TheBridge profile: Peter Hames
Name: Peter Hames
Current city: San Francisco, CA
Current job: CEO, Big Health
Past job: I took the scenic route to founding Big Health. I’ve worked in karaoke and advertising, set up a cookware business, and curated octogenarian art.
Q. Favorite spot for a coffee meeting? Cafe de la Presse...a French cafe with the attractive quality of being right by our office.
Q. Describe how a skill you learned in a previous job helped you in your current job. My time in advertising helped me appreciate the power of brand and communications - and, although unwelcome, taught me how to handle extreme stress.
Q. Job advice in three words? Never give up
Q. How are you (or your company, org, nonprofit) currently bridging the gap between politics and tech / innovation and regulation? I’m proud to be an NHS Innovation fellow. We’re working in partnership with the NHS in pursuit of the UK government’s ambitious goals to continually improve nationwide access to evidence-based and cost-effective mental healthcare.
Q. What can innovators learn from policymakers? The art of building long-term, trusted relationships.
Q. What can policymakers learn from innovators? That failure is a necessary precursor to success, and should not be feared.
Q. Favorite book/podcast/long-form article you recommend? Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
Q. Most underrated virtue in an employee? Tenacity. One of the least likable aspects of Silicon Valley is the mercenary attitude of many people here. Smart, humble, loyal people who keep going and going until the work is done to an excellent level are the people I value most.
Q. If you had to live in another city, which would it be? Detroit.
Q. Looking back, what advice would you give yourself in the beginning of your career? It’s all about the people. If you get the team right, everything else will follow.
Q. Last time you were completely unplugged? Last night. My sanity relies upon containing my digital access to the daylight hours. Devices stay out of the bedroom!
Q. Living person you admire? My friends Kate and Marcus, who volunteer to deliver crisis response and mental healthcare on the streets in San Francisco. In the technology world we aggrandize what we do, yet we’re not the ones putting ourselves on the front lines to help those most in need. I have so much respect for those that do.
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