Captured by Ilinca Roman, my mate

Tribes of all kinds can speed up your evolution. If you belong to the right group of people who share similar values and interests, you have great chances to be shaped in a positive way. I’m a community builder myself, so there’s no wonder why I firmly rely on in such structures. On top of that, I have a specific example which supports my beliefs. Let’s dive in!

I already wrote about how The Watercooler helps me be a better leader, so I’ll skip that part. Instead, what I want to share with you are my takeaways after three months…


Photo credits to Ilinca, my brave teammate

I’m starting to think if this way of documenting my path at Pixelgrade is something of interest for those who land here. I guess I’ll find out.

This story is about how I’ve been succeeding to push my learning curve at Pixelgrade. This dynamic is crucial for me and I am happy to notice that I haven’t been caught off the guard. On the contrary.

Someone I admire told me that most people stop when they reach their first peak of the professional spike. They land and stay there for a bunch of reasons and the ambition to move forward…


Pixelgrade’s crew, which I’m part of, is a design studio where we create WordPress themes that solve digital problems. We help storytellers of all kinds kick-off their journey with the right foot through Pixelgrade’s Club. Welcome!

After seven+ years of being a freelancer and delivering copywriting, content writing, and storytelling services; after studying top-class courses from IDEO and Paul Jarvis, I dare to assume that the visual package weights a lot. Especially when it comes to stories written on the crowded and messy web.

Change of a paradigm

I genuinely believe that we — writers in the most general sense — as an industry…


Photo via IDEOU’s Twitter account

Last week I finished my first digital course at IDEO University — Storytelling for Influence. Five weeks full of ‘‘Aha!’’ moments, and a great learning ride.

I’m grateful for this experience and keen to share what I’ve learned along the way. I documented the entire journey during the course. I trust my memory, but I trust written thoughts even more.

What follows is the red thread of what I find worthy of sharing with you. This way, maybe you will join the lovely community of IDEO fellows.

The Starting Line

I had huge emotions. It was my first serious digital course. On top…


Photo credits to Ilinca, my mate at pixelgrade

I still remember my first date with the Olaru brothers aka the bold co-founders of Pixelgrade. Looking back at this time last year, I’m realising that everything can be tighten under one word: grit.

I was a happy freelancer, with a nice path ahead, and a pretty rewarding professional history as well. I had my thing, as they say. Cool people around me, challenging endeavors, plenty of ideas to play with. My playground was quite set up.

Connecting the dots, I guess that convenience was the particular reason why I wrote down a short e-mail and asked for a meeting…


From one photographer that I truly admire: Cristina Poncu

Ladies and gents, I want to let you know about a bunch of stories that made me tick during the last weeks. As the previous ones, they continue to be pretty diverse in terms of topics and approaches, but well, let’s keep the boredom far away, shall we?

The science of sleep via Jocelyn K. Glei

First thing first, this article is not written about the amazing Jocelyn. I came across it thanks to her stunning newsletter. I highly recommend you give it a go. You will love it.

Back on the sleep aspect. Well, things are way more complicated than they might seem at first sight. However…


From one photographer that I truly admire: Cristina Poncu

One year ago I had a different reading dynamic. I was jumping a lot from storytelling topics to web design trends, from community building to teamwork challenges, from New York Times to NPR, from Esquire to niche blogs. I kinda miss this variety and the dance between bold URLs from the digital garden.

Today, I have a pretty flexible list of websites I check on a weekly basis. They’re mostly from the playground I’m part of, and it can easily be labeled as digital products, onboarding processes, customer service, risk-taking, teamwork happiness, beliefs, and behaviours. …


From the spectacular Cristina Poncu

I deeply believe there are multiple levels of appreciation. Each is tailored to specific contexts and is pretty important which one fits where. And hey, it’s not that hard. Let me shed some light from my non-scientific experience, but totally honest though.

🙈 Appreciation as a wrap for doubt

I lived this intense feeling in the begging of my professional path. I worked and volunteered a lot, so I had plenty of occasions to prove a bunch of small and big wins. I guess it was normal to live this overwhelming feeling as long as I often felt vulnerable.
At 20 years old it was a bit…


Photo credits to the great Cătălin Georgescu

For those of you who don’t have any clue about the story behind this hashtag, here’s the main insight: it’s used for The Power of Storytelling, a magic conference ran by DOR. Just search it on Twitter, and you’ll discover a bunch of gems from the sixth edition.

In fact, I feel like I’m lying. Not only #Story16 was a blast. The previous editions that I’ve attended were hits as well. However, let’s go back to the roots and see why I find this experience so spectacular. These are my personal and selfish reasons. I bet you have your own.

#Story16 teaches you nothing and everything at the same time.


via the great Ionuț Rădulescu

Being a community builder for more than 5–6 years gave me enough room to experiment in a bunch of ways. From building and empowering creative tribes till going far beyond that and offering restless support to other doers from the playground.

Everything I’ve done so far showed me how crucial connections could be. Not in terms of finding a wide range of shortcuts (even though I’d lie if I’d say they don’t matter, they do), but especially regarding creating liaisons between people that can grow together and reach their full potential. Being alone in the driver’s seat doesn’t feel sexy…

Oana Filip

Chief People Officer at Pixelgrade @Pixelgrade — design studio where we create WordPress themes that solve real digital problems.

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