The Ultimate Hack: How our newest Growth Hacker landed a job with Vidyard

The Ultimate Hack: How our newest Growth Hacker landed a job with Vidyard


As our squad continues to rise, we make it a point to hire awesome and talented people. Some come through conventional wants and others, like Amar, come on board against all odds. We asked Amar to chronicle the anecdote and our co-founders Mike and Devon to add their own position along the way.

Mike: Amar met us 3 weeks ago after a long trial of hunting down and applying for the “Growth Hacker” position we posted on StartupNorth. We couldn’t be happier with his progress, starve and efficiency. Over to you Amar!

The Beginning

Amar: I was out of school for more than a year with a few cases failed business impressions under my region and was not having any luck getting a startup job through conventional wants. Fed up, I took an unconventional approaching when applying to Vidyard. It made 5 months, 9 interrogations, and hundreds of hours spent on learning how to code, planning presentations and writing occasion studies.

The entire process involved me to push myself far out of my comfort zone. There were many times when I felt like I was never going to reach my goal of being a part of the Vidyard team. Here’s my story 😛 TAGEND

I graduated from the University of Toronto in June of 2011 and consume about 6 months testing out some business suggestions( they all failed ). Starting in january 2012 I started to look at joining a startup in the valley( California) and expended another 6 months interviewing at fellowships both large and small. However, each company that was interested in hiring me had the same problem: they couldn’t get me the necessary visa( the H1B ). It was at this notes that I decided to focus on local companies.

I first heard about Vidyard and their growing hacker opening on Startup North from a friend. The post said that they were looking for someone with either a ton of experience or someone who was hungry and able to learn fast. That second flake really reverberated with me and I sent in my resume and blanket letter the next day, hoping to get an interview. One week last-minute: nothing. So I move Michael Litt( CEO and Co-Founder) an email … but that didn’t direct either.

Mike: The e-mail looked like a follow/ pasted general blanket word/ hire me e-mail. I took a immediate glance at it and never searched again.

The e-mail: You have a brand-new message from Amar Chahal 😛 TAGEND

Hey Mike, My name is Amar Chahal and I’m a recent graduate from U of T who has worked on web startups over the past 2 years. As someone who is passionate about metrics and data analysis, what you’ve built at Vidyard is really exciting and I can’t wait to see what comes next. I’d love to drive out west to Kitchener and chat with you about Vidyard sometime soon. In special, I’m interested in the growth hacker point. I want to become a growth expert and help make Vidyard to the next level. It may not be easy, but I will put in 12 hours a day, 7 days a week until I get there. I’m coming from back-to-back startup failings from which I have learned a lot and have become even hungrier. I’m committed to working at startups that I’m passionate about, Vidyard being one of them, even though it is I work for free. I’ve already submitted a resume through Startup North. Let me know if you’d be interested in chatting further. I can be in Kitchener as soon as tomorrow morning. Thanks, Amar

Mike: Amar actually moved this to my page. I’m rarely contacted through that reserve and don’t remember seeing this message. At this time( and in retrospect) the only thing that would have really grabbed my courtesy would have been a tweet or a phone-call.

Breaching the Comfort Zone

Amar: It was at this point that most people( myself included) would have given up and moved on to another firm. However, I was too frustrated after being turned down everywhere else( for one reasonablenes or the other) and realized that on paper, I didn’t look too great( Bachelors Degree in Science and a assortment of neglected business ideas ). I was still very interested in Vidyard because of the opportunity to learn and originate at a sizzling startup.

Earlier that year I was introduced to the recession-proof graduateand Tristan Walker( of Foursquare fame) by my good friend and mentor Raj. I exploited what these chaps did to get their jobs as my archetype. I suppose the essential points I did to get the job was push just a little bit further when things appeared the most difficult. There were definitely duration where I thought it wouldn’t happen and everyone was telling me to move on but, since I had nothing to lose, I precisely restrained pushing forward.

Mike: What a baller.

Amar: The first thing I did was start a blog where I would analyze some aspect of Vidyard’s marketing and discuss what I would do instead . For example I talked aboutCTAs( or shortage thereof) in the blog and the new user experience. I produced an section every other day for two weeks and would notify Michael and Devon with a tweet. Such approaches territory me a epoch of interrogations at Vidyard HQ where Michael too had me prepare a marketing case study for the company.

Mike: The tweets succeeded. I belief “An independent( and pretty smart dude) writing content about improving my business? This person is worth talking to.”

