Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Stock advice

Great quotes/ideas from Jeff Bezos:

  • "In the short term, a stock is like a lottery, but with time, it becomes a scale."  He's quoting someone when he says this, but I couldn't find the orignal source.
  • "Our biggest competitor is the corporate no."  He discusses how when organizations get big, it's easy to settle and compromise.  You lose the truth-seeking determination that you have when starting out on the brink of being bankrupt any day.
  • "Use prediction models on the things you can, but don't apply it everywhere.  Areas where you can model with accuracy, figure out ways to reduce the initial costs and then experiment so you can start to get data and make projections."

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Back on campus

It's been 4.5 years since graduation, and aside from sporting events, I haven't really been back on UW's campus much, at least when students are there.  I got to be part of the Amazon team working the career fair targeting UW's computer science/engineering students.  A few observations/thoughts:

  • It was fun to be on the other side of the table.  I can remember 5 years ago passing out resumes and talking with company delegates.  It was in one such conversation that my resume got passed to an ex-classmate who had started at Amazon, which got me in their interview tract.
  • I'm certainly biased, but what a great major to have all these cool (in my opinion) companies eager to hire you after an undergraduate degree: Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc.
  • UW is still pumping out good candidates.  Many of the people I spoke with and gave a small coding problem did quite well.  
  • Does the construction ever stop?  The HUB is getting massacred right now, it seems like you can never be on campus without avoiding a construction site.
This past week included 3 days in Dallas doing campus interviewing.  This was a first for me, but a valuable learning experience.  Interviewing during the regular work week feels like more of a distraction, but to get to devote 3 days to back-to-back interviews definitely increased my chops and observations on how strong candidates answer questions.  Good times!