Following my first day short notes and even now that I should probably be sleeping before my early flight back do Lisbon, I couldn’t resist and put up some more of my rought-notes about LIFT’s second dayt.
Disclaimer 1: I just wanted to confess that I was quite tired which implied that my attention span was, hum… somehow less than ideal. I didn’t even listened to all the day presentation’s somehow Skype back-channel seemed so cosy! 😉
Disclaimer 2: as all personal notes, this ones also reflect my own thoughts about some of the conference presentations and as such they shouldn’t be taken literally! 😉
Holm Friebe and Philipp Albers
I had met them the night before as we seated on the same table during fondue but it was not until they’re presentation that I actually knew they were LIFT speakers! I really enjoyed our conversation during those cheesy hours, so it came to no surprise that they’re presentation on the Hedonistic Company felt so compelling! Holm and Philipp created the socialistic-capitalist joint-venture Zentrale Intelligenz Agentur in Berlin as a way to showcase and experiment on new forms of cooperation and collaborative in work environments. They’re Hedonistic Company is grounded by 7 simple, yet powerful, principles:
- Rule 1: 7 NO’s
- no office
- no employees
- no fixed costs
- no pitches
- no exclusivity
- no working hours
- no bullshit
- Rule 2: Work-Work balance
This is a particular interesting rule, since according to this guys we MUST engage client work and self-induced projects with equal energy and effort, knowing that some of the client’s work isn’t always as dear as we wish you shouldn’t really let them take over our energy and attention, meaning that you should somehow balance your client work your other personal projects in an attempt to not let any of them fall short or be corrupted by the other
- Rule 3: Instant Gratification – ¥€$
Money is an incentive, but they suggest a less traditional approach to it’s ‘use’, reuse the money of each project immediately, use it as a direct incentive to your collaborators right after the project finishes, pay all the bills there’s to be paid and reserve 10% for the ’cause’. They’ve actually made a very clever suggestion regarding those pesky yearly bonus: no bonus at the very end of the year! The end of the year might fall short if you consider employee motivation, when the bonus arrives he might had just left 😉
- Rule 4: Pluralism of Methods
engage your company in trying different approaches to everyday work, experiment, tweak and perfect each ‘modo operandus’. Use collaborative platforms, online and offline and find technical solutions for social barriers/problems within the ‘company’. Real Life Meetings are so last century, take your teams to the next level online meetings!
- Rule 5: live up to your intellectual obsessions
I sort of lost my self at this point… but in the end I suspect what they meant was allow and support everyone’s intellectual obsessions. We all have them! They’re a BIG part of our inner self and assure our inner balance. By supporting your teams intellectual needs, you’re in reality helping raising the integration and acceptance levels of people within and towards the ‘company’. More Motivation => More Results
- Rule 6: Responsibilities without Hierarchies
There’s no eternally assigned boss, each project needs to have someone in charge, just make sure that everyone gets a seat every so often. Foster off-site team reunions!
- Rule 7: The Power of Procrastination
Don’t exhaust yourself in trying to be too efficient for it sometimes has the downside effecting of reduce productivity for all the effort that goes into CONTROL! As all things in nature, so will good ideas adapt and catch on even if you neglect them for a while.
- Rule 7 1/2:Marketing by Feuilleton
Your best advertising is NO advertising. Good products, services and ideas market themselves. No PR! Let you and your team be the best possible PR’s
Henriette is a long time friend and still my favorite Danish girl we sort of share a peculiar set of special Brainwaves (more on this on a next post) as I joked about, so I’m pretty aware of her ideas on chaos… anyway I’m drifting… Henriette managed to be selected to present a short open-stage at LIFT and as expected I thought her message was not only compelling but also impossible not to overlook again and again at this current times.
Enjoy the Chaos was the motto for the conversation, according to her we’re all part of a silent revolution, the fact is that in a consumer world, much of us (including myself) don’t fully grasp the dimension that consume has in our lives… even if it clearly isn’t making us more happy! So in the end we’re witnesses of a new reality pop here an there about where people opt-out for less as a way of becoming not only more free, but essentially more happy.
According to Henriette the same is happing in business and in particular in marketing these days and it’s of vital importance to them. The normal business approach, of business is business doesn’t seem to apply all the time anymore. But why are the companies so afraid of introducing more chaos on their processes? Aren’t they leaving out the creative revolutionaries at door?
People want relationships, a one on one relationship, whether it’s with a brand, a product or a service, so new forms of dialog are needed, the internet has surrounded us all and we simply cannot afford to leave that proximity goes by untouched.
Robin Hunicke is both an academic and practitioner and works for Electonic Arts, it’s hard not to listen when a girl talks passionate about gaming, right? But besides being currently working on BOOM BLOX for the Nintendo Wii and having worked on My Sims, Robin pretty much took us on a journey about the Playfulness of Games and Apps.
When designing a game, a program, a Webapp, some sort of social networking platform or pretty much anything this days, it’s impossible (or should be) not looking at the importance of the Real vs Non-Real. How many games/apps have made us feel like we’re loved, important or helped us show our love with someone? Well in fact, not many according to Robin Hunicke, but at least some, being the top example of one that does: Facebook!
Facebook is a GAME! Facebook is:
- Repetitive: adding friends, chatting with them, adding friends, chatting with them, …
- Rewarding: what are the rewards? more friends? gifts? hugs? stars?
for all the above reasons, Robin stated and I could only agree that Facebook is indeed one if not the biggest social online game ever! Facebook works on rewards: lets me decide how to use it, which rewards I might wanna collect, by using it I’m bringing it more and more closer to reflecting my which makes the game in a sense pretty much about ME, like a one-on-one game and not about US or the rest of the crowd. People keep jumping into the Facebook bandwidth because of personal interest not in the interest of others. Facebook makes us feel like:
“I am a person living a fun life and i am LOVED” – Robin Hunicke
One peculiarity in Facebook and on all the so called social apps, or social networks is that is about the people that use it and not about who designs or owns the platform, pretty much reminding me my own quote on the workshop whether when me, you or someone is developing an online community, we should focus on facilitating the conversation and not controlling it in any possible way! The conversation should flow within the community freely at any given stage, for not guaranteeing it would be to sentence it to a time-delayed killing.
People are intrinsically and last time I read biologically drawn to games! No one likes chores, chores like the things we do everyday, wether it’s work, hobbies, house chores or even a relationship can become a sort of chore (which is obviously bad!), what’s missing in all of this ‘chores’? REWARDS! People need the positive reward, that price when they’ve reached the end of it, they’re goals!
Robins conclusions rocked actually and kind of made me envy her passion on what’s she’s working: Put people in the center of some universe, give them space to create and smile and something extraordinaire will pop up! It’s possible to smile at work! We just need to find our rewards!