The Unusual Place This Serial Tech Entrepreneur Gets His Best Ideas

Tim Bucher
Tim Bucher now works on a photo startup he founded called Lyve Tim Bucher

Tim Bucher, founder and CEO of a photo storage and sharing startup called Lyve, has had a long career in Silicon Valley, working directly with some of the brightest minds in tech, including Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Michael Dell.

Bucher founded or co-founded two tech startups before Lyve. Mirra, a consumer hard drive company he flipped to Seagate for as much as $US30 million, and a mobile entertainment company called ZING, bought by Dell in 2007.

Any time in his life that Bucher has needed to make an important decision, or when he wants to come up with his next big idea, he always does the same thing: heads to his vineyard.

“All of my Silicon Valley ideas come to me on my tractor,” he told Business Insider. “Period.”

At 16, Bucher pooled together $US100,000 with his nine siblings to buy a 2-acre grape vineyard. Today, he owns three ranches in Sonoma Valley. He never thinks more clearly than when he’s on one of his tractors, mowing through the fields.

Tim Bucher

“It clears my mind, he says. “I just sit there and I chew and I chew and I chew. You’re paying attention to what you’re doing, but it also releases this other side of your brain that goes nuts. In a ten hour day in the vineyard, I can basically process what I would in months in an office. That’s where I come up with new ideas.”

Bucher says that he sees heard about the same experience from other entrepreneurs, many of whom take to extreme sports to clear their minds.

“I think in general when you’re an entrepreneur you take it to the edge — my edge is just a little bit different,” he says. “Every company I’ve started, I can remember exactly where it happened — which block in the vineyard.”

Tim Bucher

Besides Mirra and Zing, Bucher founded, Trattore Wines, and Dry Creek Olive Company.

Now, he works mainly on Lyve, which he founded to help people manage their unruly photo collections. The company’s free app collects and sorts an unlimited number of your stored photos, so they’re accessible from any device, and it also sells a physical storage device, the 2-terabyte, $US299 Lyve Home.