When you have the opportunity to ask some of the most interesting people in the world about their lives, sometimes the most fascinating answers come from the simplest questions. The Thrive Questionnaire is an ongoing series that gives an intimate look inside the lives of some of the world’s most successful people.

Thrive Global:What gives you energy?
Simone Ross: Being around good, smart, fun people. Also, being thrown into a problem or situation, and figuring it out.

TG: What’s your secret life hack? 
SR: Patience, a decent poker face and not being reactive. I’ve been described by some as “sphinx-like”…I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing, but for the most part it has served me well.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you? SR: My phone sleeps with me most of the time, but I do put it on “do not disturb.” In a city I feel disconnected without it, on (a short) vacation or break I am happy to only occasionally glance at it.

TG: How do you deal with email? 
SR: My relationship to email has evolved from one where I felt I needed to get to an inbox of zero in order to feel organized and productive, to one where I know that trying to get to zero is not at all productive and a complete waste of time.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it? SR: I try and get some fresh air. Even if it’s just a walk around the block. It helps clears my mind.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it? 
SR: Very recently, and I am still trying to figure that out. Different types and degrees of failure dictate how one tries to understand and overcome.

Simone is the cofounder and chief program officer of Techonomy Media Inc. Techonomy hosts conferences focused on the intersection of tech and the economy, exploring tech’s role as a driver of social and economic productivity and progress. Simone oversees and curates all conference programs including the annual flagship Techonomy conference, Techonomy Detroit, Techonomy Health, Techonomy NYC, Techonomy Bio and Techonomy Policy.

A strategist with a successful background in high-level content development projects and strategic program development , Simone has been an observer of the companies, individuals, and ideas at the intersection of tech, the economy and society for over 15 years, since her days as the Director of Program Operations for the Computerworld Smithsonian Awards.

Prior to Techonomy, she was program director for Fortune’s conference division, responsible programming the Fortune Global Forum, Fortune 500 Forum, Most Powerful Women Summit and Brainstorm. Before joining Fortune, she was director of operations at the Computerworld Smithsonian Awards Program.

Originally published at medium.com