I’m Baiju Bhatt, Robinhood CEO, and This Is How I Work – Lifehacker

Posted: August 7, 2017 at 11:41 am

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Together with Vlad Tenev, second-generation American Baiju Bhatt founded the stock brokerage service Robinhood, which lets users trade public stocks from their mobile devices without paying a commission or maintaining a minimum balance. Their app has over 2 million users. Baiju started Robinhood, his third company with Vlad, when he was just 27. Heres how he works.

Location: Palo Alto, CACurrent gig: Robinhood Co-Founder and Co-CEOOne word that best describes how you work: Scientifically.Current mobile device: iPhone 6SCurrent computer: A 2013 MacBook Pro that is covered in stickers

Im an only child and the son of two immigrants; my parents moved to the United States when my father was accepted to a PhD program in theoretical physics at University of Huntsville Alabama. I grew up in a small townPoquoson, VAand went to school at Stanford, following in my dads footsteps to study physics. In college, I met Vlad Tenev, who at the time was a long-haired, string-bean kid with a quirky sense of humor and a penchant for late-night games of chess. The two of us would become the best of friends and go on to co-create two companies in New York together before starting Robinhood in California.

My ballpoint pen and my Moleskine notebook.

Its pretty simple: an external monitor and my laptop.

I run outside almost every day of the week. Ill usually step out during lunch for an hour-long jog around the neighborhoods of Palo Alto and through Stanford campus. It helps me clear my head and put all the things Ive been thinking about back together in creative ways. Also, by the time I get back, Im energetic and generally feeling awesome.

I use the Notes Mac app. Its simple and gets the job done!

I have always had strong willpower. Over the years, Ive overcome challenges when Ive set my mind to them, which has proven especially relevant as Ive created Robinhood and grown as a leader.

A personal but very important example comes from my childhood. As a kid, I had always struggled with being overweight. When I was a sophomore in high school, I decided I wanted to change that once and for all. That spring, I started exercising every single day, and by the time I started junior year, I had lost nearly 70 pounds. I looked and felt like a completely different person.

Lately Ive really liked the new Arcade Fire tracks, Everything Now and Creature Comfort. Im usually listening to music while I work, though mostly instrumental stuff since its difficult for me to hear lyrics and write or read at the same time. A few albums on heavy rotation are Moon Safari by Air & Selected Ambient Works 85-92 by Aphex Twin. Oh, and for a fun fact: In college I played guitar in a jazz/funk band and I DJed under the moniker Thelonious Moustache.

Last week I read a graphic novel called Head Lopper which just has awesome artwork. Last month I took a trip to Japan and read The Way of Zen by Alan Watts. That was fantastic too.

I spend so much of my time either using technology or thinking about building technology, so I like to spend my free time on old-fashioned, analog activities. Two of my favorite ways to recharge include going for long walks in the forests behind Stanford and playing cards with my friends.

Im usually out of bed by 7AM. I like beating the Bay Area traffic by getting into the office early, plus I get at least an hour most mornings to work on personal projects before Im pulled into meetings.

Alexander Hamilton

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you havent found it yet, keep looking. Dont settle. As with all matters of the heart, youll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Dont settle. Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Speech 2005

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

The How I Work series asks heroes, experts, and flat-out productive people to share their shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more. Have someone you want to see featured, or questions you think we should ask? Email Nick.

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I'm Baiju Bhatt, Robinhood CEO, and This Is How I Work - Lifehacker

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