In part II of his Founder Stories interview with host Chris Dixon, Kayak.com’s co-founder Paul English discusses why job applicants will be hard pressed to find job postings on Kayak.com, relays the lessons he learned from Kayak’s mobile app and tells Dixon the traits founding teams need to possess in order to impress him as an angel investor.
Having helped grow the company to roughly 150 employees, English says Kayak is somewhat unorthodox when it comes to hiring talent. “We don’t hire for open positions but we are looking for athletes, we are looking for star performers and then when we find someone great, we make a spot for them.” He adds, “I am always recruiting.”
In addition to beefing up staff, Kayak has expanded into mobile, which accounts for “almost 20-percent of our traffic” says English. Initially weary that its mobile platform would be a watered-down version of its website, English’s fears have been swept aside. “The team that we hired to build our iPhone product actually found a way to build the version of Kayak that has all the same power of Kayak but is expressed in way that was actually more simple than our website.” He adds, “I think the design experience we have learned on the iPhone, which is to force simplicity, because you have less real estate, has caused us to rethink how we do design on the web.”
English wraps the interview by telling Dixon key lessons he’s learned as an entrepreneur and offers what he looks for when investing in startups.
Make sure to watch the entire video to hear all his insights, and watch episode I of this interview here.
Past episodes of Founder Stories featuring founders ZocDoc, Charity: Water, Turntable.fm, Bump, Birchbox and many other companies are here.