Interview with Arvind and Jason of Bubblews
Yes, it’s true that I have used my supernatural power to interview deceased celebrities, weird animals and inanimate objects. But this interview does not come from my imagination. It is a genuine interview with two living, very sentient subjects conducted via email.
Arvind ‘Avi’ Dixit is the CEO and Founder of the interactive website, Bubblews, which was launched on February 2, 2012.
Jason Zuccari is the President and Co-Founder. Bubblews has been described as the Facebook for bloggers.
They call themselves, in private, ‘the Founding Fathers.' Here are the questions I asked and their forthright answers verbatim:
1- What career or jobs did you have before Bubblews?
Arvind: I graduated with a Biology degree. Shortly after college I went to work for the Food and Drug Administration under a fellowship as a computational toxicologist.
Jason: I graduated with a MDS degree and right after college went to work for a Healthcare risk management company. Arvind and I both have a decent background in predictive statistics.
2- How did you and Jason meet?
Arvind: Jason and I actually met our freshman year of college at West Virginia University. We both lived in the dorms together. I was more into science and focused a lot on learning more about Biology. Jason went on to become Student Body President of our University and was actively involved with trying to better the university for students.
After college, we both ended up moving to the D.C. area because of our jobs. We really re-connected while in D.C. and have been trying to change the world ever since.
3- What provided the inspiration for this type of interactive website?
Arvind: We saw that there was a huge imbalance in the internet and it was not in the favor of people. We feel that people are getting taken advantage of through the Internet and the utilities they use, but have no idea to the extent that privacy is being breached, re-purposed and then sold.
We felt that we could create a socially responsible for-profit brand on the Internet that created utilities that kept people in the forefront. The internet really gives you the power to reach people all around the world, and (we) felt that the time was right to create a company that utilized creativity and compassion to build a for-profit brand.
Jason: When you look at how much civilizations were built, they were built on the backs of slave labor – taking advantage of those with little to help achieve near-impossible goals. We kind of felt the same thing was happening within the internet. Anything and everything can be changed if you want it to.
4- How many Bubblers are there as of this date? How many active?
Arvind: We are well into the six-figure membership base. Many of our members are actively posting on a daily basis, but we also have people who like to check in and interact daily, but perhaps only post a meaningful bubble a couple times a week.
This is okay with us. We want people to use Bubblews when they feel like socially engaging, but also if and when they have something meaningful to contribute. The audience that these members are bringing in is also quite enormous and all of our members are rightfully compensated for that.
5- Who do you admire the most and why?
Arvind: Philosophical business minds really inspire me. Steve Jobs is a huge inspiration, not for how he was in his personal life or the way he treated his staff, but the fact that he never wanted to price-out the consumer and always create new, innovative products that really meant something. Apple meant something more than just the product you were using.
I also look to Jeff Bezos (Amazon), I think he has a very aggressive business mind and loves to win the hearts of people through dominating market share. He also has perfected customer service and someone that I have really been reading into, as-of-late.
Both of these leaders had a very interesting and special way of empowering those people around them. Being able to make your ambition and passion contagious is a very powerful characteristic to have.
Jason: I admire President Bill Clinton for a couple of reasons. One of them is because he has taught people that we are all human and we all make mistakes, even presidents, but we must learn from them. I believe he is truly a leader who has always brought people together for a common purpose even when they fundamentally disagree.
The most admirable characteristics of President Clinton are not what he accomplished as a President, but in what he has done since leaving office through all the work his foundation has done for the world.
6- What attributes do you believe you share with your mother? father?
Arvind: Both of my parents were immigrants to the United States, but worked hard to get their citizenships. My father came here from India with only $20 in his pocket. My mother came here from Poland with only one suitcase. My dad worked incredibly hard to get where he is today and always made sure we had a roof over our head and a warm meal to eat.
Being a mixed child, from two very different regions of the world, has almost allowed me to take an equal amount of attributes from both of my parents. My dad likes to sit back and think very methodically; he also is also very good at articulating his messages. My mom taught me to always stand up and fight when I know that I am right.
Both of my parents are very cerebral, but also helped teach me how to compromise since a very young age. A lot of who I am stems from them. They both remind me daily to ‘be wise, compassionate and diplomatic.'
Jason: My father grew up in the foothills of West Virginia and after finishing college moved to Washington, D.C., where he began to learn business and shortly after was running his own business.
My mother worked her way through college getting her degree in education and has always been an advocate to students, who learn differently and have trouble in the conventional way of schooling. I believe the attributes I share with my father is his work ethic and mind for business. From my mother I’ve learned to have a heart for people.
7- What is the next Big Thing you have planned for Bubblews (if you can share)?
Arvind: We cannot really share WHAT big things we have in store, but we can assure you that we are working on some BIG things. We think a lot of people out there may underestimate our creativity and ability to execute. We cannot wait to finally release and build what has been in our minds for a while now.
However, we can say, that one big thing is that we will be making major enhancements to the Bubblews platform and communication with the members.
8- What else do you wish I had asked you?
Arvind: I think you asked some great questions and thank you for setting this up for us!
Jason: Thank you so much for your time and consideration. I think you asked some great questions and feel free to drop us a line anytime!
I appreciate the candor expressed by both Arvind and Jason. But I am not surprised. The motto for the Bubblews site is ‘Speak Freely.’ And that is exactly what these two remarkable ‘Founding Fathers’ have demonstrated. Thank you, Arvind. Thank you, Jason.
Footnote: Bubblews bit off more than it could chew. In December 2015, the site closed down.
© Copyright BJ Rakow 2014. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So"