Be an asskicker

Someone sent a note to the nextNY list about how he was unemployed and looking to work for a startup--how it was really hard to find something.  He sent a link to a piece he wrote on a site about being unemployed.

This was my response:

"So the one link you send us is on a site about being unemployed?

Why on earth would you market yourself as an unemployed guy?  In your first instance of participation in this group, you cast yourself as laid off and desperate.  Who wants to hire an unemployed person?

No one.

If I showed up to a date and the girl introduces herself by saying, "I've just been going on nothing but first dates and they never work out...   I'm so desperate to find someone" I'd be looking for the door in a heartbeat.

We all want to hire someone who kicks ass at something.  If you do not kick ass at anything, you should at least be in the process of learning how to kick ass at something.  Startups, or frankly any company for that matter, cannot afford to hire a non-asskicking generalist.

Think of it this way...  If you know the media, perhaps you could have spent the last five months doing free PR and marketing for a handful of startups.  You weren't working anyway.  The goal would be to be so good at it that one of those companies can't help but hire you--or some other company would hire you because they noticed how good you were at it--or worst case you'd suck at it but you'd really learn something.

Forget pursuing.  Spend 110% of your time honing some kind of value proposition that you'd be a no-brainer hire for.

Forget the "I'm unemployed" shtick and work on the being awesome without advertising the fact that you are awesome to everyone.  If you do not know what awesomeness is, try and figure out who the top 30 most awesome people in the NY tech scene are and interview them.  Publish the interviews on your blog.  Make a list and publish it.  Here are my suggestions:  David Karp, Anthony Volodkin, Chris Hughes...

And God help you if I see your blog and it's  To be awesome, you must splurge for the $13 domain name."