In this episode #3 we are talking with David Smooke, the founder of Hackernoon, one of the leading tech publications on the internet. David shares his vision about the safety of content, the way the internet is developing, keeping a small dedicated team, and growing by its own rules.

(0:00:02) – Inside the Success of Hackernoon 

I talk with David Smooke, the founder of Hackernoon, one of the leading tech publications on the internet. We discuss how Hackernoon is an internet company that publishes technology stories and builds publishing software, and how it has changed over the years. David explains how the company started and why he chose to focus on Hackernoon. We also chat about how he was able to get outside of paid by the hour, and how he used his editing skills, in the beginning, to make the content better and easier to distribute. Finally, we touch upon why it’s better to have your own software.

(0:09:10) – Effective Software Development and Content Curation 

I talk with David Smooke, the founder of Hackernoon, about the importance of small releases and how they can reduce risk. We also discuss the metrics Hackernoon uses to track success, the importance of user anecdotes, and the value of allowing individual contributors to pick their own projects. Finally, we explore how the introduction of an editor ensures a high-quality bar for readers and how attrition can be beneficial.

(0:19:28) – Equity Crowdfunding for Business Growth 

I talk to David Smooke, founder of Hackernoon, about the challenges of raising money for his business. We discuss the equity crowdfunding campaign that enabled him to build the next step of the company and the complexity and transparency it added to the business. We also explore the impact of the campaign on the company’s shareholders and the importance of understanding the end game before taking venture capital. David reflects on the mistakes he has made and shares his advice with other founders in similar situations.

(0:26:04) – Hiring and Growth for Hacker Noon

David Smooke, founder of Hackernoon, and I discuss his hiring strategy and the team’s full-time remote setup. We also explore how his team is approaching sustainable growth and the studies around the ideal size of a social circle. Lastly, we consider how personality can shape a business and the importance of matching the business to the founder’s personality.

(0:38:40) – Blockchain and NFTs in Tech Journalism 

David Smooke, the founder of Hackernoon, and I discuss the impact of blockchain and NFTs on the tech industry. We explore how the stories published on Hackernoon have been instrumental in its growth. We also examine how the internet is becoming more distributed across small businesses and medium businesses, and the ways blockchain could potentially help with this. Finally, I ask David how he has been able to scale his business and manage his team while still caring for the contributors to Hacker Noon.

Head of Growth,