Hustle Culture, Crisis Management, and How To Build Rapport with Alex Konrad
July 23, 2019, 9 p.m.
On this episode Abadesi talks to Alex Konrad, Senior Associate Editor at Forbes. He’s one of today’s top tech journalists and has interviewed some of the biggest tech titans around. He also plays a pivotal role in the lists that Forbes publishes, including The Midas List, The Cloud 100, and 30 Under 30.
In this episode they discuss...
Why The Financial Crisis Was a Flourishing Moment In Tech
“If you look back, that post-2009 period was a really good one for new companies. Out of the chaos came all these great startups. People weren’t sure if the traditional industries were welcoming to them and they looked to do their own thing or join great tech companies.”
Alex says that the current crop of companies going public can seem like overnight successes, but really they are “overnight successes ten years in the making.” He points out that many of them were started in the aftermath of the financial crisis, and explains what that was a “flourishing moment” in tech.
“Emotionally, it was a hard time for all of us, but I do think that that uncertainty did create a lot of interesting ideas and risk-taking.“
How To Handle a Crisis as a Founder or CEO
“The instinct can be to turtle and batten down the hatches and take an us-versus-the-world mentality when something goes wrong. You have to resist that inclination. CEOs and any founder who owns an issue and engages in conversation… I can’t think of a situation where that blew up in their face or it made the problem worse.“
Alex has covered plenty of scandals, breaches, and crises in his day. He explains how a founder or a CEO can make sure they handle a crisis in the best way they possibly can. He says that part of doing so means being human and approachable, instead of retreating into your company and denying responsibility.
The Best Ways To Establish Rapport With Someone Important
“I can connect really quickly or build a rapport with someone when I connect with them first as humans. Whether it’s small talk before or after a meeting or just asking a questions about hobbies or things unrelated to their company, its really important to see how people see the world and what they’re thinking about.”
He talks about what it’s like to interview some of the biggest names in tech, including Satya Nadella, Marc Benioff and Eric Yuan. He explains how he builds a rapport with them in order to get the best interview possible, and gives us some tips on how to build rapport with anyone, as well as how you can communicate more effectively.
“Hustle-Porn Culture” and How He Stays Productive
“We idolize people who seem to be making crazy sacrifices and doing something outlandish in pursuit of their goal. We fall into the trap of thinking that just because that’s working for them it’s somehow better than what others are doing or something that we should all be doing.”
Alex points out that the tech titans that he’s interviewed have drastically differing personal styles. Some are bookish while some are bombastic, yet they are all very successful. He points out that given the disparities, it’s hard to draw conclusions about the “best” way of doing something. He talks about the trend that’s currently in fashion to point to particular personal quirks and habits as the “key to success” and why we should be cautious about saying everyone should be waking at 4am or working seven days a week.
And of course, we also talk about some of his favorite products.
We’ll be back next week so be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Breaker, Overcast, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. Big thanks to Copper for their support. 😸
Companies and Products Mentioned In This Episode
Bear — A beautiful, flexible, writing app for your notes and prose.
Canva — Amazingly simple graphic design.
Duolingo — Learn languages completely free.
Kanga — Find streams fast. Get alerts for your favorite streamers.