3 Minutes to read
Steve Gomez, Ex General Manager at Airbnb
Learning Inspiration 🌈 #78
Entrepreneur and fellow On Deck member, Steve Gomez has worked for the hottest startups in Silicon Valley, including Airbnb and Rover. He shares with us his learning tips and sources of inspiration.
Who is your major source of inspiration?
My grandparents and parents. I have never met a more entrepreneurial, smarter, kinder, harder working, and more optimistic group. They all made sacrifices to be better and create a better life for others. I feel blessed every day to have been born into my immigrant, working-class family.
How do you keep learning on a daily basis? What are your learning routines?
Well, by being naturally curious, I always find myself reading, listening, or experiencing new things for novelty’s sake. When it comes to focused learning on a topic that I want to master, I’ve found 3 things helpful:
- Creating and grooming a learning syllabus. Not just a list of articles I want to read, but the best books, youtube videos, people, classes, etc., that I should “study.”
- Taking rigorous notes and reflecting. I use Notion to take notes on content, and I use a physical journal to capture my reflections every day or two, to “lock in” the learning and make mental connections of the bigger picture.
- Pre-committing to teaching someone. When I really want to lock something in, I find a friend and pre-commit to sharing what I learn and discuss with them. It’s got to be a friend that cares about the content.
What are your favorite books, and why?
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
It’s a beautiful coming-of-age novel that holds a special place in my heart. I read it when I was a kid and it touched on so many of my feelings and experiences as a Mexican-American.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
I found this at a yardsale as a kid. It’s such a fun, irreverent novel that serves, for me, as a reminder to not take a lot of things so seriously (especially myself).
The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
Stoicism is a philosophy that deeply resonates with me, and this book was my introduction.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The book is written as a letter to the author’s son about the realities of being Black in the U.S. I felt like I had to pause to reflect, or cry every, on a few pages. We all have books that move us and forever leave us in a different place emotionally. This was one of those books for me.
What is your favorite podcast, and why?
It’s just pure, nerdy fun for me. The hosts do smart, quirky, and funny deep dives into interesting topics. It’s a nice break from all the tech, sports, and learning podcasts I listen to.
How do you remember what you learn?
Besides the system I talked about above, I’m a big fan of Readwise, where I review my favorite book highlights and saved tweets each morning.
What would you tell the 18-year-old version of yourself?
- It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks
- I won’t save you from your mistakes, because they make you better
- Spend more quality time with the people you love
What is the most important thing you learned over the last 12 months?
Discipline equals Freedom.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome this year?
Unwinding a failed start-up, figuring out what I want out of life and what I want to work on next.
If you were stranded alone on an island and could only bring one item, what would it be?
An old ipod filled with all my music and a solar charger 🙂
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