When I finally get Dick Costolo on the phone, the Silicon Valley veteran and widely respected tech soothsayer is taking a break from ramping up his latest venture, a personal fitness app called Chorus. Right now, the company is 12 people, and in "early, early" beta, as Costolo puts it.
But the man who took the helm of Twitter in 2010, steered its meteoric growth, then graciously departed in 2015 when the market was clamoring for faster monetization sounds like he's never been more excited about the future. And starting from scratch, with no constraints from an anxious board or nattering marketplace, has given him the freedom to talk about what truly accounts for success at the biggest tech companies, like those that dominate LinkedIn's Top Companies list in 2017.
The answer, of course, is people. Special, different people.
In the wide-ranging conversation that follows, Costolo talks about what that means — that is, which qualities Top Companies are looking for when they hire, both engineers and otherwise. And he looks forward, too, ruminating on which up-and-coming industries will be fighting over top talent in the coming years.
Suzy Welch: I read on Google, of all places, that Google receives something like one million job applications a year, largely from people just writing the company cold, or applying online. That's a lot of applicants for a place that has 57,000 employees, and about 975 job openings at any given time just in the U.S. Amazon, Apple, and Facebook have similar numbers, again, with the applications mainly coming in over the digital transom.
Dick Costolo: Yeah, and that's generally not how people get hired at Google, or Amazon or any of the big tech companies. Nobody gets a job by clicking a button.
SW: So, how do they get hired? What's the secret?