"What is your proudest accomplishment with ActiveRain?"
This one caught my interviewing partner and I completely flat-footed. We expected to hear one of the handful of softball questions that are usually lobbed at us to round down an interview. Questions like, "Do you have health benefits?", or "When will I hear from you about whether or not I got the job?". We never expected to be giving an account of our very reason for being.
Doug lifted his shoulders and turned to me with up-turned palms, as if handing me an imaginary ball. The look on his face conveyed the message that this was clearly a question most appropriate for the CEO, and he would be of no help answering.
What if our biggest accomplishment isn't that great? I thought to myself. A sense of expectation seemed to hover in the air, giving extra gravitas to the stone silence that filled the room while I held a frantic and personal inquest for an answer. Then it came to me.
I coolly nodded to Doug- I got this one. Internally, I was squealing with the joy of a 14 year old boy riddled with Attention Deficit Disorder, grabbing his third Redbull during an all night Starcraft battle.
"In the 1970s and 80s, break-dancers would gather on street corners to showcase their dance moves. The dancers would take turns in the center circle showcasing their latest and greatest while also working to incorporate the things that they learned from the other dancers on their corner. This is how people learned to become better dancers: from the other people that they danced with. The problem with this method is that the pool to learn from is limited to the best dancers in your neighborhood.
Today, dance is thriving and evolving faster than ever. It's thriving because of technology. YouTube has taken the street corner and extended it across the entire globe. Someone in Korea can watch a video of a brand new dance move just created yesterday in New York. The Korean dancer can then riff off of what she just learned, record the improvement, then post it to YouTube where an eight year old dance prodigy can watch and replicate it tomorrow.
ActiveRain did the same thing for real estate that YouTube did for dance. When I was a real estate agent my learning was limited to the few real estate sales books I could find and the generous real estate agents in my own office who were willing to share from their experience. Now real estate professionals from all over the world share their best practices, learning from each other, and collectively lifting the industry to new heights."
I am proud of this accomplishment, and of all the ActiveRain members who consistently strive to better themselves, support one another, and prove that we're more than just a website: we're a community.