I’m Dan Gardner, Cofounder of ProcessBolt, And This Is How I Work


Thanks to Minnesota Tech Startup Supporter Fueled Collective for underwriting our entrepreneur-focused How I Work series!

Dan Gardner is the cofounder and President of Minneapolis tech startup ProcessBolt.

What one word best describes how you work?

Semichaotic. That’s a word now.

What is your current device/hardware/office setup?

Thinkpad, iPhone, coffee cup, water jug. Remember kids, technology is a tool, not a religion.

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

G Suite, Excel, AWS. We live in pretty exciting times for startups. The upfront cost to get an idea off the ground is nothing like it used to be.

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

I am a night owl. I don’t get up until I have to. In the morning I get ready and get to first meeting just in time.

Is there a method to how you schedule your days?

Most of my schedule is dictated by meetings on the calendar, other than that I mostly spend my day working through a to-do list. I use a to-do list app that syncs across several devices. I kind of run my schedule like a Kanban board.

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

In the office as much as possible. I try to be in at least 9-6. Presence matters. Face-to-face time matters. Culture matters.

Where is the office?

We currently have an office in the Techstars space within Target at City Center. Not sure yet where we will go once we get kicked out of there. Before Techstars, we were fortunate enough to be in the Beta space at WeWork in the Capella Tower. Before that we were in Gaurav’s basement in Maple Grove.

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

Use ProcessBolt to automate your vendor risk assessments!

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

It’s a tie between sleep and listen to some music – preferably some Hüsker Dü, Bob Mould, Steve’s Piece, The Hold Steady, The Replacements, or Too Much Joy.

What is your preferred form of communication and why?

Face to face is always best. If not an option, email, since it is easy to categorize and prioritize and deal with as time permits. I think the expectation to immediately reply to things like Slack messages can be detrimental to productivity.

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

4-5. These days mostly customer intro calls and demos.

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

I’m usually starving by 11:30 and will try to get ahead of the lunch rush. You will find me at the lunch spots around City Center, including Chipotle, Kadai, Naf Naf, or even the Target cafeteria.

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

60 is average, with 40 in the office and the rest being nights and weekends, but it varies wildly depending on what is happening.

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

Never love something that can’t love you back.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see Dan Mayleben and Chris Heim from Minnesota’s tech industry answer these same questions.