Megan Casey, founder of Pack app

Megan Casey:

  • CEO of Pack, social media site for dogs & owners
  • Co-founder of Squidoo
  • New mom
  • Wife
  • Dog owner
  • Former book editor

Show Notes:

Working on a Startup

  • Starts workday with the team on Campfire — chatting online and getting into the morning rhythm.
  • Puts everything in iCal — all tasks on to-do list are set with reminders so everything gets done, helps frame what she’s doing for the week by seeing the tasks set by days.
  • Schedules emails to read by the end of the day so that she knows what goals she should have completed by the end of the day.
  • Use emails to thoughtfully, succinctly convey a message to someone. Emails aren’t just connections of codes, they’re souvenirs: there is emotion and thought that goes into these messages between people.
  • Pictures could improve email — makes the connection more personal and the images can make the message stick even better in the recipient’s head.

Be Present

  • Practicing being present with your child is a good form of meditation and can translate well into being present in work.
  • To get out of the constant phone-checking, put your phone in another room, where you can focus on what’s going on around you.
  • Anxiety and fear that you won’t meet your expectations can keep you up at night with worries, but you need to realize you’re causing yourself the pain; let go of that fantasy and focus on the present.
  • “Anxiety is experiencing failure in advance.” -Seth Godin


  • Priorities: doing things for herself is below everything else.
  • Starting habits from scratch, throwing away old unnecessary priorities and focusing on what she aspires to do.
  • When creating new habits, Casey asks herself: How am I going to throw (create, initiate) more instead of catch (respond to emails or tasks other people give you — checking your email/iPhone as soon as you wake up)? How can I create habits that will get me there?
  • Be conscious about your time. Set amount time before she can go online/on phone in the morning, resist motivation to check online or respond to someone to see what’s going on with them — too overwhelming.
  • On getting things done: let go of the need to get everything done. Be realistic instead of berating yourself for not actually doing everything you set out to do. Choose 3 things that would really make you feel good about doing, if you got them done — spend time doing what actually matters.
  • When prioritizing, ask yourself: is it worth it if you spend an hour in a meeting when that could be an hour you spent with your child (or doing something else you’d rather do)?
  • Casey’s habits are enforced on her because of her baby’s and dog’s needs:
  • Having a baby helped her set a schedule — wake up early to run or have some time to herself, then set aside some hours to take care of her daughter, before checking phone/email.
  • Makes her feel more awake and alert during the day.
  • Dog helps her to put a break in her schedule — dog always wants to go at a walk at 4:30pm, which is around the time she needs to take a break from working for many hours.
  • Social motivations are good ways to form habits — can use your spouse, best friend, child, dog, etc. as an excuse/motivator to take a break or start a habit you want to create (e.g. go on a run with someone, like Casey does with her co-worker, and form a stronger bond while staying active/fit).

Follow Your Passions, Get Past Your Fears

  • Dealing with the risk of working on a startup with no pay and lots of risk: have heart-to-heart conversations with close people to grow closer and relieve stress, surround yourself with people who inspire you and share your values.
  • You owe it to yourself to do work that you love, instead of sitting at a job that you’re not excited about and working with people without giving them much enthusiasm or high energy.
  • Joyfear (Zen Habits term): when levels of both joy and fear are at a peak, those are the most defining moments of your life. Starting Pack and quitting Squidoo was a joyfear moment for Casey.