Friday, April 08, 2011

StartUp Week: Job Fair: Fish Market

Meeting Brad Feld
Getting To Meet Mark Suster In Person
2,000 Squats
StartUp Week At NYU April 6-15

It said 2:30 to 5:00 PM. 770 Broadway, AOL Headquarters. So I am going up and down the street. This is 752 Broadway. Wait a minute, this is now 780 Broadway. What did I miss? Finally I gave up and walked into Bank Of America. It looked like they were at the address where AOL should have been. Ends up 770 Broadway is not on Broadway proper. Take a left at the street corner, the clerk said.

One of the first people I met was Amanda Moritz of Brainscape. I first met her at a party during Social Media Week. Facebook said we had two mutual friends.

"How do you know Frazer Kirkman?" she asked.

"How do you know Kyle?" I asked.

Okay, so that was weeks ago. Today she asked, "Are you hiring?"

The place to me felt like a fish market. In my world that is a major compliment. That is my saying it was a happening place. I am walking up and down the room and thinking, the recession is over, people.

"Are you looking for a job?" someone asked me.

"I am looking for a consulting gig or two. But really, I am just being here."

I talked to a bunch of people, those who were running their booths and those shopping around for jobs.

"Hi, what's your name? What are you looking for? What's your background?"

I met a whole bunch of engineers. Who says there is a shortage of engineers? They are not looking in the right places. Engineers like to get approached as much as anyone else.

Paul Graham would say don't call them engineers. If you do, you are a greenhorn. Say programmers or developers.

AOL has this thing whereby water and soft drinks are free. The vending machine had signs saying the drinks are free. Smart. I got me a water. And I got another water bottle from one of the booths.

Every other booth had candy. I helped myself to a whole bunch of them. You have to understand. I don't have a sweet tooth. And I pride myself in being someone who eats healthy. But once in a while I let the discipline go. I will be like, okay, today is a day to eat bad. And that slip helps me keep the discipline the rest of the time. And so I had candy. You have to watch out. Can make you hyper.

I did not stay till the end. When I was done, I was done. And I walked over to the nearby Strand bookstore. Then I walked 50 blocks north. It was a nice walk.

Dress code was business casual. I was actually wearing a white shirt. And a jacket.

Bumped into one or two organizers of the StartUp Week, NYU folks. Like yesterday I bumped into a few organizers of the EEX Summit.

This was AOL. This was corporate. The place was sleek. Why do startups look down upon these sleek places? Answer: because you lose the fish market feeling somewhere along the way. But then I have also seen huge fish markets: large scale chaos.

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