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How I run a 1000-person company … from my iPhone

Source |Linkedin .com  |  BY:Ryan Holmes, CEO at Hootsuite

During meetings, I can see people raising their eyebrows. What’s this guy doing staring into his phone? Is he even paying attention?

Yes, absolutely. The truth is for the past year, I’ve been steadily weaning myself off of my MacBook—relying more and more on my iPhone for work.

With the iPhone having just celebrated its 10-year anniversary, after winning over hundreds of millions of users around the world, this may not sound like a huge accomplishment. In fact, lots of people live on their phones.

But, for context, I’m the CEO of a growing tech company of nearly 1,000 employees. Each day, I get hundreds of emails, go to a dozen or so meetings and review countless reports. In the past, I couldn’t imagine doing my job without a PC.

But, it turns out, it’s possible.

To be fair, going “mobile-only” has led to a few hiccups. But since taking the plunge, I’ve noticed that my productivity—and overall happiness—has gone up noticeably. For other leaders out there, I’d like to share some insights from my year on mobile.

A few disclaimers:

  • First, I cheat. I still have to use my laptop on occasion for looking at spreadsheets and PowerPoints.
  • This mobile-only strategy obviously isn’t for everyone. If you’re a developer writing code, it makes sense to have a proper screen.
  • Yes, being a CEO makes this much, much easier: I don’t have a boss hassling me about being on my phone all day; I have an EA who handles my calendar; etc. But I still think there’s some value for everyone in this approach.

Leaving my laptop

It was Siri that helped me make the switch. Voice dictation has gone from a fantasy to a viable technology almost overnight. Once I realized I could essentially just talk to respond to emails or write memos, I found myself spending a lot less time with my laptop.


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