Each month, we hack the minds of tech entrepreneurs and digital disruptors to find out what makes them tick. Kogan.com founder Ruslan Kogan reveals his favourite gadgets, app and podcasts.
Favourite app for work
Gmail because email is the greatest efficiency tool of our generation. Google revolutionised this space through their “search don’t sort” approach and Gmail has become a leader in it. My business has been cloud-based since its inception.
Favourite app for wellness
Strava. It’s a great fitness app that allows you to connect with your friends and get updates on each other’s progress. It’s very motivating to see which of them was up at 5am to go for a run. Knowing your mates will see your performance pushes you that little bit harder when you’re running around the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne and get to the [notoriously challenging] Anderson Street hill.
Book I’ve learnt the most from
Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. I’m a lifelong student of economics and a big fan of data-driven, objective decision-making. It’s a great book because it demonstrates that numbers and incentive structures are all around us.
Podcast I’m listening to
Bad Decisions by Dan Monheit and Dr Melissa Weinberg [about marketing]. In order to best serve your customers and ensure they’re delighted with everything you do, it’s important to understand what they really want and what drives them.
Instagram filter of choice
It’s a new Kogan phone but I can’t tell you anything about it because it’s not released yet.
Tech gadget that changed my life
The LCD television. It was the start of my business; Kogan.com was built off the back of two different models of LCD TV bought direct from the manufacturers and sold on eBay. They’re still a vital part of the business and without that technology my career would have taken a very different path.
Tech gadget that didn’t change my life
3D TVs. There was a lot of hype around them when they first came to prominence a few years ago but Kogan.com was among the first in Australia to call this out as a fad and not worth the expensive price tags. You don’t always get what you pay for.
Favourite news source
Google News. There’s so much news available and it helps me to find what’s important to me and digest it quickly.
Social network I rely on the most
My family and friends. While technology has done great things for the universe, we sometimes forget life’s most important things. The concept of a “social network” has been around for much longer than a computer.
Last thing I Googled
“NBA”. I’m a big basketball fan and the Cleveland Cavaliers were playing the Toronto Raptors so I needed to check the score.
Startup to watch in 2018
Vervoe, an Aussie human-resources tech startup with an assessment platform that allows employers and recruiters to test the technical and personal skills of hundreds of candidates simultaneously. It simplifies the hiring process and makes it easier for companies to build great teams; it’s something we use.