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Mar. 10, 2014 10:15 am

How I Work: Smitha Gopal, CEO of healthcare IT firm Eyemaginations

This is Technical.ly Baltimore's "How I Work" series, where we'll take a look at the tools and tips the region's startup founders and creative leaders use to get through the day.

Photo courtesy of Smitha Gopal.

This is Technical.ly Baltimore's new "How I Work" series, where we'll take a look at the tools and tips the region's startup founders and creative leaders use to get through the day. If you'd like to be a part of this series, e-mail us.

Smitha Gopal is the 30-year-old CEO of Eyemaginations, which is, in her words, “a SaaS company that creates visual software to facilitate communication between doctors and patients.”

Eyemaginations recently moved to a new Fells Point office. Read Technical.ly Baltimore’s coverage and see photos here.

The meat of Eyemaginations software is its ECHO platform, which doctors use to explain anatomical definitions and outline the scope of their procedures for their patients. Videos the company produces are fully narrated, and doctors can also draw on the screen — the videos are playable on PCs, tablets and mobile phones — to further clarify procedure for patients.

smitha-gopalA resident of Federal Hill for 10 years, Gopal has spent more than seven years at Eyemaginations. She was named CEO of the firm in November 2013.

This is how she works.

What’s the first thing you do every day before doing any startup-related work?

Ideally, I start my morning with Reese Ashe’s 6am class at Federal Hill Fitness, which is the best — and hardest — workout I’ve ever done. My other morning routines are sitting down for a real breakfast and reading the Skimm, which is a fantastic daily digest of the news.

How often do you check your e-mail, and do you use any program to get to “Inbox Zero“?

I check my e-mail when I wake up and about every 20 minutes during the day. We use Google Apps, so I always have Gmail open as a browser tab, but I keep the notifications off so I don’t get distracted by new mail during focused tasks. I don’t try for Inbox Zero, but I am pretty good about deleting junk and quickly responding to important messages. I don’t spend any time labeling, archiving or starring messages. I just rely on search.

How do you keep track of your revenues and expenses?

smitha

Smitha Gopal with her dog, Bear.

We used QuickBooks for a long time, but we’re switching to FinancialForce, an accounting system that plugs into our CRM, Salesforce.com. It’s part of an overall effort to streamline the ordering and billing process for our customers. We try to run our whole business through Salesforce.com, so it made sense to have a tightly integrated system.

When you need to take a break, what are you turning to?

I am lucky enough to work with great coworkers who provide equal doses of inspiration and humor daily, so I turn to them for many quick breaks every day!

Where do you turn to for founder’s inspiration when you’re feeling low?

I play with the nearest dog! It’s the best way to cheer up and regain perspective after disappointment.

What’s your gear?

Hardware:

  • I have a Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon that I can’t recommend highly enough, plus an iPhone, iPad, my trusty TI-83 caclulator, a SIGG [water bottle] and a notebook (with tabs for daily to-do lists, long-term projects and meetings). Noise-canceling headphones are next on my shopping list.

Software:

  • We use Trello for internal collaboration and project management. The app keeps me up to date on everything in development and in the feature request queue. I also love Feedly, Salesforce1, Google Drive and Pandora.

What’s one time-saving tip you have?

I repeat to myself, “Perfect is the enemy of good.” Running a small business, there are never enough resources to do everything as well as you want. But often, it’s most important to act quickly. I think for Type-A personalities, it can be really hard to settle for “good enough” and keep moving, but if you let yourself get caught up striving for perfection, you will move too slowly and will get left behind.

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Andrew Zaleski

Andrew Zaleski is a freelance journalist in Philadelphia and the former lead reporter for Technical.ly Baltimore. Before moving to Philadelphia in June 2014, he was a contributing writer to Baltimore City Paper and a Tech Check commentator for WYPR 88.1 FM, Baltimore city’s National Public Radio affiliate. He has written for The Atlantic, Outside, Richmond magazine, Washington City Paper, Baltimore magazine, Baltimore Style magazine, Next City, Grist.org, The Atlantic Cities, and elsewhere.

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