Why Thiel Fellow Ari Weinstein Thinks Seelio Is the Best Way to Share His Work

How do you capture your work as a Thiel Fellow? On Seelio of course! Ari Weinstein has no shortage of ideas, creative projects, and even articles about his impressive work (see here and here), but when it came time to building a website to house all of things he’d been working on, he found that he just didn’t have the time. Then he found Seelio. Now, when you look for Ari on the web (ariweinstein.com), it’s easy to see all of the great work he’s done.

We had a chance to chat with Ari a few weeks ago about how he discovered his passion for coding, his tips for presenting work online, and even to joke a little bit about HBO’s Silicon Valley. Check out our interview below and see what he’s been working on in his portfolio!

1. How’d you discover your passion for coding?

I’ve always been really passionate about technology and computers. I found that passion when I was really young. The story my family likes to tell is that when I was only a year old, I just wanted people to hold me up to the light switch so I could turn it on and off and try to figure out how it worked. As I got older I found that I was into computers and I just wanted to build products and technologies for people to use and that help them more easily accomplish whatever it is that they want to do.

Currently, I’m actively working on two things that are both on my Seelio actually — one is DeskConnect. It’s a utility that makes it really easy to connect two devices together. I launched that product last year. Now I’m working on something new called Workflow. We’re still in pretty early stages but it’s an app that lets you make your own apps to automate anything you want to do. For example, it can turn on lights for you automatically when you get somewhere, or you can make an app that takes the last four pictures you took and edit them in a specific way and upload them to Facebook– things like that.

2. You have an incredible collection of works in your portfolio. How did you pick which experiences you would showcase on your Seelio? Which work are you most proud of?

Thank you!

I add the things I’m proud of and that I think people might want to see– things that are representative of my experiences. I go to a lot of hackathons and several of these are from those. I love hackathons and building stuff with friends and this is a cool place to put what I’ve built.

As for what I’m most proud of, I think it would probably be Workflow or DeskConnect because I’ve learned a lot from all of the things I’ve done, and what I’m working on now is the best of what I’ve done so far. I’m really excited about them.

I’m also proud of the jailbreaking stuff I did when I was younger. I love how Seelio lets me take something I’ve done and write up a story, give it a picture, and have it all on one page. For example, the digital adder was just something I did in high school but it looks pretty cool on there.

3. We couldn’t help but notice that your personal website address (ariweinstein.com) directs to your Seelio. That’s awesome! Why did you decide to do that?

My good friend, and cofounder, and I were just talking about this the other day. He has a lightweight website that links to Twitter, FB, etc and looks really nice. When you have your own website it’s really hard to show what you’ve done and have it accurately show the experience you’ve had and the kinds of things you create. I’d love it if I had time and design skills to do it all by myself, but I don’t. Seelio is a really nice way to have a page that has the things I’ve done, presented in a really nice way.

4. What do you like about Seelio? How has it helped you present your work?

My number one thing about Seelio is that it lets you take your work, a resume, or a LinkedIn profile and present it in a way that looks great and allows people to delve deeper into projects with links and attachments. I can have a grid of my work that is really nice and informational– all about me and what I’ve done.

It’s way better than a LinkedIn page or a resume.

5. What is your best advice for other students who are starting their Seelio portfolio?

I know not everyone builds software, but for anyone who does, I’d definitely say go to hackathons because it’s a really awesome way to have time to build stuff and then show off the things you’ve built so people can see what you can do. Especially as a student it’s really east to find them– I recommend Major League Hacking.

And redirecting your website to Seelio is something anyone can do. Most domain providers let you redirect your website to somewhere else.

When I add new experiences, I try to think about the most important details– where can I link to provide more information, where have people written about it? Choosing a good picture is really important. I’ve spent time figuring out what photo best represents each work. For example, I worked at a company called WiFast that works with routers. Their designer put together a picture of routers stacked on top of each other for one of their marketing pieces. I asked him for it and threw the logo on top and thought that made a great Seelio thumbnail. I think adding a compelling image makes it looks more visually appealing and makes people want to click on the work to learn more.

6. What are you up to this summer?

I just got the Thiel Fellowship a couple weeks ago and just moved out to San Francisco with my cofounder. I am taking 2 years off of school to work on DeskConnect and Workflow full time. So I’m just now starting a company. It’s crazy, we built Workflow at a hackathon, and now this summer we’re all working to take it to the next stage. We’re really excited about it!

Congrats, Ari! We love seeing your work on Seelio and can’t wait to see what’s next for DeskConnect and Workflow. Thanks for sharing your story with us!

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