In 2016, I:


  • Took 2,619,149 steps.
  • Weight (94.7kg)
  • Meditate 37 times.
  • Got into sensory deprivation tanks thanks to Mel’s birthday gift.



  • Read 5 books (↓7). Highlight: Team of Teams –  Stanley McChrystal and Born Standing Up – Steve Martin
  • Saw 28 (↓14). Highlights: The Dish, 13 Hours and Fantastic Beasts.


  • Travelled to Poland, Thailand, Singapore and Adelaide for the first time.
  • Rode a Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R, currently the 7th fastest production motorcycle in the world.


  • Got promoted to Service Enablement Team Lead @ Atlassian.
  • Was recognised for my hard work by Atlassian.

Side Projects

  • Worked on Sydney Craft Beer Weel for the 4th year.
  • Sold Sydney Craft Beer Weel to Dave’s Events. Looking forward to seeing what we can do with the new team.


  • Brewed a beer with hops only grown in my back yard.


  • Welcomed Laurence J Magro into the world born 10th February 2016.
  • Celebrated 4 years of marriage to Melinda Magro.


  • Performed a 1 handed push up in less than 6 months, beating Matt Saxby’s goal of 12 months.

Best Beers of 2016

My favourite beers of 2016:

  1. Hawkers Beer – Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout 2016 – Wood-Aged Beer
  2. Six Strings – Two – Barleywine
  3. Pirate Life – Pirate Life IIPA – Douple IPA
  4. Wheaty Brewing Corps – Yeast Coast – American IPA
  5. Feral Brewing Company – War Hog – American IPA


In 2015, I:

  • Took 2,530,445 steps.
  • Read 12 books. Highlight: Elon Musk.
  • Saw 42 movies. Highlights: The Martian, Interstellar, The Imitation Game and Citizen Four.
  • Travelled on 7 Flights: SYD→LAX→ATX→SFO→LAX→SYD→OOL→SYD.
  • Drove 326 miles (525 km) of the Highway 1 in a Mustang.
  • Visited Russian River Brewery.
  • Finished up after 6 years @ Toowards.
  • Started my dream job @ Atlassian.
  • Came 2nd in the Atlassian’s First Global Ship IT. See more about ShipIT here https://www.atlassian.com/company/shipit
  • Watched Atlassian go IPO.
  • Began work on Gameface, a sports data website.
  • Brewed with Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head and Leonardo Di Vincenzo of Birra Del Borgo and Nomad.
  • Celebrated 3 years of marriage to Melinda Magro.
  • Made baby number 2.
  • Watched my beautiful daughter’s personality blossom.

IMG_7196The trip into USA

IMG_8185My new favourite car. 

IMG_7279Along the Highway 1

IMG_7399Visiting beer Mecca

IMG_6880Last day at Toowards

IMG_6891Fist Day at Atlassian

Atlassian standAtlassian Fair Day

Me presenting in front of 800 people at Ship IT

IMG_7983The 800 people

IMG_7955Atlassian IPO 

IMG_8077Brewing with beer gods
 IMG_8006My better half          



2015: Goal Results


  1. Read 20 books – 12/20 = 60% I managed to read the same amount of books as I did last year which was a little disappointing. I’ll have to carry this goal over to next year. Below is a great visualisation that was provided by Goodreads:Goodreads   Ben’s Year in Books
  2. Watch 52 movies – 45/52 = 86% Overall I was happy with my movie watching efforts this year. Making this list definitely pushed me to see more movies. This was 50% more movies than last year.
  3. Finish 4 TV seasons that I have started – 5/4 = 100% I managed to finish the following seasons: Weeds, The Shield, The Newsroom, Parenthood and Parks and Recreation
  4. Eat 12 foods I’ve never had before – 2/12 = 16% I can only remember trying 2 new foods this year: Lagan Nu Custard and Orka.

Total Consumption Score: 3/4 


  1. Brew 12 beers – 5/12 = 42% I managed to brew 5 beers this year: IPA, Wee Heavy, Weissbier, West Coast IPA and a Munich Dunkel. The Munich Dunkel was definitely the best of the lot. I need to put more effort into brewing next year.
  2. Build 1 new website – 1/1 = 100% I’m working on a new start-up called Gamface, details to follow. There are the very beginnings of a website here: http://thegameface.com.au/
  3. Make cheese – 0/1 = 0% 
  4. Make a meal of only things I have grown – 0/1 = 0%
  5. Do something to honour Jarrod’s memory 100% I participated in http://www.mardigras.org.au/fairday/ last year to honour Jarrod and the rights he was so passionate about. This is not 100% what I imagined when I came up with the goal, as I want more of a permanent reminder. So I’ll keep looking in 2016.

