Thursday, May 09, 2013

The Skateboard Test

My friend Jack Herrick told me about an interesting technique he uses to test the character of the people he meets with.

The WikiHow offices are in a nice house just outside downtown Palo Alto. When he meets people in Palo Alto, he skateboards to the meeting and brings the skateboard in with him.

"If they let something as silly as the fact that I ride a skateboard affect how they view me, I don't want to deal with them."

The Skateboard Test is a perfect reflection of the Silicon Valley ethos--we don't care what you look like, or what clothes you wear.  If you can build killer product, we want to work with you.

Sadly, I lack any skateboarding skills, so I'll have to leave this test to Jack.  What's your skateboard test?


Kendra Kinnison said...

I have a tattoo inside my left wrist. I refrained from getting it for years, concerned that it wasn't "professional" for a CPA.

Eventually, I decided that I didn't care to interact with anyone that was troubled by it. I never considered that before I got it, but it has been a very effective "skateboard test."

Chris said...


I'm glad to hear that you ended up doing what felt right to you.

I'll bet that your tattoo has never stopped you from getting a good client, but it may have stopped you from getting some bad ones.

Dan said...

Perhaps he was turning up to a "BOARD" meeting... Chortle *snort*

Tim Taylor said...

My test is do they laugh at my jokes (the good ones that is). If they at least laugh at one of the first few, I'm in really good shape. If not, it's going to be a grind.