Internships

Open Positions

Dear Prospective Intern,

I wanted to talk a little bit about why I’m hiring interns. It’s not because you’re cheap, smart labor. Well, that’s a lie. Everybody hires interns because you’re cheap and smart.

But that’s not the only reason, or even the main reason why I want to hire you. After all, if I wanted to hire cheap skilled labor, there are many many well educated, smart, experienced and highly motivated workers all over the world. It’s called “out sourcing” and you may have heard of it.

Rather, I’m interested in hiring you, yes, you (maybe), because you can do things nobody else can. You’re naive and arrogant… in a good way. You don’t know what’s impossible, so you have a better chance of accomplishing the impossible than us old farts. You may not have much employment experience, but that just means you haven’t been corrupted into thinking or doing things a certain way. So you can innovate and improvise, and find ways to do things better.

At BootstrapSolar, you can do more than you will anywhere else. Because we ship things and iterate rapidly. The first kit took me 2 months to develop, and 2 months to bring to market. That’s unacceptable. I think the entire product development cycle from conception to shipping should take one month.

But, to do that, I need your help.

You will be given big responsibilities, and plenty of room to make mistakes. If we’re not making mistakes, we’re not innovating, and we’re not learning. You will design things one week, hold a prototype in your hands the next week, then ship it to customers two weeks later. Nowhere else will you be able to do that.

One last thing. BootstrapSolar is a small company, and I don’t have outside investors. That means I’m not pressured to ruthlessly pursue growth. My goal is to build a sustainable business where employees and customers are happy. And I can promise you this: You will get paid better than I will (for the foreseeable future). You will have an opportunity to learn, grow, and gain experience. And when the time comes, I’ll do my best to support you in your next career move, whatever that may be.

So, take a look at the list of open positions below, and shoot me an email if the description excites you. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Yours,
Ryo

Electrical Engineering Hacker

The Electrical Engineering Hacker will work with me in designing, developing, prototyping, testing and manufacturing electrical circuits that we ship with our solar kits. All designs will be released under an Open Source license, regardless of whether it’s based on an existing design or developed in-house. Up to 20% of your time will be spent on customer support — if you don’t like that, just help make products that won’t require support. Of the remaining 80%, roughly 50% of the time will be spent on the next product, and 30% on the next-next product.

Qualifications:

  • Solid grasp of EE fundamentals
  • Experience designing circuits and circuit boards
  • Familiarity with Eagle (or other similar CAD software)
  • Intermediate to advanced soldering skills (including SMD)
  • Passion for creating, exploring and learning
  • Ability to learn on the job, and solve problems as they arise

Bonus points for the following:

  • Interest in Open Source Hardware
  • Interest in sustainable energy
  • Interest in developing consumer products
  • Interest in entrepreneurship and startups
Compensation: hourly (10-15hrs/week)
Location: Flexible, meet once a week in San Francisco or Menlo Park, CA

Perks:

  • Flexible hours and work location
  • Free TechShop membership
  • One free class of your choice at TechShop per month
  • Two free copies of each product you help design
  • Access to high-value electronics components at wholesale prices (for your own personal projects)
  • Stipend to apply towards your own projects

To Apply: E-mail me and tell me why you’d be awesome at this job. Attach any supporting materials that you think are relevant.

Product Design Awesomeperson

Yeah, I wasn’t sure what the designer-equivalent of a Hacker would be, so we’ll just call you Awesomeperson for now…

Anyway, the Product Design Awesomeperson will be working with me on all aspects of products that aren’t electrical. That includes enclosures, accessories, packaging, documentation, and even the website if that’s something you’re interested in. There is also a hands-on element, where you may actually laser-cut prototype components and ensure quality by actually assembling kits with your own two hands. Up to 30% of your time will be spent on customer support — if you don’t think that’s fun, help us design products that don’t require support.

Qualifications:

  • Good taste
  • Familiarity with design software, or willingness to learn quickly
  • Strong interest in usability
  • Strong desire to deliver delightful experiences
  • Good spacial reasoning skills in 2D and 3D
  • Strong interest in sustainability and green products
  • Strong independent problem solving skills
Compensation: hourly (10-15hrs/week)
Location: Flexible, meet once a week in San Francisco or Menlo Park, CA

Perks:

  • Flexible hours and work location
  • Free TechShop membership
  • One free class of your choice at TechShop per month
  • Two free copies of each product you help design

To Apply: E-mail me and tell me why you’d be awesome at this job. Attach any supporting materials that you think are relevant.