Mahalo Seeks VP of Community Development
Mahalo is a top 200 website that received over 15M unique visitors in February 2010. Our mission is to create “the world’s largest content site with the largest and most active base of contributors.” You can think of us as 1/3rd Wikipedia/About.com, 1/3rd Yahoo Answers and 1/3rd Google Search/Delicious. We’re trying to take the three main modes of knowledge-gathering on the internet—Content, Q&A and Search—and combine them into one seamless product. No one has ever done this, and we’re only 50% of the way there ourselves.
In the role of VP of Community Development, you would work directly with the CEO, Jason Calacanis, to develop strategies and best practices around contributor acquisition, writer education and community development.
Here are some examples of problems we might ask you to solve:
1. How would you integrate our topic page on the iPad (http://www.mahalo.com/ipad) with our Answers community tag page for iPad (http://www.mahalo.com/answers/tag/ipad)?
2. How would you grow and inspire our team of Vertical Managers, who earn 15% of the revenue from the 3,000 pages they manage?
3. We’re currently producing over 250 How To Articles a week—how would you add a zero to that number?
4. We currently share revenue on our Mahalo Answers question threads—what are the pros and cons of doing this?
5. Our virtual currency is currently one of the three main motivators in our community—the other two being fun and recognition. How should a site like ours balance cash, recognition and fun as rewards? In what other way(s) would you motivate our community?
6. How should we evolve the design of our Topic and Answers pages? Who has the best topic pages on the internet today and why? Who has the best answer threads on the internet today and why?
The ideal person we’re looking for has the following traits:
a) They inspire the people around them to do great things.
b) They love to debate, are opinionated and look forward to creatively solving problems.
c) They are resilient and resourceful when facing challenges.
d) They are hard-working, helpful to other team members and they are respected because they “bring it every day.”
e) They are honest and introspective, with the ability to admit mistakes and move on quickly.
f) They are transparent, humble and willing to share their ideas and skills with others.
g) They are able to come up with multiple innovative solutions to problems.
h) They are organized and able to lead a large, distributed work force.
i) They are positive and go about their mission with a sense of joy and fun.
j) They have demonstrated their ability to grow online communities in the past, and have worked well curating the unique, and sometimes quirky, attributes of freelance writers.
Some additional details on Mahalo:
— Mahalo offers solid compensation and (hopefully!) valuable stock options.
— Mahalo has cool benefits, like a private chef who cooks a healthy, organic breakfasts, lunches and two afternoon snacks that are brought to your desk at three and five PM. We also do people’s laundry, wash their cars and provide personal fitness training in the backyard. You will get healthy working at this company!
— Mahalo is a flat organization without politics. We aspire to be a pure meritocracy where people are given responsibilities based on performance—not their age, who they suck up to or where they went to school.
— We wont insult or belittle you during our interview process by asking you questions like “why are manhole covers round?”
— Our core product hit breakeven this year and we have many years of capital in the bank. We are fully funded and, with hard work and dedication, should be able to reach our goal of being a Top 25 Site in the USA within the next three years (hopefully with your help!).
— We’re humbled by the list of amazing people who have invested in our company, including Elon Musk, Mark Cuban, Sequoia Capital, News Corporation, CBS, Fred Wilson, Mark Pincus, Matt Coffin, John Miller, Sandy Climan, Hubert Burda and many others.
If you’re interested in this position, please send a cover letter with some of your thoughts on the six questions/problems we raised above (numbered one to six) as well as where you rank on the personal traits we bring up in the lettered section above (A through J). Write as much or as little as you like—we’ll read it all, and if you’re in line with our culture, we will have you in for coffee/tea.
This is a full-time position in our office (Santa Monica)
Salary based on experience (we’re hoping you have 3-10 years in community building)
Send your responses, cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org