DreamCon Speaker Series – Simon Anderson

Hi, I’m Simon Anderson, CEO of DreamHost, and I’m *stoked* to get to welcome all the entrepreneurs, developers, web designers and tech partners who’ve registered for DreamCon next week! I’ll be doing the opening keynote, and my goal is to activate attendees’ dream cortex and provide some thought provoking context for the next two days of learning, interaction, hacking and …ehem… partying.

So, into the FAQ’s:

What do you do at DreamHost?

I’m the democratically elected CEO of DreamHost, and what’s different about that is that I don’t see myself as an autocratic boss. Instead, I’m a contributing team member who can help guide our expert web hosting and cloud talent on all of the thinking and decisions we make every day together to serve our customers better, and help them be successful on the Web.

What projects do you work on? 

I focus first on the happiness and excitement of our team and customers! This often means listening to, discussing and debating our product, platform and operations to ensure they are done right and in line with our open, friendly and innovative culture. I also engage with other companies and open source communities (WordPress, OpenStack, Ceph) in building partnerships for the good of our team and customers. Lots of thinking at odd times of day and night! And a whole lot of financial and legal stuff to keep this great employee owned company forging ahead!

What’s one interesting fact we don’t know about you?

OK, I don’t know if this is interesting or not. But I grew up in Australia, and I spent a lot of time on the beach and in the ocean. So when I moved to Sydney after college, I joined a surf lifesaving club on Manly beach and started volunteer surf patrolling on the weekends. Now the surf in Australia is pretty gnarly, so this is not your Baywatch type gig. On one big wave and rips day alone, my crew of 3 and I rescued over 50 people from the water who were in big trouble! I guess that experience where I was responsible for whether people could live or die taught me to be organized and calm under pressure.

What shows are on your DVR?

Game of Thrones is #1. I’ve read all the books and it perfectly blends my interests in medieval history, fantasy/sci-fi, and mythical creatures of yore! #2 go-to show is The Daily Show, the best place for news :) . #3 is often the sporting event of the moment – NHL/NFL/NBA Finals, Tour de France, Olympics, and some rugby or cricket if I can find it in the US. I also have My Little Pony, Curious George, The Wild Kratts and Barbie movies (all for my 7YO daughter of course).

What iPhone/iPad app sucks more of your time than you’d like to admit?

Twitter! The best, fastest way to keep in the flow of all the people, views and happenings that I’m interested in. I so wish I’d created Twitter. It’s simple, pure, and so very useful. I think there’s a lesson in there:- make it “just it”, nothing more, to get your first product or venture going. Cut the rest.

What’s your favorite LA eatery?

Right now I have a few. Ocho near our downtown LA office is delicious Mexican fare, and I think our team spends a lot there like me! If I want to hang out on the weekend in my hood (Venice) then I’m either at 3 Square with my family for brunch or Gjelina with my mates for drinks/dinner. Both on Abbot Kinney, where I also work off the pounds at YAS indoor cycling gym!

See you next week at DreamCon!