Welcome to my Tech Leaders Interview Series, where I interview impactful leaders and ask them to share tips and techniques that have benefited them, both in their personal and professional lives.
This interview is with Frederic Eger, a Tech Journalist, and Filmmaker.
What are your main productivity tips?
I don’t have a magic wand or secret recipes, but there are a few fundamental principles that psychologists and neuroscientists have recognized and demonstrated. First, your best and maximum attention span, believe it or not, this is the result of scientific studies, not marketing ones, does not exceed twenty minutes; meaning whatever task you are on, in particular, if you are studying and you need to memorize what you are studying, you must take a five minutes break, not more, not less after twenty minutes. It is preferable that you take some walkout in the fresh air. That’s what your brain needs. And, of course, cut all forms and sources of distractions.
What is your favorite drink?
I do not enjoy alcoholic beverages; I do not like the effect they have on me and people. If any alcohol, I tolerate white wine, champagne, and vodka. But I really prefer smoothies. My favorite smoothies include: The Fruit Classic – Banana, Kiwi, Apple and Orange with Coconut Water; The satiator; Protein Bomb as a Healthy Breakfast; The Spicy – Pointed Cabbage Herb Smoothie; The Green – Spinach Field Lettuce Kale Smoothie.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Stress and anxiety happen when the unpredictable and unscheduled happen. Adrenaline rush comes in, and you lose balance. Stress also happens with deadlines and level of responsibility: the bigger the team and/or project with short term deadline, the more stressed you are, often a stress that you create upon yourself. So the best way to respond to short deadline, the size of the team and the size of the project, is careful planning and having broke down the project into smaller units of tasks and teams. Do the dreaded task first. Don’t make commitments you know you can’t honor. I love to say: “I will see what I can do”. Oftentimes because we want to achieve a lot in a minimal amount of time and, it is simply not possible. We are not robots!
Your tip to aspiring entrepreneurs:
Not everyone is made to be an entrepreneur, don’t lunch yourselves as a tech entrepreneur if your primary motivation is fame and fortune; you will fail. If having more time and not to have a boss yelling at you is your motivation to be an entrepreneur, you will fail. Learn and follow the 101 of entrepreneurship in the excellent book of Eric Ries, Lean Startup technique which is to focus on product development and client acquisition. If you understand that what matters the most to build a company is to build products and services that matter and that consumers madly want and need, then you will succeed. Being a good entrepreneur is the opposite of the politics of a “zero-sum game.” It is only a win-win scenario.
Who in the tech industry would you like to have a lunch with?
There are actually be a lot of people I would love to have lunch with. Many inspirational individuals are not among us anymore, such as Leonardo DaVinci, Nikola Tesla or the Wright Brothers etc… Given that I cover space exploration, space tourism, and space colonization, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson would be some of the people I’d like to have lunch with, continuously collaborate, and work with on producing and making meaningful documentaries on making Humanity a spacefaring civilization traveling, working and living in our solar system.
If you could live anywhere where could it be?
I’ve lived and worked in five countries thus far and traveled in over fourty countries for my work as an independent journalist; what I have learned is that where you live does not really matter, in a rich developed country or a poor developing one; what matters the most is who you are surrounded with. Because if you are surrounded by individuals who love you, respect you, empathize with you and care about you, you will truly be happy and enjoy the ride wherever that ride is… If I had to choose, the place I feel the most “at home” is Tel Aviv.
What is your favorite book recommendation?
I cannot have one only book recommendation. I like to come back to the same books I have on my bedside table; books that show me how big is the Universe, so many of these books from cosmologists, astrophysicists, philosophers, spiritualists include those written by theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, Carl Sagan; book on spirituality such as Jay Michaelson’s Everything is G-d, Rabbi David Aaron such as The Secret Life of G-d; Max Weber, Peter Frase’s Four Futures, Spinoza, Immanuel Kant, Emmanuel Levinas, Judith Butler, Emile Durkheim, Daniele Archibugi, Shri Aurobindo and many many more…
Why are you in tech?
I am not a tech entrepreneur. I am a journalist covering science, technology, and space working in the media industry since 1998. Why do I cover science, tech, and space? I believe this goes back to 2012 when I’ve made Aliyah to Israel. Israel has such a drive, almost an obsession at being a “tech startup-nation” that you simply can’t avoid being infected by this (positive) “virus”. The entrepreneurship drive is like a second national religion after judaism. Everywhere you go, and whatever you do, you will find someone involved in a tech startup. So I naturally started covering these topics.