Thanks to Minnesota Tech Startup Supporter Fueled Collective for underwriting our entrepreneur-focused How I Work series!
What one word best describes how you work?
What is your current device/hardware/office setup?
I use a Dell XPS 15 for most development and day-to-day work, connected to a dock with dual monitors. My MacBook Pro is used for mobile development and video production. The Flexidesk adjustable standing desk riser is my newest and favorite addition.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Our most critical tools are Slack for communication, Stripe for invoicing and payments, FullStory for reviewing and making our user experience better, and HubSpot for all of our CRM needs.
What your sleep schedule like in terms of hours/wake-up and the morning routine?
I’m an early riser, and I live a ways out of town, so I’m asleep by 10pm and up at 5:30 to catch an express bus to downtown and in the office by 7:30. Thank goodness for breakfast and coffee options provided by WeWork.
Is there a method to how you schedule your days?
I have a developer in Uruguay, who is 2 hours ahead of us here, so first task after getting in is to catch up with him and my local developer on progress and plans for the day. Our office does an 11am stand-up every day, which includes our sales and customer success folks. I also like to take a quick walk through the skyway over the noon hour just to clear my head and think about what I have going on. All other hours of the day (including evenings) are spent writing or reviewing code, and other administrative functions.
How much time do you spend in vs. out of the office?
Hard to quantify out of the office hours. Startup life usually involves working on things whenever and wherever. I’m in the office with the team most week days from 7:30 to about 4.
Where is the office?
We currently have a corner spot in the WeWork office in downtown Minneapolis. The view overlooking US Bank Stadium is incredible.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut/life hack?
When running a startup, you fill many different roles throughout the day. I try to delegate or outsource anything that’s not part of my core strengths.
What is that one thing you have to do, no matter what, every day?
I love to go for a quick walk every day, no matter how busy my schedule is. It’s a great way to collect my thoughts, listen to some music, think about what I have going on, and the exercise is crucial to staying healthy.
What is your preferred form of communication and why?
Slack by a mile. It’s quick, short, can be used from any device, and integrates with everything.
On average, how many hours a day do you spend in meetings?
1-2 hours most days.
When, where and what do you typically eat for lunch?
I bring lunch from home most days: leftovers, frozen meals, and sandwiches. My co-founder loves to make fun of my liking for instant mac-n-cheese.
How many hour a week do you work on average and do you work in the evenings and/or weekends?
50-60 hours most weeks. Evenings and weekends are still necessary at this stage, always lots of development work to do, plus that’s when customers need support the most.
What is the best advice you ever received, accepted, and applied?
Always be learning. Even from day one of your idea, have as many conversations about your product as possible to get feedback.
Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _Charlie Youakim_ from Minnesota’s tech industry answer these same questions.