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Back to the Roots co-founder Alejandro Vlez knows the best thing to do sometimes is not the thing he wants to do.
You don't know it all. Here's what to do when you realize it.
Back to the Roots founders Alejandro Vlez and Nikhil Arora say you don't want failure or success to get you too far off kilter.
Alejandro Vlez and Nikhil Arora didn't really know what they were doing when they started, but figured it out the best way you can.
To Back to the Roots co-founder Alejandro Vlez, being an entrepreneur can have its ups and downs, but achievement depends on one thing.
For Nikhil Arora, co-founder of Back to the Roots, one of them is hustle. He talks about the other here.
Alejandro Vlez believes that being an entrepreneur isn't necessarily the best way or the worst way, just one way.
For Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Vlez, agreeing on something is a potential step backwards.
Alejandro Vlez and Nikhil Arora have different approaches to their business and had to learn how to work with each other.
Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Vlez weren't friends before they partnered together, but they quickly bonded over a single idea.
Back to the Roots founder Alejandro Vlez talks about how he and his co-founder crowdfunded responsibly.
Schmoozing may seem a little low-brow, but both entrepreneurs and Presidents need to learn to master it.
Schmooze factor. Sounds silly, right? But it is a critical behavioral component of leadership that is all too often ignored.
President Obama has been criticized for not hanging out, schmoozing, and making small talk with the key players in Washington. Obama doesn’t “have the schmooze gene,” says Jonathan Alter in his new book, The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies. “The backslapping, stroking, gripping, and grinning that were second nature to politicians like Clinton and Biden [are] often chores for Obama.”
The Washington Post weighs in: “Obama still isn’t very good at using his personal charm to achieve political success. Yet, it may be one of the few strategies the president has left.”
This can easily seem trite and irrelevant. Schmoozing isn’t what leadership is all about. Real leadership is about serious business, not small talk. Chit-chat on the golf course may be acceptable, but schmoozing seems a little low-brow to some.
Or is it?
Take Lyndon Johnson, whom many consider a connoisseur of small talk, schmoozing, and one-liners. If it weren’t for his perpetual interaction with Congress, he wouldn’t have been able to pass Medicare. As James T. Patterson writes in The Eve of Destruction: How 1965 Transformed America, “LBJ spent hours on the phone with congressmen and senators, held frequent one-on-one meetings with leaders, and hosted regular Tuesday morning breakfast gatherings at the White House.” Johnson used small talk as a tool to win people over, establish trust, and move agendas forward.
Entrepreneurs must accept that schmoozing helps get things done. It’s the grease that helps turns the wheels. It’s your way, as a leader, to establish trust between you and your team.
By schmoozing, you show your vulnerability and your doubt, while being open to the vulnerability of others. It creates a social intimacy apart from the routine of work.
But how do you create such intimacy?
Through a little talk. Through off-the-cuff discussions that are often not directly related to your work or agenda. They are moments when you reveal glimpses of your authentic self.
Schmoozing is a tool by which we let others see behind the curtain. If they like what they see, they will be more likely to trust you and give you the benefit of the doubt.
Schmoozing gives others the opportunity to open up to you. It gives you an appreciation for the subtleties of the positions of others.
It allows you to open up by being self-effacing and self-reflective without feeling there is a cost. It allows you to discuss issues, events, and experiences unrelated to the task at hand, but which will give a sense of your totality.
Schmoozing is not some sideshow glad-handing. It’s an opportunity to be intimate. Through that intimacy you engage in authenticity and build trust. Through schmoozing you build up the interpersonal assets that you may need in times of conflict and crisis. It is the chip you can play later when you need them on your side.
To schmooze effectively, you don’t have to mimic the antics of LBJ. On the other hand, you may want to hang out and chat more than President Obama has done. What you need to do is find appropriate, informal moments to show curiosity about others and share who you are beneath your formal veneer.
The site looks pretty, but creating an account is still impossible. Is this a temporary glitch or something more?
Days into the launch of Obamacare, I still can't create an account.
After spending a half-hour trying to log into healthcare.gov, I was prompted to enter my name, select a username and password, and set the answers to some challenge questions.
But then I was rerouted to the government's equivalent of a 404 Error (sic): "Important: Your account coudlnt be created at this time. The system is unavailable."
