Manufacturing, Magical Creatures, Money and More

American manufacturing jobs -- they're available, they're respectable, let's get a tutorial. Plus: magical creatures, dates, and where to donate till the election

This is Yenta, a newsletter that matches my friends to jobs/ideas/dates/each other. If you’re currently searching or open to a job please let me know by filling out this form. If you’re looking for romance/dates, please let me know by filling out this other form. Hiring? Just reply to this email. Lastly, we have a place for people to directly swap jobs/housing/projects etc. You can always find it at Okay, that’s all the logistics. Now onto our main event:

Hi friends.

Some news! Some big, some small.

  1. There’s a new yenta thread up. That’s where people will post their jobs/housing/etc leads for the month-ish period till the next one comes up. So please — use it!

  2. I’m honored to be joining the Berkman-Klein Institute for Internet & Society starting in September. I have some ideas what I might research — and would enjoy discussing them with you.

  3. As of a week or so ago, I’m now 31 years old.

I’ve also written a few things:

  1. On “founders”. — The title of “founder” can be worse than meaningless!

  2. Where is your line? — How bad does the news have to get for us to take dramatic steps?

  3. Most importantly — where to donate your money. More on this later.

So! As you know, the Yenta Project (which covers this substack, the monthly thread, and the looking-for-romance and looking-for-jobs forms) doesn’t just cover jobs. It also covers dating! Ideas! Housing! Etc.

A few days ago, I went through my rolodex of beautiful, available, friends. And, now that we have a critical mass, I started setting up some matches. It went really well! There are now at least 3 dates set up from it. I want to protect people’s privacy, so I can’t say too much more than that right now. But it’s very exciting.

And now, on with the show:

Good, wholesome American manufacturing: A conversation with Bobby Harder

My friend Bobby has spent their entire career working in electronics manufacturing. That’s right, manufacturing — a world of physical objects, of real factories, of assembly lines. A world of robots.

I really enjoy learning more about weird, cool, careers that I might not have ever considered. I hope you might too.

“So, Bobby. What is manufacturing like?”

Manufacturing spans food, clothing, equipment, electronics and many others, each with their own specific challenges. My experience is mostly in electronics manufacturing but it really covers a lot. Similarly companies can run the gamut from start-ups to corporate and everything in between. There is also a lot of flexibility as far as locations. There are companies as part of tech hubs like New York or San Francisco as well as opportunities internationally and spanning the United States.

Can you tell us more about what it’s like in the industry? How is it different than, say, corporate communications?

Unlike a lot of jobs, you're working with something that actually exists, and generally the people involved are really jazzed to be working on that. There is also a lot of artistry and skill that goes into making things, even things that are mass manufactured. One thing I really like about it is working at scale. So dealing with not just how do we successfully make X but how do we successfully make 10,000 Xs.

“What kind of types of jobs are available?”

Excluding engineering and more technical Jobs, most skill sets and experiences are transferable. I have had a lot of luck just looking at the careers or jobs websites of companies I would like to work at. There are a lot of manufacturing places that are hiring a lot and because it’s not the most well known field those jobs get unnoticed.

One of the more accessible jobs is in Product or Project Management. These roles can vary greatly and some of them will be more technical than others but you can probably find entry level roles or roles that facilitate a career change. While these roles can vary greatly, the focus is keeping track of all the different moving parts that go into making manufactured goods happen. 

You mention Product/Project Management. To what extent are they similar to the roles with the same name in the software industry?

This varies wildly and kinda gets to how manufacturing can be very tech startuppy and also can’t. Agile and Scrum are definitely key, but that makes sense because Agile was literally based off of lean manufacturing which is an actual manufacturing strategy.

Let’s say someone isn’t a PM or an engineer. Let’s say they’re a smart person who is good at “nonprofit work” (which is a huge array of important skills). What kind of roles should they look into? How do they break in? 

In my experience PM roles are pretty accessible, so I am not sure how to answer that especially because that kind of “nonprofit work” is basically some flavor of project management. I’d also keep an eye out for supply chain. Some roles do require further schooling like a masters in Supply Chain management but the masters programs are pretty new, and plenty of roles don’t require that.

This all sounds pretty cool. How might someone start trying to get a job in manufacturing?

