Scott actively angel invests and advises early-stage companies, including Roman, Warby Parker, Uber, Pinterest, Sweetgreen, and Airtable. In addition, Scott is the author of the bestselling books Making Ideas Happen and The Messy Middle.
On his morning routine.
I try to go for a run early if I can. It’s such a life hack to get the endorphins going before whatever the day presents.
I always review my schedule and think about the 2–3 things I want to achieve from each meeting or conversation ahead.
Doing so prompts some last-minute research or contemplation that always proves helpful.
On struggling to unplug.
I wasn’t good at this during the early Behance years.
Granted, I had no children and also absolutely loved the challenges of getting Behance off the ground, so “balance” had a different definition back then.
However, I found the “healthy tensions” of tending to friendships and a relationship to be very important during the volatile periods of Behance.
Sometimes, when you’re fully immersed in a once-in-a-lifetime challenge, you need to be pulled away from it by people you love.
There were certain life experiences, like my honeymoon, where my team tried to cut me out of the flow as much as possible because they knew that’s what I needed.
On investing in optimism.
I love working with mission-driven teams that value design, exceptional product experiences, and are solving a problem by connecting and empowering people.
I have an affinity for teams that aren’t set on defying a likely outcome, but rather want to make it happen in a better way.
The best teams I come across are parlaying forces already underway to their favor. They are remarkably imaginative yet grounded by the present.
They are driven by empathy for those suffering the problem rather than passion for one particular solution.
They are optimistic about the future but pessimistic enough about execution.
And they are never ever satisfied with the current state of their product.
On pushing himself to compete.
I subscribe to the idea that the person you should be most competitive with is yourself.
External sources of competition are healthy, but can push you to be more like others and less true to your own instincts and vision.
But when you’re competitive with yourself, you’re capitalizing on your strengths and stretching to greater heights.
When I am struggling and need to do something very difficult, or when I find myself bumping up against the extent of my skills and experience, I find it helpful to remind myself that “this” is my job and I just need to do it.
Rather than rationalize the challenges by looking around me or seeking excuses, I find it more productive to simply own it and do it.
It isn’t always sufficient, but it often works and always stretches me.
On learning to manage people.
The biggest difference between investing and operating is, of course, managing people when it comes to the latter.
As a full-time investor, I missed the people side dearly.
While it’s fun to meet founders throughout the day, nothing is more rewarding than watching people make an impact and evolve as contributors and leaders.
Now, as an operator leading an organization of thousands of people, there are always management tasks that simply require 1:1 time.
Whether it is giving feedback to people, debating strategy, or doing the rounds to drive alignment around a major change, I spend a lot of time every day on the management side of the equation.
On upgrading his productivity.
Of course, over the years, one thing that has changed is my efficiency.
The way I track tasks, manage a top-level product roadmap, and capture (and tend to) ideas over time have all been radically simplified.
I am an avid adopter and tinkerer with new productivity tools.
I’m always looking for better and better ways to sharpen and simplify the tools behind everyday routines.
On his evening routine.
I try to wind down by 10 PM every night, and this means tuning out of the communications and tuning into the people around me, a book, or something fun to watch.
Like most of your readers, sometimes I find it difficult to shut it all down at the end of the day. But you need to.
For the last couple of years I’ve used an Oura ring to track sleep. Perhaps this is my mechanism to compete with myself when it comes to getting sufficient rest?
But I do review sleep stats every morning and have learned quite a bit about the impacts of working right before bed, drinking right before bed, and other insights.