Category Archives: Zillow

Tell me about a time you delivered a solution customers didn’t know they needed (or wanted)

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Note: as I’m currently evaluating and interviewing for product manager opportunities, I’m publishing many answers to the product, behavioral, business, and life questions I’m researching/practicing publicly rather than keep them private in a Google doc. Tell me about a time you delivered a solution customers didn’t know they needed (or wanted) While running the Zillow API program, I constantly heard from agents and brokers that it was too difficult to add our data to their websites. All the customers asked me “can you integrate it for me?”. That led to the realization a plugin that created city, zip, and neighborhood pages would increase adoption. That led to the creation of the local market explorer, which increased adoption by a factor of at least … Continue reading

Give me an example of a time you used customer feedback to drive improvement or innovation.

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Note: as I’m currently evaluating and interviewing for product manager opportunities, I’m publishing many answers to the product, behavioral, business, and life questions I’m researching/practicing publicly rather than keep them private in a Google doc. Give me an example of a time you used customer feedback to drive improvement or innovation. After Zillow’s launch in February of 2006, we monitored customer feedback for several months and categorized each piece of feedback into buckets. A very, very large percentage (substitute actual number in job interview) of customer feedback was related to incorrect Zestimates and home facts (which were sourced from public records). Zestimate complaints about accuracy were not surprising (after all, they are estimates not appraisals), but we had no idea public records included so much faulty … Continue reading

What was your Riskiest Step or Experience?

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Note: as I’m currently evaluating and interviewing for product manager opportunities, I’m publishing many answers to the product, behavioral, business, and life questions I’m researching/practicing publicly rather than keep them private in a Google doc. What was your Riskiest Step or Experience? I’ll say my riskiest move career step was leaving Zillow in 2010, since the company was growing and on a sure path to a lucrative IPO. Why did I leave? Ultimately, I wanted a new challenge in life. Like many other high growth companies that attract strong talent, there wasn’t the roles everyone wanted — as fast as they all wanted them. I’d put myself in the bucket of those who wanted a bigger set … Continue reading

The Story of Securing a Job at Zillow

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I actually get asked quite often, “how did you get a job at Zillow?” — so I thought I’d write up a quick blog post with the answer for those of you curious who haven’t asked me in person. I graduated from UW Bothell in June of 2005, and, in what has turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made, immediately set out to backpack Europe with my best friend Jerry. I was gone for 2 months (Jerry stayed 4). Upon returning to Seattle completely broke, I immediately began scouring the Seattle scene for something in startup land with the help of Tim Reha (whom I interned for in college). Tim exposed me to the startup … Continue reading

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Zillow Mobile Monetization – Bloomberg Interview with Spencer Rascoff

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Watch the interview Spencer did with Bloomberg here. As a Zillow shareholder, I’m obviously biased – but the fact that Zillow is monetizing their growing audience on mobile is a big, big point of differentiation between Zillow and many of the other tech companies out there with significant mobile usuage. On Facebook mobile, there is (near) zero monetization despite the massive usage. Same with Path. Zillow has figured out a model where their advertisements are actual valuable services for the consumers using the app. Very few technology companies have figured it out, but I’m glad my former employer is on the short list of those who have. I can certainly tell you that monetization on mobile … Continue reading

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On Regrets

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I get asked from time to time whether I regret leaving Zillow in early 2010. I’ve even been called crazy over the decision. In fact, the reason I’m writing this post now is that it just happened again two days ago by a total stranger on an island tour in El Nido (whether I regret it, not that I’m crazy). After all, marketing for Zillow was the job everyone wanted for a well funded tech startup. The team was as good as they come, following a grand vision tackling an industry sorely in need of a wake up call in terms of the consumer web. I was making good money. I truly truly loved my … Continue reading

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Zillow Mortgage Data Live on AOL Real Estate

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Having championing distribution of Zillow Mortgage Marketplace heavily while I was working there, THIS NEWS that mortgage rates on AOL real estate are now powered by Zillow makes me very happy. Congrats to the team for getting this deal done. I know Nate Moch is one happy camper right now. Safe to say, I still bleed green and blue — and speaking of that, I think need a REALLY sweet ass Z t shirt, or a “Z” patch for my backpack *hint hint*.

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