Typical 24: Adam Fingerman, ArcTouch

What do working professionals really do all day?

[image_library_tag 891cc28d-40e5-4106-8833-fd1032abf365 221x221 alt="02-07-18-adam-fingerman-arctouch" title="02-07-18-adam-fingerman-arctouch - " width="221" height="221"class="left "]Name: Adam Fingerman

Job title: Founder and Chief Experience Officer

Company: ArcTouch, an app design and development studio

Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Years’ experience: 25 in tech, 9 at ArcTouch


  1. What time do you reach the office each day? I typically arrive at about 9 a.m.
  2. Is your job varied? Yes. On a given day, I might take part in an app user experience design review, a new client pitch, and a press interview. Or I might help lead our own executive team through a business strategy or planning session. The diversity of our work -- and the different aspects of our business -- still fascinates me on a daily basis, even after doing it for nearly a decade.
  3. Is your job creative? No question. As the chief experience officer at ArcTouch, I’m ultimately responsible for the product experience that all of our apps deliver to end users, on behalf of our clients. Each app we build starts as a blank slate. Even if our clients come to us with a fairly well-specified project, there is still a lot of creativity involved in fleshing out gaps in the features, design and technology that powers that experience. And of course, as the founder, I’m heavily involved in the day to day management of the business. That’s heavy on execution -- but there’s a lot of creativity involved in problem solving and in managing our diverse team members.
  4. What do you spend the majority of your time doing? My time has a pretty even split between proactively being involved in project work and managing the business.
  5. Do you personalize your desk? To some degree -- but between my travels and on-site client visits, I work in different places so often. I put a lot more energy into personalizing my computer and mobile devices. I’m often setting custom ringtones and changing the home screen and wallpapers with the latest pictures of my kids and wife.
  6. Would you describe yourself as creative? Definitely -- but with a heavy dose of pragmatic, too.
  7. Do you have any quirky daily rituals? It’s not so much a ritual, but we have a rule in our house that no devices are allowed in bedrooms. I’d recommend that policy for any parent -- but some people find that ironic given that I run an app development company.
  8. Do you tend to work on your own or with colleagues? With colleagues. We have well over 100 team members. And my business partner (and former college roommate) Eric Shapiro and I are constantly bouncing ideas off of each other. We’ve had a shared office for years.
  9. How many hours on average do you work a day? I’m usually in the office for eight hours a day. But I spend time in the evenings testing out our apps, catching up on emails and Slack messages, and getting my to-do list ready for the next day.
  10. Roughly how much time do you spend each day on email? Taking calls? In meetings? ~1 hour on email and Slack. ~4 hours in meetings. We don’t really “take calls” -- we do meetings on our computer (using Zoom) or in person, sometimes scheduled and more often impromptu.
  11. Do you use social media much for work? I monitor Twitter and sometimes get involved in the “conversation” -- and sometimes I post about my work on LinkedIn and Facebook. But I spend a lot more time using Slack to communicate about work, conversing with my team members through our internal channel.
  12. What do you enjoy most about your work? I love running an agency, where at any given time, we have a diverse set of app projects and client work underway. From mobile apps to connected devices to voice apps for Alexa, it never is dull, that’s for sure.
  13. What type of music (if any) do you listen to at work? That depends on who gets to the office first. We have a Sonos speaker system -- and whoever gets in first typically turns that on. Our CFO is often the first in the door -- and he likes country music, so that’s usually what’s on. When he’s in meetings, sometimes I’ll change to a different Spotify playlist and see how long it takes him to notice.
  14. What do you do for lunch? We’re in the heart of San Francisco, so barring lunchtime meetings, I try to get out and grab a bite at a local place. Lately, I’ve been spending more time at a parking lot across the street where a bunch of food trucks come every day.
  15. Do you socialize with work colleagues? I try to mix fun into the workday -- doing much after hours is tough when you have a family. But we have a pretty cool office setup -- pool table, snacks galore, even a tapped keg. Right now, we’re in the middle of an ongoing pool tournament, where pairs of our team members square off.
  16. Are there any tasks (through your career) you’ve been especially glad to get rid of? Nothing that jumps out -- as the cofounder of a startup that funded our own growth, I’ve pretty much worn every hat. I’m glad that as we’ve grown we’ve been able to hire specialists for things that we had to do (e.g. HR, finance, marketing, etc.) -- they are way better at their craft than I am. And now I can focus on key projects and business strategy.
  17. What is your last task of your day? I don’t have a routine for my last task -- it just depends on how the day unfolds. My first task is to always walk around the office and say hello to everyone.
  18. How do you like to relax after work? I like to read or watch TV. If there’s time after the kids are done with homework, we like to play board games.
  19. Do you keep checking email through the evening? Not continuously, but I typically look at email or scan the Slack channels after dinner and before bed. I respond on some quick tasks and queue up the others that might be more complex for the next day, when I’m fresh.
  20. Do you take work projects home with you? Yes. I work for a mobile tech company in Silicon Valley. I think it would be weird if I didn’t.
  21. What would you say to your 20-year old self? Enjoy this moment. College seemed like this stressful, never-ending uphill climb. But looking back, it was such a short amount of time compared to other periods of my life. 
  22. If you could try out any job for a day, what would you choose? A comedian. I did improv in college for three years -- no regrets, but a part of me has always wondered if I could have had a career in entertainment.
  23. What device did you use to answer these questions? MacBook. Mobile technology is amazing, but I can’t imagine typing this much on touchscreen.
  24. Do you use your own personal device for work? Sure, I use my mobile phone and my iPad for work. I’m not a big believer in having a church/state divide when it comes to devices for personal use and work. I still see people carrying two phones sometimes -- that paradigm won’t last much longer. We’re always connected, and most companies recognize that you don’t just turn off your personal life while you’re at work.

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