Tagged With lifehacker interviews

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You might know Chris Ballew as the frontman of '90s alt-rock band The Presidents of the United States of America. But if you’re under, say, eight, you’re probably most familiar with him as Caspar Babypants, a “kindie-rock” icon who makes family-friendly music about topics such as a bubble that doesn’t follow the crowd, a tick that finds residence in a free couch, and a blackberry pie that falls from the sky. An experienced dad of two, he shared with us how he parents.

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If you’ve ever listened to a podcast, you’ve heard of Mailchimp. (“Mail... kimp?”) We talked to Ben Chestnut, CEO and co-founder of the email newsletter company and marketing platform that grew to half a billion dollars in revenue without ever taking any venture capital. Ben reveals the email habit that ran his early hiring policy.

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Here’s what Kristina Kuzmic knows: Perfection is boring. Parenthood is messy. We might as well embrace the chaos. In her funny and compassionate videos, the vlogging star — who has over two million Facebook fans — slams the notion that mums and dads should be loving every minute of raising kids.

She gets real, addressing the oh-so-familiar parenting hangover, the unpredictability of teenagers, and her stance that her kids are not her friends (“If you’re 30- or 40-something, and your best friend is an eight-year-old, that’s just weird”). Kuzmic gives us a look into her daily life.

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Ever since his daughter Emma was in primary school, W. Garth Callaghan would jot down inspirational quotes and bits of dad wisdom onto napkins and slip the notes into her lunchbox. It became their special thing, their way to connect. He wanted to make sure Emma could read a note from her father every single school day until graduation — even if he was no longer around to write them.

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Video: “Ugh, saltwater taffy is kind of gross.” That’s what Marisa Wu thought years ago, when a colleague suggested she make some of her own. But then she investigated and figured out how to cook taffy flavoured by real ingredients, not lab-created chemicals. Now Wu runs Salty Road Taffy, a popular high-end taffy brand where the banana flavour tastes like (and is made with) real bananas, where each recipe is carefully calibrated and made on antique equipment.

Wu gave us a video tour of the taffy factory, and talked about juggling production, marketing, and other aspects of her small business from a desk on the factory floor.

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What’s it like to be a Muslim today? It’s a question that Wajahat Ali — a New York Times contributing op-ed writer, Emmy-nominated producer and one of CNN’s 25 Most Influential Muslims — is always thinking about. In his work, he has mused on everything from how Ramadan has become mainstream to the first time he heard his Pakistani-American-immigrant father say “I love you” to the midlife crisis he’s been having as he approaches 40.

A father of two, Ali shares with us how he parents.

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Dylan Thuras is the co-founder and creative director of Atlas Obscura, a guide to the world’s hidden wonders. It’s a place where you can be transported to a Japanese island where cats outnumber people or America’s famed museum of medical oddities or the Australian lake whose pink hue defies scientific explanation.

Thuras co-authored the new children’s book The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid, describing it as “a little sampler of what is amazing and wonderful in our world”. A dad of two, he talks to us about how he parents.

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In her 13 years at Intel, Sandra Lopez has overseen the company’s brand repositioning, built new organisations in the company, and applied her background in fashion — inside Intel’s sports group. She’s been named one of the 50 most powerful women in tech by the National Diversity Council and one of Latina Style’s top 10 Latina executives of the year, and she’s spoken to NBC News on the Silicon Valley boys club.

We talked to her about the surprising ways her background has played into her tech career, and how to responsibly manage a team.

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Lisa Ling is the host of the CNN investigative docuseries This is Life with Lisa Ling. In season five, which premiered this weekend, she travels across America to explore topics such as gender fluidity, screen addiction, custody battles and furries.

When she isn’t on the road, she’s home in LA with her husband and two daughters, Jett and Ray. I spoke with her about how she parents.

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Jay Williams is one hell of a high school basketball coach. In 2003 Williams, a record-breaking player at Duke, cut short a promising career with the Chicago Bulls after a motorcycle accident. In the docuseries Best Shot, which premiered on YouTube in July, Williams (now an ESPN host) becomes an assistant coach for the Newark Central High School boy’s basketball team, which involves life guidance as much as it does on-the-court training.

