Tristan J. Walker

Tristan Walker, 30, has worked at startups like Foursquare and Twitter -- but now he’s paving a new route in Silicon Valley. In 2013, he launched Walker and Company Brands, a health and beauty startup geared toward people of color. Its first product, Bevel, is a razor designed with men of color in mind. He’s also the co-founder of nonprofit CODE2040, which pairs black and Latino engineering students with summer internships in Silicon Valley. He spends his free time hanging out with his 5-month-old son and wife ... or watching reality TV.

What do you actually do all day in your job?

I'm usually in the office around 8 a.m., and I spend the first hour or so reading -- books, news etc. We’ve hired some pretty amazing people, and I try my best to just get out of their way! I spend about 40% - 50% of my time with recruiting matters, about 25% on strategic matters and the rest of the time helping the team execute on various tasks.


How many hours do you sleep?

Around 5 hours. I used to get around 8, but Avery, my 14-week-old, demands that I only get 5! :)


What do you eat for breakfast?

Breakfast? What’s that? I usually start my day with 1-2 cups of green tea.


If you could pitch to one person, who would it be?

Barack Obama. POTUS needs the freshest shave possible at all times!


What's on your homescreen?

This is my desktop:


How often do you exercise?

Five days a week. Necessary! I’m usually in the gym by 6 a.m. I box three days and run or spin the other two.


What app can't you live without?

I have two! Dropcam, to watch my little guy Avery throughout the night to make sure he’s safe, and also iA Writer Pro. I’ve been using it for about four months now, and it’s the best app out there for writing. Comes in handy when I’m preparing for either team or board meetings


What's your favorite city?

NYC! There’s always something fun happening in the city. It never sleeps.


Uber, Lyft, or yellow cab?

Walk. I’m in Palo Alto most days, and it’s pretty convenient to get around on foot. I want to make sure I walk as much as possible throughout the day to keep healthy.


Are there any social platforms you refuse to participate in?



What are you reading right now?

High Output Management by Andy Grove. It's one of the best books on management out there and comes highly regarded from leaders I respect.


The Strand or City Lights?

The Strand, no doubt.


Best piece of advice you've been given?

The best advice I received came from Tyler Perry. He told me that the trials you go through as an entrepreneur and the blessings you receive are the exact same things. Those trials are lessons you can learn from, and those learnings are blessings. That advice has stuck with me for quite some time.


What keeps you up at night?

Quite literally, Avery! :)


If you could tell your 18-year-old self one thing, what would it be?

Keep up that relentless determination, but couple that with some faith. You’ll find that you spend less time managing your anxiety and fears and more time getting things done.

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