‘You didn’t know if he was in his pajamas’: Fox News anchor ‘stunned’ shows allow Trump to call in

chris wallaceREUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace recalled the moment when he saw Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump appearing by phone on a rival Sunday political television show.


“I was stunned,” Wallace told Business Insider in an interview.


Wallace is the longtime host of “Fox News Sunday,” which is celebrating its 20th anniversary on the air.


Wallace has refused to allow Trump to call in to the show. He told Business Insider the breach of protocol on other networks’ Sunday shows was surprising and unprecedented.


“I mean, here’s a guy who is running for president of the United States, and Sunday shows have a unique place in the television landscape,” said Wallace, who has hosted the “Fox News Sunday” since 2003. “They’re supposed to be the place that viewers turn for in-depth, serious, probing interviews, and some of the other shows were letting him call in.”


Wallace said the decision to not let Trump call in was never even seriously discussed.


“There were no discussions,” Wallace said. “There were no meetings. It was just me.”


His reasoning was also simple, Wallace told Business Insider: Having guests appear on camera allows the host to more fully evaluate the subject.


“You didn’t know if he was in his pajamas,” Wallace said. “You didn’t know if he was reading off talking points. Part of a tough interview is to see how somebody reacts when you ask that probing question – whether they blink, whether they stutter or stammer. And you didn’t get any of those nonverbal insights because he was talking on a phone.”


Indeed, many anchors see Trump’s habit of calling in to shows rather than appearing on camera as a tactical move on the frontrunner’s part.


Last year, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo said Trump’s decision to call in to shows rather than appear on camera was a deliberate strategy.


“It’s easy for him to overtalk the questioner,” Cuomo told The Washington Post in September.


Others have since reevaluated their call-in policy. Earlier this year, for instance, NBC’s “Meet The Press” announced that it would no longer hold phone-based interviews with Trump.

NOW WATCH: This 60-second animation shows how divided Congress has become over the last 60 years




The market’s most crowded trades could be causing dangerous bubbles

crowded wave poolReuters

The market may be blowing up some bubbles through excessive crowding.


Bubbles, simply put, are sins of excess driven by too many people reaching for too few goods.


The tech bubble saw investors clamoring for a piece of internet gold, which drove valuation to a popping point. The housing bubble saw similar events occur in the real estate market.


It is not unreasonable then to think that investors would be crowd-averse. Too much money rushing into too few assets has a history of ending in disaster.


Except by the looks of it, there may be some serious crowding happening in markets. The questions then become: are these crowded bubbles? And if so, when do they pop?


There’s nowhere else to go


Before we get into the question of where does it go, finding out how we got here is necessary.


The main culprit is the new reach for yield. With low returns in many asset classes and yields on many bonds in developed markets heading negative, there has been a need to push into risky, higher yielding assets to make up the difference.


“You haven’t heard the term ‘crowding’ out in quite a while, but quite frankly that’s what [quantitative easing] is,” said Mike Siegel, global head of Goldman Sachs Asset Management Insurance Investing division.


“It’s the Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan, the ECB going into the market buying high quality government bonds and taking them out of the market and crowding everybody else out and forcing them into other securities.”


While Siegel is speaking specifically about insurance investors here, it applies to the whole market, and as investors get crowded out of some assets they have to find somewhere else to go. With fewer options and lower returns, you end up with the bubbly looking trades.


‘No doubt in my mind’


This push for yield has manifested in a number of places in both the stock and fixed income markets.


“There is no doubt in my mind that there is crowding,” John Bailer of BNY Mellon’s The Boston Company told Business Insider. “The perception is that interest rates are going to stay low for a long time so people are trying to pile in wherever they can.”


Bailer, the portfolio manager of the The Boston Company’s Income Stock Fund, said that dividend paying stocks are especially crowded, as not only equity investors but many funds treating these stocks as bond substitutes.


“People are hiding out in stocks that they think are safe, growing assets and that is looking like it’s under pressure,” said Bailer.


This causes dislocations in the market as certain companies end up with much higher valuations than would be reasonable. Bailer mentioned both dividend paying defensive stocks and high growth names that have exploded higher recently (think FANGs) as areas he sees as particularly pressured.


Kathy Jones, chief strategist for fixed income at Charles Schwab, told Business Insider that much the same thing is happening in the bond market.


