c-suite talk tech
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C-suite talk fav tech: Linden Tibbets, IFTTT

Name: Linden Tibbets   

Job title: CEO    

Company: IFTTT

Industry: Technology

Location: San Francisco, US

Years’ of experience: 7


What is your favorite personal gadget?
My Electric Object, a digital art frame and network hanging in my living room. It’s a perfectly focused device and service with a clean design and simple use case: it brings amazing artwork into your home. Sadly, they’re no longer in production. Consider this my petition to bring them back! Netflix has moved movies and TV from ownership to access, Spotify has done it for music — gadgets like Electric Object have the potential to do the same for artwork.

Do you have a favorite piece of personal software?
I use the Sublime text editor every day. It’s designed for writing code, which I don’t do as much as I used to, beyond personal side projects. But the streamlined interface is perfect for taking notes. It helps me stay focused on the substance of the writing instead of the formatting or spelling. Sometimes the lack of features is the best feature of all.

What was the first piece of technology you got really excited about?
I was lucky enough to play a few early gaming systems before the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) came on the scene. But the first time I played Zelda on the NES, my life was forever changed. From that point on I set off to build the same type of immersive and delightful experiences that this simple 8-bit gaming system afforded. I quickly discovered that there’s a whole world of software experiences beyond video games. No matter what I’m working on, I strive to have the same level of pride in craft for the end user experience that the very best game designers exhibited and Miyamoto is certainly one of the very best.

What device improves your life most at work?
My iPhone is the most important device for work. I admit this is a boring answer. That said, If any other software professional answers this question with something other than their smartphone, they are either lying or haven’t stepped back and fully appreciated the radical impact of owning an always-connected personal device. 

What software keeps you most productive at work?
It’s easy to take it for granted, but I can’t imagine getting anything done without the entire G-suite of products.

Is there any technology that has become extinct that you would like to resurrect?
I’d love to see more indie hardware startups make it big, or find a sustainable model beyond selling a device. Building, manufacturing, and shipping hardware is a monumental undertaking. One of our goals at IFTTT is to help all businesses, hardware businesses included, unlock new revenue from their services and data. Hopefully we can keep innovative hardware companies, like the aforementioned Electric Objects, growing and evolving in the future.

Is there any technology you would personally recommend that you don’t think enough people know about? (Hardware or software, work or personal)
I am consistently shocked by how many people are still not using a secure password manager like 1Password or LastPass. If you have important private information on the internet (spoiler alert: you do), then you need to use a service like this.

Do you think anything about your personal use of tech would surprise your colleagues?
As the CEO of IFTTT, I know people expect me to be an early adopter. But I think it would still surprise my colleagues if they saw just how much new technology I try out every week. From gadgets to services to apps — I try to sign up for everything that launches on IFTTT. We have over 550 partners now, and more are added weekly, so I stay busy. Seeing how fast the industry evolves is one of the most exciting aspects of working in technology today!


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