Interview Policy

Thanks for your interest in interviewing me! :-)

My policy is to only do open interviews, for several reasons, some altruistic, some cynical, some practical. First, I believe in openness and collaboration! Second, open interviews are safer for me, because no matter how you write your story, any interested reader can check the source for themselves. Relatedly, I basically buy the thesis that journalism is fundamentally ethically fraught; by doing open interviews, I intend to privilege the human interaction between you and me over the story you're going to fashion out of the raw material of our interaction. Lastly, my policy has the happy pragmatic side-effect of limiting the number of interview requests I get, and of ensuring that the interviews I do do are available for the widest audience ... including you! :-)

Here's what I mean by an open interview:

We'll schedule the call via GitHub or email, and then I'll send you a link to the Hangout when the time comes.

I should also say: I've found that real-time interviews need to be at least 45 minutes to be meaningful as conversations. I'm willing to do shorter interviews if you just need a quote, but I like longer interviews better. I love serendipity in conversation! I love diving deep, chasing rabbit holes, finding some unexpected insight together! Let's do it!


The one caveat to all this is that if you travel to Ambridge, we can talk as long as you like without streaming the conversation on the Internet. :-)

Required Reading

Before interviewing me, please read “Turning Down TechCrunch” (May, 2013). That was my first experience with media attention, and it was formative for me.

If you're interviewing me about Gratipay, please also read “Crowdsource your salary! An economy built on love,” by Andrew Leonard, and (for bonus points), watch our hour-long interview. That's my favorite of the interviews I've done so far about Gratipay, because I think it best captures the spirit of what I'm trying to accomplish there.

You can find further material on this YouTube playlist, and linked from the “Turning Down TechCrunch” piece. My second favorite is probably the one with Gabe Stein. He's more skeptical than Andrew. I haven't done any really hard-hitting interviews yet (my call with David Heinemeier Hansson probably comes closest, but that wasn't a media interview). Is hard-hitting what you're after? Let's do it! :-)


Some people think I'm narcissistic to have a policy like this. I don't want to dismiss this criticism out of hand. I'll tell you what: I'm making this up as I go along. We all have to manage our time somehow, and part of how I manage my time is only doing open interviews.

I also genuinely believe that the best thing for me to do is my thing, with nary a care for what you're going to write about me. Your customer is your audience, and I'm not your customer, I'm your raw material. I have my own audience that appreciates watching the raw interviews I do, so if you see a win-win here, by all means, please get in touch.

Okay! I look forward to hearing from you. :-)