Devon: I remember waking up to the first tweet and realizing the name of the Blog- was very impressed that someone had put together something specifically targeted at us. Mike and I chit-chat that day about the first fixed of policy recommendations, we’d thought about these things before, but were impressed that an stranger picked them out immediately.

Amar: Although the blog got me in the door, it most certainly wasn’t enough to land me the job. After the first name of interviews, I to be implemented weekly for 4 weeks but couldn’t get a response from Michael. At this top I was pretty frustrated and everyone I was get advice from was telling me to move on. I decided to send a final email but I didn’t text it like the traditional “thanks for the opportunity” rejection note. This is what I wrote 😛 TAGEND

Hey Michael and Devon,

As you might know, I’ve been trying to get in touch over the past few weeks. Strangely, I haven’t listened back since I communicate in that case study more than four few weeks ago. Just to be crystal clear, I’m still interested in working at Vidyard and since I see it as a huge learning opportunity, I’m even willing to work for free for a period of time. With that said, it would be incredible to hear back from you guys with updated information so that we can be on the same page.

If I don’t discover back, it would probably be safe to assume that you’re not interested( which “couldve been” unfortunate considering I haven’t even had the chance to meet Devon and discuss the case study with you guys ). In that case, thanks for the opportunity. However, I’m still certainly interested in growth/ deployment hacking and committed to learning more every day so Michael, I “wouldve been” appreciate it if you could recommend me to some other business like we discussed when we meet last-place month at the Tannery.

Either way, I’ve learned a lot and I’m grateful for that.

Thank you guys,


Mike: This e-mail originated me feel like a ended and utter ass-wipe. Running a startup is busy, some things fall to the way-side. The integrity of this word really hit home- he had applied himself so much better and surely deserved a converse with my co-founder.

As an aside, at this detail “were having” figured out that we needed someone to help with content generation as well as higher-level strategy. We weren’t looking for the swelling hacker anymore but Amar was prolonged enough to keep talking to- he lacked any and all experience we were looking for but had already regularly proven that he was willing to learn.

Amar: I got a response almost immediately. I was to have a phone conversation with Devon in a couple of days. In my view, this was a step backwards from the in-person interviews I had four or five weeks later. Irrespective of how I felt, I knew I was on thin ice and I really needed to impress Devon so instead of simply speaking with him on the telephone, I making a decision do a webinar on marketing at Vidyard. The darknes before our talk, I mailed Devon an email notifying him of the altered in projects and I delivered the presentation over Google Hangouts the next morning. Looking back, I’m not sure if he was impressed or not but I knew that, once again, I travelled above and beyond what was expected of me.

Devon: As Mike said, we had started to move on from the relevant recommendations of hiring a dedicated raise hacker given the hire of a content party, but the gyp was impressive, and I liked how fierce he was about the chance to work with us.

The notice about a button from a call to a Webinar was somewhat concerning. I was a little skeptical of an outsider’s ability to tell me things I didn’t previously only knew my business, and I was afraid it would just make it more difficult to tell him “No”- something I regarded as a foregone conclusion at that point.

Amar: After the talk, Devon had me prepare some marketing action items and I hurled in a SEO case study as well( should be pointed out that we’re in September now and this whole process started in June ).

Devon: I was amazed with the webinar. Mostly because we received eye to eye on many of the things he’d like to tackle first. My biggest concern was Amar seemed to be someone who was capable of come through here with things we should address, but wasn’t actually someone to execute on those notions. If we were going to hire a growing hacker, I missed him to hack things on his own, rather than piling work on an previously overloaded Developer team.

Being Mean

Amar: Again, I didn’t hear anything from Devon for a couple of weeks. In the meantime, Vidyard exhausted a monthly newsletter with a brand-new format and I cast Michael an email where I rend it apart and Michael seemed to appreciate the feedback.

Michael: Amar had some really great items in this e-mail. Things we/ I had overlooked like segmentation in user-base and even the Facebook link redirecting to the erroneous sheet. Amar came across as a little of an ass( which I liked) because we had clearly made some misstep that he noticed and wasn’t afraid to bring to my attention.

Being Scary

Amar: So there I was, once again , not really making any progress and everyone was telling me keep forgetting about it and move on( again ). One day, when I had pretty much given up, I noticed in my Twitter feed that Michael was speaking at the KWB2B Marketers Meet Up in a couple of hours. I debated myself on whether or not I should go. I queried friends if they thought it was a good idea and they mostly told me I was an idiot and that I should move on. So what did I do? I hopped in my dad’s car and drove to Waterloo.

