Check out the new tab up top – Startup Ideas is the list of problem/opportunities I’ve noticed. Who knows what’ll happen to them in public.
I grabbed lunch with Jascha Kaykas-Wolff (author of Growing Up Fast, CMO at Bittorrent, and preeminent agile marketer) this week and picked his mind on how best to approach my current job hunt. He had plenty of advice worth sharing:
- The question of big or small company for first gig is irrelevant. More important is the resources they offer you – what their track record of new grads is, if there is mentorship in place. Ask how they’ve contributed to past employee successes. (For Jascha as an executive, he will not take a job until the CEO has met his wife. How they treat family is the most important thing to him)
- Think like a salesman when networking. Find someone at the desired company, find someone to introduce you, then grab coffee and ask them for everything except the job. “How’d you get here, do you like it, why would someone join”. Trick is to not be smarmy – care about the person and connect through the shared career opportunity.
- Don’t look for ‘hot companies’. Look for the intersection between a problem you’re passionate about and something the company is doing. Use your domain knowledge of stuff you like (ie your hobbies, the products you use every day). Look for products you love that do things you don’t like.
- Then tell a story about yourself as the perfect candidate. Jascha helped his mother run concerts – so he had years of entrepreneurial experience and a whatever-it-takes mentality by the time of his first real gig.
- New grads are perfect for making sense of an existing data set – come to the table saying ‘I know you have this data, let me make it actionable for you’. Alternatively, account managers are low level but interact with all parts of the company which is good learning.
- He thinks push notifications could be improved today – many are non-relevant and annoying even as they have all the data to be targeted.
- And lastly, almost every hire he’s ever seen was done without a job position advertised. It’s about marketing yourself to the right company and making yourself sound indispensable, not searching online listings.
In terms of fun this week, I learned that Competitive jump roping is a serious sport this week, and after seeing some of these freestyle and double dutch routines, I respect it greatly! Also, this Polish guy dressed his small dog up in a spider costume and scared the bejeezus out of pedestrians – hilarious.
Happn is a clever idea that’s apparently big in Europe – it’s basically Tinder but only for people you’ve brushed into in real life (as determined by checking your phone’s GPS coordinates). So you could open with (I’m the guy in green who was checking you out at Starbucks. Clever. I feel like there are more startup opportunities within the ‘use phone GPS data’ space.
The story behind all those .io URLs is pretty interesting – it was the country code for the British Indian Ocean territory, which has since been totally evacuated in order to make room for US military bases. Now all the startups use it for their names because nobody has the specific rights for it anymore….
Remember Soylent, that food substitute protein shake that I subsisted off of at Burning Man and still drink regularly? Now there’s another contender: Mealsquares. They taste like little cupcakes, and are just as nutritionally complete. I’m intrigued – it’s probably more filling that a liquid, too.
Justin Mares shares 9 clever ways to repurpose existing content in order to 3x output and several tools to help you do so – saving this for later.
Traveller Ron Robbins is turning his around-the-world sailboat trip into a reality show for 18-35 year olds, with a crack team and guests like bloggers and internet personalities. He makes a compelling case for why there is a niche for this – it certainly is a good way to monetize your travels.