Dice recently spoke with a number of tech CEOs and entrepreneurs about what hardware and apps—old and new—rank among their favorites. Many of the top apps focus on squeezing more productivity out of the workday. On the hardware front, a drone even made an appearance—but all in all, the picks were pretty practical:
Lisa Falzone, CEO of Revel Systems, a San Francisco-based iPad POS solutions provider:
Tried & True Tech: The iPhone… the iPhone 6 Plus is a brand-new favorite. It’s the perfect size for getting a lot of work done, which I can do at any time, anywhere. It really helps me be more productive.
The Latest & Greatest Technology: I love my Sonos System for listening to music.
Apps That Have Stood the Test of Time: I’m a huge music fan, and Pandora has always been a tried and true app for me. It’s always been a great way to access amazing music on the go, as well as discover new artists.
Just-Out-of-the-Gate Apps: Getting a taxi in San Francisco used to be almost impossible. You can hail an Uber at the tap of a button and track its progress towards you. The ability to pay via my iPhone makes the entire process seamless.
Eric Liftin, founder and CEO of Tunnel X, a New York City-based maker of a secure platform for discreet online conversations:
Tried & True Tech: My bicycle is also an incredible technology. There’s nothing better to deliver me from my home to the office along the beautiful Brooklyn waterfront.
The Latest & Greatest Technology: My Phantom Quadcopter drone! It leaps hundreds of feet up in the sky, and when you take your hands off the controls, it just hangs in space, utterly still, self-adjusting for wind currents, thermals, whatever. I’ve used it on architectural projects to see the views from the upper floors of future buildings.
Apps That Have Stood the Test of Time: I use Evernote for everything. It’s the encyclopedia of my life—article clippings, random thoughts and musings and ideas, longer written work, recipes, and many other types of documents and images. Having all of these in one searchable database feels incredibly powerful.
Just-Out-of-the-Gate Apps: Exit Strategy NYC is a painstakingly researched NYC subway tool. It has the locations of every exit, cleverly indexed for easy reference, plus a load of handy maps.
Shiv Rajendran, founder of Affectively, a London, U.K.-based provider of training and online learning platforms to the corporate and education sectors:
Tried & True Tech: I currently use a Livescribe Echo. I’ve tried using a tablet instead, but this always feels like I’m spending more time focused on the tablet rather than the meeting.
The Latest & Greatest Technology: I wear my Fitbit every day and ensure I walk five miles and sleep seven hours a day. If I fall below those targets for a few days in a row, I know it’s time to take some action.
Apps That Have Stood the Test of Time: Evernote! On the rare occasions that I don’t have my smartphone, this is the only app I really miss. Any information I may need for a meeting, trip, or just on a normal day, I store in this app. I can then search for it and it appears instantly. It’s like your own personal Google.
Just-Out-of-the-Gate Apps: Lift is a community-powered positive feedback system, whether you want to exercise more, work more, or just remember to floss your teeth. I use it to remember to meditate daily, get to the gym, and get the day’s most important tasks done in the morning.
Chuck Richards, CEO of CoreValue Software, a Norwich, Vt.-based maker of SaaS enterprise products:
Tried & True Tech: Apple’s Time Capsule… the seamless, automatic backup is so good that it doesn’t feel like a remote piece of hardware. It’s prevented some stress and scrambling a few times, especially when needing to go back to previous versions of presentations or documents.
The Latest & Greatest Technology: MacBook Air… It’s a productivity necessity that goes with me everywhere, lasts all day, and is ready to go the instant I have an idea.
Apps That Have Stood the Test of Time: We all have a limit to our mental bandwidth, and Evernote frees me up from having to use that bandwidth for remembering things and instead allows me to use the bandwidth for working through ideas and challenges.
Just-Out-of-the-Gate Apps: We have a lot of development and projects going on, and Pivotal Tracker helps us to keep them organized without relying on emails or spreadsheets. We use it for both software development and marketing projects, and any team member can join in at any point and be up to speed on the entire project in minutes.
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