I’m looking for a roll-up-your-sleeves head of operations that wants to help me continue to build the Strange Parts brand. We’re up to our neck in opportunities but need your help to capitalize on those. We’re on track to to become an internationally recognized media production and product manufacturing company. If this sounds interesting to you and you enjoy world travel, keep reading.

This is a big job – You’ll be responsible for everything from revenue and expenses to the logistics around making Strange Parts videos to managing sponsors and merchandise. But you won’t be tackling this solo. You’ll be responsible for hiring and managing a team to help you. Everything from drivers, translators and camera operators we hire by the day for a particular location/shoot, to growing the core team of researchers, editors, and other awesome people that work with us to tell amazing stories. The right person will likely be on track to become COO.

Helpful Skills and Experience

Someone who is successful in this role is probably going to be the following:

  • A compulsive leader/organizer/catalyst. Someone who can’t help but leave a swath of organization in their wake. A leader that sees their role as enabling and catalyzing their team to achieve they didn’t think were possible.
  • A relentless extrovert that’s comfortable working and traveling independently, and is comfortable running interference for an extreme introvert (me).
    This means:
    • If spending your day talking with and managing 20 different people, trying to turn chaos into order and prevent the train from flying off the rails sounds like your comfort zone and what pumps you up, this might be for you.
    • If programming/soldering all day by yourself in a quiet cave sounds awesome, this isn’t going to be a good fit.
  • Good at setting boundaries. There will be a lot of demands on your time and attention from all sides. There will be a barrage of people asking to meet with you, sponsors pushing to change already negotiated relationships, and the demands of chaotic video productions and projects. You’ll need to be good at setting the right boundaries, and pushing back accordingly.
  • An experienced leader who is comfortable building and managing the Strange Parts team. There is no way you can do everything I will hand off to you on your own. You will need to hire a manage of freelancers and employees to accomplish everything we have in store for Strange Parts.
  • Comfortable diving in and doing whatever needs to be done. We won’t be able to build the full team on day one – it’s something that will need to happen over time. So you should be capable and willing to get your hands dirty and taken on just about any role on the team until we can hire someone to take it over from you.
  • Hungry to do something meaningful and hard.
  • A veteran traveler that’s excited to be on location the majority of the time (at least 75% of the time to start). We won’t spend every day working directly together, and we won’t always be on the move, but you need to be on location with me to understand and manage all the various complexities involved with what we’re trying to do, and to interface with people directly, face-to-face. The ideal candidate will have experience traveling and working in China. This will involve spending a lot of time in Shenzhen, China, but will also involve worldwide travel, often to out of the way and often challenging places. Think India, Bangladesh, and parts of Africa (but also the US and Europe sometimes too).
  • Good at managing revenue and expenses. You will own and manage the revenue and expenses of the business of Strange Parts. There are tons of opportunities for us to make money(and new ones are constantly appearing), but they all require the proper time, energy, and attention to do well. Simultaneously, a lot of what Strange Parts does and will do costs money, and sometimes a lot of it. You will be in charge of managing both, and making sure they are in the correct alignment with each other, as decided by you and me together.
  • Comfortable selling to companies, both big and small. There are lots of sponsorship opportunities for Strange Parts. Lots reach out directly – some would be great fits for Strange Parts, and most won’t be. Others that would be amazing will likely require us to reach out if we want to work with them. At first, you’ll be the one responsible for filtering potential sponsors and building and managing relationships with them. However, in the medium to long term, we’ll hire someone for you to delegate most of this to.
  • A smart problem solver that’s capable of both high level strategic thinking, i.e. “Where will Strange Parts be in 2 years and what new and unique challenges will we face?” but also not afraid to dive deeply and learn in areas such as:
    • technology and manufacturing
    • media production
    • foreign cultures
    • niche (aka strange) parts of the world

Responsibilities

  • Own the P&L – revenue and expenses for the overall business
  • Hire and manage the rest of the Strange Parts team, both freelancers and full time employees
  • Build and manage sponsorship sales & relationships
  • Production logistics
  • Camera/drivers/fixers/translators/researchers
  • Factory & other location/resource relationships
  • Own logistics of managing plot/script against footage shot – Can answer questions like “What are we missing?” and “Show me how what we have fits together”
  • Manage shot footage and other assets (sound, images, etc) -> get them to editors organized and ASAP
  • Travel logistics (flights, hotel, visas, etc)
  • Gear (rental, maintenance, etc)
  • Social media
    • Handles release of video on YouTube and other distribution channels.
    • Monitors and moderates comments on all social media channels.
    • Owns other social media posting pipeline (with my help for actual content ideas/production)
  • Customer support
    • answer inbound email/DMs/etc from fans/sponsors/etc
    • Deals with merch issues
  • Merchandise (aka “merch”)
    • Own and manage all relationships with factories and suppliers for merch
    • Manage online store
    • Manage fulfillment partner(s)
  • Research
    • Do research for upcoming stories/projects/locations
    • Find new/interesting potential stories

The Strange Parts Team

As I said above, there is simply more to do than one person can handle, and this will only grow over time. So you’ll be building a team.

Here is the team as it currently stands:

  • One freelance video editor working remotely essentially full time

Here are the hats I imagine we will likely fill over time, some on an as needed basis, others permanently:

  • Video editors (one is already not enough)
  • Camera operators (who also run sound as needed) – probably hired as needed, on a video-by-video, location-by-location basis.
  • Drivers – hired on a daily, as needed basis
  • Fixers/translators – hired on a daily, as needed basis
  • Researchers – Probably one or more general researchers, and one or more country-specific researchers for countries we’re researching stories in, who will be responsible for:
    • Finding new stories
    • Researching info for stories
    • Finding weird stuff
      • tools
      • parts
      • materials
      • gear
      • factories
      • experts
      • services
  • Producers
    • help me keep track of story, ie, “What have we shot vs need to shoot?” They can answer questions like “What are we missing?” and “Show me how what we’ve shot fits together”
    • Manages cards, footage, batteries, mics, gear, editors
    • Creates order from chaos before, during, and after a shoot
  • Social media manager/community manager/customer support
  • Accountant/CPA/Company compliance
  • Manufacturing/fulfillment ops
    • manages relationships with factories and suppliers for merch
    • manages fulfillment house(s)
  • Travel agent/logistics
    • visas
    • hotels & flights
  • Sponsorship salesperson
    • Evaluating inbound sponsorship requests – Does it match our brand? Does it meet our requirements?
    • Find new sponsors
    • Manage sponsor relationships
    • Work with sponsors to protect the Strange Parts brand and me

How to apply

Does this sound like a fun adventure? To apply, email headofops@strangeparts.com. Tell me a bit about yourself, your previous experience, and why you think you’d be a good fit for this job. A resume or LinkedIn profile is helpful, but not required.