The Black Pizzle Manifesto

(Original: https://medium.com/@dlpasco/the-black-pixel-manifesto-bdca9b3b3a78)

Founding

Black Pixel was founded by creatives (warrior poets) as a place to pursue our craft and work with other talented people for mutual profitability (ish). It was created as an institution with which we could identify (we have t-shirts!) and pursue interesting and engaging work, both with clients and on our own products. (products we bought from other people, and then spent years in development hell until we’ve decided they suck enough and the market has moved on)

Black Pixel was created with the idea that by working together, we can achieve greater successes using our skills and insights than any traditional business. (There’s nothing traditional at all about a work for hire business)

We embrace the power and expediency of consultative decision making: responsible individuals seeking the guidance of others for input on decisions they alone must make. (Leadership is not something we’re very good at)

We are a design-driven organization. (Just ask all the designers who have worked here then bailed as quickly as possible) Design is not just how it looks but also how it works. We understand the importance of great tools (One of which we bought from Sofa and then mostly abandoned) and the role that thoughtful design plays in their creation. We also understand the value of beauty and delight, discoverability, and affordances. (That said we’ll make whatever the client tells us to make)

We are a for-profit corporation (some days). We recognize that money is the oxygen that allows us to pursue our objectives and an important way we can reward ourselves for our successes.

What We Do And Why

We do not specialize in any particular niche but seek to pursue the opportunities we find to create an amazing experience or redefine an existing user experience into something great. (We’ll make whatever the client tells us to make)

We believe that Vitruvius best defined the ideals of excellence in workmanship, namely that products be solid, useful and beautiful (“firmitas, utilitas, venustas”). (I like to think I’m some kind of philosopher warrior poet)

We believe in being effective. That means that we work skillfully and quickly. (Unless it’s a syncing engine for a news reader) We move fast and we ship swiftly (Unless it’s a syncing engine for a news reader). This ability to move rapidly and the quality of our work are what gives us the edge and is a part of how we provide value to our clients. (Unless it’s a syncing engine for a news reader)

We believe in the balance of perfection and pragmatic expediency (Or whatever the client asks us for). We strive for ideals but prioritize shipping on time (except syncing engines) with a great user experience above all (but mainly we try to ship on time because clients like that)

People

We believe in embracing talent where we find it, and to that end, we invest strongly in maintaining a remote culture. (We take people who aren’t willing to relocate for a better job) We believe that the power of the team is the source of our strength. (The more bodies we can throw at a client, the more money I make) Skill, teamwork, and the ability to collaborate effectively in a remote environment are all required for our success. (We burned through all the good developers in Seattle)

We recognize that Black Pixel has a responsibility of stewardship to its employees. (Stewardship may or may not involve paying regular salary) It is our duty to look out for their well being (unless they want to get paid), protect them from toxic situations or overwork, and to advocate for their individual and collective well-being and happiness (find a single ex-Black Pixel who has a sing). It is our duty to invest in the growth and the future of our employees (generally at Apple or some company other than Black Pixel)

Our expectations of people are high (Ability to type is important). We recognize that Black Pixel is not a gift (Like playing the piano or pyrokinesis), nor is it something that any of us are simply entitled to (unless you’re Dan). It is something we have fought to create and must all collectively continue to work for, both in our core creative endeavors, as well as working on material to promote the company and its efforts (Can you guys please stop bitching about Black Pixel in public?)

We believe that people should disagree and commit (code). We expect people to perform their duties and give voice to their concerns and ideas as they arise or are sought, and to put aside any differences and strive to ensure the success of the plans and goals of whoever they are working for. (Jesus Christ people why can’t you all just do what I tell you to do without complaining!)

As much as we ask of our employees, we also have a responsibility to give back as well. Work life balance, personal time, and a fulfilling career are all a critical part of being here (just not a regular salary, or benefits).