Invoicing service FreshBooks is part of the software canon for freelancers and entrepreneurs. It's shown up in Lifehacker recommendations from 2009 to 2018, and it's still one of the best ways to stay sane when billing multiple clients. Two years ago, the company rolled out an entirely new version that it had secretly developed under the name Bill Spring. We talked to FreshBooks co-founder and CEO Mike McDerment about building his own company's biggest competitor.
Tagged With how i work
As a self-employed freelancer, keeping track of all the deadlines and other tasks I have can be challenging. On a typical day, I'm responsible for delivering content to three publishers, as well as corporate clients and other jobs. Throw in regular interstate travel and few other bits and pieces and planning a week becomes a challenging task. So, I've been experimenting with ways to be better organised and am trying a new approach. Here's what I've come up with.
This year Dr Joyce F. Brown celebrates her 20th year as president of New York's Fashion Institute of Technology, the SUNY arts and business school whose high-profile alumni include Calvin Klein, Carolina Herrera, Joel Schumacher, Frankie Knuckles, Nina Garcia and Michael Kors. Before becoming the first woman and the first African-American to serve as president of FIT, she was vice chancellor of the City University of New York, New York City deputy mayor for public and community affairs, and a professor of clinical psychology.
We talked to Dr Brown about how she got here, how she works, and how to make decisions in an academic environment.
Hovhannes Avoyan started PicsArt, an app suite and social network for making and sharing art and pictures, after his daughter got bullied to tears for putting her art online. Now the network has over 100 million monthly active users. We talked to Hovhannes about his inspiration and his development process, and how he applies his positive approach to his own company.
Before Mari Takahashi joined entertainment company Smosh, her job was ballet dancing, and her career aspiration was to make a living teaching dance. Now she's in charge of Smosh Games, a YouTube channel with over seven million subscribers, where she regularly appears in videos such as her Minecraft show MariCraft. She told us how she gets her work done, the tools she uses, and about being strategic but flexible.
Kevin Gibbs created something you might use every day. Before founding workplace software company Quip and selling it to Salesforce, Gibbs created Google Suggest. We talked to him about building and running a company using the company's own product, and the insight that made him a better public speaker. His answers are insightful and self-effacing - we're really proud to bring you this instalment of How I Work.
For 16 years, LegalZoom has filled in the gap between free internet advice and hiring a lawyer in the US; its services have become standard for many American small businesses, entrepreneurs, and solo contractors and freelancers. For the last 13 years, John Suh has led the company as Executive Chairman and CEO. We talked to him about how he runs the company and handles his own work.
If Susan McPherson's career has a theme, it's that a business should make the world a better place. Her communications agency McPherson Strategies focuses on corporate social responsibility, and McPherson herself advises women-led startups such as Hint Water (where she's also an investor) as well as in non-profits such as Girls Who Code and the Lower Eastside Girls Club. We talked to her about connecting people, managing an eternal to-do list, and working with a remote team.
Very, very few sites can make a name for themselves in the "funny fake news" format. There's basically the Onion, and Reductress. Today we're talking to the one with the tagline "Women's News. Feminized." Recent headlines include "How To Stay Calm Even Though Everyone Missed What You Just Said and It Was Really Good" and "Wow! This Beautiful Woman Won't Shut Up and Take the Fucking Compliment".
Weddings are a project, and they benefit from a good project management tool. We talked to the CEO of Zola, one of Lifehacker readers' favourite wedding sites. Australian Shan-Lyn Ma co-founded Zola after undergoing the stress of buying people wedding gifts; her co-founder Nobu Nakaguchi had gone through the stress of setting up a wedding registry. Ma talked to Lifehacker about running the company, organising her life, and how to make yourself irrelevant.
As the lead product designer at WhatsApp, Charlie Deets makes decisions that affect over 1.5 billion users each month. That means solving some unusual challenges, such as building a chat interface that even illiterate users can navigate. It also means distinguishing WhatsApp's visual "stories" feature from similar features in Snapchat and Instagram.
YouTube stars can actually be really good people! Like vlogger Anna Akana, who makes videos about introversion, suicide awareness, racist sexual fetishes, and taking self-care beyond bubble baths and massages for an audience of over two million subscribers. She also makes short films; appears in Ant-Man, Corporate and Adam Ruins Everything; and stars in her own YouTube Red show Youth & Consequences, premiering today. We talked to her about building a career out of comedy, acting and YouTube videos.
It's Olympics season, so we're ready to talk about the Winter X Games, baby! Specifically the Games from '05 to '11, when skier Grete Eliassen won six medals in slopestyle and halfpipe. Since January 2017 she's been president of the Women's Sports Foundation, which ensures women's access to sports programs. We asked her about how she gets her work done.
As a product manager at IBM, Anamita Guha works on bots, AR/VR technology and AI - including Watson, the most famous AI that doesn't come packaged on a phone. She also leads analytics for TEDxSanFrancisco and serve as a technical consultant to a clinical research lab at UCSF. We talked to her about her work habits, as general as deepening relationships and as specific as colour-coding notebooks.
Rhett & Link, hosts of the show Good Mythical Morning and creators of viral videos such as "NOPE! Chuck Testa", are two of the most famous well-behaved grown adults on YouTube. They have been making funny, interesting videos for years, and now they run multiple YouTube channels with millions of subscribers each. We asked them how they work, and how they developed such dizzying careers.
Four years ago we talked to Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before, about how she works. Since then we've had her on our podcast The Upgrade twice, first to talk about happiness, then to talk about personality types. Now, in a special video instalment of How I Work, we're in her home to learn more about her career, her process and her workspace.
Tony Xu grew up as the child of immigrants, working in his mum's restaurant before going onto Stanford and working at McKinsey, eBay and Square. In 2013 he started the food delivery service DoorDash, at first running the deliveries himself. Now his company employs 500 people, works with over 200,000 delivery people, and operates in 600 cities. We talked to Tony about how he runs it all.
Twenty-two years ago, Maribel Perez Wadsworth started at the Gannett-owned Rockford Register Star, covering Illinois agriculture. Now, as president of Gannett's USA Today Network and Associate Publisher of USA Today, she oversees a long roster of local and national papers. Along the way, she's worked as Gannett's chief strategy officer, and as vice president of audience development and engagement. We talked to her about her daily schedule, her to-do habits and how she measures success.
Chris Fleming first became famous as Gayle Waters-Waters, the high-strung mum on Fleming's YouTube show Gayle. Since then he's branched out with music videos such as I'm Afraid to Talk to Men and monologues such as Teens Who Drink Coffee, and he recently wrapped up a cross-country US live tour. We asked him about his evolving comedy career, and he answered us, and he was funny.