No company leaders want a cynic in their team. This is the case for start-ups and multinational organisations alike. It only takes just one employee exhibiting cynical and resigned thinking to cause the whole of an organisation to overlook opportunities and adopt pessimism. James Proud, a 23-year-old CEO in Silicon Valley, said of his team, “Things will go wrong, but when they do, people don’t freak out, their hair isn’t on fire. They are like, ‘OK, how do we fix them.’”

Driven people would rather be around others who think magically and heroically. A team is fuelled by insight, inspiration and intentionality when working toward a desired reality. Proud also spoke of his team, “The way we succeed is by building really good products. The way we build really good products is by hiring really good people. The way we get really good people is by trying to build really good products.”


James Proud is a London-born tech entrepreneur who learned how to code at age 9 and skipped university to move to Silicon Valley at age 19. He started his first business, Giglocator, in his teens and sold it for $1m in 2012. With the proceeds he founded Hello, a company whose product is designed to enhance sleeping experience. He iterated his intentions for Hello with the simple motto of improving lives. As a result, he built on the insight that it would be reasonable to begin by improving sleep, as it comprises one-third of the average person’s life.

Hello device technology features a smart alarm, a score and timeline on sleep, and insights on progress and how to better sleep. Hello has raised $10.5m in 2014 from investors including David Marcus, head of Facebook’s messaging unit, and Hugo Barra, lead on international operations at Xiaomi. This year, Proud received a $40m funding from Singapore’s Temasek.

Insights are pieces of information that we stem from our inner values. They provide various ways to drive intentionality – which is the commitment to the outcome as opposed to the method. It is easy to feel like a cog in a machine when working at a corporation, but positive thinking styles empower workers to fully utilise their power tools at the individual level in working together for a common goal.

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