Creative cultures. That's the thing I've been thinking about, reading about, and discussing with everyone this week, in preparation for our All Hands meeting next Wednesday, as well as our management trip to Budapest in August.
Many of us have started reading Ed Catmull's "Creativity, Inc.," his story of the founding and development of Pixar. It tickles a lot of my personal interests. (One of Catmull's professors in college was Ivan "Sketchpad" Sutherland! Plus, you know, Pixar.) We see a lot of correlation between early Pixar and the challenges we face building out Kinja: how do we structure a company that promotes creative freedom and technological innovation, but remains independent and sustainable? How do we avoid the pitfalls of trying to do too much at once? How can the process be both edifying and fun?
Some of Catmull's maxims seem obvious—they have their own version of "Fail Fast"; he recommends "always try to hire people who are smarter than you"—but seeing our own core values reframed by someone with his cachet gives me an opportunity to reconsider them. If anyone wants to buy and expense a copy of "Creativity, Inc." for yourself, go for it. It's a breezy read, and if you like behind-the-scenes looks into film or technology production, it's worth it for the anecdotes alone.
And since we've been taking stock of our creative culture, I've asked all the sites to talk to their audiences this week about what we can be doing better moving forward. The answers have been as simple as new subject areas to platform UX tweaks, but it's worth your time to browse them across all the sites; it's a simple way to understand audiences that aren't your own, as well.
Siteleads: Make sure to link those in your wrap-ups below.