What does a normal day look like for an innovator? Anything but normal. HOURS unpacks what a day in the life looks like for our most interesting clients and collaborators.
Cofounder and CEO, All Together Now
I realize I’m about to commit founder heresy here, but I come from the theatre originally, so I just don’t like mornings., I said it! Instead of trying to do the 5/6am yoga/matcha/meditation thing just because it’s what CEOs are supposed to do, I’ve worked to structure my days at All Together Now around what makes me feel best. And that’s a 7:10AM alarm followed by 30 minutes of reading a book. In fact, I just finished up Booth, an incredible look into the lives of the Booth family (yes, that John Wilkes Booth—but did you know he had nine siblings?!) by Karen Joy Fowler.
While I don’t love mornings—I do love coffee! I have a subscription to Trade Coffee Co, so every week I get to brew beans from small roasters all over the country right in the comfort of my own NYC apartment. I use my own very fancy, way-too-expensive Scandinavian drip coffee maker to do it, and it’s indulgent, delicious, and always gets my day started right.
I am super fortunate to live steps away from New York City’s second biggest park (Fort Tryon) but that also means I have a decent commute to get to our offices (or anywhere, really). I take the time on the A Train to read my Flipboard (a personalized digital magazine of sorts), which I’ve curated over time to show me a combo of articles about all the things I care about: politics, technology, big ideas, the arts and food (yum). It gets my brain going in the right direction.
It’s blissfully quiet in our offices first thing in the morning, so I take the first hour of my day to knock out emails, sort my calendar, scan LinkedIn and get my ducks in a row for…
…My Daily Get Together with my cofounder! Yes, our standing calendar invite is a play on our company name and I love it! We spend about thirty minutes every day checking in to see how we are personally, then review our P&L, go through Biz Dev and make sure all our active projects are in good shape.
One of the really neat things about designing live digital strategy and experiences is that it’s our job to be up on all the various platforms being developed: from Hopin to Stellar to Zoom, they all have vastly different features that support the very different goals our clients come in with. Today, I spent this time meeting up with a friend who is an early employee at Beem, a community-based live events and video platform company. I asked her to demo the technology for me because Beem has the functionality to token gate access to live digital events. Getting together live is a valuable utility in the Web3 (and the IRL) world and being able to easily tie access into your digital assets is something we feel very strongly about. I’m super excited to incorporate their platform!
Honestly, I’m probably skipping lunch at this point most days. OMG, I’m the worst CEO according to most blog posts ever written! I promise I do eat eventually.
We work in a couple of verticals with live digital, the biggest being branded content, nonprofits and the arts, namely Broadway. One of my favorite standing meetings is on Wednesdays at 2pm with the small (but mighty) cohort of visionaries working across the supply chain of live digital events in the arts. From platform CEO’s to producers to the head of digital for one of the most successful Broadway Theatre owners, we take this time to share insights with one another to understand data, create case studies, and prep products for the industry.
3:00PM & 4:00PM
These times are usually dedicated to standing meetings for client projects. Just like in the theatre, we have weekly production meetings where we review strategy, build out platforms, design audience experience and get details in order for the show/event/experience at hand.If I don’t have a meeting, I’m probably taking the opportunity to get away from my screen and have a conversation with the casting office that shares our space and replenish my water.
Many nights, I’m headed to Broadcast Direct a show around this time. If it’s a Broadway show, I swing by to get my COVID test before going through the stage door to meet my video supervisor and audio engineer in advance of the show. I love getting to say hi to all the incredible people who power a Broadway show as I walk in: from security to the COVID compliance officer to the Tech Director and the stagehands. Sometimes we’re working at venues like the Ford Foundation for Social Justice, or the Midnight Theatre in Hudson Yards, and when that happens, I grab a bite on my way to the theatre. Then I get there early to spend time getting things ready for our digital audiences. We like to do everything we can to make the digital experience feel as special as possible.
Sometimes, we’re doing fully virtual experiences and the only place I must be is home, where my extremely fast internet and comfy couch is. On those glorious nights, I head back uptown, throw on Punch Brothers or TV on the Radio and cook whatever delicious recipe has shown up in my NY Times Cooking subscription that week. Then I sit down at my desk when it’s time to connect with my tech director and digital venue manager.
Back to the whole ‘I don’t like mornings’ thing… I almost always wind down around 10PM or so by watching streaming content. Sometimes it’s a livestream I wanted to catch for inspiration, other times it’s a narrative series on HBO or Showtime and I’ve been known to go down the YouTube and TikTok video rabbit holes that have reached my feed. I find so much joy and valuable information in paying attention to the different ways stories are told across mediums and how different networks and creators engage their audiences. It hardly feels like work.
I end the day the same way I start it—with a book! When I was a kid, my parents incentivized reading by letting me stay up a half hour later if I read, and it’s a habit I’ve continued my entire adult life. I’ll usually read for about a half hour and then turn out the lights for a good night’s sleep. No technology allowed!