Technical.ly Baltimore

Creative

May. 12, 2014 11:15 am

How I Work: Hasdai Westbrook, founder of ChangingMedia

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.

Photos courtesy of Hasdai Westbrook.

Hasdai Westbrook is one of a small number of people already working out of the new Old Goucher coworking space for social entrepreneurs, SocEnt Baltimore.

The 33-year-old’s company, ChangingMedia, does digital media strategy and data analytics for “mission-driven organizations,” as Westbrook calls them. “Evil geniuses for good basically,” he said.

This is how he works.

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

Take a deep breath, wish I’d gotten more sleep. 

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

Constantly. It’s a problem. I use Boomerang for Gmail, which is a godsend. 

How do you keep track of your revenues and expenses?

Spreadsheets mostly. My business account has almost nothing in the way of online tools but that’s the price you pay for not banking with a multinational corporation run by evil geniuses devoted to, well, evil. 

HasdaiWestbrook

Hasdai Westbrook.

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

While throwing things is always tempting, I generally get up, get a glass of water and get absorbed in long, philosophical conversations about urban planning or public health with one of my talented SocEnt Baltimore coworking space colleagues. 

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

“The Godfather.” It’s a valuable primer on resilience in the face of adversity and the importance of having your adversaries whacked. 

What’s your gear?

I function pretty much entirely on a ThinkPad with an Ubuntu install. I sometimes very reluctantly have to switch over to the Windows installation. I’m all about IFTTT and I like playing around with GIMP. Over at the Baltimore Node, a friend turned me on to an awesome punch-card music box simulator that I’ve been playing with for a hybrid instrument I’m trying to create. 

What’s one time-saving tip you have?

Don’t fill out questionnaires.

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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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