Chris O’Neill, CEO von Evernote:

1. What brought you to Evernote after almost ten years at Google?

I’m a productivity dork, like a nerd. I love to understand not just how I can be more productive and successful, but teams that I work with can be more productive and successful. Mainly it’s society right. So I studied what causes achievement – what causes people to be successful. So I’ve been that way for a long time, since I was a kid. I guess I was born with it and then unsurprisingly I used Evernote since 2010. So I used the product for many years and loved the brand, loved the mission and understood that there were this Evernote way of living and doing work, that I only partially understood when I was on the outside and then I think it was just the right time for me professionally and personally. I’ve been at Google for just under ten years. I had an amazing run. I had like five different jobs. I felt like I could make an impact on a mission, on a brand and on a product, with that I connected with personally. So that’s really what brought me to Evernote. A combination of these things.

2. So you’ve been CEO for over a year now. What have you been focused on?

There is an expression I like a lot, which guides me, which says: the team you build is the company you build. So I spend the majority of my time on team and culture and making sure that we have the right people at Evernote. We make sure that there are values and culture. I spent a lot of time on hiring, making sure that the team knows where we are going and why and then really setting goals to be clear about how to measure success. So I spent a lot of time on that. And I think the other aspect is really making sure that we’re focused. So we’re clear on what success looks like and where we are going as a team and putting in place clarity but also then focusing and saying “what are we going to do” and “what are we not going to do”. We made some difficult decisions along the way to really focus. You have to be able to tune out the noise. Remember where your north star is and don’t get distracted along the way.

3. What is your favorite Emoji or the one you use the most?

Definitely the elephant. I use it frequently on slack