Jess Gartner

Jess Gartner, tech entrepreneur (Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun photo / June 18, 2013)

What was the hardest lesson you've learned so far?
"Hire professionals for home improvement projects. I thought installing a patio in my backyard would be a fun DIY project. That was an expensive and painful lesson. On the upside, I now own a tamper."

What's a fact about yourself that will surprise people?
"I'm a secret slob. I keep my professional life super organized with color-coded calendars and everything, but my room and car are always a mess. I have dry-cleaning from three months ago in my trunk. Is there an app for that?"

What do you do to relax?
"Practice bikram yoga and sing showstoppers."

Your (other) dream job would be ...
"Some amalgamation of artistry: writing, photography, theater."

What's on your playlist?
"Broadway show tunes and indie folk."

What is your favorite book?
"'The Unbearable Lightness of Being' by Milan Kundera. Joan Didion is my favorite writer, though."

What's your favorite vacation destination?
"I like to buy the cheapest one-way flight abroad I can find, buy another one-way flight home from somewhere else, and backpack around as many places as time and budget will allow in between the destinations. I've done this on four continents so far."