"Marty," the friendly, if not overly helpful person on the other end of the website, referred me to the Marketplace system's hotline, the now infamous 1-800-318-2596. A cheerful woman on the other line apologized, saying she couldn't help me create an account but only could answer questions about what plans might be available once I had done so.
Her advice? Wait a few days. Then try again.
According to Uncle Sam, on October 1, 4.7 million Americans tried to log on to healthcare.gov and many of them got no further than I did. Some Obamacare opponents say this is a leading indicator the whole system is a mess. Backers (including the president) say it just indicates interest and that it's no more a problem than most corporate rollouts experience.
"Glitches" are inevitable.
"You're always going to have challenges when you're rolling out any kind of exchange environment that hasn't been fully tested. It's not unusual," said Doroty Miraglia, vice-president of benefits for Engage PEO, a human resources outsourcing organization.
Michael Quintos of Digital Ad Agency, who manages teams of software developers and has rolled out interactive web sites for many large clients, agreed. "There's no such thing as bug free software," he said. "Better to get it out there and work on it. It's the advice I'd give a small business owner or a corporate client."
He added he was impressed with the design of the site, but not its technical prowess. "It has to work visually and technically. They've got the visual part down, pat."
Give it time. Like, until tomorrow.
Though the launch was disastrous, it's important to remember open enrollment lasts until March 31.
"Given that people have 180 days to enroll and that coverage does not start until January 1st, 2014, there isn't a pressing need to be able to serve everyone on October 1," said Adam C. Powell, president of Payer+Provider, a consulting firm that helps health insurance companies and hospitals overcome operating challenges.
The question is how much time is reasonable.
"From a purely technical perspective, this is a complicated web project and I'd give the team high grades so far. If by the weekend all glitches are cleaned up, this will not be remembered," Quintos said. However, "if it's not up by Friday or maybe even Saturday or the weekend, then I think they absolutely owe it to the American people to say, 'Okay we're going to delay this another 30 days.'"
The real problem? Politics.
Of course, part of the problem with a huge, unwieldy program has to do with the myriad compromises and state and federal systems required to get it enacted. Which has led to repetitive bureaucracies at the state and federal levels, said Deane Waldman, a pediatric cardiologist and author of the book, The Cancer in Healthcare. "Everybody seems focused on the immediate and the technical, without looking at the big picture. The law is incredibly and unnecessarily complex ... and that makes everybody, both states and feds, create a bureaucracy that is unnecessarily complex and user-unfriendly."
Toyota's chairman reveals the three factors he credits for success
I had the honor recently of thanking Takeshi Uchiyamada, chairman of the board of Toyota Motor Corp. and the '"father of the Prius," for all the business that his company has given to my wire basket and sheet metal fabrication plant over the years.
Uchiyamada is not any business leader. He is chairman of one of the world's largest automakers. Toyota employs more than 300,000 people worldwide and more than 30,000 in the U.S. at 10 domestic plants -; Marlin Steel supplies four of them. Mr. Uchiyamada -; the creator of the Prius, the powerhouse hybrid electric car of which more than three million have been sold -; has earned himself a seat at the pantheon of great business leaders of our era. He shared some powerful insights Monday before a small audience at the Economic Club of Washington D.C.
My operation is a lot smaller than his, clearly -; and probably so is yours. But the lessons he shared could help anyone grow his or her business, no matter the size, in challenging times.
He credited three factors for Toyota's ascent over the formidable General Motors and Ford juggernauts in the 1970s and 1980s:
The first two factors are clearly universal to all businesses. Luck is no small thing. It sounds like a passive concept, but I believe we must make our own luck as we grow our companies through hard work. We must also continually listen to clients and respond to their wishes to propel our companies to greater success. Are you carefully listening to clients? And then responding?
But what about TPS? Yes, it’s a manufacturing system-;one that’s much emulated. But that’s not all it is. At its core, the template is about never being satisfied with the status quo. It is about striving for improved client satisfaction through relentless pursuit of better quality and price points. Your competition cannot touch you because of your amazing productivity and low-cost structure. And that’s not limited to the auto sector or to manufacturing. Are you pushing your team to constantly improve on important metrics?
Indeed, Mr. Uchiyamada heaped some unexpected praise on one of his competitors. When asked what car he would buy if he could buy any fantasy car, his answer surprised: the BMW 5 Series. He wasted no time, however in noting that his son's purchase of a European car ended badly, and that he wisely and happily switched to a Toyota after the failed experiment.
