Q&A with Paul DeHart, CEO, BlueToad, Inc.

How would you best describe your magazine (company, etc.)
BlueToad is a digital publishing software company that helps content creators connect with their audience.

What makes it special?
We are a values-based company, which in part includes having fun and building quality relationships with our partners and customers. It’s great to be able to do things the right way and see success follow.

What steps led to your current position:
I started my career as a commercial litigator here in Florida. In 2006, a group of partners and I started building BlueToad. We launched in early 2007, and I began taking an active leadership role in 2008. Today, as CEO, I focus my time on our company vision and organizational health.

What’s been a career highlight?
The simple fact the my partners and I built a successful company that employees a bunch of great people and serves so many great partners and publishers.

A career lowlight?
Over the years we have had our share of challenges here at BlueToad, but I can’t say that any of them were all that bad. Even our worst moment – being the victim of a cyber attack – was a significant learning experience and ultimately company-improving event that I wouldn’t take back.

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in your industry?
The emergence of mobile devices as an integral part of our daily lives (especially when it comes to content consumption) has definitely been impactful on the publishing industry. More interesting though has been the aftereffect – the evolution of the modern publisher from putting ink on paper to distributing content and media across multiple platforms and devices.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
I use Evernote every day to keep me organized and to manage tasks and projects. Also, like many people, I am very dependent on my iPhone.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
I am not really a big gadget person (outside of my phone and computer and related apps), so I’ll cheat a bit here and say my Vitamix. I couldn’t start the day right without it.

What’s the best professional advice you’ve ever received?
I have received a lot of good advice over the years. One piece of advice that sticks out is to always keep a sense of perspective on what you are doing and the desired outcome. For example, a fork is simply a tool to eat food. You don’t generally need to polish or sharpen it before you use it. You just stab your food with it and eat. Similarly, you don’t need to over-complicate certain daily decisions or work product and risk not getting things done on time or at all. I apply this logic to a number of work activities (when appropriate) – such as emails and certain operational decisions.

What’s the best professional advice you could offer?
When possible, take your time before reacting or responding to a situation. This simple step can help you gather information, think things through, and keep emotions out of the process.