Rachel Kaplowitz (@ZisserZappy on Twitter) is the CEO and co-founder of Honey, a simple and beautiful knowledge management platform for creative companies. With over 10 years of business development and sales experience, Rachel leads the growth and sales operations at Honey. Before Honey, she led the sales team at Condition One, a venture backed TechStars company. Rachel earned her MBA at NYU Stern and her BA at Columbia University.
This is probably the only thing I read on a daily basis. (With the exception of my daughter’s favorite book – Green Eggs and Ham). Nick and Danielle from Mattermark do a great job curating an engaging mix of honest and informative content from investors, founders, and operators from companies of all stages. It’s therapy to me.
This is what I read to sound smart. I rely on Mickey and his team at Work-Bench to do the time consuming, complicated research and analysis on trends in enterprise tech. And, I just sit back and read the beautifully designed results. Without them, I’d never be able to hang with all the cool kids who are working at the data security startups.
This book got me through fundraising. I read it like a religious doctrine. As a first time founder/CEO, I face new challenge frequently. And not just hard things – but truly impossible “I have no idea how to handle this” kind of things. Ben Horowitz’s book made me believe I could get through the hardest of days. I remember clutching the book on a flight to SF, 8 months pregnant, on my way to raise $1,000,000 reading the same passage over and over again:
“Great CEOs face the pain. They deal with the sleepless nights, the cold sweats, and what my friend the great Alfred Chuang (legendary cofounder and CEO of BEA Systems) calls “the torture.” Whenever I meet a successful CEO, I ask them how they did it. Mediocre CEOs point to their brilliant strategic moves or their intuitive business sense or a variety of other self-congratulatory explanations. The great CEOs tend to be remarkably consistent in their answers. They all say, “I didn’t quit.”
This book is magical. The words never change, but I understand the story differently every time I read it. It’s a fictional journey about a young boy discovering the world – and himself – on the longest, yet shortest adventure you can imagine. Reading this book reminds me to dream, to deeply appreciate the world, remember what I truly care about and what I’m willing to do to get there.