How I Succeeded is a regular series on Lifehacker where we ask business owners for the secrets and tactics behind their success. Today: Cody Buena from Carnival Mobile.
Current gig: CTO / co-founder at Carnival Mobile Location: Wellington, NZ Current mobile device: iPhone Current computer: Macbook Air 13" One word that best describes how you work: Collaborative
What apps/software/tools can't you live without?
Spotify, TotalTerminal, Slack, Github, Hackpad
What social network do you find the most useful?
I don't personally use social channels a great deal, however, Facebook would be the one I use the most. Social plays a big part of our business marketing, where we leverage Facebook and Twitter.
What were the most important lessons you learned while growing your business?
The importance of building a strong team culture. The more trust, communication, and enjoyment you can build in your team — the better the results.
What has been the most surprising part of your business journey?
The importance of being on the ground in the market we were targeting. The US is our target market, and for the first few years of the company we travelled a lot there to keep our client relationships as strong as possible. It became increasingly difficult to maintain strong client accounts remotely, and deciding to set up an office in the US had a huge impact on sales and relationships.
What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
Sending lots of emails. :)
But seriously — as I have an engineering background, I believe I work well helping bridge the gap between technical and non-technical people.
What's your sleep routine like?
It's very mixed depending on what's going on at work. As we have an office in New York, I used to answer emails right through the night. I now set my phone onto airplane mode every night to ensure I get a fairly un-interrupted sleep. It's extremely important to get a good sleep to ensure you are functional and efficient the next day.
What advice would you offer to other businesses on how to succeed?
Build a strong team and culture around you. Try and make yourself redundant, and hire people smarter than you.