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Buffy Fans Apply Here

Phil Chu
Phil Chu
Making software since the 80s

(Written a while ago, but still true…)

This Tuesday, for some reason, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer quote “Dawn’s in trouble. Must be Tuesday.” kept intruding into my head. It’s actually kind of a poignant line for me, dating back to a friend of mine who started watching BTVS while battling cancer. When he emailed me that the series was pretty interesting, I just startled rattling on about the show, who sired who, and all the other intricacies that are for more interesting than fixing lines of code at work. He got sufficiently absorbed in the show that he cried foul at the introduction of younger sister Dawn who was non-existent in previous seasons. But I assured him, it’s not stupid Hollywood screenwriting — Joss Whedon has a master plan. And indeed Dawn turned out to be created by ancient monks and spliced into this reality to avoid the nefarious clutches of…well, you should really watch the series. But my friend passed away around that time, so I don’t know if he saw all those pieces come together.

The point of that melancholy reminiscence is that there are a special group of people who appreciate Buffy. I keep discovering new clumps of them. For example, a Facebook friend might mention watching on old Buffy episode the other night. Then Buffy fans emerge from the woodwork and chime in on their favorite episodes, other Joss Whedon shows (Angel, Firefly). Or I remember visiting nVidia years ago back when they were just one of many players in the graphics card space, and finding out one of the OpenGL experts there was a Buffy fan. It’s like noticing someone is wearing the same secret decoder ring. (or part of the same shadowy underground cult, if you’re an observer)

In my experience, Buffy fans are pretty cool people. And of the people I know who make me want to run for the hills whenever I see them, none have any interest in the Whedonverse. So I’d like to try an application of this partitioning rule — start a company and only hire members of the Buffy appreciation society. It would simplify the hiring process immensely — in the interviews, ask if the applicant is a Buffy fan. Fakers can easily be spotted — a real fan will spout favorite lines, gush over favorite characters, reenact favorite scenes, or burst into song from the Buffy musical. Obviously, anyone making dismissive remarks about vampire-slaying cheerleaders will be shown the door. To be fair, some cool people might have somehow missed the series (a comic book store owner in Bend told me they didn’t get the series until season 3), so check for these “potentials” by seating them at a computer and bringing up Dr. Horrible. See if they dig it.

Now, there might be a problem pitching this to a VC (“I don’t know what the company will produce, but we’re only going to hire fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and we’ll call each team a scooby gang, team leads will be slayers, and the department head is called a watcher, but maybe the legal department doesn’t have to have fans, they just need to be legitimately evil, like on Wolfram and Hart, but that’s Angel, not Buffy….”). I guess we just need to find an angel investor who’s a Buffy fan…