Boss It Like

How To Boss It Like… Brent Hoberman CBE, co-founder of

By Kitty Knowles 10 November 2016

These leaders are changing our world for the better. We find out how Brent Hoberman get his job done.

There are a handful of business leaders and industry figures in Britain who are changing the world.

From Annette King to Federico Bolza and Tracy De Groose, these smart people seem to get an incredible amount done, in an impossibly short space of time.

This morning we’re talking to Brent Hoberman, the serial entrepreneur who’s co-founded,, Founders Forum, Smartup and Grip.

He’s also co-founder and executive chairman at Founders Factory (the world’s first corporate-backed accelerator); he’s a UK Business Trade Ambassador, and a non executive director of The Economist.

Hoberman is undoubtedly a productivity guru.

A busy man, with big ideas, The Memo asked him how he gets it all done…

What time do you get up, and what part of your morning routine sets you up for the day?

I live within walking distance of the Founders Factory office which means I can set the alarm for 7am.

Once up, I have breakfast with my wife and three children and take the time each day to devour the news, Twitter, Smartup quizzes, Linkedin, Instapaper, Evernote and email so I’m totally up to speed before my first meeting (usually around 9am).

I also train several times a week first thing in the morning so I’m still able to play football on Sundays.

What apps do you use to be more productive?

Twitter is brilliant for keeping up to date with breaking business and tech news. Other staples include Facebook and WhatsApp for keeping in touch with my network.

I use Instagram to keep up with family and friends and am trying to use SnapChat more to understand the phenomenon that captures too much of my teenage daughter’s attention.

I often share new apps with the kids from Boomerang to Prisma and we have a family Spotify account that means we don’t have to confuse playlists. With the kids we will also use Elbi, a charity app, which uses micro tasks to help those in need and was founded by Natalia Vodianova.

The Founders Factory team built an app called Robin, an AI-powered communications tool. Along with Podio, this is how we keep up to speed with applications for our accelerator.

We’re big users of Slack but in the past week we’ve decided to trial Facebook at Work. There’s a lot going on in the office and it seems to be helping.

What smartphone do you have?

I have too many smartphones (3 and an iPad Pro)! After many years, I am soon to abandon my Blackberry – touch-typing on the keyboard was the lock.

My main phone is now a Google Nexus 6P, I also have an iPhone 6S. I was kindly given a Pond Mobile SIM which gives me unlimited data/calling anywhere in the world.

How many people, outside of family, do you meet in a day?

I have around eight to 12 meetings per day with approximately 15 people, give or take.

Many of my meetings will be for Founders Factory so I’ll be speaking with the team, investors, our corporate partners or tech entrepreneurs, and I do a reasonable amount of angel investing and advisory boards.

We also launched Founders of the Future this year – for amazing young talent that might not yet know it but they should found a company. This means lots of planning about how to build network for that excel.

What advice would you give for people who are eager to get into your industry?

Dive into tech. Read the key blogs obsessively, follow the key players, learn on our app Smartup and gain experience. Intern – view it as (modestly) paid education – and go to the relevant meetups.

Demonstrate your passion for the sector – that’s infectious and will get you hired.

When do you work until? Are you still sending emails in the night? Or do you have a wind down routine?

I’ll try and make it home in time for dinner with my family and then I’m usually at work events in the evening.

My team know they can reach me any time and so yes, I’m on email until the early hours. I much prefer to keep on top of things so emails don’t mount up.

Weekends are more for winding down when I’ll watch my kids play sport, play some football myself and spend time with my family.

Come back next Thursday for our next #BossItLike interview, and get in touch if you know a leader who’s also a productivity guru for us to talk to.