How I Succeeded: RedBubble's Martin Hosking

How I Succeeded is a regular series on Lifehacker where we ask business leaders for the secrets and tactics behind their success. Today: Martin Hosking from RedBubble.

Current gig: Co-founder and CEO, RedBubble

Location: Melbourne and San Francisco Current Mobile Device: iPhone 6 Current computer: Apple MacBook Air One word that best describes how you work: Reflective

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

Tripadvisor, Trippit, iBridge Plus, Insight Timer, Google Docs, Google Hangouts, Evernote and Confluence

What social network do you find the most useful?

Facebook, purely for family and personal relationships. Basic rule is if I have not shared more than five meals with you, you will not be my friend on Facebook.

What were the most important lessons you learned while growing your business?

Be, very, very, very clear on how you are benefiting customers. If this benefit is not significantly greater than the alternatives then you cannot win.

What has been the most surprising part of your business journey?

Discovering that it never ends. You start off thinking the objective will be some tangible event (your first sales, funding, the IPO, some liquidity). The truth is that each event just opens the way to another series of events and challenges. There is joy and stress at every stage.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?

I doubt I am better at anything than “everybody else” but I am pretty good at seeing patterns that suggest how the future may unfold. This allows me to make better choices on average than a lot of people.

What’s your sleep routine like?

I go to bed relatively early and get up very early (normally by 5.30am). I like getting up early in order to start the day with a long session of meditation.

What advice would you offer to other businesses on how to succeed?

You need to be driven by a genuine passion for what you are doing (and this cannot just be money). There will not be a single hard moment but many hard moments. Each of these will challenge you to surrender or continue forward. You will only continue forward if the passion is real and the purpose meaningful. Further you will need others to share the journey with you. A shared passion is all that will both get you and keep you together.


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