On this episode, I speak with Wade Foster. Wade is the CEO and co-founder of Zapier, a workflow automation tool used by over three million people to connect the work apps they use every day. Prior to Zapier, Wade worked as a customer development lead for The Idea Works, Inc. in Missouri. He is an alumnus of Y Combinator and has degrees in industrial engineering and business administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
I wanted to have Wade back on the show to explore the genesis of Zapier as well as how automation has worked for him over the years. We talked about his own to do list, who inspires and motivates him through their work and so much more during our conversation. I’m pleased to have him return as a guest on the show and hope you enjoy this revisited and reframed discussion.
- Wade shares a bit about Zapier
- Where has Zapier gone since its inception? How has it evolved?
- Is there such a thing as “too much automation”? What trips people up when they are trying to automate?
- Here’s what Wade thinks Zapier – and automation – is helping people focus on to help out with their productivity
- Wade shares how you can make time to automate – and why you should
- Here’s one thing that you can’t automate on the whole… but can automate in parts
- How Wade started automating – and how he keeps at it
- What automation has freed Wade up to do more of
- Does Wade keeps a to do list? Here’s how he structures his weeks
- How Wade breaks down big things – like projects
- What about home or personal automation? What does Wade do on that front?
- Where does Wade draw inspiration from?
- These are the particular pieces of writing and content that Wade refers to consistently to stay on track
- We talk about scale and how Zapier plans to scale
- How does Jeff Bezos’s quote “Focus on the things that don’t change” play a role in Wade’s company and his own life
“The reality is that innovation and technology move so quickly that you always have to be looking for the next angle for yourself or you might find that your company is… innovated out of business.”– Wade Foster
- A Closer Look at Automation with Wade Foster | The Productivityist Podcast
- Thinking Fast and Slow
- Signal v. Noise | Basecamp
- The Hard Things About Hard Things
- I Ran the Full Text of Jeff Bezos’s 23 Amazon Shareholder Letters Through a Word Cloud Generator, and the Insights Were Astonishing | Inc.com
- 1,000 True Fans | The Technium
- The Innovator’s Dilemma
- The Productivityist Podcast Pick of the Week: Process
The thing about automation is that you need to think about not only what you want to automate but why you want to automate in the first place. Don’t just automate for automation’s sake. Software can help once you’ve made that call, but without making a smart and wise choice beforehand you may be setting yourself up for more work than you bargained for.
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