Mike: Halfway through my introduction, I checked Amar sitting in the crowd. I believed, “ %$&#, there’s Amar- he’s here. I’m going to have to talk to him. About what? I don’t know- I can’t believe he’s still looking for a role with us.”

I tried to sneak out. He procured me, we disappeared and grabbed a imbibe with the conference of the parties organizers.

Amar: I’m still not sure what drove me to do that. I was way out of my consolation zone but looking back, this was probably the important turning point in the whole process. In other texts, if I didn’t decide to drive out west and show up at that gathering accidentally, hoping to have a chat with Michael, I wouldn’t have gotten the job.

We intention up chitchatting at length about the job and how the required skillset for its own position had advanced. Michael and Devon now needed someone who could code. As I drove dwelling, I told myself that if I learned how to code, the job was mine. I shelled off an email to Devon asking him what a rise intruder would need to proficient in with regards to coding. He replied with some opinions about what I would hypothetically focus on and I got to work.

Mike: He’s right … This was the TSN turning point. It wasn’t the fact that he pictured up OR that we talked about the role. It’s that he told me he had noticed a hassle operating arbitrage on giftcards against . I enjoy hacky things and I enjoyed how he had gone about constructing this “business”. If he could be that artistic external to Vidyard, how creative could he be internal to Vidyard?

Devon: I remember Mike saying to me the next day “You’ll never suspects who showed up to the conference”, and telling me to expect an email asking about what Amar should start to look into. Amar had already sent it though, and I’d provided him on his nature with a few cases resources to start with.

Changing the World

Amar: The strategy was to learn the basics and reveal Michael and Devon that I could move fast with new material. I gave myself about 1.5 months( until November 1st) to get where I wanted to be in HTML, CSS, JS, and PHP in the context of WordPress. I got my hands on the best seminars and screencasts that I could find and was working. Every day, for more than a month, I would wake up at 6 AM and make until 7-8 PM. Devon and Michael discovered my progress and when one of them would say “well, that’s immense but how cozy are you with XYZ? We think you’d be able to use XYZ a good deal too” I would go back and throw in the time to get a good control on the basics.

Devon: Amar established it very easy for me to follow his progress, which was very appreciated as a hectic entrepreneur, estimating someone for a position that didn’t exist. He’d send me a short email along the lines of 😛 TAGEND

“Hey Devon- I undertook what you hinted, checkout my blog upright about it now. Any estimations on what’s next? ”

Eventually, Amar had proven an exceptional ability to learn, along with a serious amount of hustle. Even though we didn’t certainly plan on this position anymore, we knew we had to make it work.

Amar: I’ll admit, it was a grind but it certainly be paid for in the end. By the end of October I was invited to sit down with the new VP marketing, the head makes, and the co-founders for a final adjust of interrogations. I was offered a occupation by the end of the day.

So, just to recap, that’s about 5 months and 9 interviews/ congregates and countless hours wasted working on jobs/ reports/ demonstrations. I’m not saying that everyone will have to do this much to territory a activity at a red-hot startup, but it’s what I must be given to do.

At the end of the working day, this whole process was not only very difficult, but very uncomfortable. There were many times where it looked like it wouldn’t happen but I remained pushing. Searching back, I don’t think there was a point where Mike or Devon had explicitly said “no” and that probably dallied a role in motivating me to keep going. It was emphatically a frustrating and frightening process but given the chance I now have, it was well worth the effort.

I’ve been through a lot to got to get where I am but after working at Vidyard for the past couple of daylights, I’ve realized that this journey has only just begun and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Mike: A startup has finite reserves( day and money) and we need to spend both carefully. When hiring, it’s important that we look for explicit experience in the areas we need help – you simply can’t afford to improve someone in a role.

Amar proved that he could learn by himself and effectively replenished the breaches needed to get there. That’s what a intruder does- by proving himself competent for the capacity, he hacked the process. A hacker is exactly what we needed. Build something people want, build yourself for the character you want.

Amar, let’s redefine the Internet together.

The icing on the cake had to have been Amar’s luck in finding an accommodation the day before yesterday his first day … and within a 5 instant moving length of the Vidyard house.

Interested in Amar’s story? Give him a shout with questions, comments, or even narrations of your own! amar @vidyard. com

Incase you’re interested, here are some resources Amar used to learn code 😛 TAGEND

Codecademy: Good for Javascript, HTML, CS

Tutsplus- Premium Membership: Good for everything

WordPress Codex

W3C Tutorials: A good citation for HTML and CS

The post The Ultimate Hack: How our newest Rise Hacker landed a place with Vidyard materialized first on Vidyard.

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