Many months ago, the Myriad gang was informed that we were all being sent to New York City to work with the big leagues for a week. We would stay in Manhattan; work at Grind; go on an educational excursion of our choosing; meet new, creative people; and make a video about our trip along the way. You should have seen the smiles on our faces from that day forward.
The Myriad employees went up in waves, and I was part of the Septuagesimo Uno Group, which consisted of Tina, Alysse, Marisa, and myself.
Our work schedules were all a little varied, but for the most part, our days were split between working at Grind, meeting with clients and freelancers, and touring some awesome creative agencies. We also tried to consume as much New York Pizza as humanly possible and I do not regret one bite of that decision.
Grind was awesome. There were small business owners, freelancers, contractors, and traveling business professionals all working under one roof. The space was beautiful and it had a variety of working areas — open desks, break-away zones, conference rooms, phone booths, etc. There was space to collaborate in groups and there was also space for quiet contemplation.
Just being inside of Grind was invigorating. There was this quiet but exciting air all around you that made you want to do sprints around the city, build businesses, and just kick some ass. The aura in there – and the ridiculous view of the city – made everything seem possible. That’s the cool thing about New York. Everything seems possible…probably because everything is possible.
My favorite excursion during the trip was visiting Google. I felt like a child getting to visit Candyland (which, I will say, is still a goal of mine). Google’s business model and the company as a whole has been a huge inspiration of mine since my advertising days in college. Exploring the offices with one of their Creative Directors was unbelievable. Every part of their office fosters creativity, productivity, and general employee satisfaction.
The idea behind Google is simple: make it easy for employees to produce great work by making them comfortable, inspired, nourished, motivated, and happy. If you care about your employees and give them the opportunity, resources and space to do their “best work,” you are going to see good things come from that.
One of the things we discussed at Google was how employees there are encouraged to take an idea and run with it. There are people inside those walls with every skill imaginable, so if your idea has potential to do something awesome and you can prove that, then there is going to be a way to make that idea happen. It was also neat to hear about the general mindset for getting projects done. Even though Google is a massive, multi-billion dollar company, they have a pretty lean and mean approach to their projects. They don’t throw a huge wad of cash at something because they can. They have a nimble approach to test things out very carefully and strategically and if they start to see success, they will only add money and resources where necessary.
Some other work adventures included:
Hopping a train to Armonk to spend the day with some of our awesome IBM clients.
Having lunch with a very talented and humble director in Brooklyn.
And making my first Chemex brew at Grind before a conference call in a telephone booth.
Our group decided that for our final project, we were going to make a video entirely out of pictures from our iPhones, documented over the course of the week. This would allow us to easily and quickly capture memorable experiences within the frenzy of the city. We took a timelapse-approach with the pictures, and we each tried to capture 10 “moments” everyday. You might notice the recurring, daily theme of…pizza.
Thank you, Myriad, for such an amazing opportunity and thank you, New York, for your hospitality.