As I mentioned in passing yesterday, Roscoe Labs is now looking for a Vice President of Engineering. First step was to post the opening on Craigslist, but I’m glad to post the full details here as well.
This should be a really exciting opportunity for the right person as the next crucial player to help us grow our company and build out our technology platform rapidly.
Some background about Roscoe: We are a self-funded, early stage, mobile-first startup building apps that bring together news junkies, casual journalists, and old pros locally.
Our founding team is made up of seasoned, smart and collegial entrepreneurs who have worked together before and who have a deep understanding of the news industry and the consumer Internet space. We are currently raising startup capital, and we fully intend to become a venture-backed company. You can find out more about us here.
We have contractor-developed software in hand that we’re using in private beta tests with small batches of users. But we need to get it ready for prime time to take our company to the next level.
You are a process god who also happens to be a talented coder. You know how to put together a software development team, and you can tell the difference between good developers and great developers. Your age and background do not matter. We value diversity and strongly encourage all qualified candidates to apply.
The VP/Engineering job is an executive, near-founder position, and compensation includes performance milestone-based bonuses and significant equity participation.
The successful candidate will:
- Like winning.
- Have impeccable personal integrity and treat others with respect at all times.
- Have a demonstrated ability to lead a software development project from start to finish.
- Be able to solve complex problems.
- Have attained or be pursuing a degree in engineering, computer science or a related technical field.
- Own a smartphone.
- Have developed an app for iOS or Android.
- Be able to demo a software program you developed on your own.
- Be able to demo a software program that was developed under your leadership.
- Appreciate and have a passion for beautiful design and smart UX.
- Have demonstrated mastery of the LAMP stack and experience building scalable Web applications.
- Be familiar with the Agile software development approach.
- Be familiar with PMI standards and practices.
- Be proficient with Python, PHP or equivalent.
- Be proficient with Objective C.
- Have working expertise with integrating third-party APIs, particularly related to social media and video sites.
- Have a deep understanding of modern server architecture and scaling issues.
Applying for this job opportunity is easy. Just email me your LinkedIn profile URL or your resume. If you have a GitHub repository or a personal web site, we’d like to check those out too. We will email you back a confirmation and instructions about next steps in the process.
I just bought a paid ad on Craigslist for the first time — a job posting for my startup, which is looking for a VP of engineering.
This was a curious little milestone/experience for me as an Internet user and someone interested in digital business models for news. Of course, Craigslist has famously all but choked off old-school classified advertising in print, since people use the site as a substitute to newspapers. But what struck me going through the site’s ad-buying experience firsthand is how completely dissimilar it also is to anything that a legacy news organization now offers within its online product mix.
I don’t claim to be the first person to notice this. For example, E&P’s Alan Mutter has covered it in several recent blog posts, including this one from April that nicely points out the pitfalls of most news providers’ “run-of-site” ad strategy online.
That said… Damn. To see the difference in action is something else altogether.
To be specific, my ad buy on Craigslist was:
- Simple. The whole process was based on some straightforward Web forms and email, with no password or sign-in or paywall hassle at any point. You create the ad first, the Craigslist system generates a unique non-public link for verification, then it emails the link to you, then you just click through. On that page, you enter your payment info.
- Reasonably priced. It was $25 to post my ad on the New York Craiglist site, with no limit on length.
- Well-targeted. Aside from the fact that Craigslist has a subdomain dedicated to New York City, it also lets me target my ad by neighborhood. Good luck finding that feature on a newspaper website.
- Fully interactive, Craigslist generates a unique anonymized email address for people to respond to my ad directly, and I can edit my ad even after it’s been posted.
It’s also worth noting, my purchase was a logical extension of my free usage of Craigslist over the years. I bought something precisely because they let me kick the tires for free looking for other stuff previously. As a free customer, they clearly never viewed me as a “parasite,” or any of the other absurd terms that newspaper publishers have sometimes been known to use referring to their own online community members.
By the way, that free usage included an ad we did a few months back for a short-term “gig offered” looking for a contract developer for the startup. Even though that one was technically a business-to-business transaction as well, Craigslist didn’t overplay their hand, realizing that the bar would probably be higher to charge real money.
We got several dozen responses to that earlier ad, many of them viable options, so I was definitely willing to upgrade for the VP ad when the time came.
Had a blast at last night’s Jack White concert at Roseland Ballroom in midtown. Glad my friend Gene got tickets on a whim; otherwise I probably wouldn’t have done it on my own.
A couple of pics:
White’s official site also has a section for live pics from shows on his current tour. Nothing from last night’s show up yet, but the announcer at Roseland said there eventually will be.
My news startup Roscoe Labs is entering a really important phase this week. Most important, we’re looking for our first handful of public users for a brief private beta test in New York and Oaklnad. This will be followed by a broader public release, hopefully sometime in the next couple months.
With that goal in mind, we’ve pulled together a little preview video:
On a personal note, I have to say this is all very exciting stuff, but somewhat nerve-wracking too. It’s like helping your child rehearse and rehearse for the school play, then the time finally comes to push her out on stage in front of the bright lights and a bunch of strangers. It’s sink or swim.