As founder and CEO of security software developer Kaspersky Lab and a frequent traveller, Eugene Kasperksy could also find himself drowning in email and stuck on antisocial phone calls. How does he avoid that fate?Picture from Wikimedia Commons
I met up with Kaspersky in Sydney yesterday, part of a down-under visit that included presenting at the AUSCERT security conference. In typical Lifehacker tradition, I was keen to learn how he managed not to be overwhelmed, especially given his stated approach of ideally not spending more than three months a year in Kaspersky Lab’s Moscow HQ.
One key factor in keeping things under control is not immediately adopting new technology, Kaspersky said. “I don’t use Skype, I don’t use ICQ because I don’t want all those systems where I have to stay in touch all the time. I am not an office employee, so I am not 100% of the time connected to my computer.”
“I don’t change my life so quickly. Now I travel a lot, but in the past I wasn’t. I started to travel more and more because our business was developing in different regions.”
“I teach my employees and my family several rules. First of all: don’t call me. It’s OK if I have a call from someone where I am waiting for the call, or from a person who has a very urgent case and who knows the time zone I’m in, but not generally. So usually I don’t have too many telephone calls at all. For the last week I’ve not had a call from Moscow. I teach my people to send me SMS.”
His email policy is also based on clearly communicating his own expectations. “For emails, I manage people in such a way that if they start to CC me in the cases that I don’t really need, I give them a little penalty. So I don’t receive too many. I receive enough messages to process in two to three hours a day.
“I also limit the number of meetings. They’re big boys and girls: they can do it themselves. I do my job; they have to do their job. It’s not simple to get there – it took some years – but now I can travel.”