Hypothetical: You have 30 days to live.
You could throw a pity party and be miserable.
Or, you could learn a new language. Build a self-driving car. Perfect your favorite guitar solo.
All things entrepreneur Max Deutsch accomplished last year when he decided to master one expert-level skill each month.
How’d he do it? His new, free app Month to Master will be your guide to a better life. Quickly.
Backstory: last November, Deutsch — the product manager at Intuit and creator of Somebody.io and Rightspeed.co. — started his monthly skill mastery challenge. In that time, he became a grandmaster of memory, learned to draw realistic portraits, solved a Rubik’s Cube in 17 seconds, landed a standing backflip, played a five-minute improvisational blues guitar solo, held a 30-minute conversation in a foreign language and, yes, built a self-driving car. He also became a coach for others who wanted to create their own monthly projects.
m2m (2 images)
Now, he’s built Month to Master, a free iOS app that uses “generalizable patterns and most effective learning approaches” to replicate his skill mastery.
M2M is built around an AI coach named Max, who guides you through your learning pursuits. After a few basic questions (name, email), Max asks what you want to learn and then asks for specifics and measurables.
(So, instead of “learn to play saxophone,” you’d narrow your skill down to “I want to learn to play the sax solo in ‘Careless Whisper.’”)
Then Max asks how you want to practice each day, at what time and when you want to start. Then, he’ll start checking up on you, offering motivational words and even support.
That’s the carrot part. The stick? The app’s accountability mechanisms, which force you to either invite a friend to engage in his/her own 30-day program, post your daily goals on Facebook, or ... pledge $230.
Because you’re not here to waste time. Or, apparently, money.
Month to Master is available for free on iOS devices now. Want more ways to master a skill in a month, like writing a novel, learning to tango or chess? We have a few more apps and services for that here. And you may want to check out this new TED Talk with Matt Cutts, a former Google engineer who also gives himself a new challenge every 30 days.