The audience at the Economic Club, having already lapped up the wisdom of a giant, roared.
Most entrepreneurs waste time leaping from one bright idea to the next (to the next.) Here's a six-step path to recovery
My name is Andrew and I am a recovering addict. My weakness: Opportunities. For more years than I care to remember, I have been addicted to chasing opportunities.
This is a problem for many entrepreneurs. You chase every opportunity that comes your way--like a dog chasing a butterfly, with the same result. A 12-step program could help, though I suspect most entrepreneurs would lose interest with that many steps. Instead, I have = developed a six-step program designed to cross all language, cultural, political, and geographical borders to help opportunity junkies everywhere find their way to recovery.
STEP 1: Create an “Opportunity List”
One of the biggest fears that opportunity addicts share is the fear of missing out. A common, obsessive question: “What if I have the best idea in the world and I forget it?” So every time a great idea comes your way, the first thing you must do is add it to your opportunity list. Then, do absolutely nothing further about it. This way it is recorded and you don’t have to worry about losing it.
STEP 2: Develop your own “Opportunity Evaluation Process”
In other words, devise a checklist of criteria that any opportunity must meet before it can graduate from the wish list to the potential list. Make sure your checklist is rigorous and honest. That way, the opportunities you pursue will truly be worth the effort.
STEP 3: Dismiss any opportunity that requires you to act immediately
If I had a dollar for every time I dropped everything to chase a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity… let’s just say I would be a very wealthy man. I have since learned that most time-sensitive opportunities are a waste of time. In fact, you’ll be surprised how often these opportunities come around again (and again).
STEP 4: One opportunity at a time
Get into the habit of having just one opportunity as your priority at any one time. This means you have to choose wisely and be disciplined enough to stay focused. Don’t worry, the others are still there, but you are not allowed to move on those until you nail the one at the top of your list.
STEP 5: Find yourself a brutal opportunity gatekeeper
Your job is to pitch every opportunity to this individual for approval. Their job is to push back, in order to make sure you aren’t just chasing butterflies. If you can’t sell the opportunity to the gatekeeper, then it doesn’t make the cut.
STEP 6: Avoid the places where opportunities lurk
They might not be down darkened taverns or red light districts, but rest assured, opportunities lurk all the same. You need to know the places where we tend to get piles of ideas and avoid them. Don’t worry, when you are running low on opportunities (as if) you can revisit some of these locales, but do not go there to chase butterflies.
Rest assured, the world will never run out of opportunities, there are new ones being created every minute.
In a post on the company's blog, CEO Jason Goldberg has announced that the start-up will be eliminating 101 Fab.com positions worldwide.
Start-up darling Fab.com announced today that it will lay off just over 100 employees across the board, according to a post on the company’s blog entitled "Path to Profitability."
“In total the layoffs affect 101 people worldwide, including 84 people from our New York headquarters. Following these actions Fab will have 440 full time employees. As noted, not every group at Fab will be impacted. In particular, our Crackerjack customer service team, our merchandize planning, and our technology groups will remain fully in place. We are also hiring people for our private label sourcing team in New York and to grow our 50-person Fab Designed By You (Fab DBY) custom-furniture group that continues to operate out of our Berlin office,” said the post, authored by Fab.com CEO Jason Goldberg.
This news doesn’t come as a complete shock, however. Earlier this week, in an email to employees, Goldberg reportedly announced that the e-commerce start-up would be making a shift to an inventory-based system, departing from its flash-sale model, with additional plans to launch a new website and mobile app. The emailed memo also hinted at staffing changes accompanying this news, reported Bloomberg.
“Our processes are changing, along with our investments in technology that may impact the number of people required to perform various tasks,” Goldberg said in the memo, as reported by the media outlet. “At the same time, we are accelerating our path to profitability, with a commitment to get Fab profitable on our current financing by continuously optimizing our cost structure.”
Fab.com, founded in 2011, grew in popularity for its selection of home furnishings and art. With total funding of $336 million, the young start-up has been valued at around $1 billion. This news comes on the heels of Fab.com layoffs in July, when the company eliminated 100 employees in Berlin.
Fab did not immediately return request for comment.
While geeks accepted wearable technology first, will the general public get on board?
