I’ve been writing, speaking and thinking a lot about modern talent-attraction strategies.
I moderated a panel on the topic of cities branding their entrepreneurship ecosystems.
In case you haven’t heard my ranting before: I think it’s silly for cities to talk about being the Silicon Valley of anything. Find my rants here and here and here. Funny enough, I was leading that panel at SXSW, another important vibrant national tradition I don’t want cities to try to copy.
Below are some questions I asked and a wrap video from the Amplify Philly house, where I did the panel.
Since these people don’t quite want the job, most of the research about these kinds of candidates shows they’re crummy: when approached by recruiters, they ask for don’t stay long and ask for too much money and, after all, they’re so hard to find they’re costly. Plus, most of this is happening on an ever more crowded LinkedIn.
But as we at Technical.ly have done more reporting and, actually, more work for clients on talent sourcing, I’ve found the established talent acquisition industry has a pretty rotten definition. It’s way too limited and that leads to limited strategies. That was the focus of a five-minute lightning talk I gave in October to more than 300 HR professionals at a DisruptHR event.
Last month, I was the featured speaker in a regular CEO series hosted by the Young Professionals Council of the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia.
More than 40 people kindly came out to hear me be interviewed. We talked about Technically Media, tech and impact trends and journalism. (Yes, there was an Amazon HQ2 question: I said I was betting on the D.C. market but thought Philadelphia had a strong enough offering that I refuse to be surprised if chosen).
Below I share a few other thoughts I shared, mostly prompted by audience Q&A.
Long a believer in the importance of the nascent civic technology community, I’ve been a fan of national nonprofit Code for America. So I was thrilled for the chance to support the group in producing its first ever Brigade Congress, a national unconference focused on civic tech, last month.
I first met Miami founder Michael Hall in early 2016 when I reported a feature on and hosted an event with the entrepreneurship community there. Since then, I’ve spent time with him a handful of times, at SXSW, over dinner and during another pair of trips I made to Miami.
He’s a charming and humble explorer in his and other startup communities, friendly enough to share with others what he learns along the way. So I was tickled to join him on the second season of his popular on-going weekly video podcast interview series called 2Techies, in which he interviews others involved in tech communities.
See it here, or watch it below with a few notes from our conversation.
If a journalist covers her beat well enough, one of the more frequent challenges she’ll face is negotiating when to report something, if a source is requesting an embargo.
That was one of the main points during a session I helped lead during the annual conference of the National Lesbian Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) about finding and reporting a niche.
Be more explicit with your team when you’re offering an opinion, a recommendation or stating a direct ask. Otherwise, a teammate might not know whether you’re sharing an idea or a demand.
It’s something I’m still learning and something I shared when I was interviewed on a podcast called ‘The Blind Entrepreneur.”
Host Johnathan Grzybowski helpfully has fuller show notes on the site here, where you can watch the episode. Find it below too.
From its origins, I was certainly around the Philly Geek Awards, organized by a volunteer group surrounding the local culture blog Geekadelphia, run by a handful of my friends. But it was mostly from afar, sometimes speaking and being silly with them.
In 2016, as sometimes happens with volunteer efforts, the annual black-tie-meets-cosplay event was thrown into jeopardy, as several of its organizers had moved away in a sudden and similar cycle. It had no one to lead its organization, so I volunteered our team to keep the tradition alive. It was a real risk for our organization and the brand overall, but it felt important to keep the event moving. We pieced it together, with a rushed venue relationship and tricky catering limitations, and though it was far from perfect, we kept the tradition alive.
This weekend our Technically Media team, with the support of a volunteer planning committee, brought the event back to what it was meant to be — a highly produced, sold-out celebration of passionate subcommunities with civic pride in spades.
Following my taking over the CEO role of the company I cofounded Technically Media, I appeared on a popular podcast focused on that very transition.
The show called ‘From Founder to CEO‘ is hosted by Todd Uterstaedt, who interviewed me over Skype.