A couple of us Cutliners recently jumped at the chance to hear Sophia Amoruso, Founder and CEO of Nasty Gal, speak at an event put on by The Commonwealth Club. The session, #Girlboss, was moderated by Alison Pincus, Co-Founder of One Kings Lane. The discussion covered Sophia’s latest book, Nasty Galaxy, and gave us the inside scoop on her unconventional approach to style, philosophy and advice for #Girlbosses everywhere.
A few of us Cutliners recently had the opportunity to hear Tristan Walker, founder and CEO of Walker & Company Brands, speak at an event put on by The Commonwealth Club. The session, Redefining Design, was moderated by John Maeda, global head of computational design and inclusion at Automattic, and provided a fun and lively discussion around how brands are making products that are both visually appealing and highly effective available to all.
As always, The Commonwealth Club delivered! Tristan and John’s discussion was not only incredibly inspiring, but provided a number of valuable, actionable takeaways. Here is a snapshot of what we learned.
Cutline Experiences the Magic that is Pop-Up Magazine!
Apr 19, 2016
Last week, a few Cutliners went to check out Pop-Up Magazine in Oakland to see what all the hype was about. Pop-Up, billed as a live magazine, is a one-night event that includes live music, photography, art, and incredible story tellers.
One thing’s for sure: it did not disappoint! It was beautiful, raw and incredibly moving. These 11 “magazine” features had us feeling so many different emotions: from uncontrollable laughter to tears of empathy and everything in between. The show was full of wisdom, lessons learned and reminders to appreciate life, culture and our roots. While still respecting the wishes of the producers to keep the content of the show a true surprise for attendees, we wanted to recap a few big (non-spoiler!) takeaways.
Going “Inside the Issue” with Fast Company and WeWork CEO Adam Neumann
Apr 8, 2016
When the CEO of a company valued at $16B speaks with the passion of a college-aged aspiring entrepreneur, it’s a rare thing to witness -- and it makes people listen. WeWork’s energy, soul and vibe are what has made it such a unique business concept, and when you hear Founder and CEO Adam Neumann talk about it, you can see why. That was what my colleague Hyeri and I got to experience at Fast Company’s recent “Inside the Issue” cocktails and conversation event, moderated by deputy editor David Lidsky and reporter Sarah Kessler.
As WeWork members ourselves (shout out to Cutline NYC!), we were excited to hear what Adam had to say about his highly buzzed-about coworking business that we get to experience day in and day out at WeWork Bryant Park. Earlier this month we got an in-depth look at the history and growth of WeWork from Sarah’s feature read in Fast Company; Adam touched on some of this during the event, and highlighted insightful learnings that had the packed audience’s full attention from start to finish.
Source: Hyeri Kim
Don't kill people’s dreams. When Adam first presented the concept of WeWork during his time at Baruch College -- what he called “concept living” -- he didn’t even make it to round two of a business plan competition. When he spoke about it to the dean, he was told, “There’s no 23-year-old, or any inexperienced real estate person, who will ever be able to raise enough money to do anything like ‘concept living.’" Adam stated: “You never know what someone is capable of.”
Ask people for advice -- don’t tell them. If you’re trying to grow your business, e.g. to gain a new client or expand to a new location, you have to adapt your model to theirs, because it’s their expertise that will allow yours to flourish. “Let the world, let your customers give you feedback. Listen to the sounds of the environment coming back to you,” Adam said. He spoke about their current expansion to India, and why it was important to ask what the people there are in need of, instead of the other way around; in this case, it’s helping to counter the country’s poverty, which is why WeWork is hiring all local employees. Part of Adam’s mission is to figure out how WeWork can help others. He noted, “Everyone wants to be part of something greater than themselves.”
“CEOs need to be agents of change.” When speaking to WeWork’s many acquisitions over the last few years, Adam emphasized how important it is to feel a sense of community on all ends. Do you like their moral standards? Will their company raise your own culture? If you say yes to these, that’s about half the battle.
Ask, “why?” Adam said, “Millennials will give up so much to be where things are happening.” There’s a shift happening in consumption, especially with millennials who are emotionally tied to products and experiences. So if you’re running a business, you have to ask yourself, “Why are you making his product or offering this service?” If the goal is to make money, that’s not enough.
Living in Silicon Valley, I have a lot of opportunities to meet women who constantly support, uplift, and celebrate like-minded techies. Most recently, I had the pleasure of attending the second annual Women in Tech Festival and hearing from a diverse group of coders. Polyvore’s Cindy Chu, SugarCRM’s Jenny Gonsalves, Microsoft’s Liv Erickson, Femgineer’s Poornima Vijayashanker, and Hackbright Academy’s Hadiyah Mujhid answered questions about how they got to their leadership positions in engineering, what inspired them along the way, and how the industry can expose more young women to technical positions.
General Assembly: The Psychology of Productivity Recap
Mar 31, 2016
Procrastination is an area that I’m always seeking to improve in, so when I came across The Psychology of Productivity workshop being offered by General Assembly (my first GA class!), I knew I had to jump on the opportunity. It was led by local clinical psychologist Rachel Kozlowski, who shared an in-depth assessment of procrastination and its consequences, and different strategies to avoid counterproductive activity. Below, I outlined some of the takeaways that I found personally insightful from both a personal and professional perspective. Ultimately, you have to do what works for you, and be open to doing things differently, if you want different results!
Every February, one of the coolest trade shows in the world comes to New York City to take over the Javits Convention Center. An event with a lot of toys -- and where kids are not allowed! The International Toy Fair is not solely an event for sales teams and retailers to do business, it also gives consumers a first-look at what will likely be the hottest toys for the year ahead.
Advertising Week, a week-long assembly of Madison Avenue’s brightest thought leaders and ad tech companies, took place in New York City last week. With over 95,000 attendees and 246 seminars and workshops, it’s truly an immersive experience that introduces you to the hottest topics in advertising today, from the perspective of leading brands, agencies, publishers and tech companies. It was my first year attending the conference, and by the end of the week, I felt that I had a more comprehensive understanding of the challenges facing the advertising industry, as well as the opportunities that lie ahead. Below are the five key themes from this year’s #AWXII.