“Get used to it,” said Jones. “There’s crowding as people are coming to the market trying to find somewhere that will get them a good yield and that ends up in a lot of people being in fewer assets.”


Additionally, as we’ve noted before, UBS has quantified bubbles both in the stock and bond markets that are ripe to pop.


Screen Shot 2016 04 29 at 3.35.09 PMReuters


It seems certain assets may be overflowing with investors.


How it all ends


There is some good news, however. While bubbles have a propensity to pop, there is the option of slowly releasing the pressure through bad returns.


“Markets tend not to reward crowded stocks,” said Bailer. “So eventually investors are going to have to find somewhere else to get returns.”


Additionally, UBS’ quant team found that some pressure was being released from the most popular bubble trades as conditions changed.


The only issue there is that the underlying dynamics that are leading people into crowded trades aren’t changing. Central banks aren’t raising rates anytime soon, so yields will most likely stay low, and investors will have to find the few trades where they can get high returns. This leads a lot of investors to a few high return names, and you end up back in the bubble.


Plus, bubbles tend to pop when most people least expect it, so there’s also that. Basically, it may pay to find a trade with a little more elbow room.

NOW WATCH: FORMER GREEK FINANCE MINISTER: The single largest threat to the global economy



This Week in Social: The Latest News, Trends and 5 Eye-Opening Stats You May Have Missed

The social media world moves incredibly fast and to help you stay up to date, we thought we’d round up some of the latest news, trends, research, and statistics that caught our attention this week.


From Twitter redefining itself and some big news from Facebook to new features on Pinterest and Periscope, it’s been an exciting week.


Let’s get started!



pablo (52)



What’s new in social this week


Want to jump to a particular story? Try clicking one of the headlines below:



Facebook reaches 1.65 billion monthly users




In its Q1 2016 earnings report, Facebook announced it has now reached. 1.65 billion monthly users. That figure means Facebook grew 3.7%, from 1.59 billion monthly users last quarter (Q4, 2015).


The social network’s daily active user count has also grown significantly. It reached 1.09 billion daily active users in Q1, compared to 1.04 billion in Q4 2015, a 4.8% increase.





Twitter is no longer a social network


Highly alert Twitter users noticed it’s now categorizing itself very differently. In an update on April 28th, Twitter now sits in the News category rather than Social Networking.


This change moves Twitter away from apps like Snapchat, Facebook and Messenger in the App Store and the switch also boosted the app to the #1 spot in the News category (it was previously sat 6th in Social Networking).




Ranking #1 in a category could be a nice boost for Twitter, and could help attract new users who want to keep up with the latest news on mobile. Being ranked #1 will also help with App Store visibility and could lead to more organic downloads.


Could this be a sign of a significant shift for Twitter? Or maybe an experiment to see how App Store categories and rankings affect downloads? Keeping an eye on this over the coming weeks will be interesting.



Video consumption on Snachat has doubled


Daily video views on Snapchat have now hit 10 billion. TechCruch reports that the new numbers represent a 150% increase in video consumption on Snapchat in just under a year.


In February 2016, Snapchat reported 8 billion daily video views and in November 2015, 6 billion views. That’s incredible growth.


➤ For more on Snapchat, check out our ‘Complete Guide to the Ghost’ here.



Pinterest Featured Collections




Pinterest has released Featured Collections, a way to keep tabs on trending topics and content. Every day, the brands, celebrities, and influencers, and Pinterest’s own editor’s will curate popular pins, users, boards, and searches within Featured Collections.


The Featured Collections will be localized to the UK, France, Germany, Brazil, and Japan, further strengthening the network’s relationship with international users.



Periscope launches sketch feature and deeper analytics


Launch Your Own Movie Channel With Unreel.me Video Streaming

unreel.me video streaming


YouTube’s got some new competition.


Social video streaming company Unreel Entertainment has launched a new platform called Unreel.me, which provides all the tools businesses may need to instantly launch their unique, rich online video hubs. Not only that, they can monetize the content they create.


As part of the launch, the company has announced a $1 million Creator Appreciation Fund for early adopters allowing them to receive 100 percent of the platform’s initial revenue up to $1 million.


Unreel.me Video Streaming Features


When businesses create a free account on Unreel.me, they get a unified platform from where they can manage all content and distribute across platforms.


