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Sachin Agarwal - Online Publishing Revamped

CrazyEngineers exclusive interview with Sachin Agarwal of Posterous as a part of Founders Circuit initiative
CrazyEngineers
CrazyEngineers Staff · 01 May 2011
Founders Circuit Team
"Find a problem or frustration you have in your own life, and then go and fix it. That's how you will make the best software."
- Sachin Agarwal, Posterous

Sachin Agarwal is the face behind Posterous. He graduated from Stanford University in 2002 with a degree in Computer Science and worked on Final Cut Pro at Apple for 6 years before starting his own venture Posterous. The aim behind it was to make online publishing easier than ever before. All you have to do is just send your content on post@posterous.com. It's that easy.

Sachin is currently working as the Founder and CEO at Posterous. We are happy to present to you our small talk with Mr. Agarwal -

 

CE: Being a graduate in computer science from Stanford, what was the ideaand aim behind starting Posterous?

Sachin: I have always been a blogger and a photographer. I love sharing my thoughts and photos online. But it was always a difficult process. A few years ago I started posting more photos online, and more video, and it was just too hard. My content was all over place, on websites covered with ads. I wanted to create an easier way to publish to a personal website, so easy that my mom can do it.

CE: Apart from you, faces behind Posterous include Garry Tan [brett no longer] and Vincent Chu. How did you all come together?

Sachin: Garry and I went to Stanford together. We were in the same fraternity, and geeking out over perl scripts to help us make html for our photos. So even then, this was a problem we were having. Years later we came together to solve this problem once and for all.
Since then we've grown the team to 10 incredible people who are all great engineers and designers, working together to make Posterous the only place you need to go for web publishing.

CE: The simple yet elegant design of Posterous is really catchy. And we’ve known that Posterous is NOT a micro blog. What provides Posterous with a cutting edge over the existing Blogging legends aka Wordpress and Blogger?

Sachin: We built Posterous to be the only service you need to publish online. We will take *anything* you send us and convert it to web friendly formats, host it, and publish it online. You don't have to even think about what you're posting. Photos, video, documents, links, markdown... we'll take it all and surprise you with great results.

So really for us it comes down to building great tools so that users don't have to think about them. Posterous gets out of the way and just works out of the box, so you can focus on your content. Mobile posting, Facebook Like buttons, retweet buttons, video transcoding, privacy, all just work instantly on Posterous.

CE: People like to edit their blog the way they want. Why did you think people would use email to post things and let you do the smarter things?

Sachin: Everyone uses email everyday. It's on our desktops, mobile devices, it's integrated into all the applications we use. So the thought here wasn't trying to be super creative... it was just obvious. I'm not a fan of bulky software that people have to learn. Email is the perfect way to transfer data, and for me it's the perfect way to update a blog.

CE: How are the typical hours of work while running Posterous.com?

Sachin: I believe in work/life balance. We work hard, but then break to enjoy life with our friends and families. We break up our normal work day with team lunches, beer in the afternoon, and occasional offsites. Everyone works hard to finish features and hit deadlines, and we don't have to work people to the ground for that to work.

CE: Could you tell the details about PicPosterous and Google Maps facility on Posterous?

Sachin: PicPosterous is the easiest way to post photos online.
The thing that I hated about photo posting was that you had to do it at the end of an event or album. So you first have to take a bunch of photos, then *later* delete the bad ones and post the good ones. Usually we're all too lazy to do this.

With PicPosterous, every photo you take can be uploaded when you take it, and you simply pick which photos to post and where to post them as you go. Live blogging.

CE: Social media expert Steve Rubel declared he was moving from blogging to Lifestreaming. Could you elaborate on this?

Sachin: Steve Rubel understands the power of social media. For the first time, we have the tools to connect with hundreds or thousands of our followers. So how do you best interact with them?

Steve's solution is to use Posterous has the hub of his lifestreaming. This means that he posts whatever is going on in his life (photos, video, thoughts) to his Posterous blog. Then Posterous will "Autopost" that content to his Twitter, Facebook, and other services that he uses. All those services will get a link back to his Posterous.

So Steve is able to reach his community on all these other services, and drive them *back* to his personal, customized posterous site. You drive the traffic back to your own hub.

CE: What is your vision regarding the expansion of Posterous? Will there be more remarkable features that people should look forward to?

Sachin: We have a lot in the works focused around mobile and groups. The next few months will be very exciting.

CE: Lastly, how does it feel to be appreciated and recognized worldwide within such a short period of time since the launch of Posterous?

Sachin: It's been a lot of work, and we're really thankful to our users who have supported us and spread the word about Posterous. I don't think Garry and I ever thought we would be where we are today. We started Posterous to solve our own problems, and only later realized we were on to something bigger.

CE: What will be your message to CrazyEngineers aka CEans?

Sachin: My message would be to go out and build something your passionate about. Find a problem or frustration you have in your own life, and then go and fix it. That's how you will make the best software.

We are thankful to Mr. Sachin Agarwal for taking out time for this Small Talk.