Marina Berezovska

Prioritize execution. Bringing even smallest ideas to life may get stuck if you’re trying to tackle it all at once. Instead, I deconstruct the idea into components and prioritize the parts which I’m going to tackle first.


Marina is the founder of Travel Tech Con – the only independent technology conference for travel startups and engineers, taking place in San Francisco on June 7-9, 2018. Recently she has also joined Winding Tree – decentralized travel distribution platform on Blockchain – as the Head of Community to lead Winding Tree strategic open source community initiatives.

Marina has started community events for travel startups 3 years ago with the goal to promote unbiased technology discussion and peer-to-peer learning and since then has organized over 30 travel tech events, including the annual Travel Tech Con that gathers 300+ travel startup teams and industry innovators.

Previously, Marina worked as a Senior UX Designer with variety of San Francisco / Bay Area based & International startups and software companies helping them with product design strategy and execution. Marina has graduated from University of Latvia in 2006, majoring in Oriental Studies & Modern Languages.

Marina spends most of her time in San Francisco, South Lake Tahoe, Austin, around Europe and on the road.

Where did the idea for Travel Tech Con come from?

One of the initial goals I had when I moved to San Francisco from Europe back in 2015 was to find a local community and an ecosystem of travel tech startups to connect with and to learn from, and while there were plenty of health tech, fin tech, food tech and other niche communities out there I couldn’t find much happening in travel tech. So I started a travel tech meetup which to this day gathers the most brilliant travel tech founders and teams, enabling collaboration, vibrant technology discussions and peer-to-peer learning. 5-people round table kind of meetups quickly grew into 50-70 people events with solid program. This demand for a travel tech community with an explicit focus on startups turned to be the main driver behind our annual Travel Tech Con.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I like to start my day with plenty of time reserved for reflection and setting the right expectations and priorities for the day. I recently moved to South Lake Tahoe and my day starts with 7am walk in the woods which gives me the mental space to reflect and prioritize. I think that’s one of the most useful for productivity things that I learned to do. The other one – it’s OK to go to sleep early. Sometimes life in a bigger city makes you feel guilty or gives you FOMO for using the time for sleep and I find this sleep-shaming counter productive.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Prioritize execution. Bringing even smallest ideas to life may get stuck if you’re trying to tackle it all at once. Instead, I deconstruct the idea into components and prioritize the parts which I’m going to tackle first.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Blockchain tech and its role in creating new economic models, better interaction patterns within the society and generally – inspiring the tech community to truly think outside of the box.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Persistence. Almost nothing works out great the first time you try it.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Study more math, make more friends, be more open minded.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

No one knows what they’re doing.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Learn and practice gratitude, it really works.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

You get what you give and you get what you ask for. Be genuinely kind, offer sincere help to others and they will return the favor. When you need help – ask for it, explain exactly what you need and you make it easier for others to help you.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I used to listen to the voice in my head that told me that there is no way I’m actually smart or good enough to achieve XYZ. That resulted in frustrations and disappointments with myself when I couldn’t take a step towards what I wanted because of that voice. Something that works for me when the voice is getting louder – do first, think later.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

It’s my friend’s idea, but I like where this kind of thinking might lead – enable school teachers to become actual shareholders of their students’ future success and value – long term investing in human potential and cashing out on the high valuation. I’ll be generic enough here on purpose.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Cryptocurrency – always a fun game.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

I like the simplicity of TeuxDeux and Dropbox Paper and I use Mailchimp a lot. Telegram is another favorite.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

I always found reading Ayn Rand and Nietzsche inspiring, probably because they are also highly controversial. Flow by Csikszentmihalyi and Antifragile by Taleb are always good to revisit. Shantaram and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance left a big mark on me earlier in my life.

What is your favorite quote?

Pretty cliche, but still – if you don’t succeed at first – try, try, try again.

Key Learnings:

  • Reserve time in your day for reflection and prioritization
  • Practice persistence
  • No one knows what they’re doing, so you’re fine
  • Ask for what you want, in exact terms, and return the favor
  • Learn and practice gratitude
  • Get a good sleep


Marina Berezovska on Twitter:
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