They also have the option of syncing content from YouTube or Facebook as well as uploading their exclusive content. To help businesses set their look and feel and meet distribution needs, Unreel.me offers several themes configurable with a variety of features.


Another feature of this platform is that super fans can interact with content creators by commenting within scenes, making highlight reels, creating GIFs/Memes and more.


But what’s most interesting about this platform is that it allows users to deploy their own streaming service across desktop, mobile and smart TV apps. Further, it lets them monetize their videos through advertising, subscriptions, merchandise sales, and paywalls, while keeping a majority of the revenue generated.


“Unreel.me gives the power back to the creators by avoiding losing huge cuts of revenue from working with too many partners,” explains Krish Arvapally, Unreel.me Co-Founder and CTO. “With Unreel.me’s automated content aggregation from several video sources, full customization/branding, built-in monetization capabilities, fan-social engagement features, and merchandise integrations, creators can truly build their video home on the Internet and keep more money.”


Using Unreel.me For Video Streaming Monetization


Several startups today are giving businesses and content creators new options to monetize their videos without falling back on YouTube. Take Wochit, for example. The platform allows users to become video creators by simply using the Wochit video library.


Another popular platform is Kaltura, which gives publishers more control over how they want to monetize their content. Their “Out of the Box Video Portal” comes with some advanced integration options with other CMS platforms such as WordPress. It also supports calls to action, email registration forms and video overlays.


Founded in 2015, Unreel.me video streaming provides services for video creators. Headquartered in California, the company specializes in multi-channel network, video discovery, video tagging, video search and more.


Image: Unreel.me


This article, “Launch Your Own Movie Channel With Unreel.me Video Streaming” was first published on Small Business Trends



China wants to put astronauts on the moon by 2036

China Chinese Astronaut Wang YapingREUTERS

BEIJING (Reuters) – China wants to put astronauts on the moon by 2036, a senior space official said, the latest goal in China’s ambitious lunar exploration program.


China in 2003 became the third country to put a man in space with its own rocket after the former Soviet Union and the United States. It has touted its plans for moon exploration and in late 2013 completed the first lunar “soft landing” since 1976 with the Chang’e-3 craft and its Jade Rabbit rover.


The country also plans to land the first probe ever on the dark side of the moon in 2018, another milestone.


China must “raise its abilities and use the next 15 to 20 years to realize manned lunar exploration goals, and take a firm step for the Chinese people in breaking ground in the utilization of space”, Lieutenant General Zhang Yulin, deputy commander of the China Manned Space Program, said.


Zhang made the comments in statement posted to the program’s website on Thursday.


The official China Daily newspaper said the announcement marked “the country’s first confirmation of a manned lunar exploration program”.


The paper cited experts saying China needed first to develop a powerful enough rocket to lift a payload of at least 100 metric tons into low Earth orbit. It also needs more advanced technology, including new space suits, for a lunar mission.


Advancing China’s space program is a priority for Beijing, with President Xi Jinping calling for the country to establish itself as a space power.


China insists its program is for peaceful purposes, but the U.S. Defense Department has highlighted China’s increasing space capabilities, saying it is pursuing activities aimed to prevent adversaries from using space-based assets in a crisis.


Apart from its civilian ambitions, Beijing has tested anti-satellite missiles, and the U.S. Congress has banned NASA from engaging in cooperation with its Chinese counterpart due to security concerns.


China’s space budget is still only about one-tenth of the United States’ outlays, officials have said. According to Chinese state media, China spends about $2 billion a year on its space program, though details are vague.


China said this month that it would launch a “core module” for its first space station sometime around 2018, part of a plan to have a permanent manned space station in service around 2022.


China is also preparing to launch a Mars probe in 2020, which would reach the planet in 2021, the official Xinhua news agency has said.


(Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Nick Macfie)



How to Create the Perfect Facebook Page for Your Business: The Complete A to Z Guide

Facebook now has over 1.65 billion monthly active users. And as small business owners and brand managers, there’s a very good chance you’ll be able to reach and connect with your target audience through Facebook.


Great! So where should you start? And is there an easy blueprint to follow?


