Welcome to my “Meet The Entrepreneur” Interview Series, where I interview impactful leaders and ask them to share tips and techniques that have benefited them, both in their personal and professional lives.
About David and Hackernoon:
HackerNoon’s served 1k+ tech companies as customers, published over 30k+ curious and insightful contributing writers, raised $2.6M from 1.3k+ awesome shareholders, and since launch, 200M+ humans have visited HackerNoon to learn about technology. In my spare time, I enjoy walking, basketball, skiing, and being around the world's funniest ppl whenever possible.”
What is your favorite productivity tip? How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Hello! I’m an introverted knowledge worker running a profitable company at the intersection of software, media, and web3. HackerNoon! For knowledge workers who spend a lot of time on the keyboard, I recommend walking for at least one hour per day. On work days, I bake this into my schedule by walking to and from work. I have been doing walks before and after work for over a decade, and it’s extremely useful for professional and personal perspectives.
Others can achieve this while biking or running or doing another cardio, either way, it’s important to get the body’s heart rate up in a comfortable (almost thoughtless) routine in order to let the mind effectively wander. For high-performing introverts, I also recommend scheduling a maximum of ten meetings per week. This ensures greater energy per meeting, self-prioritization of which meetings matter (and by definition, which don’t), and leaves ample keyboard time per work day to actually work. Create. Create. Create.
Your tips for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Prioritize revenue in task management. Channel enthusiasm whenever and however you can. Ask yourself, what is the simplest business you can create to not only leverage your current skills, advantages, and passions but also exceed your current salary ASAP? If you can earn at least the same revenue while owning the long-term upside, it’s all a no-brainer. If possible you should work on a business you own. Also, know that you will have to outwork your past self while improving your ability to balance work and life. In the early days, the business only moves as you move.
No one else will do it for you. Your manager is now all your customers. The business won’t grow if your own mental will and physical health are not strong enough to keep at it day after day after day after month after year.
Who would you like to meet for lunch and why?
My wife! Because that’s what I do. Also, Steve Kerr. Five championships as a player and four championships as a coach. A rare insight into how to be an elite individual contributor, a respected leader of an even more elite team, and somehow he ages like fine wine in a young man’s game. And I guess if the choice is mine, I’d also like to have lunch with Anthony Bourdain and Barack Obama at that Hanoi bun cha restaurant. And now that I think about it I would also - if the opportunities happen to present themselves - like to cook lunch for Matt Groening, Greta Thunberg, Don Dellio, Steph Curry, Kate McKinnon, and Banksy.
What is your favorite book or movie recommendation?
Too difficult to pick the greatest of all time! Given we live in a what have you done for me lately level of internet patience world, I’ll share the best things I recently consumed on Audible and Netflix. On Netflix, I recommend Maniac - a beautiful ending in a pharmaceutical world built atop the last generations’ misassumptions - and Umbrella Academy - a flawed makeshift family of superheroes that time travels through a graphic world created by Chemical Romance lead singer Gerard Way. And on Audible, I completed Dune today! 21+ highly produced hours of that Art of War mindset leading to the oppressed manifesting as the free due to the universe’s economic dependence upon spice, and you can’t help but know your own body also inherently believes in that water above all else decision-making. And Michael Schur’s How to Be Perfect, it’s an approachable take on ancient and pop philosophy with natural comedic timing, making you feel like you’re earning a philosophy degree with a smile on your face without paying tuition.
What habit has contributed to your career?
Repetition. Repetition. And that third thing to be determined at the moment my career needs it.
When you hear about other famous entrepreneurs, is there any entrepreneur who specifically caught your attention?
I admire sustainability like Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard’s 100-year plan, what Mark Cuban is now doing with affordable medication (undercutting an unnaturally inflated industry to profitably serve customers in need), Andrew Carnegie’s post-mortem donations totaling 90% of his wealth to better society (more so than I do his ruthless live business practices), and of course, Oprah Winfrey, who is the modern media embodiment of turning the player into the business into the empire.
Is there a specific business philosophy that has helped you?
Every day, just try to do better than yesterday. And when life or business has got you too down (or too up), just know, this too shall pass.
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