Total Creativity Score: 2/5 

Personal Growth

  1. Travel to 2 new places – 2/2 = 100% I went to San Francisco and Austin for work in July last year.
  2. Go for 52 runs this year – 52/52 = 100% So I decided pretty early on I was going to count a run as any day I went over 10,000 steps. This didn’t include soccer games as I can’t track those. Overall I was happy with this though 10,000 steps is not that high.
  3. No alcohol intake 2 days per week – 90% I’ve been pretty consistent on this goal. A couple of weeks I intentionally threw it out, but most weeks it was at least 2 days free of booze. 
  4. Make an effort to catch up with a friend each month – 3/12 = 25% Not a great result. Will carry over to next year.
  5. Attend 60% of soccer training sessions – 0%
  6. Lose 10kg – 0% Will carry over to next year.
  7. Be proud of the amount of quality time I spend with Mel and Harriette – 42/52 = 80% Balancing a full-time job, a wife and daughter is not an easy task though I feel like I did my best this year. I’ve scored this based on the number of weeks I was out 1 or fewer nights which I felt was a fair balance of things. It gave me time to blow off some steam, whilst leaving the weekends to the family. I also encouraged Mel to take one night a week for herself, which she started to do more towards the end of the year.

Total Personal Growth Score: 4/7

Professional Growth

  1. Take part in a MOOC – 0/1 = 0% I bailed on the MOOC I signed up to at the beginning of the year as there were more important things to work on.
  2. Read a “… for Dummies” style book in order to come closer to mastering a topic – 0/1 = 0% I felt this was a bit of a stretch and did not prioritise it.
  3. Make an effort to meet 3 new people each week – > 200/156 = 100% I nailed this goal. Working at a company of 2000 plus people made it pretty easy.

Total Professional Growth Score: 1/3


  1. Exceed expectations in my new role –  1/1 = 100% It’s hard to sum up this year at Atlassian, but I definitely exceeded expectations. I will go into this more in a summary post, but coming 2nd in our global Ship IT out of 414 teams and presenting to almost half the company at The Star was definitely a highlight.
  2. Get one of my sites to the top of Google for “Ben Magro” – 0/1 = 0% Deprioritised 
  3. Win a brewing award – 0/1 = 0% I didn’t get to brew nearly as much as I wanted to this year. Also, the quality of my beer has definitely slipped, so I did not enter any competitions.
  4. Do a presentation at a web event – 5/1 = 500% It wasn’t a web event, but I presented in front of large crowds at work, at least five times on technical topics. A few of these talks included Mike and Scott in the audience. 
  5. Commit to an open source project – 0/1 = 0% 

Total Stretch Score: 2/5

Overall I found the process of writing down and publically committing to goals a good one. Most of the benefit was around thinking about what I wanted to change at the beginning of the year, and thus influencing many micro decisions throughout the year.

34 was definitely too many. This year I will aim for 15 or 20. Also, I wanted to do a mid-year update but lost track of time. I think getting a quarterly update out on how I am tracking would have help keep me more accountable.

Calling 60% a pass mark my total this year was:
Total Score: 12/34

My Hottest 10 of 2015

Marcus Marr & Chet Faker – The Trouble With Us
Jamie xx – I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times) {Ft. Young Thug/Popcaan}
Rudimental – Rumour Mill {Ft. Anne-Marie/Will Heard}
Kendrick Lamar – The Blacker The Berry
Jack U – To U {Ft. AlunaGeorge}
SG Lewis – Warm
Julio Bashmore – Holding On {Ft. Sam Dew}
Major Lazer – Lean On {Ft. MØ/DJ Snake}
The Rubens – Hoops
Vallis Alps – Young

My Hottest 10 – 2015 – HTTP Link

My Hottest 10 – 2015 – Spotify URI


2015: Goals

Ever since Regan published his 52 challenges last year I’ve wanted to produce a list of my own. I’ve seen a couple of people I follow on Twitter do annual goal/resolutions lists and these have inspired me to begin this yearly practice. Resolutions can be pretty baseless, and quantitative self is all the rage, so I think making a public declaration of your goals provides some additional motivation.

My aim is for 24 goals, and I expect some of the goals will feed into each other.


