Hacker Noon Company Updates from COO Linh Dao Smooke

We’re making moves, have you heard?

  1. Hacker Noon recently onboarded interim CTO Dane Lyons to be our full-time Chief Product Officer. Together with our Lead Frontend Engineer Gian Franco Vitola and our interim Backend Engineer Austin Pocus, we will build Hacker Noon’s own Content Management System from the ground up. Stay tuned for Hacker Noon 2.0:)
  2. We are hiring! Mostly contract roles. Learn more/apply at
  3. Hacker Noon will be a media partner for Blockchain Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland Jan 24–26. If you’re around, say hi to your fellow contributor David Choi who will be representing Hacker Noon at the conference!
This last one speaks for itself :)

Hello hackers,

My name is Linh Dao Smooke, the woman behind Hacker Noon. Above is my 4 short updates from the Hacker Noon headquarters :)

For those of you who don’t know, I co-run Hacker Noon with my husband David Smooke, who I’m sure you’ve heard about at this point. He’s the one who reviews and publishes most of your stories. He also writes these newsletters to 175k+ subscribers a few times a month. But you might not know me.

I’m on the right, if that’s not clear :) More #HninHn photos.

I joined Hacker Noon in the summer of 2017, a few months after our daughter Norah was born. My main job was to turn Hacker Noon traffic into revenue. A simple objective and a difficult task.

Ever since I joined Hacker Noon, traffic has increased 2.5x and revenue 2.7x. I’m also primarily responsible for Hacker Noon’s equity crowdfunding campaign, which was the first equity crowdfunding campaign to reach $1 million raised in 2019. The goal of the raise is simple: to host our stories on our own infrastructure, resume sponsorships and open new revenue streams on, and ultimately, get back to being a profitable business again.

You can say I’m the “money” person behind this operation.

But I have so much more to say to you, our Hacker Noon supporters.

I am a startup leader, who has experience raising money, working with accountants, lawyers and bankers, finding the best pro-small business softwares, and hiring people. Startup founders comprise of 41% of Hacker Noon readership. You hustle!

I am a woman — and let’s be honest — women comprise less than a quarter of Hacker Noon readership. It’s 2019, it’s time we change that.

Empowering women in tech is one of my goals for 2019.

I am a working mother, who has to always dance that line between professional and personal, and find the (im)perfect balance between the two. I’m sure working fathers can also relate.

Our daughter Norah made a cameo at an event where David and I spoke.

I am a community leader and an educator. Before Hacker Noon, I started my own non-profit organization for middle school students in Vietnam, called CKP, that has been running independently for 7 years. I also recruited 25% of student population to a brand-new university in the US, called Minerva, through my work as its Asia-based regional director. The Minerva Project has raised $95M and is raising more. Before that, I was a teacher. I can talk for hours about building communities from the ground up.

My talk about Future of Higher Education in TedxTrangtienStreet.

So when David asked me to author a newsletters series for Hacker Noon, I thought I’d do something different.

My newsletters won’t be so focused on editorial and best tech stories (that’s David’s domain). But they will focus on my areas of expertise: startup operations, women in tech, and building communities:

  1. I will update you on the behind-the-scenes of Hacker Noon, and provide details on what it takes to run a lean company like ours (answer: it still takes quite a lot of work).
  2. I will share with you my honest thoughts on gender inclusivity in tech, and the workplace in general (answer: it’s a work-in-progress).
  3. I will open up with you about Hacker Noon the company, not just Hacker Noon the site (answer: we have a lot of work in front us, which is very exciting!)

One of our primary goals for 2019 as a company is to engage further with our community, and I hope my newsletter series will help make that happen.

If you read until here, I’d like to say thank you. Thank you for writing if you are one of the 7,000 writers that contribute to our library. Thank you for reading if you are one of the 200,000 daily readers who find us useful and helpful every single day.

We are here because of you, and we work for you.

See you in the next week :)

Linh Dao Smooke

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