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Weekly Review #49: Scratching the itch to create, @averylewis on conveying passion, and silly drones

I sat down with Avery Lewis for more job hunt advice, who was Getaround early Head of Product and now runs the powerhouse development team Collective Ray. A classic hustler only 2 years ahead of me, here’s what he said:

  • It’s all about hanging out with people you admire who are doing things you’re passionate about. Tell them about your passion for the team and their mission first, and have all the classical resume stuff on hand to back it up
  • When interviewing, talk about cool stuff you both like and then you’re just friends having a conversation
  • Be strategic in presenting yourself – look at their mission and tailor yourself to fit in to it
  • Push back gently with questions – ask them about the job beyond the description before interviewing to see if there’s a good fit
  • Know what you want, what they want, and how you can give it to them

Brian Chesky of Airbnb talks about scratching the itch to create in NYT:

  • ” I found (my identity) through industrial design. I think it helped me become a good C.E.O. because it really teaches you empathy. It’s like method acting; you have to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. It’s very easy for C.E.O.s to become transactional and focus on numbers and quantitative analysis, and that can create an emotional detachment. Industrial design teaches you exactly the opposite.”
  • “I removed all reticence whenever a crisis occurred, and I made a unilateral decision to be direct. And when I started doing that, I realized that people are thriving from this, and that it’s so much more helpful for people.”
  • “(When hiring), we’re looking for people who see the world as it could be rather than as it is. I also ask people to summarize their life in three minutes. I’m trying to figure out the formative decisions and experiences that influenced who you are as a person. Once I figure that out, I’m trying to understand the two or three most remarkable things you’ve ever done in your life. Because if you’ve never done anything remarkable in your life until this point, you probably never will.”
  • “Don’t listen to your parents for career advice. Assume whatever you do will be a massive failure, because then you’ll figure out what you want to do regardless of the consequences”

Ramit Sethi on the Tim Ferriss Podcast was a great two hours

  • Persistence is important for entrepreneurs because sometimes staying in the game longer than others is all it takes to win
  • It’s hard to get to the top, but easy to stay there (because everyone emails you cool stuff)
  • Ramit structures his company so that if any person in it got hit by a bus, they’d have reproducible systems down on paper so that anyone else could do their job the next day
  • When cold emailing, find a casual commonality, then talk about why you follow them, and end with a specific response desired (but flexible)

Clay Shirky has a long, rather technical essay from 2003 detailing the challenges of forging online communities, but it’s worthy stuff, and all the more relevant for today’s social media companies.

Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman preaches to 22 year olds, saying the happiest people he know have a craft and a calling, you should try to do as much as possible rather than see as much as possible, and concludes that the only way to be happy is to be needed by others (which doesn’t come from traveling).

Startups this week include Cameo, which makes it easy to create beautiful videos on your iPhone (kind of like Gopro’s 10 app), Pigeon, a tiny orange minimalist kick scooter, and Mosey, which allows users to curate worthy walks in any city.

Some fun with drones: Spotify put a subwoofer on one and is flying is around music festivals, and this guy programmed his to walk his dog.