Something to aspire to

Today I spent some time with Brad Burnham from Union Square Ventures.  Among other things, we were talking about what’s going on at Code for America and Civic Commons, as well as the latest in the fight to save the Internet.

Separately, during the day today, the USV team was interviewing candidates for their new associate position.  It’s sweet job, by pretty much any standard, and apparently they’ve gotten an overwhelming number of amazing candidates.  Brad described some of the accomplishments and capabilities of a few of them (details withheld to protect the innocent), and also noted that many of them are still in college.  Suffice to say, these folks are really young and really awesome.

So I asked him if he sometimes looks at these applicants and remarks to himself how incredibly accomplished and talented they are, especially in comparison to how he was at that same age.  His response was absolutely yes, and that he would have never be able to get this job himself.

That’s kind of an amazing thing to say, and I think it’s something to aspire to.  To one day be able to hire for positions you’d never have been able to get yourself.

Of course, people are often in the position of hiring for different skills than their own, but what I mean is to be able to attract such a high calibre of person that the past you would never have been able to compete.  That’s a pretty great measure of success.

FWIW, I’ve hired bunch of really great people at OpenPlans who are way smarter than I am, and have always been so amazed and grateful to be able to do that.  It’s probably the thing I’m actually most proud of from my years there.

(note, when trying to find the link to the USV job description for this post, this happened)