People are at the center of every meaningful aspect of life.
Some people want to put language barriers between them and people. They call people users, clients, customers, stakeholders, borrowers, executives, coworkers, designers, editors, cousins, recruiters. At the end of the day, they are all just people though, right?
It makes one think about what these names mean. Do these substitute names give people some sort of mental excuse to treat people differently? Family gets (x) treatment. Clients get (y) treatment. Does it separate us from the emotion associated?
As most of you know, the people I was dreaming with, plotting with, accomplishing things with, celebrating with, and so much more with, were told to find a new place to smile. Our last day was Thursday, April 17.
I have so many thank you’s to give to people that have wrapped their arms around me since that day I was told to find a new home. You people – all of you with so many different degrees of connection – saved me. I thank you so much.
Thank you for…
When you sent that email to me the morning of April 2 checking to see if you could help me regardless of how long it had been since we last spoke;
When you told me you were entirely at my service from day one;
When you escaped with me for the weekend to Lake Placid to forget about life for a couple of days;
When you left my resume on the recruiter’s desk;
When you sent a heartfelt recommendation to one of the most talented females in our industry recommending me for a position on her team;
When you offered your time and your money;
When you gave me your time and refused to take my money;
When you kindly offered to give design tweaks to my resume;
When you consumed a lot of bourbon with me and dreamed about us working together off Eighth Avenue;
When you put me in touch with the head of consumer product at Dow Jones;
When you let me join the volunteer crew for LeanUX NYC at the very last minute;
When you magically screened me, scheduled a phoner, and then got me in for the real interview in less than 5 days at the fastest growing media company;
When you replied to my email begging to talk sooner rather than later within minutes of me hitting send;
And, when you DMed me and asked me what I wanted to do, then had coffee set up the very next day with your boss. All on Twitter.
The people in my life are the absolute best. I couldn’t survive life without you.
At LeanUX NYC, someone shared a proverb that I can’t get out of my mind.
Tell me something. And I will forget.
Show me something. And I can remember.
Involve me. And I will understand.
This is one of the biggest opportunities businesses have. Involving people — all people — in every aspect of the organization is still a thing. People are still not talking to each other so they can’t empathize with each other and work seamlessly together. The product and business suffers because of this. This is especially critical when it comes to technology, product and content creators. I heard this over and over when I interviewed. Even the most powerful brands have an opportunity to do better. Much better.
I couldn’t be more excited I was asked to have coffee with one of the people trying to change that culture at Conde Nast. Beginning next week, I will be joining Conde Nast as the User Experience Lead on its platform team led by Ed Cudahy.
The past couple of weeks I talked to a lot of people. There were a lot of really great conversations. I can’t even describe in words how blessed I feel to have been able to have those conversations.
Maybe it was the stickers and t-shirts I saw on Ed’s desk that he made for copilot, the platform our team is building, that got my attention. Maybe it was that he decided to skip meetings to meet me that day for coffee. Maybe it was that he didn’t even know me but wanted to know what I was about, what I wanted to do, how we could work together. Maybe it’s that he also has a thing or two to say about titles and embraces the idea of hiring smart people that can kick ass together.
I work for and with people. It was the people that made Project Thunderdome what it was. And before I met Robyn Tomlin, I met Jennifer and Mackenzie, who introduced me to some of the most creative, innovative storytellers I know. And, of course, in the beginning, there was WPNI. That team will never be replicated. We dominated. Ok, in the veeery early digital Laura years, there was Webraw, Dennis and Barbara. They were also amazing.
And, now, I couldn’t have found better people to surround myself with as I enter this next stage in my career.
Thank you, everyone. I love you. Now lets make the internet more awesome.