Sunday, February 4, 2007

Spaces and Want Ads

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I’ve been working on something in my mind and it’s taken a lot of thought to figure it out. But first it seems like I need to get this rant off my chest.

I’ve applied for a job at Microsoft Windows Live Spaces. I especially liked the want ad: “Windows Live Spaces is the world’s largest blogging, photo sharing, and social networking service with over 135 million monthly unique visitors and is available in over 30 countries. Despite its size however, Windows Live Spaces has limited brand recognition in most markets and does not have a deep connection with users as of yet. …”

I can’t believe how many job descriptions make my eyes glaze over by the time I’m on the sixth word. I doubt that you can find a more motivated audience than me and yet sometimes they are just so badly written. Here is a real example of an average want ad:

… enterprise customer communication solutions that enable dynamic conversations between companies … Our interactive communication solution is a blend of advanced multi-channel applications built upon enterprise software. It delivers its services through a software service model. Businesses use their technology to leverage their rich enterprise-level customer data to proactively and personally interact with their customers with timely, relevant information.

But I really liked how the Spaces one started with obvious passion about the
product and an acknowledgement that not everything is perfect.

The average want ad can be summed up as:
We are the perfect company. We have the perfect product. Our people are perfect. You must have demonstrated expertise in being perfect and everything this job might ever need and being able to do the bosses’/teams’ jobs for them would be good, too.

A few weeks ago I was nibbled by a company that basically wanted me to do the same job that I did around 10 years ago. It was a very high prestige start up, but I just couldn’t go there. Yes, I was qualified by their exacting list, but I would have been miserable by the lack of challenge and lack of growth.

In The Macintosh Way, my hero Guy Kawasaki says, “…Experience is frequently a false god. It is better to hire people who can get you to where you want to be than people who profess to have been there before.”

Kawasaki says to hire people that are passionate, have high bandwidth, have the ability to deal with stress and ambiguity and are high energy. That would certainly make for a job description that wouldn’t glaze my eyes over.

OK, now on to the real posts where I will eventually give you my take on the Spaces issue.

No comments: