Boss It Like

How To Boss It Like… Jessi Baker, CEO at Provenance

By Kitty Knowles 11 January 2018
Jessi Baker, founder at Provenance. Image: Provenance.

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

There’s a select few business leaders and innovators in the UK who are changing the world.

From Elvie founder Tania Boler to CognitionX co-founder Tabitha Goldstaub, these smart people get an incredible amount done, in an impossibly short space of time.

This morning, we’re talking to Jessi Baker, founder and CEO at food transparency business Provenance.

Meet Jessi Baker

Jessi Baker is helping you know what you’re really eating, and where it’s come from.

Her company Provenance has supported 2,000 food producers to share verified information about their groceries – so they can shout about whether they’re independent, organic, fair trade, locally sourced, animal or environmentally-friendly.

She’s also working with the likes of Co-op, As Nature Intended, and Sainsbury’s so that soon, you’ll simply scan food with your smartphone to get all this information as you shop.

Read more: Jessi Baker’s Provenance: Scan your food to see its story

A busy woman, with big ideas, The Memo asked Jessi Baker, how she gets it all done…

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

Around 7.30am, I read The Guardian and various tech blogs on my phone, shower and dress and run out the door either to a breakfast meeting or the Provenance office in Kings Cross ahead of our daily team “stand-up”.

What apps or methods do you use to be more productive?

I block out time in my calendar for the key things I want to do that day.

I use Slack, Trello, Google Drive, Wunderlist. And I avoid meetings and do emails in allotted times.

What smartphone do you have?

An iPhone 6S in Rose Gold with the biggest storage – but I’m thinking of swapping to an Android phone soon.

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

There’s the Provenance team – we are 12 people. And then various clients, partners and advisors, and of course friends – I usually talk to between 10-20 people in a typical day.

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

I just finished Doing Good Better by William MacAskill, which was a present from Founders Pledge.

Really interesting points for a highly rational mind who wants to do good in the world, love the data nerdiness of it too.

Read more: Founders Pledge – are you giving your 2%?

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

As a tech entrepreneur, I think it’s essential to have a very clear vision for what success looks like, set measurable/tangible goals for that success and then go make it happen.

Most importantly, don’t get distracted. (Much easier said than done).

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

I try not to work late or at weekends, but that’s tricky to avoid.

I limit working beyond 7pm to 2 days per week, and usually only do a couple of hours on a Sunday eve to get ahead of my emails.

What was your favourite childhood toy?

Lego. And, cutting and sticking, but I still like doing that now too.

If you could ask your idol one question, who would it be, and what would you ask?

I’m interested in what people regret doing with their time, and what behaviour gained the most traction to achieving their successes.

What do you think your industry will look like in 10 years? What’s your prediction?

I think the internet will change fundamentally in 10 years or so, where it moves beyond siloed communications and into being a system for trustworthy transactions.

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