You probably thought your Uncle Henry was a little weird (and annoying) when he kept showing you how many more Nike FuelBand calories he needed to burn/earn to reach his preset daily goal. But what’s amazing is how that little wrist band with its tight feedback loop displaying points can actually motivate people to improve their lifestyle. Oh, it also makes a nice watch.
We’re at the dawn of a new industry loosely called "wearable technology" that may have reached $4.6 billion in sales around the world already this year.And Google Glass isn’t even for sale yet. Many geeks already are on board. The April Modis Geek Pride Survey of people aged 18 or over found that "61 percent of self-described geeks said they would buy and wear a smart watch," and "56 percent would do the same with smart glasses." Perhaps even more interesting, 37 percent of non-geeks were also interested in smart watches, and 35 percent were interested in smart glasses.
The biggest market in wearable tech is health and fitness.
Wearable tech gadgets are already widely used by individuals to track information related to health and fitness. In addition to FuelBands, there are Jawbone Ups and Fitbits, which also let you know how you're doing on your fitness goals. There are even smart socks that let you know when you're too sedentary and when your running form needs improvement.
Beyond measuring calories burned or steps taken, wearable technology can already provide persistent monitoring of a patient's vitals or fetal and maternal heart rates, gauge the severity of sleep apnea, or vibrate when slouching is detected.
Organized sports are a major outlet for the technology already. This year, a limited number of NFL football helmets will be equipped with sensors to gauge the impact of blows to the brain and to determine whether different positions get different types of impact. Many colleges, including Virginia Tech, are also using sensors to study how and why some players suffer head injuries and others do not. The findings might lead to rule changes. The TSG Hoffenheim soccer team in Germany has placed sensors in shin guards, in clothing, and even in the ball to collect data on ball possessions, speed averages, and more. That data can then be used to customize training to target the strengths and weaknesses of each player and to reduce the risk of injury.
The next wave of wearable devices expected to hit the market may be smart watches. ABI Research forecasts 1.2 million smart watches will be shipped in 2013 due to the wide availability and low cost of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), energy efficient connectivity technologies such as Bluetooth 4.0, and the high penetration of smartphones in many world markets, which supports a flourishing smart watch app ecosystem. While Apple struggles to bring its iWatch to market, Samsung has already begun to ship its Galaxy Gear smart watch, which includes a 1.9-megapixel camera and a speakerphone, comes in an array of colors, and shoots 720p HD video.
While wearable devices interweave technology into everyday life, making technology pervasive and the interaction with it frictionless, there are some obstacles to widespread acceptance of wearable technology.
Power: Wearable devices still need to be charged, so you remain a slave to your charger station. Most current wearable devices only work in conjunction with your smartphone, which means at least two devices must be charged. When the two sync, they'll drain even more power. And power management will be a critical issue with wearable devices. All the "low power" warning signals might overwhelm that marathon meeting when you intended to lock the door until the job was finished. Perhaps Nikola Tesla will still teach us a thing or two about powering these devices via skin conduction from a central power unit, which might be housed in your shoe and powered by simply walking.
Theft: If your wearable device is going to fulfill its obvious role as the key to your digital life, you'll want to be able to limit who can use it. How soon will we get voice detection that is genuinely secure? How soon will we get a fingerprint reader that can’t be hacked? (You probably read the claim by the German group that they bypassed the iPhone 5S’s fingerprint scanner on Apple's first day of record-breaking sales of the phone.)
Privacy: This has already become an issue surrounding Google Glass, and these products have yet to hit the market. How will you feel around someone wearing them, knowing they might videotape everything you do and say? Should they be banned from restrooms, locker rooms, boardrooms, and bedrooms? Will the police or a victim be able to subpoena your personal video if they think you saw something unlawful? Technology now makes it possible for your mate to watch everything you do. What about hackers who find their way into your wearable mobile hub and have access to all the images flowing through the device?
Functionality: There are already complaints about the functional limits of many of these devices. They will need to be more flexible in the future to accommodate a variety of sensors to measure vital signs and whatever's going on in the wearer's vicinity.
Too much info: While sensors now are focused primarily on giving you more information about your life, it will not be long before technology worn by others will be able to gather information about you. Would you want someone to monitor your pulse rate changes to see if you were stretching the truth a little? How will you be able to build a data or sensor firewall around personal technology?
The miniaturization of computers that you can wear on your body for a variety of functions took another quantum leap recently when Stanford engineers moved beyond silicon chips to build a basic computer using carbon nanotubes. This eventually means smaller, faster devices with more capability and the possibility of introducing computers inside your body, not just hanging on the outside.
