Working smart and working hard are common traits of the Silicon Valley elite as illustrated in this Charlie Wood’s article for Business Insider.
When you run the most valuable company, or one of the most valuable companies, in the world, it takes considerable personal resilience to get ahead.
Executives from Tesla CEO Elon Musk to Apple CEO Tim Cook have spoken about the punishing routines they follow to stay on top of work. Musk spends birthdays at the Tesla offices, while Cook barely gets any sleep.
Mark Cuban’s holiday aversion
Writing on his blog, billionaire entrepreneur, investor and reality TV star Mark Cuban claims he was so hellbent on “making it” as a businessman when starting his first company that he didn’t vacation for seven years. In the same post, he writes that “business is a 24 x 7 job where someone is always out there to kick your ass.”
Elon Musk’s office birthdays
In a tweet, the South African-born Tesla CEO said he would spend his 48th birthday working on “global logistics,” while he described his 47th birthday as an “all night – no friends, nothing” 24-hour shift at Telsa’s offices in a 2018 New York Times interview.
Marissa Mayer’s 130-hour weeks
In a 2016 interview with Bloomberg, she said: “The other piece that gets overlooked in the Google story is the value of hard work. When reporters write about Google, they write about it as if it was inevitable. The actual experience was more like, ‘Could you work 130 hours in a week?’. For most of us, the answer’s probably no.
Tim Cook’s dawn before dawn
Tim Cook is one of the earliest birds among a murmuration of early bird tech execs in Silicon Valley, routinely rising at 3:45am to exercise and check emails.
Bill Gates’ total recall
Bill Gates, by his own admission, has veered into control-freak territory. In a memorable 2016 interview on the BBC’s Desert Island Discs radio show, Gates admitted used to memorize his all his employees’ license plates so he could track what time they arrived and left the office each day. “Eventually I had to loosen up, as the company got to a reasonable size,” he said.
Sheryl Sandberg’s post-work work
Sandberg is famous for her ‘Lean In’ philosophy, in which she encourages women to embrace risk in the workplace, but she also values making time to see her kids. In a video interview with Makers from 2012, she said she left the office at 5:30pm every day to do so.
Eric Schmidt’s email egalitarianism
Ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt takes email etiquette to the next level: he responds quickly to most emails. ln his book “How Google Works,” he wrote: “Most of the best — and busiest — people we know act quickly on their emails, not just to us or to a select few senders, but to everyone.”Even if the answer is two words long, Schmidt said answering establishes positive communication and a merit-oriented company culture.
Sundar Pichai’s empathy
The tech industry is as cutthroat as it is cutting-edge, and its top executives often reflect that reality. But Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai stands out for offering his company an intangible, yet invaluable quality: empathy. Numerous sources who spoke to Business Insider back in 2014 said he was empathetic, with one ex-Google employee describing how Pichai offered to help him any way he could with his move from Google to a new firm.