From creating our Facebook Business page to posting several hundred times over the past few years, we’ve experimented a lot with various Facebook marketing tips and have enjoyed figuring out the best way to create and manage our Facebook page here at Buffer. I’d love to share with you how the process has worked so far from start until now!




Since things continue to change regularly with Facebook and its algorithm, consider this A to Z guide as a great jumping off point for creating a Facebook business page and growing your audience. Start here, test what works for your individual business and brand, and make changes as you learn.


How to Create a Facebook Business Page in 5 Simple Steps


Creating a Facebook Business Page, Facebook, Facebook Business, Facebook Page


Step 1: Fill out your basic business info


Open the following URL to create a business page on Facebook:




Once there, you’ll choose one of the following six categories for your page:

    1. Local business or place
    1. Company, organization, or institution
    1. Brand or product
    1. Artist, band, or public figure
    1. Entertainment
    1. Cause or community

facebook create a page


Keep in mind that you can change the category and name later on if needed.


Also, at this stage, it might be helpful to know that a physical address figures prominently in the setup of a local business or place, and the actual Facebook page will appear differently as well.


Here’s the look for a local business:


facebook page business example


Here’s the look for a company or brand:


facebook page company example


It’s something to think about when choosing a category.


Following the category selection, the next setup screen will ask for a descriptive sentence or two about your page, a URL, a Facebook page URL, and a profile picture. If you’ve selected a local business, you’ll also have the ability to select category tags to further define what your store sells.


About your page – You get 155 characters to describe your page. This description appears prominently near the top of your Facebook page on both desktop and mobile. Be as descriptive and helpful as possible.


URL – The web address for your store, company, or brand.


Facebook URL / username – You may have the option to choose a custom vanity URL for your page, i.e. facebook.com/yourbrandname.


(Facebook will ask that you reach 25 fans first before you can unlock a custom Facebook URL)


Profile picture – Upload a main profile picture/icon for your page. This photo will appear as your icon every time you comment on a post or publish in a news feed. Square dimensions are best. Facebook will force rectangular photos to be cropped to squares.


Profile pictures should be at least 180 pixels wide by 180 pixels tall. Here is a full list of the sizes that Facebook uses for your profile picture in various places around the site:

    • The main profile image on your page – 160 x 160
    • In a news feed – 100 x 100
    • In your timeline – 86 x 86
    • Next to comments – 43 x 43

The final two steps in the setup process include adding your page to your main Facebook menu (so you can access it quickly and easy each time you log in) and setting up a Facebook ad to promote your new page. These options can be skipped for now.


Step 2: Create an awesome cover image in a snap (no designer required!)


facebook cover image size


By this point, your page is live for all the world to visit. Let’s see if we can make it look even snazzier.


First thing, add a cover photo. The cover photo appears across the top of your page and is a great opportunity to deliver a visual element that supports your branding, draws attention, or elicits emotion from your visitors. 


A note on ideal Facebook cover photo size and dimensions: 


Facebook cover photos appear at 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall on desktop, however, Facebook crops out some of each cover photo on mobile devices. It specifically strips out 144 pixels off the right and left sides of the image.


Therefore, Facebook cover photo dimensions are 851 x 315px, but only the center 563 x 315px portion of the picture appears on mobile.


You can certainly hire a designer to make you something fabulous, or you can go the DIY route. Many photo editing apps like Pic Monkey or BeFunky can help with creating images of just the right dimensions. If you’re a Photoshop user, we’ve created a couple of Facebook cover photo templates that might be helpful. Canva is another super helpful tool for Facebook cover photos as it comes with several premade templates that look great right out of the box.


Here’s an example of a Canva template you could choose. You can upload your own image to use as the background, and you can edit the text to say whatever you’d like. If you’re looking for high-quality image options, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite sources for free social media images.


Canva template


Once you have created your cover image, upload it to your page by clicking on the “Add a Cover” button.


add a cover facebook page


If you happen to upload an image that isn’t quite the exact dimensions of the Facebook cover, you’ll have a chance to move and edit the image to fit the available window. When you’re happy with the final look, you can click “Save Changes,” and you’ll be set!


