Alex Wilhelm is the Editor-in-Chief for Crunchbase News and a contributor for TechCrunch. Follow him on Twitter @alex.
Alex Wilhelm is a renowned tech journalist who graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in Philosophy. Although he is well-known within the journalism world, he began his career in business before taking the leap to journalism.
He began his journalism career in 2009 at The Next Web as a Deputy Managing Editor before becoming the Business and Politics Editor and later on the Midwest Editor. He made his mark at other companies, such as TechCrunch and Mattermark, before becoming the Editor-in-Chief at Crunchbase in San Francisco in 2017.
Alex constantly covers startups and money and likes to find the intersect between those two within his reporting. He also is a co-host for the podcast “Equity” with TechCrunch, which focuses on money and startups.
Read more about Alex, his musical taste and a gift he received from a PR pro in this month’s What’s On My Desk!
1. First thing’s first, who are you listening to on Spotify? Do you have a favorite artist or go-to playlist?
At that moment I was listening to the new Yelawolf album, Trunk Muzik 3. I listen to a variety of genres, having grown up playing music. But I have a main playlist that is a mix of stuff from classical favorites (Tchaikovsky, Dvořák, Beethoven), jazz (mostly a lot of Miles Davis and other trumpet players), heavy stuff (heavy metal, prog metal, some deathcore, a little death metal), lots of hip hop (Big KRIT is amazing, and there's a lot going on in the scene), and old stuff like the Christian Rock of my youth. I try to change it up.
2. I see a notebook on your desk with some writing. Can you share what you use this notebook for?
I use physical notes for personal notes, things for myself. Your own needs and to-dos can get buried in the digital world. That makes the power of a piece of paper on your desk quite high. Now I just need better handwriting.
3. A banana, a coffee cup, and a can of La Croix seem like a “hearty meal.” Is this what you usually eat for breakfast/lunch?
That's my day-to-day breakfast, yeah. I try to not eat much until lunch. Some days a bit of oatmeal if I am peckish. When I work out more, I get a bit hungrier and try to listen to my body. Since I don't drink anymore I don't opt for heavy foods in the morning. And I'm a night person, so in the morning all I need is pep and a banana.
4. We’re huge fans of books at the office. What’s one book on your desk you’re currently reading? Any recommended reads for 2019?
The book on my desk is Do Better Work, by Max Yoder. Max is an entrepreneur I've known and written about forever. He's a super nice and good person. He wrote a book, so I bought a copy. Then I found out that I'm mentioned in it, so that made it doubly neat.
5. We noticed there’s no chair at your desk. Is this a standing desk?
It has a standing component, but I have a regular office chair that I'm currently sitting in, as I write to you. I do need to stand more, so thanks for the reminder.
6. It looks like you’re a fan of Apple products. What’s your favorite or must have device?
I suppose I use Apple devices at work because Crunchbase does. I also have a gaming PC at my SF apartment and where I live on the East Coast, so I am pretty happy on both Windows 10 and OS X. On the device front, I still use my iPhone 7 Plus. I can't find a reason to get a new one.
7. We also see some interesting things on your large screen. What are you working on right now? A new story?
I forget what was in the shot but I probably was. It's quarterly report season and so the News team is heads-down getting the work done.
8. We spy a few windows. Does your office come with a view?
Our new office is loaded with windows. Well, new is wrong, as we've been here now for a year and a half. But it still feels new to me! There's lots of light where I work, and my back has a window that I can crack when it's warm. Honestly, it's a great setup and I feel super lucky.
9. Is there anything else on your desk that you want to share with us?
There's a small bottle filled with sand and small, fake shells. A PR person sent it in as an enticement to open their email and read the pitch. I can't recall if I did (I try to not encourage gimmicks as I don't want more mail), but the bottle has for some reason stayed. So now I suppose it lives on my desk and I'm stuck with it for life. Hello, little bottle of sand.
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