CEO, Interrupted: Snapster's unfortunate alter ego

by Matt Rutledge

Hey, who put this chicken body on me here.

Hi, Matt Rutledge here, founder and CEO of Woot Inc. I’ve asked our creative team (Jason, Matthew, Scott, Dave) here on the main Woot blog to clear a bit of blog-room for me in the coming weeks. They look like they’re having fun with these lists, spoofs and parodies that sneak over in my woot RSS feed. So I want to try my hand at this, though with one eye on the business reality of woot. Things like company strategy, crazy ideas, shout-backs, complaints, observations, bragging - you know, the kind of stuff other more free wheelin' Web 2.0 CEOs do to pump up their egos. 

Oddly enough, this is my first official CEO blog post, even though conceptually we started out Woot by planning the first blog+store. Conversely, my forum activity isn’t exactly lacking in it’s verbosity over the years.  With 1800+ posts now, my account resembles those ultra-active Wooters in the Everything But Woot forums. Some long time Wooters and a few recent bag-o-crappers may know me through these forum posts—or more precisely they know me in my fun role as an anonymous staffer named Snapster. Undoubtedly my Snapster persona will now be decidedly even less cool with this morbid CEO association revealed, but at least I can count on many people not reading here. So if you see me goofing off in the forums, don’t tell on me. Just grin and think how insane I must be, arguing with people who just want to buy stuff, trying to make BOC purchase attempts fair, or even defending SmartPost (impossible as that may seem).

I can think of a few things worth broadly mentioning for this to go well:

  • I do not actively use our forum Private Message system, so don’t expect me to reply there quickly if at all. See below on product/transaction trouble. If you have something relevant and personal to tell me, our woot staff email is first initial, last name
  • Let’s keep things casual here. I will be posting with my own grammatical and spelling errors entact (and intact). We have great writers at woot for reasons that will become apparent, I’m sure. I'm just a hack. 
  • Email for transactional issues – I am not nearly as fast or reliable as sending our team of people a direct message. They have tools and immediate access to your order info that I do not.  There are no special service options here; In fact I wrote the ruder FAQ entries. 
  • Remember the number of total quantities sold when making (or reading) product related feedback (see first post of each product). Sales stats are posted to increase the intelligence of conversation and expectations – scope is really relevant and often underestimated.
  • The very large majority of Woot members have never commented and nor will they be reading a specific blog entry. I occasionally remind staff and observers that no matter how great the participation is and vocal response is, the silent majority is to be considered unspoken. We are all their interpreters. 

Also, regardless of whether they are posted in response to a blog post from me or (perhaps more appropriately) over in the World of Woot as a discussion thread: Thank you for posting about any Woot experiences, good ones and especially bad ones that can help us improve. My time spent here may be hit or miss depending on other duties, but I will eventually read and react to all messages.

So my starter topic is to test the waters by asking for input. Any insider info, curiosity or complaint about woot you’d like us to blog on later or simply reply on now?  Product requests?  Feature requests?  Fire at will.