Facebook cover example


Here’s a pro tip: When you upload a cover photo to your page, the photo is added as an update to your timeline. If you edit the description of the photo, you can add a message to the update. Click on the photo to open up the photo viewer, and you’ll notice a link that says “Add a description.”


facebook image add description


You can add description, tags, location, and date to your photo. Once you’ve finished, the update to your timeline will be changed to reflect your edits.


facebook cover custom update


Step 3: Fill out your profile completely


Next, you can fill out your profile even more by adding information to your Page Info section. To access this section, click on Settings in the top menu bar on your page, then click Page Info.


page info facebook


Your name and category will be filled in already. Some of the most helpful bits of information to add next might be:


Start Info – You can choose when your company or product was founded, created, started, or launched. This information will appear on the history timeline to the right of your page’s feed and as an update at the very bottom of your main feed.


Address – Enter this if you want people to be able to check in via Facebook when they’re near your place.


Long description & Mission – Add additional details that explain your business or brand even further. This is a great way to go beyond the 155 character description that appears on the main page.


Phone number / Email address – Add additional contact information.


All of these details will appear on the About tab of your Facebook page.


example about section facebook


Step 4: Add collaborators to your page


If you plan on sharing your Facebook marketing duties with a team, you’ll want to grant access for various folks and various roles.


Here are the roles that you can choose from:


Admin – Complete and total access to everything (you are an admin by default)


Editor – Can edit the Page, send messages and post as the Page, create Facebook ads, see which admin created a post or comment, and view insights.


Moderator – Can respond to and delete comments on the Page, send messages as the Page, see which admin created a post or comment, create ads, and view insights.


Advertiser – Can see which admin created a post or comment, create ads and view insights.


Analyst – Can see which admin created a post or comment and view insights.


To add collaborators, go to your page settings and the “Page Roles” section. You can type in the name of any Facebook friend or person who has liked your page. Alternately, you can type in an email address associated with a Facebook account.


Step 5: Publish your first post


Add content to your page by publishing a post-a status update, a link, a photo, a video, an event, or a milestone. New, fresh content on your page will make it look all the more enticing once new visitors come over to check it out.


Keep in mind that visual content does exceedingly well and that Facebook is now ranking Live Video higher in people’s news feeds.


Here’s a telling graphic from a BuzzSumo study showing how Facebook posts with images receive 2.3x more engagement than those without photos.


Facebook, Facebook Engagement, Facebook Marketing, Facebook Pages


And there you have it!


Your Facebook Business page is up and ready to deliver awesome content to your fans and grow into something wonderful.


Read on to learn more about growing your Facebook page and posting best-practices!


How to gain your first 100 fans to your Facebook page


The temptation might be to share your Facebook page right away with all your Facebook friends. Not so fast. Take a moment to think strategically about your plan and to seed your page with content so that it looks inviting and engaging when visitors do stop by.


Publish three to five posts before you invite anyone. 


Then try out one of these strategies to get to your first 100 fans.


Invite your Facebook friends


Facebook has a built-in feature to tell your Facebook friends about your page. Click on the Build Audience link in the top right corner of your page, and choose Invite Friends from the dropdown.


Facebook page setup


You can then pick and choose which friends you’d like to invite, and you can drill down into specific sections of friends, filtered by location, school, lists, and recent interactions.


Once invited, your friends will receive a direct message with an invitation to your page. You won’t have a chance to edit the message they receive.


Invite your coworkers


One of the best sources of social media promotion for your company could very well be your coworkers. Ask everyone who works with you to like the page and-if willing-to recommend the page to any friends who might be interested.


Promote your Facebook page on your website


Facebook offers a full complement of widgets and buttons that you can add to your website to make it easy for website visitors to like your page.


One of the most ubiquitous plugins is the Facebook Page Plugin. With Page Plugin, you can easily embed and promote any Facebook page without visitors ever having to leave your website.


Facebook Page Plugin, Page Plugin, Facebook


Promote your Facebook page in your email signature


One of the most visible places you might find to promote your page is in your inbox. Edit your email signature to include a call-to-action and link to your Facebook page.




Hold a contest


Facebook contests can be huge for gaining likes on your page. Two of the best apps for creating contests are ShortStack & Gleam which help you create custom campaigns to drive Likes to your page (or email capture or fan engagement or any number of different ideas you might have).


What to post and when to post it


In general, there are three main types of posts you’re likely to publish on your Facebook feed:

    • Photo/video
    • Text update
    • Links

As mentioned above, posts with photos garner 2.3x more engagement than posts without photos. 


