Zach Klein

is the CEO of DIY, an online community for kids who make things, as well as co-founder and former designer of Vimeo. He splits his time between his work life in San Francisco and cutting cords of wood for his custom built cabin in upstate New York. When not wielding an axe, Zach puts his Eagle Scout sensibility into Founder Collective, Svpply and editing a popular blog called Cabin Porn.

What kinds of people do you like to work with?

No matter the occupation or level of their expertise, I prefer people who are self-aware, who have some idea of what their life’s work will be, achieve happiness through a variety of interests, and become deeply engrossed by challenges and can work singularly to solve them.

What gets you excited about someone’s portfolio?

Solutions for personal problems. It’s impressive when anyone identifies a conflict in their community, company or personal life and takes initiative to design an alternative without being prompted.

What are you looking for in how the work is presented?

I like when it’s understated and over-delivered, when the content is in focus and the presentation is intuitive but otherwise secondary.

Are there rookie mistakes that’ll make you close out of a portfolio immediately?

To be clear, I usually hire for product UI/UX positions. In this context, I’m most interested in portfolios that demonstrate problems solved through design. Too often, they only emphasize style.

Outside of the work itself, what needs to come across loud and clear?

That the designer is confident, but also graceful and willing to be challenged.

Do you believe yetis are real and, if so, what is their design aesthetic?

They love puffy fonts.