Ramit Sethi: 'I Couldn't Do My Job Without...'

Last Updated Jul 5, 2011 2:29 PM EDT

Ever wonder what apps and gear busy entrepreneurs use to boost their productivity, stay organized, and maintain their sanity? In our ongoing series, we ask company CEOs, founders, and other influential business folks to reveal their tech essentials.

The Entrepreneur: Ramit Sethi.

The Business: I Will Teach You To Be Rich, a personal finance blog that covers money and psychology, including ultra-specific tips about the best accounts, earning more money, negotiation, and investing. Ramit hosts 300,000 monthly readers and has a New York Times best-selling book.

The Tech Tool That Makes His Life Easier: "Surveymonkey. I spend a lot of time listening to my readers to find out exactly what their challenges are with money, jobs, and entrepreneurship. Sometimes you can't just ask for obvious answers -- you have to dig to find out what people really think.

"To do that, we collect thousands of survey responses every month -- often tens of thousands. We collect quantitative and qualitative feedback, but the qualitative feedback -- open-ended essay responses -- are infinitely more valuable than any pie chart we could gather.

"Sometimes, we'll find that asking the same question in two different ways produces two very different sets of answers. It's like a puzzle, and we have to dig to find the real truth.

"But doing this process lets us create products and courses that are far richer than the other stuff on the market. It lets us deeply understand exactly what people's hopes, fears, and dreams are.

"I also have to admit that there are free services out there, like Google Docs, but I'm already used to Surveymonkey, plus it has all my data, so I'm not likely to switch any time soon. For the value I get, the price is a steal."

The Specs: Surveymonkey offers free accounts, but they're limited to 10 questions and 100 responses per survey. Premium plans, which start at $16.99 per month, add features like custom survey designs and question randomization.

If you're a CEO, founder, or all-around Important Person, I'd like to hear how you'd fill in this blank: "I couldn't do my job without _____." Ping me at bizhacks@gmail.com.
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