Creative Interviews, Our Picks

Interview with Hunter Walk – The former Head of Consumer Product Management at YouTube

Hunter Walk (@hunterwalk) led consumer product management at YouTube, delivering billions of playbacks a day across computers, phones, tablets and TVs.  He joined Google in 2003 managing product and sales efforts for Google’s contextual advertising business. He is now a partner @Homebrew.

Most valuable lessons

There are two simple valuable lessons. First, work with smart people you trust. Overindex to the quality and ethics of your coworkers and you’ll never go wrong. Not only does it increase the likelihood of success on current projects, but those are the type of people who will continue to work at amazing companies over the course of their careers.

Second, work on projects that matter. If you find yourself treating your job like, well, a job, you should either figure out how to be more passionate about it, or find a new gig.

Hunter Walk Interview

Hunter Walk

Biggest career mess-up?

The only boo boos I regret involve when I didn’t listen to this advice. Any other mistakes I’ve made were great learning opportunities and I’d repeat them again. Well, not actually repeat them again, but you get the idea 🙂

$10k to Invest in a Start-up

I’d lease some hybrid cars, hire some drivers and put them to work via Uber. We’re at an amazing point where not only is it easier to start an internet business, it’s also easier to find an ecosystem to grow on top of, and I really like what the Uber team is doing.

Who inspires you?

My daughter inspired me. She’s just a few months old and it’s amazing to see her try and figure out the world and her place in it.

I subscribe to 100+ YouTube channels so there’s no way I can pick favorites, but one which recently caught my eye is TEDxTalks because it’s a great example of taking a strong brand (TED) and allowing your community to extend it.

Who influenced you?

My mother is an artist and when I was a kid, we’d visit graveyards to make rubbings of ornate tombstone designs. Basically you take wax paper, put it over the tombstone face and rub with a crayon. You end up with an amazing drawing (and no damage to the tombstone).

How can a recent Graduate land a job in Google?

Understand both art and science. Understanding people at an emotional level but being very comfortable gathering and analyzing data to support your hypotheses. Landing a job at Google starts with being smart, creative and energetic. Google looks for folks who aren’t just excellent in their field but also live life passionately.

Hunter Walk BIO

Hunter Walk (@hunterwalk) previously led consumer product management at YouTube, delivering billions of playbacks a day to the world’s largest video community.Since joining Google in 2003, he has also managed product and sales efforts for Google’s contextual advertising business. Prior to this,he was a founding member of the product and marketing team at Linden Lab. Earlier, he was a management consultant and also spent a year at Late Night with Conan O’Brien, broadcasting to an audience of insomniacs, truckers and college students. Hunter has a BA in History from Vassar and an MBA from Stanford University. He is now a partner @Homebrew.

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