Karthik Sridharan is the Co-Founder and CEO of Kinnek, a B2B marketplace that helps small businesses with purchasing. His team has grown to dozens of employees, and he’s raised millions in venture capital from investors like Thrive Capital and Matrix Partners.
Karthik starts his day early and ends super late. You’ll usually find him with a cup of coffee in one hand (or both)..
Here’s a day in the life of Karthik:
7AM: Wake up and eat Kashi cereal with soy milk, my favorite morning snack. I finish watching Stargate, which I decided to watch because of the recent black hole discovery.
I usually walk to work and take phone calls. Have a few calls about biz dev partnerships while walking from my apartment near city hall to our office on 17th Street in Manhattan.
8:30AM: Arrive at the office. I usually have a bit of time to myself before people trickle in. I check emails and plan my day. But to be honest, I check my emails throughout the day so I mainly make sure my email is up to date. If it’s a busy day I write notes to myself about who I want to talk to that day.
9:30AM: I do Office Hours on Thursdays, where our team can come and ask me questions. I’m doing work but make it a point to be in the office with no headphones on and welcome employees to ask questions about anything — data, strategy, SQL, whatever people want to discuss.
10:30AM: Leadership team meeting
11:00AM: Product coordination meeting
11:30AM: Partnership meeting
12:30PM: Meet my executive coach. I’ve been working with her for two years. She helps me level up from being a founder who is an individual contributor to thinking about people management, being a leader, and handling the pressure of being in the spotlight internally. I think leadership is a learned skill, not something you’re born with. It’s great to systematically talk to someone every week who can make sure I’m making progress. Coaches can give you much more informed thoughts based on their pattern recognition working with other CEOs. It’s different than meeting with friends and venting to them.
1PM: Lunch. I usually do something quick. I run to Pret and get a Moroccan lentil soup, an overpriced mango juice and a large coffee. By that time the coffee in our office is lukewarm so it’s nice to get it piping hot. Prob coffee #4 of the day for me.
1:30PM: Three back to back meetings over the phone call and meet with my co-founder and our Chief Commercial Officer to sync up on our sales efforts.
5:00PM: Had a bit of time and reviewed our release note before a big product release, and then sync up with one of our product managers over a cup of coffee (#5). I like to keep my finger on the pulse on product.
6:30PM: Do some reading on state of the industry and read about the Lyft IPO to keep fresh. I used to be really insular about industry news and have since realized it’s important for a CEO to track news and trends. As the company becomes bigger, I need to be better informed about the industry — it’s important for fundraising as well as our strategy.
7:30PM: Phone call with a founder on the west coast to get some advice about sales strategy.
8:30PM: I try to have dinner with a friend during the week, since I’m working so much. We went to Moustache in the West Village.
10:30PM: I go to Citizen M, a hotel with a lobby you can sit in and do work, like the Ace Hotel. I take a couple west coast calls. I try to have west coast calls at night. Drank an Americano, my seventh coffee of the day.
11:30PM: I give myself time to do free form thinking. I have a mini notebook and pen which I keep in my pocket. I walk through Chelsea and letting the whole day digest. Sometimes different stimuli can give me different ideas. Even random things like a billboard of Lebron James or Starbucks Reserve Roastery can unlock an idea.
12:45PM: Get home, shower, talk to my mom for a few minutes (she is visiting in India), watch a bit of NBA clips on YouTube, read a bit more news, and do some casual reading (comics and stuff).
2:00AM: Sleepy time
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