I’m John Brownlee, Cofounder & CEO of Vidscrip, And This Is How I Work

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Thanks to CoCo for underwriting our How I Work series!

 
John Brownlee is the CEO of Vidscrip, a Minneapolis software company he cofounded in 2012 to connect doctors with patience via video healthcare topics.

What one word best describes how you work?

Simple.

What is your current device/hardware/office setup?

I’m 100% Google. We use Google Apps for work. I use a Google Pixel II XL phone. I have a Pixelbook laptop/tablet. I never use paper/pen. I try to keep it very clean, simple, and fully integrated.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

Google Keep (notes). Slack. Twitter.

 

What your sleep schedule like in terms of hours/wake-up and what’s the morning routine?

I get plenty of sleep. I like to see my boys before they leave for school. I hate wasting time in traffic on my commute downtown, so I head to the office around 9am after the traffic dies down.

Is there a method to how you schedule your days?

I don’t have a set method for scheduling my day. I don’t like a lot of meetings. I just don’t think they’re very productive, at the margin. We have a weekly set meetings for product and client updates. Most of the schedule beyond that is as-needed.

How much time do you spend in vs. out of the office?

I work in my home office every Friday. In the summer I try to play golf on Friday afternoon. Most other days I’m either traveling with customers, or in the office. I would say on average I’m in the office 50% of the time.

Where is the office?

We are on the 3rd floor of the T3 Building in the North Loop.

What’s your best time-saving shortcut/life hack?

My life hack is minimalism. I don’t carry any paper, or a pen, and almost never use a printer. I keep all my notes and thoughts in Google Keep, even little things. I carry the slimmest work bag I possibly can. And I try to make sure all the tech I use seamlessly integrates (which is why I love Google so much). I can do 95% of my job just with my phone. Keep it simple.

What is that one thing you have to do, no matter what, every day?

Tell my brilliant and beautiful wife I love her.

What is your preferred form of communication and why?

Text message & Slack. I hate talking on the phone. My mind races and I forget things, so phone conversations are too perishable for me. Also, phone conversations can drag on too long. I like crisp, short communication that I can refer back to if needed.

On average, how many hours a day do you spend in meetings?

Very little. On average probably less than 90-minutes.

When, where and what do you typically eat for lunch?

I really like eating lunch with my business partner, Brian Kuyath. By far our best thinking happens over lunch. So we eat together fairly often when we’re both in the office. I’ve been trying to bring my lunch to work more lately because it’s healthier than eating out.

How many hour a week do you work on average and do you work in the evenings and/or weekends?

I probably work 60-70 hours a week. I’m sort of “always working”. I read constantly, and I think about (and write notes about) our business all the time. Probably 35-40% of the work I do is not in the office.

What is the best advice you ever received, accepted, and applied?

You’re going to die…so build a life that has meaning, don’t be one-dimensional, and never think you have to do it the same way as everybody else.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see Jeremy Pierotti (Sansoro) from Minnesota’s tech industry answer these same questions.

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