There are a variety of approaches to finding jobs and making industry connections. The Prepared is a newsletter devoted to manufacturing and they have a fantastic job board. It’s how I learned about Sheertex, a Montreal based tights manufacturer that seems really cool and they’re experiencing a lot of growth. I have also had a lot of luck reaching out to alum and other broader networks by just asking if anyone has connections to whatever I am looking for. I know networking isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but everyone I have met in the industry is really excited to share it with folks and because it’s kind of niche the job market isn’t really competitive. 

I love The Prepared!

Spencer who runs it does a really great job, it’s a really solid network of people in a really niche industry.

Thank you, Bobby. Do you have any parting words of wisdom?

Focus on companies you’re actually interested in working for and see if anyone else in your network is in the field. It’s really true a lot of them are hiring even right now in COVID times and because they’re not very well known companies or again it’s a niche industry.

It’s been a pleasure. Are you okay with people following up directly with more questions?


I am hiring one more engineer to fight Trump:

I’m seeking experienced backend, ML, or data engineers to work with me on a elections project until the end of the year. 100% can vouch for both its impact, and the stellar coworkers I already have. Let me know.

Some jobs around town:

Rather than posting these here, I encourage you to check out our latest yenta thread, where people are hiring (or swapping leads on) jobs like: Digital Ads Director for the Wisconsin Democratic Party with Bhavik, Growth Marketing Analyst (and others) at Livongo with Kushaan, or Operations Manager at DocuSign with Katie. And more!

Look here, and post your own leads too.

That said …

Adam is hiring for ops + engineering

My buddy Adam Reis is a stellar human. And his startup is taking off like gangbusters. They’re having to turn away all sorts of clients because they don’t have the capacity to work with them all. That’s where you come in!

Here’s the info from him about the situation:

Candid Health is an early startup turning down hundreds of thousands of dollars of customer revenue because we don’t have the software engineers + ops folks we need to support them. Join our founding team! 🚀

Each year, US healthcare providers spend over $250B paying humans to manage the administrative overhead involved in getting paid by insurance. We’re using data science and machine learning to automate much of this overhead so healthcare providers can get paid dramatically more easily, quickly, and inexpensively.

We recently finished the Y Combinator W20 batch and have since been funded by an incredible group of funds + angel investors. We have more customers begging to use our product than we have bandwidth to serve, which is why we need you to help us scale!

Links:, Ops Job Description, Engineering Job Description

Dream job alert: Massachusetts Jobs With Justice is hiring an Executive Director

Just the messenger, but let me know if you are applying. Might know a guy who can put in a good word

Dating Yenta Corner

Enough people have signed up for my romance yenta service that we can start making some matches! Dates have been had. Flirtation has been initiated. I’m so happy. Come, sign up and join in the fun!

(No guarantee, of course, that I can match you with someone. I’m tending towards quality over quantity of proposed matchups)

Forget zoom dates. How about investigating Mysterious Moodus Markings with the American Society for the Protection of Magical Creatures?

My friend Kellian made a wonderful thing. The American Society for the Protection of Magical Creatures has come online, for the first time, and needs your help! Specifically, the society (game designers and artists) is recruiting people to help save endangered magical fauna through solving puzzles!

It’s witty, I’m excited, and my family and I are going to bond next weekend by taking on their first investigation together.

Check out this lovely about page for a sense of the wit and style of Kellian and her crew. Bravo!

What tips do you have for others?

In this crazy mixed-up world, dating is hard. Working is hard. Living can be hard.

How do you do it? What are your tips for surviving, if not thriving? I’d love to hear them.

One last thing: where to donate your money

Please give between 18 to 180 dollars a month to the Movement Voter Project (if you are able).

MVP directs money to some of the best community organizations in the country, in a way that will have great effects on this election, but also build long-term institutional capacity for years to come. It is the best way to both build short-term and longer-term political power for people who are not fans of the conservative movement and Trumpism.

It’s good for America. It’s good for reducing suffering. And it’s good for the soul.

(Read the rest of the essay here)

Please consider hefty donations, monthly, to Movement Voter Project You can think of it as doing me a birthday favor, if you like.

Stay enraged, stay healthy, stay kind.

With warm feelings, and feel free to contact me any time,