In this CultureLab interview, he talks about why he can’t watch Silicon Valley, why he only aims to do one important thing a day, and how Drift’s commitment to servant leadership means he’s the#1 sink cleaner in the office.
Plus: Carolyn and I chat about Buffer’s self-management experiment—what went right, what went wrong.
What you’ll learn from this episode:
- What self-management is (and isn’t)
- What Buffer got right and wrong in working toward it
- The difference between self-management and holacracy
- How Zappos implemented Holacracy
- Bringing your whole self to work
- What it means to be a serial entrepreneur
- Why every startup and company is 99% people
- The obsession that guides every decision David makes
- How David influenced one of Buffer’s biggest decisions ever
- Why most advice is “simple, not easy”
- The only shortcut in life
- Why working all the time doesn’t work
- David’s morning routine to create intentional days
- The only thing standing between going from good to great
- What life was like inside Hubspot
- The “small rocks vs. big rocks” way to work
Stuff we talk about in this episode:
- Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux
- Theory X vs. Theory Y
- The Holacracy book by Brian Robertson
- Zappos and their Holacracy journey
- Pablo, our social media image creation tool
- Servant leadership
- Disrupted by Dan Lyons
- Silicon Valley
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
- The Martian
- David’s list of “Books Every Startup CEO Should Read,” which he is going to add some women to!
- Former Washington Post CEO Katherine Graham, who did write a book
- 2:50: Hire good people and step back
- 4:40: We removed all structure
- 5:00: How Holacracy works
- 8:09: Trees don’t send emails
- 10:40: It’s not as fun over here
- 11:45: I feel like playing Xbox all day
- 12:57: What’s the opportunity cost?
- 13:32: Personal growth challenges
- 15:00: It slowed us down more than we could imagine
- 16:19: Happy to have a boss
- 17:47: Selling infomercials
- 18:38: “If you’re an entrepreneur once, that’s excusable… If you do it repeatedly, that probably says something about you.”
- 19:20: It’s not about ideas
- 20:50: 100% obsessed
- 21:37: “Starting companies is like the rabbit hole that never ends”
- 23:08: When Joel and Leo were working from a gym
- 24:39: Simple, not easy
- 26:17: “Most of the important things I’ve learned, I’ve learned through repeated pain.”
- 26:47: The only real shortcut that exists
- 27:34: When I was 18, I knew everything
- 28:20: “Whoa, I know who this is”
- 31:03: Do you start your day intentional?
- 33:45: It’s going to look kinda crazy
- 34:25: Geeking out on culture
- 35:22: Happiness at the top of the pyramid?
- 36:01: I’m the #1 sink cleaner
- 38:27: Putting ego to the side
- 42:32: I don’t know if he’s ever been in a sweatshop
- 43:50: One important thing
- 44:47: The Martian as lean startup guide
- 46:00: He’s talking about Katherine Graham, who did write a book!
Get in touch!
- Connect with David: Twitter | website
- Connect with Carolyn on Twitter
- Connect with me, Courtney, on Twitter!
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