Tips from Outstanding Personalities in the Tech Industry

Let's take some advice from the industry's most influential people

Two software developers working

In the fast-paced world of technology, we often look to those who have achieved great success to inspire and mentor us. What better way to learn than by listening to the wisdom of some of the industry’s most influential and successful minds?

In this blog post, we delve into the valuable advice of three outstanding personalities: 

Arianna Huffington: Founder of The Huffington Post, and Founder & CEO of Thrive

Jeff Bezos: Founder & CEO of Amazon

Brian Chesky: Co-founder & CEO of Airbnb

Look at failure as a part of success

Yes, it sounds difficult and contradictory, but rewiring our mindset to see failure from this perspective can be very powerful. When things don’t go as planned, there’s a lot to learn, such as practicing strength and resilience, making better,  well-informed decisions, and more. Huffington is very vocal about this on her social media, and many others agree with her, like basketball star Giannis Ugo, and famous singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. So remember, give yourself permission to fail. It’ll give you more freedom and possibly even greater ideas.

Rest! It’s an essential part of working

Huffington learned this the hard way after suffering from a health condition caused by sleep deprivation, exhaustion, and stress. This is what motivated her to found Thrive Global, where she works to “end the epidemic of stress and burnout.” She defends resting as an essential part of being productive, because it’s all about the quality of time you dedicate to work, not the amount.

When asked about the culture of over-working, she answered that “working long hours doesn’t leverage your unique qualities, it wastes them. You can’t simply power through — that’s just not how our bodies and our brains work.” Try to maintain healthy resting habits – such as an 8-hour sleeping schedule, and disconnecting from work at a normal time – and don’t over-work yourself. You won’t be making more progress, simply moving toward burnout and affecting your mental health.

Organize your day to make the best of your qualities

Bezos’ routine is probably far from most workers’ day-to-day life, but there are a few things we can take from him to make the most of our qualities. One thing he does is scheduling his high IQ meetings before lunch. In his own words: “Anything that’s going to be mentally challenging is a 10 AM meeting, because by 5 PM I can’t think about that.” This is a great example of organizing your work schedule to highlight your strengths and potential. The morning is usually the time when we’re better rested and focused, so having these kinds of meetings is perfect. Invest in knowing yourself, and adjust your work tasks to the times when you are more focused and the times when you may need a  break.

Think long-term instead of looking for instant gratification

If you’re embarking on an entrepreneurial adventure, it’s important to focus on the long-term. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, highlights the importance of this when making decisions in your business, since long-term thinking “levers our existing abilities and lets us do new things we couldn’t otherwise contemplate.” Additionally, longer cycles will allow you to experiment on a larger scale and take the time needed to iterate and create great products.

Create things that people want

If you’re creating a platform, this advice from Airbnb’s Founder and CEO might be  useful. When presenting Airbnb’s new option to rent rooms, aside from apartments, Chesky reflected on how to offer users what they are looking for, and acknowledged that you are not always your customer; they might want or need different solutions:

“I can’t make products just for 41-year-old tech founders. That’s not a really big market. So I’ve gotta make sure I remember the 26-year-old me that didn’t have a lot of money when I started the company, and the 26-year-old me is not going to be booking one of these really large homes; he’s going to be probably staying in a room in someone’s house as cheaply as possible. And by the way, I wouldn’t be weirded out by that. And I might even like that because again, it’s a really cool way to meet people and get a local view of the city.”

So remember, it’s important to listen to your users, and the real people you are helping, and a great idea can be putting yourself in their shoes, like he did by listing his own spare room on the platform.

Make experiences that don’t scale

To create great things, the first step might be to build an experience that doesn’t scale. As Chesky says, the best advice he ever received seems a little counter-intuitive, and it was to “create something that will make 100 people love you, instead of having a 1000 people kind of like you.” Having a powerful core experience is essential to grow on top of a solid base. These first people who love you will be like your marketing team; take it from one of the most successful CEOs nowadays, who is on top of a company with over 150 million users that enjoy the handcrafted experience from when it all started. And when you get really big, “be careful about people becoming numbers, and getting emotionally detached,” Chesky says.

As we close this insightful journey through the advice shared by these tech industry icons, one thing is clear: success in this field requires more than just technical prowess. It demands a comprehensive approach that embraces failure as a growth driver, recognizes the importance of self-care and work-life balance, and keeps in line with the needs of users. 

By internalizing these lessons and applying them to our own efforts, we can navigate the ever-changing landscape of technology with resilience, creativity, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. So, let the wisdom of these outstanding personalities inspire you to move forward, with the knowledge that success in the technology industry is not only about innovation, but also about finding balance, connection, and purpose. 

What about you? Who inspires you professionally?

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