People and organizations are inspired by lots of things. Sometimes it ends up just being simple admiration (a kind of short-lived inspiration). Other times it can end up being a long-term formative thing that can completely revolutionize the way you were doing or thinking about something. During our years of research and refining our approach to what now is Hoodoo Digital, we’ve come across a few companies and people that have inspired us. We’d like to pay homage to these trailblazers and the contributions they are making to the future economy and new breed of ethical corporations.
Buffer: Buffer is a company that provides tools to manage and increase engagement through social media. They have a great ethos established by the 10 Buffer Values, specifically their ability to not only function transparently within their company but the willingness and capability to effectively communicate their operational learning with everyone.
Adobe: Adobe is a company we’ve worked with closely for the past eight years. Sometimes a company is so big and successful at producing profits that we forget to look past their market performance and focus on the value the company is actually producing. At the Adobe office space in Lehi, Utah, their dedication to the physical and mental well being of their workforce is clear. They prominently display an awe-inspiring mural of a young girl drawing and the way it captured their ethos that “creativity is the catalyst for positive change”.
Gitlab: Gitlab Inc. is a company that is obsessed with improving development efficiency and exemplify their success by how quickly they iterate on their own products. Three main things stuck out to us. First are their list of values, that were just as meaningful to us as the ones that Buffer has. Second, was what they are trying to do with releases. They are really trying to change how people do business through their Continuous Delivery method/model. And third is their model of employment referred to as Digital Nomads. A mindset of digital first, where co-workers don’t have to be in the same room to accomplish good work.
We, at Hoodoo, would one day like to be known for our similar model of openness, efficiency, and quality of work so as to inspire ourselves, our customers, and anyone who interacts with us. While this mentality is certainly a major focus of our founders, Andy Wakefield & Kem Elbrader, they are not the only people who are driven and motivated to excel in our organization. So we decided to ask some of our employees what inspires them. Here is what they had to say:
Good work is what inspires Kevin the most. Whether he is coding a new component or remodeling a bathroom in his home, he is always striving to be the best. And this makes sense given that one of the people Kevin finds most inspiring is Steve Jobs (an oft-used model of striving for perfection). While Kevin is much more mellow, compared to Jobs, that ideal for perfection is always there in the background.
The person who most inspired Curtis was his father. He saw the work ethic and success of his father and that has made a lasting impression. He wants to be just like his father. This aligns with the fact that Curtis feels more motivated when working on things that are new or challenging. He doesn’t like to sit still. Neither did his father.
Broc is probably one of our most laid back individuals, who doesn’t see himself looking for inspirations, but when pressed he mentioned his old boss Jake. It was he that taught Broc how to work with Java. Jake was “awesome and formative in my development career”, having laid the groundwork for Broc’s future, in working with AEM. But there is one other aspect that moves Broc, seeing his work actually being used in the real world, not just on a Staging server.
Gradey often finds himself using coworkers and classmates as a basis for self-improvement. Doing this allows him to reevaluate how he wants to do things by seeing all their good qualities. Gradey also respected Steve Jobs, but unlike Kevin, it was his accomplishments as a business leader, visionary, innovator, and entrepreneur.
Tyler is inspired by the openness and inclusivity of his children, who may have never met other kids in the playground but are completely at ease inviting and playing with them. Additionally, being around others who are not just smart but willing to be open and share with other people is inspiring to him. This played out for Tyler with one of his personal heroes, Shane Mielke. Tyler has looked up to Shane for a while, initially because of his skill set, but then for his openness to connect with Tyler personally, despite his expertise and fame in the creative and development community.
Eric is a straightforward guy. He just wants to build interesting things and solve problems, using code. But how does one do that the “right’ way? One of the people that has inspired Eric in this goal is Sandi Metz. Sandi is a software engineer and author, notable for her book Practical Object-Oriented Design in Ruby (POODR), who believes in “simple code and straightforward explanations”. He likes her ideas on how to write easy and maintainable code because the way she presents it is easy to grasp and understand.
Certainly, I have looked up to successful and smart people, but in my personal life I have always gravitated to simple everyday people who go about their business with no fanfare, yet carry themselves with quiet dignity and respect. Former teachers of mine like Grant Anderson or Richard Schmidig. They had no frantic nature to them. Because people like that usually know their craft or subject inside and out. Their kind of confidence comes from knowing how to deal with most circumstances or having the maturity to not freak out, but calmly deal with the problem, un-exasperatedly.
What inspires you?