Monthly Archives: February 2009

Creative interview questions

Acumen fund is hiring a business development manager.

There are two particularly interesting characteristics about this opening.

First, I – and thousands of others – got to know about this opening from Seth Godin’s newsletter; comforting the nation that the internet is supplementing word-of-mouth.

Secondly, are the questions that the job requirements ask of potential applicants. These are:

1. Tell us about a tribe you’ve built. How did you do it?
2. Describe an experience with a product, company, or organization that was delightful. What made it so?
3. To tweet or not to tweet, and why?
4. Tell us about your five favorite blogs. What makes them must-reads?
5. When have you changed someone’s mind? How did you do it?
6. What should we have asked you that we didn’t ask? Now answer the question.

Would these questions have been possible even 5 years ago? Probably not and even if Twitter had existed then, they wouldn’t have meant much to most people.

This is yet another reason why today’s job-seeker should keep in touch with the constantly changing technological landscape.

Announcing my move to the Speech Improvement Inc,

Press Release: Wahyd Vannoni named Director of New Media at The Speech Improvement Company, Inc

Staff Attorney / Resident Fellow opening at Harvard

From the Berkman Center

Are you a lawyer interested in dealing with emerging legal issues relating to the intersection of law, journalism, and new media on the Internet?  Would you like to help online journalism and new media ventures meet their legal needs?  Do you want a stimulating yet laid back work environment?

The Citizen Media Law Project at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society is looking to hire a Staff Attorney/Resident Fellow to assist with the development of a pro bono network of media lawyers and law school clinics to support online journalism and new media startups.

The position requires a Juris Doctor degree with admission to at least one state bar (and eligibility for admission on motion to the Massachusetts bar if you’re not a Massachusetts lawyer) and a minimum of 3 years of legal-practice experience with a significant Internet, intellectual property, or media law focus.  Our offices are located at the Berkman Center at Harvard Law School, so you must be willing to work in Cambridge, MA.

We’re really excited about this position and about bringing someone new on board to help with our work.  We’re building a network of lawyers across the country who want to work on online media cases, and we need an extremely capable individual to take the lead in screening new cases and clients, maintaining relationships with clients and members of the network, and providing direct legal assistance to clients in collaboration with lawyers and law students in Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic.

It’s a great opportunity for experienced media, Internet, or IP law practitioners who want to serve the public interest, transition to academic pursuits, or simply work in an intellectually invigorating environment.  The Staff Attorney will have many opportunities to expand his/her knowledge of technology and law, including frequent interactions with other fellows at the Berkman Center and throughout Harvard University.

Applications should be submitted as soon as possible, but no later than February 27, 2009.

You can find more information about the position and how to apply at


A map of social networks

“In Search of Lost Time” in Mumbai


Slumdog Millionaire in Brookline, MA

Set and filmed in India, “Slumdog Millionaire” tells the story of a young uneducated man from the Dharavi slums of Mumbai who appears on the Indian version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” (Kaun Banega Crorepati, mentioned in the Hindi version) and exceeds people’s expectations, arousing the suspicions of the game show host and of law enforcement officials.

Slumdog Millionaire won five of the six awards it was nominated for at the Critics’ Choice Awards and all four of the awards it was nominated for at the Golden Globes, including Best Drama Film. It has also been nominated for eleven BAFTA Awards and ten Academy Awards.

So what is it about the film that makes it such a hit? “It digs into India’s gritty depths, where it juxtaposes squalor, exploitation and corruption with humanity’s fight to overcome it. Elements are predictable, but the movie never is slight, in large part due to its superb cast” says one reviewer. “A spirited underdog fable marinated in modern India’s melting pot. Danny Boyle’s still the master of spices” says another. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times gave the film four stars, stating that it is, “a breathless, exciting story, heartbreaking and exhilarating. Wall Street Journal critic Joe Morgenstern refers to Slumdog Millionaire as, “the film world’s first globalized masterpiece.

Indeed, many story-lines are intertwined and brought to conclusion with elegance and purpose. For instance, it could be said that the film is about finding several paths to redemption. The two brothers part way when the older, finds an opportunity to exact revenge while the younger advocates compassion. From there, their moral paths diverge though their fates are intertwined. In the end they both find find the peace they had been seeking.

Ultimately, this film is a success because, it is about memory, more exactly, the relationship between emotion and memory. In the novel “In Search of Lost Time”, Marcel Proust recounts an anodyne episode, that of the madeleine.

Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust (10 July 1871 – 18 November 1922)

Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust (10 July 1871 – 18 November 1922)

“I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin.”

The central theme in Proust’s opus is memory; likewise, “Jamal” the Slumdog, knows all the answers to the questions of the game, because each is associated with a particularly emotional episode. Until recently men thought that memory was akin to recording machine, a DVD player, a cassette player, a phonograph, depending on the epoch. Now we know that memory needs an emotion to capture an event and make sure it is recallable for as long as possible. This is why, you will be able to say where you were to your grandchildren the day and time Barak Obama became the 44th president of the United States.