Category Archives: JTV

Another interview

When I talked with about our Android app we shot a second interview. That one was posted earlier today, here it is.

Lessons learned in hiring

I am in the midst of hiring someone to take over PR at and have learned a few things. First, I hate hiring. If you’re ever in a position to recruit someone who will need to be in charge of anything, start cursing immediately.

Other thoughts…

Not making mistakes
The way to get someone’s attention is actually pretty simple. Let’s say there are n things you’re doing–explaining your experience, linking to stuff on the web, whatever the fuck–make sure 1 of those things is amazingly fucking cool and that there is no way imaginable that it could be overlooked. For the other n-1 things, don’t fuck up. You win.

Word documents are horrible, PDF’s are better, and websites are best. There are a couple reasons. First, opening files is a pain, simple. Second, if for some reason you feel compelled to write more than 1 page for your resume, it’s going to be really obvious in a Word doc or PDF, but you can probably trick me if it’s in HTML.

Pay attention
Shockingly many applicants make it a lot harder on themselves by actively ignoring lots of clues about how to make me interested in them. The most common form of this is trying to convince me you can do 10 jobs that I’m not hiring for and don’t want you to do–this nearly always comes at the expense of convincing me you can do the job I’ve already told you I want you to do. It’s baffling. I had a teacher in high school that used to say “Teacher write on black board, student write in note book.” It was a little reminder not to ignore the obvious stuff you’re going to be expected to know, and it’s a big deal.

Job boards suck, but they kind of don’t suck
The best source of applicants will always be personal referrals–if it’s not, you have two problems. But job boards have a lot of reach, and I think they might legitimize the job a bit, too. They are very low signal:noise, but I think you should use them.

Figure out the absolute maximum amount of time you think hiring someone awesome will take, then double it. Finding people, convincing your team, doing all the logistical stuff, etc etc. It takes forever, especially if you don’t do it every day and have to learn as you go.

Look for reasons to say no
You will agonize a lot less and generally make better decisions than if you look for reasons to say yes.

Send rejection emails
Just telling people that you’re not going to interview them gets an amazingly strong reaction. I’ve been lucky enough not to have to send very many resumes in my life, so I can only assume this is pretty rare. It’s really not that hard though–I use a gmail canned response–and I think it builds a lot of goodwill.

Move quick
It’s better for candidates and it’s better for you. The first time you lose a candidate you like to another company you’ll agree.

Set expectations
Make sure everyone on your team knows what you expect, what you’re trying to do, and how it’s going. They will help a lot, but not if they don’t know how to.

Be honest
If you don’t want to hire someone because they are inexperienced, tell them. Don’t give bullshit no’s.

That’s what I have so far.

Round trip to London in less than 100 hours

Departed San Francisco at 4:30 last Saturday, landed back here 94 hours later. Some very brief notes…

  • I had a LOT of trouble understanding the accent, which was petty surprising. Literally had to guess what half the people I talked to were saying.
  • The currency, specifically coins being worth nearly $3, was confusing. I accidentally tipped more than $4 for a coffee.
  • The food was overall bad to neutral, with a couple standouts that were actually good.
  • Every form of internet I encountered-hotel wifi, conference wifi, 3g–was nearly useless. I’m convinced the country hates the internet.


I talked about interactivity and data at TEDxSOMA about a month ago. TEDx is a local version of TED and there are TEDx events being organized all over the world. Great work by the team at Parisoma putting this one together. Sadly, like nearly every restaurant in the world, they misspelled my name on this video.

BBC Interview

I did an interview with the BBC to talk about’s place in the world of media, how we deal with piracy and what’s next for us. They did some creative editing to cut off and combine some of my answers, but nothing too bad. It was pretty fun, although I hate hearing my voice. It ran on a BBC radio show called Live 5 (I think). You can play the audio below.