insta5 is trucking right along! We have already passed 30 interviews and I have loved each and every one. Today's interview is with Craig Mod! Craig is an ex product designer at Flipboard, and a really talented writer as well.
Q. What was it like working at Flipboard?
A. Wonderful. Humbling. Everyone there is tremendously talented. It was also very difficult, which is a given at any startup looking moving quickly. Lots of hard problems. Long hours. Long discussions. Many iterations. One of my favorite parts of working so closely with A-level engineers and designers is the speed at which you can go from: "Here's an idea I sketched out" to a working prototype. Also: lots of yogurt. Good lord, we ate a lot of yogurt.
Q. Why do you write?
A. To clarify all the crazy in my head.
Q. What computer do you use and why?
A. Macbook Air — simple, light, long battery. Doesn't play Diablo 3 very well, though.
Q. What is your greatest strength/weakness?
A. Revising interview answers is my strength, and wanting to eat super-good margherita pizza four times a week is my weakness.
Q. If you could be president for one day what would be your first order of business?
A. First: Every American gets a mandatory, all expenses paid (economy class, three star hotels) three month, round-the-world ticket. Yeah, it'd be expensive but MAN it would be fun! From April 4th (National American Worldwide Explosion (open to suggestions here) Day) to July 3rd, 2013, America shuts down and everyone high-fives their way through Istanbul, or asks where McDonalds is in Cambodia, or tries to Range Rover through Tokyo, or demands more ketchup at their Parisian Three-Star restaurant. And then we all zoom back to a huge 2013 July 4th party. Second: Everyone gets free pizza making lessons (dough, sauce, etc). Crazy, right? No! It's about teaching people to have an eye (and tongue) sensitive to quality. Pizza seems simple, but boy it's tough at first. But then it's pretty easy once you know what you're doing. And you're like: Wow! I make the best pizza in the 'hood! And chances are, you're right. You do. So, once you know great pizza, it's *shocking* how little is out there. How much *bad* pizza is out there. It's everywhere! Great pizza is actually a pretty low bar. And doesn't have to cost that much. So it gets you thinking: "Why are these bad pizza places so bad? Why don't they make great pizza? It's not that hard!" And then: "Why don't more people know what great pizza tastes like? Don't they know how much pleasure they're missing out on?" And then it spirals into more generalized notions of quality and sensitivity and experience. And then, *poof*, suddenly America is Japan. Or something like that.