Definitely make visual content a huge part of your Facebook strategy as well as your larger social media marketing plan.


As far as the frequency with which to post, Facebook’s algorithm changes have made research into the topic rather difficult. The consensus seems to be to experiment as much as possible. As often as you have fresh, compelling content to share on Facebook, give it a try. Try testing post frequency in week-long intervals so that you can measure the results quickly.


With that, we recommend being consistent with your content. When your content is good, your audience will start to expect it on a regular basis. Even if you’re only producing enough content to post to Facebook once per day, try to stick to that schedule.


Social media scheduling apps like Buffer help make this easy by letting you schedule posts ahead of time. You can add to a queue so that your page always has fresh content being posted automatically on schedule.


Ideal length and timing of Facebook posts are another area you might want to experiment with.


HubSpot collected a ton of research from the folks at CoSchedule and from a variety of sources, including QuickSprout, SurePayroll, The Huffington Post, Buffer, TrackMavenFast Company, and KISSmetrics.


Their takeaway:


Facebook Posting, Facebook, Managing Facebook 


As far as ideal length, we partnered with our friends at SumAll to place the data and insights into a fun infographic. What we found was that Facebook posts with 40 characters receive 86% more engagement than those with a higher character count. 


Facebook posting strategy, facebook, managing facebook


How to tell what’s worked and what hasn’t


After sharing posts, you’re likely to want to know how they did. Your social media management tool would figure to have some built-in analytics that can help you better understand how your posts performed. Here’s a peek at what the Buffer for Business analytics look like:


Buffer for Business, social media analytics, Buffer Analytics


You can also gain a huge number of stats and numbers from Facebook Insights.


Once you’ve shared several pieces of content to your Facebook page, you’ll see an Insights tab at the top of your Facebook menu, between Activity and Settings.




At the top of the Insights page, you’ll see your Page Likes, Post Reach, and Engagement stats for the week, along with a comparison to the same stats from last week.


facebook insights


Another neat area to check is the demographic information on the people who visit and engage with your page.


Click on People from the Insights menu, and you can drill down into demographic information of your fans, the people reached by your posts, the people who engage with your post, and the check-ins you receive at your physical location.


Here’s an example from Buffer’s page insights about the people reached by our posts.


facebook insights demographics


One of the newest features of Insights is the “Pages to Watch” section at the bottom of the page. You can add other pages that you want to monitor-a great way to grab some competitor research and take inspiration from the way that other pages market themselves.


To add a page, simply click on the Add Pages button at the top of the section.


add pages facebook


Search for the name of the page you want to watch, then click to add it to your watch list. Once a page has been added, you can click on the name of the page from your Insights dashboard, and you’ll see an overview of their best posts from the week.


Facebook Insights


Now I’d love to turn it over to you!


What Facebook page tips and advice do you have? What have you learned along the way? Is there any part of the Facebook page creation and management process you’d like to know more about?


Excited to hear from you in the comments!


Oh, and by the way: Buffer can help you drive more Facebook traffic and engagement in less time. Sign up for free and see how it works for you!


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2014, but we’ve updated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness for your reading pleasure. – Brian


The post How to Create the Perfect Facebook Page for Your Business: The Complete A to Z Guide appeared first on Social.


Five years later, my sturdy iPad 2 keeps plugging along


It’s been five years since I bought a then-brand-new iPad 2, and-unsurprisingly-the machine I bought back then now shows every bit of its age: There are cracks in the bezel, scratches on the back, and the 30-pin syncing/charging cable that it came with has some bare stretches of wire that need some electrical tape, probably sooner than later.



Yeah, it might make sense to replace it, trade it in, and flat-out retire it-considering how many iPad models Apple has in its stores today. However, this aging tablet remains one of the most-used pieces of electronic hardware in my household.


To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Hiring to win: Why it’s easier to fix a broken product than a broken team

TreasureHunt Studios

This sponsored post is produced by TreasureHunt Studios.



We’ve learned a lot at TreasureHunt leading to the launch of our first game Boomie Blast – but the biggest lesson we learned about making better games has nothing to do with game development per se. It’s something a lot folks talk about but never do: Make recruitment number one – put people, culture, and processes in place that reinforce that goal – and your end product will shine.