  1. Read 20 books – for the sticklers, this includes physical books, ebooks and audiobooks. You can see what I’m reading in the books section of this site http://www.magro.me/books/. Here is also a list of the books that are on my To Read list on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/6605382?shelf=to-read
  2. Watch 52 movies – Over the past couple of year I’ve been disappointed in the movies I haven’t made time to see. This year I am taking a more proactive approach with one a week. My movie watching habits will be tracked here http://letterboxd.com/magro/.
  3. Finish 4 TV season that I have started – Like most people I have too many tv shows on the go. This is an attempt to finish some of them.
  4. Eat 12 foods I’ve never had before – This goal was stolen straight from Regan’s list, and is an attempt to be a more adventurous eater.


  1. Brew 12 beers – This feeds into the “Win a brewing award” listed below. There more I brew, the more likely one of them is going to be a winner.
  2. Build 1 new website – So many ideas, so little time. I’d like to have at lease one built and deployed by the end of the year.
  3. Make cheese – I’ve been meaning to do this with Mel for ages. I think it would be fun, and rewarding. My plan is to buy one of these kits http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/The-Great-Ozi-Cheese-Making-Kit-DIY-Cheddar-Fetta-Mozarella-Haloumi-/330845352825?pt=AU_Food&hash=item4d07eb7379
  4. Make a meal of only things I have grown – This one has been on my bucket list for years.
  5. Do something to honour Jarrod’s memory – I’d like some sort of tangible reminder of Jarrod. Current ideas are to try at naming a street after him, or buying a fund raising brick with his name on it.

Personal Growth

  1. Travel to 2 new places – Who doesn’t like to travel.
  2. Go for 52 runs this year – One a week, and it feeds into the lose 10kg goal.
  3. No alcohol intake 2 days per week – Having four craft beers permanently on tap at your home can be dangerous. It’s all too easy to grab a beer to have with dinner. I want to make sure there are alcohol free days each week.
  4. Make an effort to catch up with a friend each month – I want to make a conscious effort to catch up with a different friend each month. The year tends to get away from you pretty quickly before you know it.
  5. Attend 60% of soccer training sessions – I get into this habit of missing one training session, then missing them all. It’s hard to balance work, family and a couple of hobbies, so this is an attempt to make soccer training a priority.
  6. Lose 10kg – Need to shed a few.
  7. Be proud of the amount of quality time I spend with Mel and Harriette – With so much going on this year, I want to make sure I’m making time for my family.

Professional Growth

  1. Take part in a MOOC – This is a little bit cheeky as I’m already enrolled in MITx’s Entrepreneurship 101: Who is your customer? – https://www.edx.org/course/entrepreneurship-101-who-customer-mitx-15-390-1x#.VLJfmoqUdmE
  2. Read a “… for Dummies” style book in order to come closer to mastering a topic – I want to deep dive into a topic that is relevant to my new job. Not sure of the book yet, but when it arrives, I’ll know it.
  3. Make a effort to meet 3 new people each week – Starting a new job at a company of 1,600 people, I want to make sure I’m taking the time to get to know new people within the organisation.


  1. Exceed expectations in my new role – This is may be optimistic as I’m sure I’ll be trying to keep my head above water for a while. In saying that I’m joining at a great time, so I want to be kicking goals from day one.
  2. Get one of my sites to the top of Google for “Ben Magro” – As a challenge I’d like to implement some SEO best practices, along with more of my content to drive my ranking up in Google.
  3. Win a brewing award – The first year I entered the castle hill show I walked away with two awards. I’ve come up short the last two years in a row. This year my aim is to win a category.
  4. Do a presentation at a web event – I’d love to get up an talk at a Web Directions – What Do You Know. Just need to write the topic.
  5. Commit to an open source project – This has been a long term goal. I want to contribute to an open source project. No idea what language or topic. This will be a stretch.

2014, a defining year

In 2014, I:

  • Handed in my wings after 6 years of service @ Toowards.
  • Accepted a job in Product Enablement @ Atlassian, BRW’s No. 1 place to work in Australia.
  • Became the Technical Director of Sydney Craft Beer week, launching 2 mobile apps and doubling revenue on last year.
  • Grand Champions for the Granville district senior 14’s soccer comp.
  • Attended my first cricket game (AUS vs ENG, 5th Test, Day 4).
  • Read 14 books. Highlight: Flash Boys
  • Saw 30 movies. Highlight: The Way Way Back
  • Travelled on 21 flights.
  • Took 1,699,536 step according to Argus
  • Bought my first BTC.
  • Mined my first BTC.
  • Said hello to my beautiful daughter Harriette Leola Magro born 27th January 2014.
  • Said goodbye to my best friend of 20 years Jarrod J Lorch, tragically taken at 27.
Melinda, Jarrod and I

Melinda, Jarrod and I

Harri and I

Harri and I

Lets see what 2015 has in store for us.