Consulting/Enterprise (1997-2003) “real world” Internet - Consumer (2003-2010) “new world” Startups – Investing Building Mentoring (2010 - ?)
“Planning is guessing” - 37 signals dudes) What happened Left high paying job at big paying organization Optimize for being around smart people Never pursued graduate degrees My “plan” Get a high paying job at a big name organization Optimized mainly for $ and title At some point get an MBA or MS in Computer Science Repeat….
Google – great, career-changing Great products; treat user with respect Engineering driven, results-based Everyone smarter than me (it seemed) Opportunities to learn everywhere Open, transparent culture – employee trust Clear, compelling mission: “Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” Founders’ “religion” permeated the organization Very strong alumni network (better than MBA?) (perks)
Product Manager at Google “Quarterback” of the product Coordinate with everyone: Engineering, Customer Service, UI/UX, Legal, Marketing, Biz Dev, PR Everything “miscellaneous” is your responsibility Who’s the customer, what do they really want/need? Give them something they “didn’t know they wanted” Day to Day: Features, Metrics, Product Strategy Attributes Technical Bias Understand “80% of everything” Thick Skin Grades matter (should they?) Lessons Learned: Don’t build for each other (Like Minded folks) Google’s brand and distribution advantage Less is more
Google -> Zynga Why I went there (in retrospect) Publicity / Hype Money Change (force myself) Big Lesson Learned: Don’t follow the money/hype Believe in the product, company, and people!
My Lessons Learned Take more risks earlier Learn how things really work vs what `they’ tell you or what’s in the handbook or training manual Switched from enterprise to consumer earlier Surround yourself with smarter people than you I’m a better creator, leader, and builder than I am a follower and operator Perks are nice, but… $5k or $10k might seem like a lot…but… “Optimize for happiness” earlier
Familiar? Followed the rules Listened to parents/family Studied hard Did things “the right way” Got “great” internship / job Years later…Satisfied? Happy?
Knowing Yourself Natural tendencies Leader or Follower? Creator, Seller, or Operator Creator: “There’s a better way to do this” Seller: “We should eat at this restaurant” Operator: “Gimee all that stuff, I’ll organize it and make it run smoothly” Prefer structure/rules? Or prefer some chaos?
It Ain’t About You! It’s About: Making a difference (“adding value”) Helping someone or something Using your talents Do stuff that solves a problem or helps others, that people will pay for!
Resumes Mostly Keyword Searches. Most readers will do a very quick browse and only 1-2 things will catch their eye. What stands out: Results with measurable impact and real #’s. Don’t kill yourself debating length/format/fonts Trend: Resumes are becoming obsolete – LinkedIn and online aggreators like About.Me will win over time
Separation Lots of smart people (look around you) What separates them? Communication / Connection (Hustle + Persistance) > Talent ? Explain/convince/show their value GETS THINGS DONE (Joel on Software)
“Standing out” Show actual work (Demo links, github repos, videos, blogs) versus a “fluffy” PDF/Word resume Learn about the person and company – recent news is best. Show that you know what’s up. (Tweets, Google News Alerts, etc) Startups – many jobs aren’t posted; almost always in hiring mode Know your 1-2 liner “value pitch”, vs. “I think I can be a great asset to the company”
Corporate vs. Startup Cog in a machinevs building a machine Predictabilityvs Chaos & Uncertanity Process over Results Politicsvs meetings over beers Follow in line vs “Figure shit out” Headaches taken care of “Corporate Culture” matters. BIG TIME. Great Netflix deck Appearances vs. Reality Effortvs. Effectiveness Easy answer to Social Pressure
Mobile It can see – it has eyes It can hear – it has ears It can talk – it has voice It knows where you are - GPS It’s your music collection It can do email and internet It’s everywhere 6.8 Billion people in the world; 5 Billion cellphones Only 4 million Kenyans have electricity; 16 million have cellphones
Location-Based Services With GPS in most smart phones – it knows where you are