Sunday, January 10, 2010

John Yerhot - &

Today Gigs at Startups is interviewing: John Yerhot of &

Name: John Yerhot
Company: &
Role: Founder

What are FOSSCasts and Technicasts?
FOSSCasts and Technicasts are both in the educational screencast business. A screencast is a video of a computer desktop with an expert narrating. It's just like watching over their shoulder as they work.

FOSSCasts are free and short, almost in a blog format. A new one is released every Friday morning and the topics are strict to Open Source software.

Technicasts is a much newer venture that was born out of the need to find a way to help defray the increasing cost of hosting, bandwidth, and the immense about of time being put into FOSSCasts. Technicasts are longer, have a bit higher production quality, and are not strict to Open Source.

How did you get involved in screencasting?
My day job has been a programmer and a number of years ago I watched a screencast of someone programming with a technology called Ruby on Rails (
link). I absolutely loved it and found that there were a few boutique producers of screencasts in the Ruby on Rails community but not many that extended outside of Ruby on Rails.

Since I have some experience in teaching (was my original carrier path) and I had done some recording in the past, I just decided to give it a try. FOSSCasts was born last September and has been gaining popularity since.

What kinds of people are best suited to work at a startup?

My experience may not be that of the stereotypical startup - I still have a day job and I'm the only employee. Even so, you have to be prepared to put a lot of time in and really believe in what you're doing. You'll find that there is always work to be done and you can't be afraid to try new things. In my case, I also had to be comfortable "putting myself out there".

What advice do you have for entrepreneurs getting started?

A couple of things.

1. Quit thinking about it and get started.

2. If you wait till it's perfect, you'll never release it.

3. Learn to take criticism.

4. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

5. If you can, do it on the side until you're making enough money. I still have a day job.

6. Be prepared to work a lot.

7. Be prepared to feel great pride in your successes.

Thanks for the reading!