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Great Athletes versus Great Resumes

November 30th, 2007   |   by Frank Addante

People always ask me what I mean when I say hire “great athletes” versus “great resumes”. I’m not a big fan of cliches. So, when I say it, I mean it. Let me explain…

My team: what they were doing before the Rubicon Project
Casey: Talent production
Christen*: Liberian refugee camp volunteer, opiate treatment center research assistant
Jeannette: Movie producer, commercial real estate acquisition analyst
Lisa*: College student (Duke University)
Mallory*: Teacher with “Teach for America”
Matt: Wine sommelier
Mel: Graduate school teacher
Steve*: Physical therapist
* never worked in a corporate office environment


(from left to right: Matt, Mallory, Christen, Casey, Jeannette, Mel, Steve and Lisa)

They represent one quarter of our entire team. They complement the rest of the group, who have deep experience in the online advertising space (they are also amazing, by the way). None of these people had any online advertising experience. In fact, some have never worked in an office before.

However, they ALL:

1. Have PASSION
2. Are QUICK LEARNERS
3. Have EXTREME PRIDE in their work and CARE
4. Are highly COMPETITIVE – they refuse to lose
5. Have FIRE IN THE BELLY

These people inspire me. They were brave enough to switch professions and join our fast-growing, demanding, hair-on-fire startup company. They might feel like we took a chance on them, but I feel that they took a chance on us.

Within their first few days/weeks, not only did they come in and seize the opportunity to learn, but now you would think that they have years of experience in the online advertising space. Some had to learn how to use Outlook, some had to learn what ad-serving and tracking was, some had to learn what terms such as CPM and CPC mean… but, they all learned. And, they learned fast.

They are some of the most talented, motivated and productive individuals that I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.

As I tell our team… There is no business school book on “How to build the Rubicon Project”. WE are writing that book. People like Casey, Christen, Jeanette, Lisa, Mallory, Matt, Mel and Steve bring us a new approach and fresh ideas.

Great athletes, great results.

PS – we’re hiring