Big Cats by micalngelo
“Every startup CEO is at least thinking about the need to cut back right now” – Michael Arrington
“We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.” – Warren Buffet
I’ll give you one guess as to which man I’m listening to. So no, not every startup CEO is cutting back. Apple spent their time innovating during the last downturn and look where it got them. I’m thrilled to have just passed out big, healthy profit-sharing bonuses to all of our employees this week for the 5th consecutive year. We think and hope they’ll be even bigger next year.
SmugMug was founded in the middle of the last “nuclear winter” in Silicon Valley. Everyone told us we were crazy, and we knew there was no chance at raising venture capital at a decent valuation, even with our impressive backgrounds. So we did what any good entrepreneur would do: We did it anyway, with both eyes firmly on our business model.
So if you’re running a startup, or thinking of creating one, take heart – downturns are a fabulous time to build and grow businesses. Focus on your revenues and your margins, not your growth rate or # of unique visitors. Find some stable income streams and a customer need. Listen to your customers and give them what they want – and what they’re willing to pay for. And take care of your employees – they’re your most valuable asset.
SmugMug is still hiring Sorcerers, Heroes, and all manner of other mythical beings capable of impossible feats. We filled our last position (quickly, I might add) with a *great* hire (and I’m still sorting through the avalanche of resumes we got to see if we can add a few more), but the job door is never closed at SmugMug for true superstars. Our philosophy is to not let anyone amazing get away, even if we don’t technically have an open position for you.
So if you can make magic and want to work for a company that takes crazy-good care of its employees, let us know.
photo by: Bill Evans Photography
How would you like to be the 8th Sorcerer here at SmugMug? (We don’t hire engineers, programmers, or even coders – we only hire Sorcerers. If you can’t work magic, I’m sure our competitors would love to see your resume…)
At SmugMug, everything we build is a direct result of customer feedback. We do very little, if any, competitive research – our customers keep us plenty busy. As a result, we’ve largely ignored social networking, especially outside of SmugMug. It just hasn’t been something our customers have asked for.
The good news is we listen. So we’re ready to take the plunge. The geek in me has *always* wanted to dive into this stuff (and I’m the one who built and/or pushed us to build the building blocks we already have: an open API, Atom/RSS feeds, OpenID support, OAuth support, etc), so I’m thrilled we finally have the “ok” from my boss – our customers. 🙂
So if you’re high on social networking, particularly sharing photos anywhere and everywhere, we’d love to have you come work your magic. The job is extremely open-ended: You’d create our strategy, build our apps on other platforms, interact with our API developers who’ve already built some, and generally make it even easier for our customers to share their photos outside SmugMug. You’ll have to get your hands dirty – you’ll be writing the software (with the help of the other Sorcerers as needed), so managers and architects who no longer dirty their hands need not apply.
If that sounds like fun, we’re the best company to work for you’ve ever heard of (ok, this list sounds unbelievable, but I swear it’s all true):
- We’re all super heroes.
- We’re a privately held, profitable-for-years, fast-growing company (100%+ year-on-year for multiple years)
- Fun projects. You choose what to work on rather than being assigned some fluff job. (I know, I know, unheard of – but I swear it’s true).
- Small team. Your projects are your projects, not some multi-layer management effort doomed to fail.
- Fast paced. Any week where we don’t do at least one software release is rare.
- Large scale. Top 500 site. 350M+ photos, 800TB+ storage, 300M page views/month. Fun problems to solve 🙂
- Big impact. Hundreds of thousands of paying customers and 6.5M+ visitors a month will use your work.
- Family friendly. Full healthcare coverage, kids welcome for company meals and events. (Ex: We’re taking the whole company to Tahoe to ski & relax, including spouses and kids).
- Distributed. Nearly 75% of our employees aren’t in Silicon Valley – they’re scattered all over the world, from Australia to Europe and a dozen US states.
- Crazy benefits. We pay better salaries than the giants in Silicon Valley plus “early” stock options, profit sharing bonuses, matching 401k, 100% healthcare coverage for you and your family, gym memberships, iPhone 3G + minutes & data, 3G data cards, cable/DSL at home. Free drinks, free meals while working (new private chef too!). And more.
- Great office. Walking distance to downtown Mountain View, across the street from train & lightrail, near Highway 85. 7.1 channel home theater, dual 30″ displays + Mac Pro + MacBook Pro/Air, jaw-dropping photography on the walls (and an in-house studio to shoot your own). Healthy cube/office decoration budget. (Ok, this is getting really fun to write 🙂 )
Whew! (Yes, I think our employees are our most valuable asset. Can you tell?)
So, do you have what it takes? At the very least, you’ll need:
- A passion for open data.
- An understanding of how important privacy controls are.
- Experience with web services, especially REST. SOAP and XML-RPC fans, this isn’t the place for you (but knowledge of black magic ain’t bad – just don’t practice it here!).
- Modern scripting language experience (PHP, Python, Ruby). We use PHP (and so will you!).
- History building apps (big or small) for platforms like Facebook, OpenSocial, etc.
- Understanding of current and upcoming social networking technologies: OpenID, OAuth, microformats, etc
- Experience with the SmugMug API a big plus.