Just as smartphones moved technology and communications off of the desktop and into your hand, there is every reason to expect that wearable technology will eventually replace smartphones. While having the Internet in your hand seems like a miracle now, to our kids--who may see it from glasses or hide it in their jewelry and operate it with just a few gestures--physical texting and pushing a button to receive a phone call will be so "last century."
Imagine how different politics would be if politicians were held to the same standards as businesses.
Every company leader has had the experience of stepping back to reevaluate what's not working. In fact, it's at that point that most of my clients engage my company's services. We help them get to the root of why the product they have built isn't making the sales they expect, or why they are receiving too many customer service calls.
And what we find most often is pretty basic: These companies haven't spent enough time understanding their customer.
When battles occur like what's happening on Capitol Hill over the federal budget, I am often asked if I've done market research projects with political groups. I haven't done much. The reason? Politicians are even worse than companies. Despite their job description, they don't spend time truly understanding their "customers"--the constituents they serve. They do too little market research, too late.
If we evaluated the current state of our political system like a company with a failing product, we would uncover four big problems:
1. A Lack of Real Choice
Voters are just like consumers and they expect choice. The fact that we have a two party system means that each party has to take a stand on too many things. Without clear delineation, it's difficult for voters to make a decision, which leads to apathy and helps explain low voter turnout.
Brands from toilet paper to toothpaste work hard to make sure the consumer understands how each is different or better. The fact that each party only offers up one candidate and there are really only two candidates to choose from doesn't provide the choice needed to make a true decision.
2. The Parties View the People as Numbers
If consumers don't want to be viewed as a number by companies, they certainly don't want to be viewed that way by those who represent them in the Washington.
Reports on the news, especially around election season, focus on the demographics and segmentation of the groups that are voting for one candidate or another. If being a middle-aged housewife from the Midwest doesn't dictate your choice of coffee, it certainly doesn't indicate why you would choose one person over another to represent your best interest in Congress.
3. Decisions Made Don't Impact the Top
I have had to make some tough decisions as a business owner. When times were tight, I was always the last to get paid. Contrast that to what's happening in Washington with the budget battle. While almost 800,000 federal workers are going without pay, Congress paychecks don't skip a beat.
And the impact of Congress' decision is not immediately felt by the government because voters only get a say every four years. When a company's leadership makes a bad decision, consumers have the choice of immediately voting with their dollars and honoring another brand. Case in point is the recent fallout to Barilla because of their leader's unpopular comments.
4. There is No "Arbitrator"
One of the best ways to resolve an outstanding issue is to enlist a third party. Smart companies that are in trouble will bring in a third party to help them evaluate what's working and what's not. They also do a good job of listening to their customers as that third party. It's amazing what your customers will tell you if you are just willing to ask.
On the contrary, the two party political system creates an us vs. them mentality that is hard to overcome. It's harder for one group to concede on any of the issues because they feel like they are losing.
Congress should look to the successes in the entrepreneurial and business space for examples of what works well today. Businesses have that survived the economic conditions of the past several years are a laboratory that Congress could study for guidance and best practices.
Well I can dream, right?
Whether it's Breaking Bad or The Sopranos, stop looking for lessons. Here are the only three you need to know.
As the cultural behemoth that is Breaking Bad finally reaches the end of its run, the time has come to ask the obvious question: "What are the key business lessons we can learn from this tale of entrepreneurial spirit?"
And, as your fearless commentator, it falls to me to answer:
1. There aren't any. Or if there are, they're entirely incidental.
That doesn't stop people from writing about it, of course. If you Google "business lessons from breaking bad" you'll get enough results to while away a morning or two, and even an esteemed publication like The Economist wants in on the act.
Look, the reason articles like this one get column inches is not that TV writers are business geniuses who embed cutting-edge business models into their scripts. It's because harried business editors (and equally harried contributors) love anything that's a little out of the ordinary-- and even better if it references an incredibly popular TV show, hence increasing the likelihood that you'll actually click through and read the article.
Breaking Bad is no more a case study in business practices than 24 was a training video for the CIA. Enjoy both programs for what they are-- first-class entertainment-- but don't waste your time trying to read between the lines for inspiration at work.
