Paul Berry is the Founder and CEO of RebelMouse.
WHAT LED YOU TO START WORKING IN DIGITAL/MEDIA PUBLISHING?
I’ve always been in love with understanding how and why ideas spread. Being part of big popular culture moments is a thrill for me. Building HuffingtonPost and seeing your work and the stories created on your platform on planes, trains and such is really meaningful. We’ve built even bigger properties since that through RebelMouse (The Dodo, Axios, and etc.) and it’s really always working with editors, creators, and understanding stories, and how to help them spread organically that I love.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
The RebelMouse team is global and totally distributed — 43 people in 26 countries with no office. I have 4 kids, including a 4-month-old. So it usually starts around 4:00 a.m. or so after I helped give the baby a bottle in bed and get to thinking.
I’ll find Dasha who is our genius head of UX and catch up/brainstorm with her for a bit. We have an amazing guy Juan who is now in Japan working on conversational interfaces for us and I try to catch up with him in the peaceful early hours as well.
I take our 11-year-old to school at 7:30 a.m. and it gives a wonderful start to the NYC day and a clearing of my head. I have our 4-month-old the whole time and it’s just so good for the soul to have these moments become habits.
Then I am spending the morning usually on team calls — the NYC morning is an important one because by time zones its really compatible with everything east of us. We do some afternoon catch ups with the couple devs we have on the west coast who hate to wake up that early but really most team meetings are from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and we are a very collaborative, fluid team.
Through the day I like to mix so I’m spending a lot of time with our clients. I work with their editors, their social teams, their product teams, and we get to be creative together. We break down why the last surge of growth happened, and what will take things to the next level.
Just like HuffingtonPost where Jonah Peretti and I would spend time with the editors talking about contagious media in general but really getting them to talk about their stories — what worked, what didn’t, and brainstorm around that is really rewarding and fun.
We don’t really have salespeople in RebelMouse anymore, the people who explain the product are the ones who will help you use it. Which I really love. But I do help in joining the more important or meaningful sales calls and help explain for our bigger potential deals how they would work with our technology, our team, and with me.
WHAT’S YOUR WORK SETUP LOOK LIKE? (YOUR APPS, PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS, ETC.)
Chromebook – I hate Apple for being classist and a class symbol. I’m not that type of person, I’m here for the people in the populous. I can’t work on Microsoft products anymore, they feel like the worst type of corporate garbage.
Android – See above 🙂 I do mostly everything on my phone these days, to be honest.
Google Suite – video conferences, chat, docs, presentations, spreadsheets — it’s all clear in the Google Suite for us.
Awesome Screenshot – other team members have other favorites but I do a ton of my explaining what’s in my head with little red arrows on screenshots.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO GET INSPIRED?
My children and kids inspire me. I also work on a property we are incubating called Fluidity.Love which is a personal passion but also helps me “BE” the user.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF WRITING OR QUOTE?
OMG, I’m a quote junkie, and words are magic to me. So I could spend five days answering this but lately, I’ll give you some of my favorites:
“Pain is inevitable.”
“Suffering is optional.”
“Heaven is here on earth.”
“Mantra: share joy.”
WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING/INNOVATIVE THING YOU HAVE SEEN ON ANOTHER OUTLET OTHER THAN YOUR OWN?
I really like what Josh is doing with The Outline.
WHAT’S THE PASSIONATE PROBLEM YOU ARE TACKLING AT THE MOMENT?
1 – Organic Reach
2 – Organic Loyalty
Repeat for the rest of my life.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR AMBITIOUS DIGITAL PUBLISHING AND MEDIA PROFESSIONALS WHO ARE JUST STARTING OUT?
If you follow what you love, then you are working on what you love, and then what my Mexican grandmother told me “ What’s in heaven work,” will make all the sense in the world to you and you will work on sharing meaningful ideas that change people’s lives and that is a life worth living.