Proust Goes Tech With Amanda Greenberg Founder And CEO OF Baloonr

Amanda Greenberg was working as a public health researcher when she realized that organizations need to better evaluate input from all of their employees and members. As the CEO and co-founder of Baloonr, she put her obsession with data-driven research and analysis to good use by providing companies and organizations a platform through which their team members can equally share valuable information and communicate issues.

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This week, Amanda joined Crunchbase News to talk about her obsessions, faults, and fears. She is at once serious, insightful, funny, and warm, and we greatly enjoyed interviewing her for our latest installment of Proust Goest Tech.

What would you otherwise be doing right now?

I would be in a public health position with the goal of becoming the U.S. Surgeon General. I was on the path to doing that before becoming obsessed with a problem and founding Baloonr!

Your main fault?

Oh my goodness. I’m very very impatient, and I probably sense too much. Sometimes I wish that I could just turn it off, but I can’t.

The quality you most desire in a tweet?

Not written by a bot; written by a human. Smart, true and funny. Something that’s really data driven. I really like the longer tweets now and the enhanced character limit.

Your idea of misery?

Not doing what you’re supposed to be doing in this world. Not aligning your life with what your gut and intuition are telling you you should be doing. Basically living someone else’s life just because you’re too scared to live your own or take a chance or a risk.

What do you appreciate the most in your friends?

Probably their diverse experiences and interests. Also our shared curiosity and hunger to share, explore and understand things. I also appreciate that they are extremely loyal and that I can have fun with them doing whatever it doesn’t matter what it is.

Your chief characteristic?

Probably that I am intensely driven and competitive. I won’t stop when I’m trying to push something to the world or make something happen. Even to the point where it’s embarrassing. It’s just who I am and how I operate and I’ve always been like that. That drive mixed with warmth and kindness. I think that combination can sometimes catch people off guard.

I also have like a loud hearty laugh which I have learned in the last five years is probably a characteristic of mine.

What skill do you wish you possessed?

I mean I wish that I spoke multiple languages because I think that it opens up so much in terms of friendships and opportunities, really everything. I’ve always wished that I had that skill.

Your most impactful book?

There are a lot. But I would probably say Drive by Daniel Pink was probably most impactful in really showing me and forcing me to understand how people are motivated. It showed me how there are different levels of motivation and that some people are different in how they’re motivated, and why certain motivation strategies don’t work. It really changed how my whole outlook on how people operate and it was all based in research and science.

What defines success?

I would say for me its grit. It has always been grit– the ability to push through when it seems completely impossible to do so. But I think success is personal and defined in so many different ways; Milestones are success, love is success, curiosity is success. There are so many different ways to define it, but for me it has always been grit.

When is confidence lost?

Hmm. I tend to not lose confidence. I try to push through in any moment when I would lose confidence. I give myself a reality check say, “This is your one life. This is your one chance to do these things. You have a healthy, functioning body to be able to do these different things.” So I try to always put it in perspective and that helps me to not lose confidence, and to really feel lucky to have opportunities.

Which buzzword is exhausted?

*hearty laugh* I don’t know. Probably one I haven’t even used yet. I’m always late to the game for buzzwords.

But I would say the word “woke” is right at that tipping point of words that are overly applied.

What virtues do others have that you don’t?

Patience and the ability to trust in the process is something that my team members have and my co-founder has. So I try to balance it out in that way, but its definitely not my strength and I don’t have that virtue.

What impact do you want to leave behind?

I want to leave behind meritocracy. That’s really the whole vision and mission of our company –to drive meritocracy in groups, and companies, and organizations. We want to create a level playing field to drive better innovation, outcomes, and decisions for the world.

What’s the biggest problem tech is failing to solve?

I would say that it’s really around diversity in viewpoints of experiences driving innovation. Not really relying on data and instead focused on pattern matching or intros and connections to fund and drive what our future looks like. I’ve always found it really strange an industry that’s supposed to solve our most pressing challenges doesn’t really support or welcome founders from all different backgrounds. I know that we’re really seeing this shift and I know that as a result the tech world will see bigger returns and bigger opportunities.

Editorial Note: Answers edited for brevity and clarity.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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