We’ve been working on Boomie Blast for about two years now. Of course, this is way too long for a mobile game development cycle and it wasn’t our plan. It happened because we were focusing on building the right team first and a game second. We made some team missteps early on and quickly decided to re-focus a considerable amount of our time and energy in recruitment efforts that would secure us the best talent, regardless of our market position.


In doing this, the product initially suffered, because we took longer to fill gaps in the team. Yet, that short-term pain created big long-term pay-offs.


It’s been a huge advantage that we have a clear mission that resonates with talent. This tends to attract more A-Players. Also, if you genuinely believe in your mission and are passionate about it that goes a long way. Smart people can smell bullshit from a mile away so keep the spin at home.


So, here’s what we learned on the way to putting together our great team and first game, broken down into five steps:


1. Create a culture of recruitment first


Get your team excited that every new hire means the game they’re working on is about to get better. Help them see that time spent on interviews, candidate code sample reviews, CV reviews, and everything else doesn’t get in the way of developing the game, it’s actually the opposite; making the game is getting in the way of hiring. If you have an interview to go to or a CV to review, whatever else you’re working on (outside of extreme situations), that hiring task is the most important thing you have to do.


2. Have a vision for your team like you do for your business


What do you want your team’s DNA to be? At TreasureHunt, we want to create the highest quality mobile games for audiences of all ages by securing the best people and tools from tech and entertainment. The best way to do this is by purposefully culture-clashing folks from traditional AAA games and recently successful data-driven mobile games. We’re excited about bringing in Film and TV talent, too. We believe in this dynamic because when tackling problems, divergent viewpoints bring about better solutions.


3. Establish values for the actual recruitment process


We have two recruitment pillars that are based on other successful organizations. First, remove bias whenever possible and secondly, be consistent in getting candidates through the same process and record their results accurately.


Humans are awful at erroneously forming an opinion of someone we meet in less than ten seconds. Your process should constantly fight against this unavoidable instinct. For example, remove subjective questions like “What did you listen to on the way here?” This can be interpreted in an endless number of ways – none of them valuable. For our screening calls on Skype, we ask that candidates turn video off. We want to see their potential, not the shirt they picked out.


Creating consistency allows you to separate the very good candidates from the great ones. The bad ones eliminate themselves in any half-decent process. Know exactly what questions you’re going to ask in what order and follow the same set of questions for every candidate. Also, write every answer down. This is ridiculously important. We have a note taker in each interview. Doing this allows team members that weren’t in the interview but are involved in decision-making to have clear, comparable data when deciding to move forward or not.


You can dig deeper and ask follow-ups but make sure to get back on track so you have complete and comparable results.


4. Do behavioral interviews


Just because someone is super-smart, you don’t have to accept that they also have a difficult personality. We learned this the hard way very early on. Spend longer looking for the smart hire that’s also humble, eager to learn at any stage of their career, and empathetic with others. We have a behavioral interview where we ask a series of simple-sounding questions, then continue with a series of follow-ups that quite literally intend to mine the candidate’s value-set, moral compass, and empathy for others potential. It might seem like a casual chat for our candidates but we’re diligently recording answers on a matrix that shows us positive and negative queues to watch out for.


5. Your recruitment process is a live product – constantly improve it


TreasureHunt_TEAMWe set up goals on improving our recruitment process based on data and gaps we’ve identified – just as you would with any live-service game. Once a hire has been brought on, we ask for feedback from the team on what they thought of the process and what we can do better. This all gets captured and any trends we noticed get backlogged to fix somewhere down the line.


With all that said, you may face critical team gaps that persist. But based on our early reflections, it’s worth waiting to get the right, and best, person in place.


Remember this; it’s easier to fix a broken product than a broken team. Keep that in mind when you’re banging your head against the wall looking for the right person for the last damn six months. When you find the right hire who clicks with your team and starts obliterating problems on their first week, it will fill you with the motivation to stay disciplined with the process and keep banging your head against the wall for the next damn six months looking for the next great hire.


Kyle Smith is the CEO of TreasureHunt, a Berlin based game developer, which has just launched their first game, Boomie Blast, which is available on iOS. You can reach Kyle at kyle@treasurehuntstudios.com or on Twitter @kyleslovesgames.



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