to automate.53:50 — Ian, Darren, and March decide which things from this episode they are going to try out and report back on.Mentions📱 App: IFTTT📱 App: Wunderlist📱 App: Trello📰 Website: Camelcamelcamel.com📰 Website: Invisible Hand📰 Website: CouponFollow.com🎙️ Podcast: The Better Show Episode 46 — Stay Safe Online📦 Product: Dropbox📦 Product: Google Photos📰 Website: EatThisMuch.com🥗 Meal Service: Blue Apron🥗 Meal Service: Sun Basket🥗 Meal Service: Home Chef🔒 Secure password manager: Dashlane🎙️ Podcast: The Better Show Episode 29 — Emergency Preparedness🤖 Robo-investment service: Wealthfront📺 video: Robot chefs (coming soon to Las Vegas!)📦 Product: Google Duplex
Building a Better Exercise Habit
The Better Show
Show Notes1:30 — Why March has been thinking a lot about building an exercise habit lately2:52 — Darren asks Ian and March if they exercise grudgingly or just not consistently enough8:54 — March dives into the research of why exercise matters11:20 — The psychological benefits of exercise & how it is similar to fasting or public speaking13:09 — Research into the maintenance of exercise programs14:18 — Disclaimer: Ian's priorities to focus on before exercise 16:38 — Ian, Darren and March share their personal experiences with building an exercise habit17:35 — Exercise is a way to physically express yourself21:22 — What March is stumped about around his exercise habits22:35 — Why Darren has never gotten into a consistent exercise routine25:32 — Ian's observation about organized sports, children, and exercise habits28:32 — The exercise puzzle we are all trying to solve together32:29 — Tip 1: You're not lazy, you're just starting from zero33:43 — Tip 2: Don't beat yourself up about your current level of fitness34:45 — Tip 3: Focus on your own progress, not others36:09 — Tip 4: Avoid boredom & make it interesting to you37:30 — Ian's iPod Nano Nike+  Power Song story39:29 — Task bundling, guilty pleasures, and exercise40:13 — Tip 5: Reframe the suck43:20 — Tip 6: Replace willpower with willingness45:22 — Tip 7: Forget all or nothing46:48 — Tip 8: Find your secret sauce47:47 — Tip 9: How can technology help you?51:03 — Experiments that Ian, March & Darren will try & report back on in a future episodeMentions📰 Article: 100 Ways to Disguise Exercise📱 App: Strava💻 Website: Fitocracy📱 App: Seconds🎵 Playlist: Spotify 180 BPM playlist🪓 Activity: Axe Throwing💪 Activity: Tough Mudder💪 Activity: CrossFit
Better Week Prep
The Better Show
Show Notes3:20 — Why planning your week matters? Spoiler alert: we all have a limited amount of time and can benefit from aligning our efforts with our goals.5:18 — Why do people dread Mondays?8:35 — How March plans his week and balances his personal and professional obligations and how he balances his schedule with his spouse.10:17 — March’s tip for planning the coming week on Friday.13:04 — Ian outlines how he plans his week and describes the experiments he tried out in preparation for this episode.17:19 — Ian’s tip for how he quickly gets up to speed after a long absence from work.19:01 — Ian and March’s tactics for managing overloaded email.25:03 — The power of setting goals for your week.32:59 — Calendar management tips.38:55 — How meals affect the productivity of your week and how you can use meal prep to maximize your impact for the week.53:27 — Tips for planning your morning routine.56:50 — Planning the week ahead on Friday afternoon.1:00:29 — Making time for fun during your week.1:03:00 — The trick of prepping your workout gear to encourage yourself to exercise.Mentions📦 Product: Instant Pot Ultra 6-Quart📦 Product: Vitamix Professional Series 750📦 Product: Air Fryer (Cuisinart Chef’s Convection Oven)🎧 Podcast: The Better Show Ep. 42 — Maximize Your Time with Better Priorities🎧 Podcast: The Better Show Ep. 56 — How Morning Routines Make the Day🎧 Podcasts: The Better Show productivity related episodes
Better Friendships
The Better Show
EPISODE SUMMARYThis week we discuss how you can improve and foster better friendships with both new and existing friends in your life.EPISODE NOTESShow Notes1:18 - Insights from a study about loneliness across generations 3:20 - How friendships affect your mental and physical health positively7:40 - Could there be a relationship between microbiome and friend groups?9:05 - Surprising scientific facts about friendships12:52 - Insights of a LinkedIn study weighing friendships vs promotions13:52 - What does "friend" mean anyway? 16:04 - Best countries to make friends for expats, as ranked by a survey18: 39 - How Irish friendliness impacted March's marriage19:23 - Worst countries to make friends for expats from the same survey 21:33  - March & Darren cook up an idea for a study or a reality show 22:30 - Darren shares his experience with close friendships that withstand relocation and time23:55 - March shares how proximity has played a role in his friendships26:00 - March describes his super-friend and what he can teach us29:30 - Darren & March discuss ways they've made time for keeping in touch32:40 - A lightweight way to insert thoughtful energy into a friendship33:33 - A great tip to counteract "We should get together sometime" syndrome35:29 - Darren's tip to go beyond surface-level friendship37:23 - Reflections on vulnerability's role in building friendships38:23 - What differentiates being open and being vulnerable40:49 - March explains what awkward experiences can signal about a friendship41:43 - Avoiding problem-solving and why can be a struggle44:45 - How being present can be helpful during tough times 48:12 - A guide to being a friend when you don't see eye to eye50:40 - Tips for maintaining trust in a friendship52:15 - How to find and choose new friends54:36 - Darren and March commit to some practices to nurturing their friendships57:52 - Another tip for friends who live far apart1:00:10 - The "better next step" for listenersMentions📰 Study: The millennial friendship crisis
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Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
4 days, 23 hours