How to Find a Great Managing Editor for

Introduction: How to Find a Great Managing Editor for

About: Hidden strengths: short writing, techno-skepticism, serial commas, and running through the forest. Glaring weaknesses: budgeting, calendaring, and verbing.

It's a big job: we're not talking about any old web site--we're talking about a community—curious, quirky, outside-the-lines folks passionate about exploring the world around them and sharing what they learn along the way.

So you’ll need someone who resonates with the Instructables ethos, yet also has a vision for helping it grow. Someone nice, who brings a heart for mentorship and both hemispheres of the brain to the job. An outstanding communicator and office-culture enthusiast. Oh, and more!

It's a lot to ask. But if you follow these steps, you might find what you're looking for. . . .

Step 1: Find a Kid at Heart

The peer-reviewed double-blind studies correlating teenage Lego usage with creativity are still in progress, but anecdotal evidence suggests an almost 100% correlation. This is the kind of person who lets an apple core dry on his desk for months to watch it shrink. Who constructs an impromptu forge in his college fireplace to try to melt down pennies. Who puts discarded grapevines in his trunk to use for grilling.

Step 2: ​Find a Perpetual Student

The kind of person who can’t leave a thrift store without a few dog-eared paperbacks, who is always the guy who has a question, who has enjoyed advertising because he gets paid to absorb information.

Step 3: Find Both Sides

Find someone who respects the value of Big Data, and of tracking clicks, page views, comments, time spent, percentage of videos watched and myriad other metrics. Yet this person should also have a keen editorial sense, big brand vision, and deep grasp of language to bring to a great community.

Step 4: Find a Parent

They see new things in life every single day, so their parents do too. For those who are paying attention, kids are a daily reminder of the wonder in the world around us.

Step 5: Find a Bonding Agent

Someone who starts a weekly employee newsletter to help coworkers get to know each other. Someone who joins the Green Team, encouraging colleagues to recycle, take the stairs, and bike to work. Someone who gets nominated by their boss to join the culture committee, and interviews colleagues regarding ways to enhance fulfillment.

Someone who is also constantly reading about the topic (Tony Schwatz, Tony Hsieh, or Danny Meyer, anyone?), geeks out on personality and vocational tests--and isn't able to keep still about it.

Step 6: Find a Dinner-table Dictionary User

Someone who writes for a living, yes. But someone who also writes for the love, a love that only grows over a lifetime of letters. Someone who will be writing until the arthritis pulls his hands from the keyboard, and voice recognition has to take over.

Step 7: Find Someone Who Makes Others Tick

Someone who takes joy in helping people and ideas and come together. Who values process and product more than praise. Who can talk comfortably with and bring out the best in engineers, expats, and executives.

Step 8: Find a Shot of Energy

Someone with a quick smile, a firm handshake, and genuine interest, but also a never-ending stream of ideas and constantly scrolling to-do list. Someone with unquenchable enthusiasm for the new, the challenging, the unknown frontier.

Step 9: Find Helping Hand

Someone who believes that it’s a much greater risk to not invest in your employees, and have them stay, than invest in them and have them leave. Someone whom one of his team called “a really great boss.” Whom another one referred to as “the most supportive manager I’ve ever had.”

Step 10: Find Someone Willing to Go the Distance

Someone who has put their career on pause for a year to do charitable work in a developing country. Someone who is ready to bring that idealism, that dedication, that spirit to work every day. Someone who would love to make Eric Wilhelm's words his mission: "to have a positive impact on the world by giving passionate people great publishing tools to document their projects, and connect them to a community full of like-minded people."

Step 11: Contact Info and Credits

For more about me, please visit And finally, because a good manager never keeps the credit for himself, here are the image sources:





little boy: author's own photo

group hug:





mud race:

P.s. bonus points for figuring out which children's book inspired the Halloween costume.

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