“How I Work” is one of my favorite recurring features in Inc Magazine as well as via Lifehacker’s This Is How I Work Series, and recently several sales experts (including Anthony Iannarino, Dave Brock and Trish Bertuzzi) participated as well.
Periodically moving forward we will feature a new B2B sales, marketing or business leader here answering what have become the standard “How I Work” questions. You can catch up on everyone we’ve featured thus far in the “How I Work” series here.
This week I’m excited to feature David Niu, a serial entrepreneur who is currently running and growing TinyPulse, an amazing tool for gathering regular employee and team feedback. He’s a high energy guy that quickly gains trust & loyalty from those around him. And as an early stage company founder, he’s wearing many hats all at once.
David, suffice it to say, gets stuff done. Here, in his own words, is how he works.
Location: Seattle, WA
Current computers: I currently have a MacBook Air but I’ve been thinking of getting the new lighter MacBook Pro. I’ve also been playing around with a Toshiba Google Chromebook and have been impressed with its performance, especially given its price.
Current mobile devices: Google Nexus 4. I never buy locked phones.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? I wish I could say I had some great shiny new app to share. But I pretty much follow the TINYhr motto of keeping things light and simple. Some of my go-to favorite tools are probably some of your favorites too:
- TripIt: Genius app for consolidating all my travel plans in one place. So smart and lightweight.
- Google Apps: We live and die by Google Apps at work and even in my personal life.
- WhatsApp: Great app to send pictures of my newborn son to my entire family at once. Best $0.99 I ever spent 🙂
What’s your workspace like? We just moved in to our second office space here in Seattle that I love because it lets everyone on the team sit together. We have an open workspace and my desk is just another desk among many. I have a standing desk that isn’t too messy, and my monitor is propped up by some of my favorite entrepreneur-related books. I was also very intentional in creating a physical layout for our new office space that reflects the type of company we are building. We have a wall with a flat screen that displays real-tie our Cheers for Peers, an employee recognition program. In addition, we have another wall that highlights with pictures our 1% pledge. We showcase how we donate 1% of our time to the community, 1% of our product to non-profits, and 1% of our profits to a non-profit.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut or lifehack? Take a careercation (career + vacation). I used to think that I could recharge with a bad sunburn from Hawaii. That truly was not the case. In fact, I bought one way tickets to travel around the world with my wife and 10-month old daugher. You can learn more about why, how, and what I learned here: tinypulse.com/book.
Whateveryday thing are you better at than anybody else? Investing in our culture. TINYhr is all about promoting positive company culture, and we have a pretty awesome culture since we live and breath what we promote. When I get to meet with prospective employees all I need to do is tell them about what we do, tell them how we bring it to life and they are quickly hooked. We also put our values right in the job req since we hire and fire by them. In addition, we role play how we should act in certain situations based on what our values dictate. Finally, yes, we also religiously review our TINYpulse responses as a company every two weeks.
What’s your favorite to-do list manager? I like old-fashioned paper and pen. Nothing like the feeling of accomplishment when you cross an item off of your to-do list.
What do you listen to while at work? We generally have Pandora playing at the office, and let employees choose the station they want. Sometimes we get 80’s rap, sometimes we get Simon & Garfunkel. It’s an eclectic mix that keeps things interesting.
What are you currently reading? With two little ones at home, I’m really becoming a Dr. Seuss expert. I also just finished Richard Branson’s autobiography.
What’s your sleep routine like? With a three-year old daughter and a newborn baby, sleep is an erratic thing these days. Add to that clients across international time zones and I’ll have to admit that I’m not on my best sleep behavior. Ideally, I’m in bed by midnight and up by 6AM to help out with the kids and get in to work while it’s still quiet. I’d say I have a 25% success rate of making this happen.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? So many to choose one. But one of my favorites is, “If you won the lottery, would you still be doing what you’re doing?” If not, then it may be an opportunity to reflect and focus your energies on your passions. At the end of the day, the #1 regret in life is not having the courage to live your own life because you always led the life that others expected of you.
Fill in the Blank: I’d love to see BLANK answer these questions. Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO. I really admire the incredible company culture he’s created.