How I Succeeded is a regular series on Lifehacker where we ask business leaders for the secrets and tactics behind their success. Today: Phil Silverstone from Evenbrite.
Current gig: General Manager of Eventbrite Australia and New Zealand
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Current mobile device: iPhone 6
Current computer: MacBook Air
One word that best describes how you work: Efficiently
What apps/software/tools can't you live without?
Working in a remote office from our HQ in San Francisco, video conferencing is essential. We use Google Hangouts and I'll spend a lot of my day on there keeping in touch with my colleagues. This isn't necessarily high tech, but I'm also a big fan of using the phone - too often people send an email, but a call is much more efficient and effective.
What social network do you find the most useful?
Twitter is a great resource for getting a quick, real-time update on what's happening.
What were the most important lessons you learned while growing your business?
People matter. Customers are people. Building a relationship and understanding what they truly need is critical. Colleagues are people. Uncovering what motivates your team and keeping them engaged is the key to getting the most out of them, and subsequently delivering the best you can. All the goals of a business can only be achieved through it's people.
What has been the most surprising part of your business journey?
Making the switch from financial services to a technology company. This wasn't a set goal for me and I think this highlights that careers aren't straight lines. There are always opportunities around the corner, and knowing how to identify and navigate these is a critical career skill.
What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
Professionally: I've always been good at dealing with stressful situations, remaining calm and driving the team forward. Personally: Breakfast. I'm religious about this, and always make sure I have a healthy breakfast.
What's your sleep routine like?
I believe sleep is really important to your heath, but with 3 young kids I take what I can get. It doesn't matter when I go to bed, I have a human alarm clock walking in at 6am.
What advice would you offer to other businesses on how to succeed?
As above, focus on people. The best idea in the world still needs to have customers that see value in it, and a team that can help execute on it.