We’re recruiting a product designer for AngelList. Here’s how we’re doing it and what we’re learning. (If you’re interested in working with us, details are at the bottom of this post.)
I didn’t start by putting up a job post. I figured if everybody else is doing it, I need to take a different approach. So I called the smartest designers and entrepreneurs I knew and asked them for advice. Here’s what I’ve learned:
We want a product designer. This job post from Quora defines a product designer as “Extraordinary product, interaction, and visual design talent [with] a curiosity and passion for crafting amazing experiences.” Product design encompasses visual design, interaction design, branding… it’s the whole user experience.
A small team like ours should hire designers who can build what they design. At a minimum, that means building HTML, CSS, perhaps JS, perhaps beyond. See these posts by Jason Putorti and Rebekah Cox for more info. Also read Rebekah’s Early Quora Design Notes.
Quora has the best job postings I’ve seen in a long time — they’re muscular and much better than all the quirky job postings in the world.
Consultants are good if you want to build the product. Full-time people are good if you want to build the team. We want to build the team.
The opportunity for product designers
AngelList is a community of angel investors who make it fast and easy for worthy startups to raise money. These links tell the story better than we ever could:
In short, the 250+ angels on AngelList are bringing startup funding online — in fact, they’ve already funded about 40 startups (here’s a few of them). This is a very high-impact and difficult problem… and a giant opportunity to help the industry that funds the startups we know and love: Facebook, Google, Twitter, Apple, you name it.
What’s in it for you? Investors throughout Silicon Valley and the world will use your product daily. You get to lead the product and company by turning vision into product, with no managers in your way. Your title will be the same as everyone else on the team: Venture Hacker. You’ll work with a founding team of investors (Twitter), founders (Epinions), students (life), and advisors (billions served). And you get to push the envelope of what is possible with product design on the Web.
We’re committed to building a high-impact and long-lasting team. If you’re a product designer who’s irrationally interested in this problem and wants to work with us full-time in San Francisco, send us a few links (we don’t need/want anything else), and please let us know if you have any questions.
We’re spending the next few months officing at Kicklabs at 250 Brannan (email@example.com) and the new SOMAcentral building at 153 Townsend (firstname.lastname@example.org).
These spaces are good for startups, service providers, lawyers, VCs, and folks in the south bay who want an auxiliary office space in the city. Leases are short, rent is affordable, and they’re perfect for small teams under 5 people.
Kicklabs (top) is a big fun open space. SOMAcentral (bottom) is the opposite: private offices with doors that close and great views. We’re using both. If you’re looking for office space in San Francisco with Zipcar-like simplicity, check them out and tell them we sent you.
Please add your office space suggestions in the comments — keep them restricted to places with leases under 6 months that are good for small teams (~ 5 people).
At the end of the day, the reason to get an office is simple. It is so you can bring people into your office and say, this is where I office.
I was surprised to see how many people get their news on Facebook. The fan page already has 677 fans. Check it out.
Here’s how we put it together.
How to get fans
I mentioned the page on Twitter a few times — that’s the first few bumps of fans on the left and middle of this graph.
Then I added a fan page widget to the sidebar on venturehacks.com. That’s the steady slope on the right side of the graph — about 12 new fans a day. Otherwise, I haven’t sent any messages to my Facebook friends asking them to “fan” the page — I think that’s spam.
How to set up your fan page
I looked at a lot of solutions for powering the fan page and this is what I came up with for my needs:
HootSuite to publish tweets to Twitter and our fan page at the same time. It also lets me schedule tweets.
Involver to power the Twitter tab at the top of the fan page.
I also use tweetpo.st to publish our tweets to my personal Facebook profile. I wish tweetpo.st worked on fan pages because it adds pictures to the tweets and changes @names into real names.
(If you’re a complete psychopath, you might like the specs for My Ultimate Twitter Client, which also includes the instructions for my Twitter/Facebook workflow.)
Should I get a fan page?
I recommend a fan page if you’re serious about blogging and tweeting. Facebook already accounts for 5% of the clicks on my bit.ly links:
The top two sources are Twitter of course.
Twitter is my continuous deployment tool
Finally, I like to say that Twitter is my continuous deployment tool. If I build something, I release it that day on Twitter. That’s what I did with our fan page. Even though it took me a few more months to improve it and get around to blogging about it.
And so, we present our 10 most popular posts of 2009:
Use this list to catch up on great posts you missed.
When we started Venture Hacks in 2007, we were all about hacking term sheets. In 2008, we continued to write about raising money and expanded to general startup advice — for example, see our posts on job offers. Looking at the top 10 list above, 2009 was clearly the year of customer development. It was also the year of monetization, as we created more free and paid products — here’s a list of them.
From now on, we’re sending a bona fide Venture Hacks mug to the registered user with the best comment of the week. We don’t care if this bankrupts us. This one-of-a-kind collector’s item is emblazoned with the Venture Hacks motto on the front:
And the subtle new Venture Hacks logo is on the back: