I’ve been letting music inspire a lot of my creative work lately. Rdio has been a fun tool for creating
playlists that fit my mood and whatever I’m working on, whether it’s approving
photos from our latest marketing campaign or gathering inspiration for next
season. And since it’s a social, music-streaming service, I tend to discover new
bands I like through following my friends, too.
—Susan Gregg Koger, co-founder and chief
creative officer of ModCloth
I’m reading Good to Great by Jim Collins for the second
time now. I consider it my business bible. One of the key lessons I’ve learned
is that an organization is all about its people. When a component of our
business has broken down, 10 times out of 10 it has something to do with the
people leading or working on that component. Collins also writes about Level 5
Leadership. I see my job as CEO as finding or training Level 5 Leaders and
giving them autonomy and purpose within our organization.
—Sam Tarantino, founder and CEO of
I handle our company’s social media so inevitably I spend a lot of time on
apps. Instagram is my No. 1 for many reasons, but
mainly because a picture is worth a thousand words. It’s simple to use and very
powerful. It’s the fastest, least invasive and most efficient way for our brand
to stay on people’s minds.
—Danielle Snyder, co-founder of
A lot is happening in education right now, and there’s been plenty of buzz
around MOOCs (massive open online courses). The best thing that companies like
Coursera and Udacity are doing is starting the dialogue around how we create a
more efficient and effective learning environment for anyone with an interest in learning. The course content presented in
video format isn’t enough to revamp education on its own, but I think we’re
going to see an entire ecosystem emerge around it.
—Alison Johnston, CEO and co-founder of
My current favorite book is called The Charisma Effect, which I highly
recommend. It teaches you that charisma is something you can cultivate within
yourself and provides you with the tools you need to succeed in connecting with
others in day-to-day life.
—Misa Chien, blogger
Right now, I couldn’t be more obsessed with my LearnVest app to stay on top of my savings and
finances. TurboScan has literally saved me as far as sending in contracts and
documents on time; you just take a picture, and it scans the document for you.
And hello! I am carrying Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg’s book,
everywhere until I’m done reading it. She is someone I truly admire.
—Jesse Draper, founder and host of The
Valley Girl Show
Change is good. Try new things. These are a couple of mantras I believe are
responsible for the happy, productive lifestyle that I’m fortunate to have. I’ve
spent the most recent chapter of my life with a renewed insatiable appetite for
learning. For starters, this has led to my taking kickboxing lessons and working
toward earning my scuba-diving certification. And I use free time for traveling with my kids to exciting places we’ve never been.
—Tim Matheson, actor and director, The
CW’s Hart of Dixie
It is hard to be successful for the long run if you don’t have work-life
balance. I think the key to work-life balance is not wrapped up in a number of
hours, but rather in making sure that you are enjoying what you do and are
living a balanced life so you can do everything that you want to do.
—Niraj Shah, co-founder and CEO of