Archive for the ‘Career’ category

“Off The Cuff” Internet Winners

12-08-07

You’ve got a room full of venture capitalists in Half Moon Bay, Ca., not too far from Silicon Valley.  What do you do?  Guy Kawasaki, tech marketer and a VC fund CEO himself, decided to torture them with the personal testimony of four hugely successful web entrepreneurs who did it all without any VC money! From Dean Takahashi’s blog on the San Jose Mercury News’ site:

The highlight of the AlwaysOn Venture Capital Summit was Guy Kawasaki’s panel, “Why Take Venture Capital At All.” It was hilarious from the get go as venture capitalists watched the young entrepreneurs on the panel inside the swanky Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay resort. Kawasaki rounded up four people who were at the right place with the right idea at the right time. By making money with virtually solo operations, they are the lucky ones who make it look so easy. So much so that they didn’t really need much funding at all. In other words, it’s the people everybody loves to hate because they make the rest of us look so bad and unlucky.

Kawasaki asked everyone at the outset how much traffic each of the young entreprenuers were getting. Drew Curtis, the founder of Fark.com, said he has managed to get 52 million page views a month from four million unique visitors. I enjoy Fark myself. It’s basically news of the weird that makes you laugh. People submit ideas for funny stories to him and he and his crew put the best ones on the site. Curtis lives in Kentucky, drinks beer, and plays a lot of soccer so that he counteracts the effects of the beer.

He got the idea for Fark.com as a “complete accident” back in 1999. “I did it because I was annoying the people I was sending the stories to,” he said. Curtis said the site is just a single page that you click on to go to the stories. Once it gathered momentum, the bottom had fallen out of the dot-com market so Curtis didn’t raise any money.

“Still, it was basically my own personal web site,” he said. “It’s almost on auto pilot.”

They get about 2,000 stories a day and then sort through them. He notes that every single late-night talk show and comedy show uses stuff from Fark.com but they don’t credit it. He reads through them from 7 am until 5 pm, when his soccer game starts. He says he is usually so drunk at night that he signs off early, he said.

“I’m having trouble feeling sorry for you, hanging out in Kentucky,” Kawasaki said.

Curtis said that four friends help him do the sorting because they have the same kind of sense of humor that he has. Sometimes he disappears and no one notices. Acting the social critic, Kawasaki asked, “What does it mean that a lot of people get their news through Fark? It’s not exactly NPR.”

“It comes down to the way the younger generation reads the news,” he said. “Most males 18 to 35 get their TV news from the Daily Show. It’s a different filter.” He is worried that Fark has been around nine years and it will be “screwed” if the younger readers don’t adopt it. But he said the younger readers are still coming.

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Scaring Up a New Job

11-01-07

doggies-in-halloween-costumes.jpg

Bloggers are starting to get timely with their holiday-themed posts, but this one from “careersolvers” struck me as more than just clever:

Resumes are a lot like Halloween costumes. The best resumes, like the best costumes, are not what we expect. They challenge the senses and the mind. They make us think “Wow, this is someone I need to know” or “Maybe this person can help solve my company’s problems.” They invite conversation, inquiry, and perhaps even debate.

So who are you on your resume? Is your persona “off the shelf” and do you look like so many of your competitors, or are you different, exciting, and “custom made”?

Barbara Safani is the career management coach who came up with this.  She posts extensively about resumes, including this one expressing doubts about the video resume fad.