We talked to Williams about his career, how he reinvented himself after his accident, and what he wishes more people knew about sportscasting.

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Tami Sigmund is a senior producer at Zynga, the social game developer that brought us FarmVille, Words With Friends 2, Zynga Poker and CSR Racing 2. As someone who’s been making video games for past 11 years, she wants to help make the game industry a more inclusive place for marginalised game enthusiasts. She talks to us about balancing her career and being a queer single mum of a two-and-a-half-year-old boy. Here’s how she parents.

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Citymeals on Wheels funds the delivery of over three million meals a year to elderly residents in New York City, filling in gaps like weekends and holidays that government programs leave out.

Since 2011, Beth Shapiro has been the non-profit’s executive director, overseeing every step from fundraising to delivery, keeping up with an ageing population and other changing needs. We talked to her about managing an organisation with so much on the line.

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Caroline Ingeborn is the president and chief operating officer of Toca Boca, which makes digital toys designed around the way kids play. (My five-year-old loves giving buzzcuts in Toca Hair Salon, bandaging doves in Toca Pet Doctor, and making weird milkshake concoctions in Toca Kitchen.)

Ingeborn, who moved to the US from Sweden to help open the the company’s San Francisco office, believes the gaming space has a huge responsibility to create more inclusive products. She talks to us about balancing her career and being a mum to a toddler, with a new baby on the way. Here’s how she parents.

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If you’ve ever struggled with an outdated payroll system, or slogged through a bureaucratic HR department, you can see the appeal of Justworks, which offers modernised payroll, benefits, HR and legal compliance services to small businesses and growing companies. It’s still a growing company itself, competing with legacy giants such as ADP as well as startups such as Zenefits, WageWorks and Gusto.

We talked to founder Isaac Oates about that classic startup origin story: Turning your own business’ pain points into your next business’ product.

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Jason Kottke knows how to find stuff that’ll make you stop, look and think. When you visit his blog kottke.org, you feel as though you’ve entered a rare hideaway on the internet — it’s a place to explore curiosities around the web that haven’t been shared 23 times on your Facebook feed. (Recent posts include the history and future of the hardware store, photos of Tokyo with a fractal lens, and the etymology of “orange”.)

Jason has two kids, Ollie and Minna. Here’s how he parents.

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Richelieu Dennis runs a family business. He, his mother and his sister named their beauty brand SheaMoisture after the shea butter products that Richelieu’s grandmother made and sold in West Africa. Richelieu built his company into Sundial Brands (acquired in 2017 by Unilever), which sells hair and skincare products primarily designed for black women.

He also oversees the $US100 million ($137 million) New Voices Fund that invests in businesses owned by women of colour, and early this year he bought Essence magazine.

We talked to him about building a business with a cultural mission, making business decisions with his family, and how he addressed the outcry over a controversial ad.

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After having kids, Nick Firchau says he spent his days wondering what the hell he was doing. He needed some guidance, but found that parenting wasn’t a topic that men commonly discussed. So the veteran sports journalist decided to launch the kind of “dad podcast” that he wished he could hear.

In Paternal, Firchau has frank, in-depth conversations with all sorts of fathers, including a US soccer star, a pioneering Seattle DJ and a New York Knicks barber. Discussion topics have ranged from raising black kids in Trump’s America to protecting the emotional complexities of young boys to fathering without a father.

While recording the interviews, Firchau says he’s always thinking about how he can apply the lessons and insights to his own family. Here’s how he parents.

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As a kid, Mallika Chopra’s father, Deepak Chopra, would ask her to explore four questions: Who am I? What do I want? How can I serve? What am I grateful for?

Now as an entrepreneur, public speaker, and the author of the new children’s meditation guide Just Breathe, Mallika uses those questions to help others know their intentions and improve their lives. She has taught meditations to thousands of people around the world, including her two daughters, Tara and Leela. Here’s how she parents.