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The Genius and Tragedy of Patrick McKenzie

I. This post outlines Patrick McKenzie - a brilliant technologist and entrepreneur - how he's done such amazing things and learned so much, and why he's getting drastically underpaid and how it's his own fault. This post will be most valuable for technologists who underestimate themselves and undervalue themselves.

II. Hacker News is the best tech community on the internet, and patio11 - Patrick McKenzie - is the best contributor there. I don't even think that's controversial, I think it would be near universally agreed by the HN crowd that Patrick has made as many or more important contributions as anyone.

If you're from Hacker News, you know Patrick already. But for my readers that don't know him, let me give you a quick overview.

III. Patrick is a multi-faceted genius, and I don't throw the word genius around casually.

Patrick McKenzie is many things - he's an expatriate to Japan, he's a talented coder, tester, metrics/split-testing/analytics user, a great writer, extremely modest and helpful. He can recruit people, evaluate talent, and manage people well. He understands ROI very well and is good at purchasing advertising. He's good at customer service. Outsourcing. Automation. Coding. Ecommerce.

The 8 Steps to Successfully Slide Wrangling an Ignite (or any other speaker series)

On Jumping on Entrepreneurship

The most important part of any speaker series is the speakers. The second most important part is taking care of everything else for the speakers. The worst thing in the world is when a speaker is doing a great job... and the computer running their slides crashes. Or you put their slides in the wrong order. Often they can recover... but as an organizer of the event you'll feel awful.

Ignite started in Seattle 7 years ago in December 2006. We're a week away from our 22nd event. I joined the team three years ago, and have one of the most stressful jobs on the team: The Slide Wrangler.

The Slide Wrangler is in charge of getting the slides from the speakers, ensuring everything looks good, putting the final presentation together, and making sure nothing goes wrong during the event. Basically, if it has to do with slides, it has to do with me. If something screws up during the event, it's probably my fault and I have to fix it. Live. In front of 800 people.

After seeing a lot of questions about best practices on slides over the years on the Ignite Organizers mailing list, I thought I'd put together a list of best practices for Slide Wrangling.

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