Earlier this year I wrote about some of the weirdest work experiences I’ve had throughout my career, so I thought I’d do a bit of a sequel, this time about some job interviews that are (for a variety of reasons) forever burned into my memory. Let’s begin!
Ain’t Like Dusting Crops, Boy
I grew up in Illinois, but decided to move to Los Angeles right after graduating. I had one likely job lead that I ended up getting, but I wanted to have some backup options in case things went south.
One of these was DEN (Digital Entertainment Network). I remember feeling incredibly uncool as I entered their lobby (which featured either a giant Yoda or a giant R2-D2, the details are lost to time), and the feeling only deepened as the interviewer went through my sad little resume, clearly baffled by the fact that the majority of my web experience was limited to agriculture-related websites.
Needless to say I didn’t get the gig, but I learned very quickly that if I wanted to make it in the big city, I needed to leave the farm behind. Lesson learned, but years later I became really glad that I dodged that bullet.
After leaving the wreckage of what Ning became (post-sale), I interviewed at a number of places, one of which was Oblong Industries, a company focused on bringing futuristic interfaces to the workplace, with a CTO (later CEO) that had actually worked on prototyping these concepts for the films Minority Report and Iron Man. It didn’t work out for me (which made sense, as I had zero experience with that stuff), but ending the interview by watching a working version of Tony Stark’s lab was full-on surreal.
Stranger still was that fact that the job I ended up taking instead eventually (after a merger) moved offices to be right next door to Oblong.
Keep on (Food) Truckin’
Post-Ning, I also interviewed at NationBuilder, which felt like it was doing important stuff, with a very Ning-like product. Jim (their CEO, who tragically passed away) was awesome, the other team members all seemed great, and we ended the interview by all piling into one of their cars and hitting a local food truck together. Seemed to me like the deal was done! I then straight-up never heard from…