Removing the Human SPOF

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It’s easy to forget the human element in operations. Justin ran Picnik operations from day 1, but it was increasingly clear that he was the SPOF! Eventually, we decided that it was time to solve that problem. After a long search, Picnik hired Tim.

  • When is it time to expand the team/
  • How should you hire for an operations position?
  • How not to be offended by the new hire
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Photo of Justin Huff

Justin Huff

Google, Inc

Small company veteran Justin graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in computer engineering and has played key
roles in startups ranging from imaging SONAR at BlueView Technologies, home automation at 1Control/Pluto, and non-relational databases at Applied Technical Systems. Since moving into the corner window desk at Picnik World HQ, he’s been busy with many tasks, most having to do with Linux, and finds that his adventurous resume has proved useful when building, scaling, and dumping water on Picnik’s ever-expanding infrastructure. When not at work, you’ll usually find him out on a
run, strapped to a scuba tank, attempting some new feat of home improvement, or being urged into a triathlon by fellow Picniker Mike. His plans for 2009 include hitting the lecture circuit and figuring out a way to incorporate SONAR technology into Picnik’s virtualized data center.

Photo of Tim Wilfong

Tim Wilfong


Tim is a highly seasoned IT professional with extensive experience in network operations and recent experience with large-scale, highly-available SaaS offerings. He started his career as a software engineer working on embedded systems for defense contractors after graduating with a Computer Science degree from the University of Washington, and moved on from there to found an ISP, which began his transition into network engineering and operations- oriented disciplines as well as his love of working with startups. After working in technical and leadership roles with dot-coms Bazillion and Aubeta, Tim ran a consulting business before joining Medio Systems, where he played a key role in the design and operations of the network infrastructure used to deliver Medio’s mobile search product. Tim joined Picnik’s Operations department in December of 2009, and is currently working to help bring Picnik to the “next level” of robustness and scalability.

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