Bobby Goodlatte

Product Designer

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON November 02, 2015

Discussion

Mike Coutermarsh@mscccc · Code @ GitHub
hey @rsg! I love openvote. Used it this weekend & was so helpful when deciding what to vote for. 💯. What are your plans for the future of openvote? Will it be used for other cities as well?
Bobby Goodlatte@rsg · Product Designer
@mscccc Mike, Thank you! Glad to hear what we built was useful for you :) Next year will be big for us. We’ll expand to many more elections—with the goal of having even more informative/persuasive/emotional content. We want to improve our political discourse. That means bringing on the most credible, authentic voices from all sides. And getting more people excited to participate in voting. Some parts of what we shipped in this early test will make it into our final product. Most won’t. But the core idea and motivation behind Openvote will remain the same.
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
Hi @rsg thanks so much for joining us today. How do you think your extensive career in product design has affected your angel investing strategy? What do you think you look more closely at than someone who does not have your background?
Bobby Goodlatte@rsg · Product Designer
@harrystebbings Awesome question. Yep, without my background in design / building, I wouldn't bother with investing. As an investor you have to do two things well: Pick good startups, and have startups want to pick you. Having an operational background helps on both sides. You develop a sense for what to look for by building. You learn what works & doesn't, what's possible and not. And for me, I like to be hands-on with my companies when it comes to design support. I'll send over mockups and product ideas. Hopefully that level of participation makes startups want to work with me :)
Emeka Onu@juoemeka · Making and Selling Online Businesses
Hello @rsg how do you relate with data scientists in your organization?
Bobby Goodlatte@rsg · Product Designer
@onuemeka Well, as of now there's only 2 of us at Openvote (soon to be 4). If you know any great data scientists, I'd love to meet them. We may do some hiring there next year!
Jack Altman@jack_altman
What are your most highly recommended business books? Reusing a question I asked @walkerteespring, but I'm always looking for more recommendations.
Bobby Goodlatte@rsg · Product Designer
@jaltma My favorite is a very quick read: It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want to be, by Paul Arden. http://www.amazon.com/Its-Not-Ho... It's great because: 1: You can read it in one sitting. Most business books make their point early and the back 2/3'rds of the book is useless. This one is worth reading cover to cover. 2: It focuses on motivation. In business, I like to try things for myself rather than accept conventional wisdom. You can tell me how to do something—but I rarely take advice on faith alone. Focusing on motivation rather than specific advice works for me. You need to be really fired up about what you're building. If you aren't you'll probably give up when you should press on.
jamestodd@jamestodd · Serial encourager and delighter
@rsg @jaltma On the way from Amazon. Thanks for the suggestion!
Danny Trinh@dtrinh · Free
What's next for Openvote?
Bobby Goodlatte@rsg · Product Designer
@dtrinh 2016! Will be a very big year for us. We want the most honest, passionate, direct voices on both sides to advocate for their cause on Openvote. And we'll help them recruit lots of people to their campaign :) The UI will look a bit different but the main idea will remain the same
jack rometty@rometty_ · student
Hey Bobby! I'm a uni student (CS) that loves reading and thinking about VC. What steps should I take to upgrade my side passion into a career? Thanks! 😀
Bobby Goodlatte@rsg · Product Designer
@rometty_ Hey Jack, Awesome that you’re interested in startup investing. Dunno if I’m the most qualified to answer this question, but I’d say this: It’s difficult (read: nearly impossible) to make significant inroads in VC without deep operational experience. If I were you, I’d focus on building great stuff using your CS degree. That’s what I did: In college I was a CS major as well. I worked on a bunch of fun side projects. I built a poll application for Twitter called Strawpoll with @dwr and @jwickett. I did a ton of freelance design work, including some pro bono charity projects. Those side projects were how I joined Facebook. I put my work online and it was discovered by another designer from FB. I got to work with some of the smartest engineers and designers in the world at Facebook. The lessons I learned from working with those people have served as a foundation in my career—as both an investor and a founder. Many of the investors I look up to started out 100% focused on building great things. Work on fun projects, maybe start a company or join a startup — but mostly, just build. Through building you learn what to look for as an investor, and you hopefully get to work with great people (who you can later invest in!)
