Our new offices in Shoreditch are a little bare with their white walls. I’m missing the blue and green colours from the old Soho office, and figured I could do something to add a splash of colour and personality. I created and printed a set of 4 posters in A2 format, and tacked them to the walls.
Everyone’s seen the old Keep Calm and Carry On wartime motivational posters, and I had to include it in the mix. I had it printed in BraveNewTalent blue, which added to the calming effect of thinking this phrase through. Works like a charm!
However, keeping calm is great and all, but it’s not going to get things done. I came across the Get Excited and Make Things version of the poster, complete with a crown made of wrenches, nuts and bolts on Flickr, and loved it right away. It was this that kicked off the initial idea of creating a set, and I’ve had it printed in BraveNewTalent green.
I’ve got to give credit, I think, to Facebook (although admit there’s probably more history to the saying than what I’m stating here) for the statement Move Fast and Break Things. If we want to keep up in this world, we can’t be afraid to ship code and see what comes of it. We can always fix it later.
NB: on closer inspection of the poster at work, I see one of our developers affixed a post-it not adding EXCEPT FOR UNIT TESTS. Yes, okay, don’t break unit tests, guys
The last one is a testament to the idea that it’s okay to screw up, as long as you’re willing to learn from it.
These posters line the walls of the development team room right now, and they’re most often referred to in jest. I’m not one to believe in a single set of ‘words to live by’, but looking up and choosing one of these to guide my thoughts throughout the day has been useful.
I’m happy to share (since, of course, none of this is really my original work anyway). It’s a large file, but feel free to download the PSD I printed these posters from. If you make use of these, send me some pictures or gear (anyone feel like printing me a t-shirt?). Enjoy!
I stopped by the old BraveNewTalent offices today, partly to see if I could get my hands on an Amazon order that had been accidentally delivered there a day too late… and partly, I think, to say goodbye.
I stood to admire the lovely door facing Beak Street (have I mentioned I’ve got a thing for old doors?), before punching in the familiar key code and tentatively walking in. Of course, the place was a mess of ditched boxes, out-of-date flyers, and sacks of garbage congregating around every door frame.
I climbed the three curved flights of stairs for the last time and took stock of the leftover scraps and the now seemingly oversized rooms. Without the whiteboards, random posters, mismatched desks and people, there wasn’t much left of the life it all once housed. All that was left was a still, disheveled mess. Good to see it had kept its haphazard aura about it, really.
I was a bit freaked out by the office when I first started, what, with the asbestos warning stickers on the ceiling, the door handles that fell off with the slightest nudge – threatening to lock you in, and the kitchen that felt like it belonged more in a prison or an asylum than an office…. but all of this stuff grew on me, and I began to look around with a growing affection. For a building that was effectively condemned, it had done well to charm me with its quirks.
That said, being in the heart of Soho obviously helped it along – I’ve always judged a workplace by the quality of coffee and lunch-time food available in the vicinity. And for that, Soho was a clear winner. Between Foxcroft & Ginger for a delectable flat white and gourmet sandwich, Yu-foria for mid-afternoon frozen treats, and Graphic for a glass of wine to unwind in the evening, I found I could satisfy any craving within 50 paces.
However, every era must come to an end, and I see this as marking the end of ‘the early days’ at BraveNewTalent, when the 7 or so of us had to band together closely to win that next deal, charm that next investor, and drill towards each release.
As of today, we’re now double the size we were just a few months ago, and the top floor of 40 Beak Street was basically bursting at the seams with our team. We’ve shifted everything over to a new office in Shoreditch, where both the jeans and the lattes are skinnier (and infinitely more cool than I).
Having kicked open a number of doors while back in Soho, we’re now continuing to grow the team and are marching on. I have no doubt that this next stretch is going to be more exciting, more fulfilling, and increasingly successful compared to than the last. One day, I’m sure we’ll have some shiny glass and concrete building to call our own, and we’ll deck it out with all of the modern amenities and latest tech (and an in-house cook and a high-end billiards table, I’m sure), but for now, I see Shoreditch as the perfect home, nestled among dozens of other tech startups in the heart of a vibrant neighbourhood.
Come by for a coffee and a hello!
Full speed right ahead. Don't stop. You can sleep when you're deadTorpedoes - MDFMK
I’ve just pulled an all-nighter. I haven’t done this since college, not all the way through, I don’t think.
I’ve got a full day ahead of me, too, but I’m confident I can make it to the end of the day without a full crash. I wouldn’t do this if I thought it were a detriment to the rest of the day. That would just be silly.
Why though? To squeeze the most out of my time, really. I had a rare evening off and, when the choice to go to bed at a reasonable hour came up, I snubbed it in favour of handling the rest of what I had on my plate. With everything that’s been going on, between getting everything at BraveNewTalent in order, organising the next ProductCamp, socialising myself, and life in general, I’ve barely had time to feed myself, let alone manage my overflowing inbox.
A few things I’ve handled:
- I’m hiring over at BraveNewTalent! More will come on this, but I’ve spent some time dealing with job specs and lining up a row of emails to be sent off at a more reasonable hour.
- I landed another sponsorship for ProductCamp at about 3 am. The sponsor was out in NY, so wasn’t as crazy as me for handling such business at such an hour. Things like this will just about make the upcoming PCamp possible!
- I made some ‘interesting’ wireframes around the upcoming Employer Administration Panel we’re building at BraveNewTalent. I’ll have a look in the daylight to see if what I created in my most ‘creative’ hours makes sense and can be used. In the moment, though, I was, well… in the moment! Here’s a quick snap of what’s (possibly) to come:
- Emails! I’m down to a handful of items that will require a little more thought in each of my inboxes. Not #inboxzero, as I might have over-confidently hoped, but enough.
- Random article reading: I often get emails stuffed full of ideas and good intentions, but which invariably requires me to look through a couple of the referring articles. I caught up on a couple of these over a 4:30am tea break.
I’m taking this last break now to prop myself up with some music, and I thought this quote (from a song I haven’t pulled into the queue since my teens!) to be particularly appropriate. However much those lyrics resonate with me right now, it’s these beats that are keeping me going right now:
It’s of note that I’ve done this without coffee in my system. Bonus! I’m now jetting off to the gym to give my body a bit of a kick (just a swim to keep me going, I think), and then straight to work.
Good day, all!