[quote style=”boxed”]I get up early and work until dinner. There is no typical day, and I love that. Some days I code. Others, I balance the bank accounts. Others, I try to track down a pesky bug. It’s different every day.[/quote]
Greg Scown is co-founder of Smile. He grew up in Pawtucket, Rhode Island and has a B.S. in computer science from Stanford.His first job out of college was working for Apple. He loves to read, hike and go wine tasting. He got a treadmill desk for Christmas and is starting to like it.
What are you working on right now?
We just shipped PDFpen for iPad at Macworld.
Where did the idea for Smile come from?
I wanted to work for myself since my early 20’s. I made my first attempt in 1998, but it didn’t pan out. I shipped PageSender in 2002, and I’ve been working for myself ever since. I’ve got great partners at Smile.
What does your typical day look like?
I get up early and work until dinner. There is no typical day, and I love that. Some days I code. Others, I balance the bank accounts. Others, I try to track down a pesky bug. It’s different every day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Through hard work, iteration and incremental improvement with lots of feedback from our customers.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
That my mom can use an iPad. She’s pretty much computer-phobic, but she can handle a Kindle and an iPad. This suggests that the market for general purpose computing is about to get a lot bigger than anyone expected.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
Kitchen Boy. Sixteen hours a day, 6 days a week in a summer camp kitchen that fed 300. I learned humility, hard work and tolerance for heat and humidity.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I’d try to be fortunate enough to wind up where I am now, as the odds of it all working out twice probably aren’t great.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I plan cash flow and update the plan as things change. I think it’s important and helpful to know how the money flows through your business.
What are your three favorite online tools and what do you love about them?
Google Docs and Evernote for work in the cloud. Twitter, but I kind of love-hate it.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I read for pleasure, mostly fiction. Anything by Mary Doria Russell, David Mitchell or Neal Stephenson will do. In the non-fiction realm, try The Checklist Manifesto or anything else by Atul Gawande.
What’s on your playlist?
Cake, Ok Go, Michael Franti and Spearhead and Maná. I’m guessing Maná probably won’t be playing WWDC, though if they did, that would be awesome.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
- @petermaurer: Great Mac developer, great friend, smart and insightful.
- @ActuallyNPH: Yeah, he was Doogie to me growing up.
- @macgenie: okay, I’m biased, but you won’t regret it.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
At Beach Blanket Babylon in San Francisco. I’ve lived in the Bay Area for 21 years and this is the first time I’ve seen the show. It was very fun.
Who is your hero?
My grandfather. He started and ran his own machine shop for 40 years. He was his own boss. He worked hard and provided well for his family. He was my inspiration to start a business so that I could work for myself.
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