neeharika sinha@neeeharika · Google, Threadchannel
Hello Bobby! great to meet you here. Love the idea of openVote. How did this idea come about? What inspired you to create this?
Bobby Goodlatte@rsg · Product Designer
@neeeharika Thanks! The idea has been bouncing around my head for about 10 years. I grew up in a political household. My dad is a politician and I grew up watching him campaign. He's always ran honorable, honest campaigns—which I think unfortunately is the exception, not the norm. I think that experience + my time at Facebook slowly convinced me that there could be a different way to run a political campaign. I first started thinking about a vote pledging system thanks to the election in 2000. The fact that a 3rd party candidate could "spoil" the election for a candidate who would otherwise be the frontrunner got me thinking. At scale, I think a vote pledging system could solve that problem and many others inherent in a "first past the post" system like ours.
neeharika sinha@neeeharika · Google, Threadchannel
@rsg @neeeharika Would love to help OpenVote grow . Would love to spread the word any other way I can help?
Bobby Goodlatte@rsg · Product Designer
@neeeharika Sure thing. Drop me an email : bobby [at] openvote com
Chris F. Nicholson@chrisfnicholson · Partner - Venture Politics
Openvote is awesome. How can we help?
Bobby Goodlatte@rsg · Product Designer
@chrisfnicholson Thanks! Right now the best thing to do is to tell your friends to vote! If they live in SF and don't know how to vote, check out http://openvote.com !
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
What's something you used to fervently believe that you now see as misguided?
Bobby Goodlatte@rsg · Product Designer
@jacqvon Wow, tough question. I used to be pretty demoralized, frustrated, and cynical about politics. I've pretty much flipped 180 degrees on that. I think we're on the verge of a big re-igniting of civic engagement. People like John Oliver are really stirring things up. Getting millions of views on videos that are on very niche political content. People care — but their energy isn't being constructively funneled right now.
Niv Dror@nivo0o0 · VC at Shrug Capital
@rsg cameo me in the stream?
Bobby Goodlatte@rsg · Product Designer
@nivo0o0 How do I do that? :D
Bobby Goodlatte@rsg · Product Designer
@rsg @nivo0o0 got it!
Paul Wozniak@iwozzy · Product @ LoopUp
Hey @rsg :) How do you prioritise your work? There must be a ton of things you could be doing at any given time. How do you know what to focus on?
Bobby Goodlatte@rsg · Product Designer
@iwozzy I guess one way is to keep things as simple as possible. Say 'no' a lot, especially for things like product features.
neeharika sinha@neeeharika · Google, Threadchannel
@rsg What is Openvote's Growth Strategy?
Bobby Goodlatte@rsg · Product Designer
@neeeharika This might be a slightly cryptic answer, but here goes. In general, I think its a good strategy to identify something big that you can latch onto. Find something people care about and ride that wave. For us, people really do care about politics. Look at the view counts on John Oliver's Youtube videos.
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
What are the 3 resources that have most improved your life? (blogs, books, movies, advisors, etc)
Bobby Goodlatte@rsg · Product Designer
@jacqvon Might be a bit cliche but: #1 has to be friends & family. Having people close to you who have your back matters so much. Especially if you take on creative risk in life. It's hard to take on risks unless you feel you've got support on the downside. #2 Education. I think it's really important to get exposed to very disparate ideas. I was lucky in this regard. #3 Learning to un-plug. Travel, meditation, exercise. Took me awhile to learn how to use this resource :) Still learning there.
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
Thank you for being here @rsg ! It's been a pleasure reading your thoughtful answers and learning from your wisdom. 🙌
Bobby Goodlatte@rsg · Product Designer
@jacqvon Thank you so much for having me!!