Inside Jobs: Why Fitbit’s Tim Roberts Looks For Rock Bands, Not Just Rock Stars

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As a kid growing up, Tim Roberts wanted to be an artist. Today as an adult, he’s the vice president of interactive and design at personal health tracking startup Fitbit.

On the surface, it might seem that his current job is a big departure from his childhood aspirations. But as Roberts told me in this latest episode of TechCrunch TV’s Inside Jobs series, he tries to bring some artistic perspective into his job building teams and making software, finding common ground with what it takes to make music or art. In person, it’s easy to sense that he’s got a bit more creativity going on under the surface than you might expect by just hearing his job title — and I think that comes across in our video, too.

I particularly liked hearing about how he looks at assembling the right people for making great apps:

“Great software is I believe a social art. Your job [as VP of interactive and design] is essentially akin to creating rock bands. You need to construct and pull together the right musicians, the right people, to be able to play in the band together. While certainly there have been products that have been made by individuals, where there are rock stars who go make an incredible product, I don’t think that’s the methodology we have here.

[It's about] how you foster and create those teams as units, how you stay in touch with them so you understand if something is going awry, if one of the members doesn’t mesh with the other members. At the end of the day if you can stand back and say, ‘Wow, we’ve got a rock band, and a country western band, and a death metal band,’ whatever the flavors of bands are that you need to make amazing music, that’s what this role is about.”

Learn more about Tim Roberts’ job by watching the video embedded above.

Inside Jobs is a 12 episode miniseries from TechCrunch TV airing weekly on Mondays from March 24 through June 16 that gives an in-depth look at people in the job roles that really make the tech industry tick. Last week’s episode of Inside Jobs profiled Loudr’s senior counsel Annie Lin.

Producing, shooting, editing, sound, and lighting for Inside Jobs is done by John Murillo. Production coordination and creative direction is done by Felicia Williams. Original logo design by Bryce Durbin. Motion graphics and graphic design by Eden Soto.