2. You could use that time in a more productive way. If you watched all 5 seasons of Breaking Bad- 62 episodes- you'd have spent somewhere between 45 and 50 hours immersed in an admittedly grippingly portrayed milieu.
Even with time shaved off by skipping the adverts during binge watching sessions, that's still an impressive amount of time to devote to someone else's work of fiction. In fact, it's an embarrassingly high multiple of the amount of time most leaders spend strategizing about their own business.
So, instead of searching for hidden business lessons in the weekly high jinks of your favorite cast of characters, why not invest 45 minutes instead in analyzing the real-life lessons you learned that week in the ongoing saga that is your own business?
I guarantee that if you make that investment, you'll be in the top 1 percent of business strategists-- at least in terms of time spent.
3. And there is one role you should consider for yourself. No, it's not Mr. White, or Skyler, or Jesse, or even the slyly brilliant (and wryly named) Saul Goodman.
The role that leaders most need to play is not that of lead actor, or even best supporting actor-- your role is as the scriptwriter (in the case of Breaking Bad, most often the show's creator, Vince Gilligan).
Your job is to envisage the future and find a way to get your business there. Sadly, many leaders I work with simply turn up each day and simply react to whatever happens that day - the equivalent of reading the lines handed to them.
So don't go hunting for hidden business lessons in Breaking Bad, or whatever the next blockbuster is that TV thrusts upon us. Instead, study your own business intently-- and write your own script.
Looking to jump-start your business strategy? Download a free chapter from the author's WSJ best-seller, "Predictable Success: Getting Your Organization On the Growth Track - and Keeping It There" to learn more about building a world-class culture that will rapidly accelerate the growth of your business.
From viral videos to Batman costumes, some people will do just about anything to get noticed. Should you hire them?
Daniel Conway wrestled in gravy, bribed a recruiter with Monopoly money and dressed up like Batman, all in the hopes of landing a job. He's been at it since March and, so far, no serious job offers. Still, he considers this method of job hunting to be a success. Conway documents his stunts at The Extreme Job Hunter.
"I've done 17 stunts and landed 10 interviews because of them. That's a lot higher percentage than I ever got sending out CVs [resumes]." In today's world of black hole internet applications, that is an astonishing success rate, except for the fact that he hasn't quite yet landed a job. Why not? Conway has an explanation for that: "I'm not a great interviewer. Part of the reason I haven't nailed it is because of the pressure in a half an hour where they ask you questions, and you are trying to find the answers that they want you to say."
Another rather, extreme case is Marina Shifrin. You may know her from her brand new, viral job quitting video. Shifrin, ironically, complains about how her boss was focused only hits and not quality, in a video that has garnered over 10,000,000 hits in 5 days. Apparently, she did a good job with those hits at her last job.
I contacted Shifrin for her comments, and she promptly and politely responded that she would love to speak with me, but she had signed agreements not to say anything until after a television show segment aired. In other words, the media is descending up on her like crazy. And why not? The video is nicely done, it's gone viral, and it demonstrates her actual skills.
But do you want to hire someone who is willing to quit her job via video or wrestle in gravy? Is this good for your business? You really don't want people that will walk out on you or embarrass your business, although I should note that Shifrin refers to her former company as "awesome," and there is nothing more than generic cubes in the video. Sure, if you worked with her, you'd recognize the office, but then you'd know where she worked to begin with. And, I doubt Conway will bring his gravy to the office. (He told me that while that was his favorite stunt to do, it yielded the worst results.)
The answer to the question of should you hire this type of job seeker/quitter is a resounding maybe. If you are a tight-laced organization that deals with clients that are skittish about anything not traditional, then absolutely not. This type of behavior is not appropriate for that type of company.
But there are many companies in which people like this would be a great fit. And here's something extra awesome about it--you already know a great deal about their personalities, before you even look at their resumes. And while some people like to argue that culture doesn't matter, I can tell you right now there are companies and departments where Conway and Shifrin would be awesome additions, and other companies and departments where they would be shunned and shunted over to the side. Which kind of company are you?
And that's the important question to consider in hiring. I admit, I'm very much a traditionalist who thinks people should wear suits, or at least jackets to interviews, but I'm also drawn to people who are willing to take risks. After all, there's very little risk involved in hitting send in order to give your resume to a recruiter. There are huge risks in doing what Conway and Shifrin have done. And if your company thrives on people willing to take risks, then yes, extreme job hunters are for you.