Founder Philosophy

Vooza’s CEO offers up an unhealthy dose of founder philosophy and productivity tips. He explains why he’s anti-schedule, prefers email, thinks code is like poetry, and takes inspiration from chefs. He also reveals the secret to work-life balance and the key question to ask during job interviews. Startup founders everywhere, take note!

I'm very anti schedule.
The worst thing when, you're in the middle of like
a, great work conversation or a groove of getting things done.
And then you're like, oh yeah, I've got
that court date for that hit and run.
You're like, ugh.
Here we go again.
Look at Marrisa Meyer at CEO.
She's getting so many kudos for being CEO while pregnant, you know?
But I've been CEO of Vooza for years now with multiple STDs.
There's no Time magazine article about it.
But, when you're the little guy you've gotta be scrappier.
Well, people tell me I need an assistant, but I don't want one, you know?
I prefer to be unresponsive and neglectful until
people get the idea they're not important to me.
I've found that if you don't answer emails,
it actually trains people to leave you alone.
My kids aren't crazy about that but, you
know, it's more of a French parenting style.
Not being around.
I love communicating with email because
it doesn't interrupt anyone, you know?
Sometimes people try to talk to me in real
life and I'm like, I don't think that's gonna happen.
People wonder how I'm so productive.
And the key is, I spend 12 hours a day reading articles about productivity.
Didn't just happen overnight.
I worked at it.
[MUSIC]
Well, I see my role as standing
at the intersection of technology and the humanities.
So I'll be talking to a programmer, and I'll be like,
hey, how can we make your code seem more like poetry?
And then I'll read him a poem.
Robert Frost, or Rumi.
Baudelaire.
Or I'll go up to someone writing copy for the website, I'll be like hey,
how can we make this copy sound more like it was written by a robot?
And then we'll do the robot.
[MUSIC]
I look to chefs for inspiration.
You know, people like Mario Batali and David Chang, you know.
You can see it in how I program.
You know, when I program I'm usually wearing a hair net.
And I'm surrounded by Guatemalans.
Some people talk about work, life balance.
You know, I'm more of a believer in work, work harder balance.
Some people aren't used to an
environment where excellence is expected from them.
And those are the kind of people that we have here at Vooza, you know?
Nothing's expected.
I interviewed everyone who works here myself, and my criteria
was, would I wanna get a beer with this person?
You know, even if they didn't work here.
And if the answer was yes then I'd be, you're hired.
You know.
Let's end the interview early.
Let's go drink.
Let's come in to work at 9AM drunk.
Shots, now.
I, don't think I have a problem.
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