When I was living in San Francisco, I interviewed at StumbleUpon - a browser that allows you to bounce around the web instead of search
It's powered by user recommendations across hundreds of categories
I didn't like it much, "It's a novelty," I remember thinking
Two of the guys were wearing beanies and mountain gear - they'd just moved from Calgary to San Francisco and had a small office off Market Street
The third - "The PR Guy"- was pacing around in a suit with a bluetooth headset surgically attached to his ear
He didn't bother to shake hands or sit down
I assumed he was busy getting PR coverage, kind of rude, but no biggie
They told me their plan to sell ads in between "Stumbles" for 5c a pop to advertisers like Coca Cola or McDonalds
Did I think I could do that for them?
"Sure, why not?"
Although I thought, "Who's going to pay for that?"
Then I tried to be too smart and gave feedback on the homepage
"The tag cloud looks kinda messy..."
"Oh we know, we're going to change the whole site"
Out of nowhere - the PR guy - who I didn't even think was listening chimed in and asked:
"What would YOU do to improve it?"
I hadn't prepared suggestions
Now I was the one stumbling
Less than a minute later I was on my feet and waved out of the room by him
"Goodbye!" was all he said
I didn't sweat it and found another job
That was 2006
A year later the company sold to ebay for $75M
Garrett Camp, the baby-faced "PR guy" who is six months younger than me became the CEO and co-founded a small company called Uber with Travis Kalanick
Garrett's net worth is now over $5 bn
And I'm writing this post on a gloomy Sunday
#1. Don't poo-poo an idea simply because you don't like it - millions around the world use StumbleUpon and they have a very loyal and devoted following
#2. Don't give a critique or negative comment unless you can provide a better suggestion
#3. Don't go to interviews unprepared!
#4. While it would be nice for all leaders to have great manners - the fact is, some of the best just do not - they're thinking on another plain at a million miles per second. They don't always have time for manners, it's usually not personal
#5. It is possible to become a millionaire still by joining the right company - I would have been employee number 4 (at least I assume they weren't hiring other people remotely, which they may well have been)
There are so many new companies forming every day - statistically speaking, one or two will turn into billion dollar corporations one day
Maybe that company will be yours - I hope so
Have a great Sunday,