Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Confession: Since college, I’ve been keeping a list.

It started with a few dozen names scrawled on a piece of paper: friends, colleagues and profs I wanted to keep in touch with. I carried that crumpled piece of paper with me for years, adding names each time I met someone who caught my interest.

A few decades later, the list has migrated to the notes section of my phone, where it continues to grow. During a year filled with lockdown and remote working, it’s proved more useful than ever.

While a lot of people have been forced to pivot their…

Start-up hacks aren’t just for companies: here’s how to “lean startup” yourself.

Growth hacking. MVPs. Beta-testing. Pivoting. These strategies are now practically cliches — startup principles that drive almost every high-growth company hitting the market. I’ve experienced them all firsthand in my career, working everywhere from scrappy five-person operations to robotics powerhouses at the cutting edge of AI.

But here’s the thing: sure, these principles can help businesses. But in key respects, these same tenets can also be used to supercharge your own career — especially at a time when the way we do business is in flux.

The fact is, for many of us, the world of work has been turned…

Welcome back to The Smartest People I Know: a monthly series where I share the wisdom of some of the incredible people I’ve met on my career journey.

Let me know what you think in the comments — looking forward to keeping the conversation going.

Meet Ryan Holmes, Cofounder and Chairman of Hootsuite

I first met Ryan Holmes when I joined his Vancouver-based startup back in 2011, working on a little social media management tool called Hootsuite. We’ve both gone our separate ways since then, but Ryan will always be an inspiring figure to me. After all, he grew a spark of an idea into a platform with…

An AI-guided robotic arm hovers over a box full of canned beans, instant stuffing and jars of cranberry sauce. There’s a moment of what feels like contemplation as it identifies what’s missing: then with a deft movement, it picks up a jar of gravy and adds it to the box to complete the holiday care package.

This modern warehouse “picking robot” — deployed, in this instance, by my company to pack charity Thanksgiving dinners and allow food bank volunteers to remain socially distanced at a critical time — is a far cry from the threatening AI we see represented in…

Steve Johnson

President and COO at @BerkshireGrey. Curious, family man, technology veteran, traveler. I help cutting-edge companies scale with purpose.

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