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Startup Requires All New Employees to Build an App, So These Guys Built a Hall N’ Oates Hotline

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CallinOates, you'll get these guys.

719-266-2837. Call it.

Don’t worry, it’s not a phone sex line. Just call it.

Feel better? Know why?

It’s because you just listened to the sweet sounds of the CallinOats hotline, there when you need a good fix of Hall N’ Oates, whether you’re in a coke-covered penthouse in the West Village, or if you’re simply having a rough day at the office. Apparently, it recently became a bit of a viral hit. So who built it?

As it turns out, two buddies, one of whom works at a startup where every employee is required to build their own app with the software.

Michael Selvidge works at the San Francisco-based Twilio, which, we’ll let them explain what it is:

Twilio is a web-service API that lets you use your existing web languages and skills to build voice and SMS applications. We focus on building a simple, powerful, pay-as-you-go communications platform so that you can focus on what you do best.

Selvidge and his friend Reid Butler put it together. The Verge has the entire story:

The San Francisco-based [Twilo] requires that all new employees build an app, whether they’re working in marketing, design, or systems. Selvidge, who formerly worked PR part time for Twilio before coming on as a full time employee, knew that he’d have to build something, but lacked an idea. He told me, “I thought, ‘If only there was a pun that would work with this…’ Then ‘Callin’ Oates’ hit me, and that cinched it.”

Today alone, The Verge reports, the hotline had 34,223 calls into it. Not bad for a new employee looking to make waves at his new company. Maybe this is a practice all startups could encourage to root out hidden and/or potential in their ranks, new or old? Either way, it’s a smart, progressive work culture. We approve. And will be listening.

fkamer@observer.com | @weareyourfek

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