Boss it like

How To Boss It Like… Howard Harrison, CEO of Knomo

By Oliver Smith 13 April 2017

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

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

From Tom Blomfield to Danae Ringelmann, and Craig Donaldson, these smart people seem to get an incredible amount done, in an impossibly short space of time.

Today we’re talking to Howard Harrison, CEO of Knomo, who is undoubtedly a productivity guru.

A former lawyer and financial analyst, Harrison founded Knomo in 2004 on a mission to blend technology and design to create the best luxury bags.

Read more: Knomo is the ‘Apple of the fashion world’

Sleek and chic satchels, swanky backpacks and bags, all of which include battery packs, magnets and intricate tablet or laptop sleeves.

After conquering London, Harrison recently raised £3m to expand its presence in America and across the world.

Most recently Harrison launched Knomo’s most ambitious project to-date – a Kickstarter campaign to create the #LiveFree backpack, a wirelessly charging, bluetooth tracking wonder bag.

Read more: Knomo’s high tech backpack is finally here

A busy man, with big ideas, The Memo asked Harrison 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 get up at around 5:30am and do an hour of work and then (if it is a good day) go for a run or head to the gym.

The days that I start with exercise tend to be the most productive (and enjoyable).

I use Flipboard to get up-to-date with the latest news each morning. I drive a scooter around London – it means I can leave at the last minute and get in with a moment to spare.

What apps do you use to be more productive?

I’m a huge Evernote fan – my whole life is on there.

I love podcasts and have many that I follow – mostly West Coast technology and entrepreneur shows. I find them very useful to get up to speed on business trends and what people are thinking.

What smartphone do you have?

Sensitive question! My iPhone 6 Plus was stolen last week.

I got a replacement SIM and put it into an old Nokia for a few days.

At first I enjoyed the “silence”. I normally listen to podcasts on my scooter and back and having relative quiet for 30 minutes was quite relaxing – as relaxing as driving a Vespa into the centre of London can be!

But after a few days realised I was becoming quite isolated with no WhatsApp or Yammer.

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

This depends on where I am – if I’m travelling to see customers then it tends to be quite a few.

If I’m in London for the day then will be with the teams and customers (product, e-commerce, marketing and operations) which might be up to two or three meeting each day in the showroom.

So between 10 and 30.

What book have you read, either recently or in the past, that has inspired you?

I recently read Shoe Dog by Phil Knight. It was reassuring to hear how long it took to build Nike.

From the outside you would think they were an instant success but the founders spent more than 15 years in the trenches. Very interesting to learn about what it took to build such a phenomenal brand.

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

Most of my evening is spent with my kids, who are 5 and 7. They have a lot of energy so getting them to bed can be a challenge!

If it is a cold evening then we light the fire and I will have a glass of wine with my wife and talk about the day. I try to wake up early as I find I’m more productive work-wise.

Too much work in the evening seems to impact my sleep (definitely a middle age thing!).

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.