Episode Number 40ACe Callwood on the Sounds of Productivity

Why do so many entrepreneurs and distributed workers spend their days logging time from our nation’s best coffee shops? ACe Callwood knows why. As the co-founder of the innovative web service Coffitivity, Callwood not only understands that this level of ambient noise makes us more productive, he’s found a way to bottle it up and bring it to us regardless of our coffee status. As you can imagine, this was more that enough to get our caffeinated wheels spinning.

Show Notes

First of all, before you email or tweet us that we have a typo in our guest's first name (the first two letters are capped), let us explain as ACe did at the top of the show. At an early age, he had to find a nickname to differentiate himself from his father of the same name. He went with ACe opting for the unique spelling of having two capitalized first letters. Why? "It's a personal branding choice," he told us. It's also a conversation starter.

When he's not reinventing the rules of capitalization, Calwood is reinventing how we work. Specifically, what we hear while we work. After years of going to coffee shops to work on various start-ups, he dug deeper into what makes these spaces so conducive to work. During the show ACe shared some amazing stats with us about how "just enough noise" contributes to creative cognition.

And that's how Coffitivity was born. Simply put, Coffitivity is a workday creativity tool that streams coffee shop sounds to computers. This innovative tool brings the sounds of a collaborative shared space to anywhere you and your laptop might be. For his own work, ACe and his co-founder Justin often work from the 80 Amps office in Virginia or in co-working spaces. He also occasionally goes to a coffee shops, where he has been known to use Coffitivity to drown out loud talkers.

For shout outs and shameless plugs, Nick gave a shout to the book The Tao of Twitter by Mark W. Schaefer as well as his research study Social Scene Midwest. DJ trumped that shout-out with a celebration of his son Cal's first steps! He also took a moment to acknowledge and thank the subscribers to his newsletter, the Waldow Social Weekly. In perhaps the longest plug yet, ACe gave a shout out to his Coffitivity team — too many names to misspell here — as well as his mentor, bosses, and, last but certainly not least, his mom. What are you waiting for? Check out Coffitivity already, will you?

Until next week, we'll see you on the Internet!

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Shannon Hernandez
Shannon Hernandez

I'm ALMOST finished with this episode.  I love listening to you guys every week. It certainly makes my 35 minute drive a little better with you guys in my queue.  

I wanted to make a comment about something Nick had said.  First, I'm just like you these days. I listen to Jazz, Chillout, 60s Spy Music (Check out Soma.FM Secret Agent station), and other music that doesn't have words. I'm totally with you.  It's a total distraction.  I do believe you CAN listen to music with words, though.  I'm sure Dayna Steele can attest to being able to tune out the music when needed.  I could be wrong, though. :)  

Anyway, great podcast and I'll be leaving a comment soon! I've mentioned it to DJ on Google+.  I promise it will happen. I'm listening to your older shows too! Keep up the great work, guys!

NickWestergaard moderator

@Shannon Hernandez Shannon! Thanks for listening and commenting! Love your notes on music. I am actually reading On Writing by Stephen King and he talks about how he listens to music (Guns & Roses, metal — GAH!) while he writes. He does this because it closes him in. I found this incredibly interesting. Would love to have him on the show :)

Thanks again!