WWD Reader Profile: Robert Hacker, Financial Consultant

WebWorkerDaily readers are a diverse bunch. Every week, I profile a different reader and ask them to share what they do, how they do it, and some of their favorite hints and tips.

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Robert Hacker and I’m a financial consultant that develops growth strategies and arranges capital for clients, principally in the U.S., the Caribbean and Latin America. I blog at Sophisticated Finance where I discuss the interrelationship between strategy, finance and technology. Entrepreneurship is also a frequent theme.

I am an adjunct professor in entrepreneurship at Florida International University in Miami and a member of the board of the Pino Center of Entrepreneurship. I am also the CFO of the One Laptop Per Child Association, Nicholas Negroponte’s project to provide a free laptop to every child in the developing world.

I’m currently seeking a publisher for my first book on business models for growth companies, which reflects some of my experiences in building a $1 billion company in Indonesia. I’m also planning a second book on social entrepreneurship, inspired in part by my time at OLPC.

What’s a typical day like for you?

My day starts at 4-5 a.m. with a check of the overnight emails. If time permits I write blog posts until 7 a.m., when I head to the gym for an hour. The rest of the morning I am usually at a client’s. I try to devote afternoons to meetings with entrepreneurs, prospects, students or writing. One day each week is devoted to book writing or speaking engagements on entrepreneurship, finance and strategy.

What gear and software do you use, and why?

My principal machine is a 15” MacBook Pro (s aapl). I have three additional paid applications that I use — LaunchBar, Rocketbox and MS Office (s msft). LaunchBar is one of the best productivity apps I’ve seen, and Rocketbox is a fantastic email search tool. MS Office runs better on Apple than it ever did in my pre-Mac period.

My second machine is the new OLPC XO 1.5, which I use for OLPC presentations. This XO has a VIA C7-M processor with 1 GB of RAM and 4GB of NAND memory. The operating system is the Fedora 11 version of Linux with the Sugar educational user interface. I run OpenOffice Presentation as a Sugar activity when I present for OLPC. This machine constantly makes me realize that we have over-engineered our laptops.

My additional IT infrastructure includes a BlackBerry 8830 World Phone (s rimm), a Verizon (s vz) wireless modem, Skype and Twitter. I use both AirSet and DropBox for backup, after a previous vendor messed up a new version of their service. I use Google Reader for RSS subscriptions, but am constantly looking for something better.

What’s your favorite web working tip?

  1. Learn keyboard shortcuts to work faster
  2. Use Google (s goog) search as a spell checker; it’s faster than most dictionary apps

If you would like to be profiled on WWD, get in touch with me at simon (at) gigaom (dot) com.

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