The Role of Design in Business
I'm Jackie FRY senior director of design operations at mail chimp. We essentially run the business of design and based on the theory that design China's great for business I often think that design or are separated in their silos. I'm a product designer. I'm a brand designer and at Milton we wanted to bring these people together so that they could get to know each other more see each other's work influence each other's work these people being together getting to know each other it. It offers a lot of great benefits to our customer experience in sort of that harmony of touch points. Saint how all of that design comes together male chimps all in one marketing platform allows you to manage more of your marketing activities. All in one place so you can market smarter and Dan grow faster now. What male chip? That's what learn more at Nelson Dot Com. I'm curious about what you think of the Solo Universe and its possibilities around inclusion. Are you finding people who are solo practitioners or vision vision. Who are finding ways to work? In this way that they wouldn't in an less welcoming corporate environment the event the PAT just described Solo event took place at District Hall all here in Boston and the Innovation district and At one point I went out to. I forget whether I had go to the bathroom or get some water or something and are there were three young guys. They're tech is still had like Chino's ill-fitting she knows and stuff and that was what the districts designed to be at work co working space base for young tech people and They They said to me. What are you guys doing? And I explained to them what we were doing and they said this is the first time we have ever seen anybody buddy. WHO's not white in district hall NatWest true? I mean they attracted a lily white audience which is representative of the business community in Boston. Unfortunately the mainstream business community. What we had done was 'cause early marketing efforts actually did not reach a broad enough audience in terms sued versity. We went to Roxbury and got a couple of local business activists and said we'll give you a table invite local soloists and so they they did and immediately they came in and they felt as if they were part of this community. If we had not done that that would have been an all white audience. We live in a capitalist a society that benefits getting big and getting big fast. Do you see any benefits in the idea of scale at all I think about when we launch fast company right we. We were a lot about changing the way big companies work. It was. It was a magazine for people in big companies not entrepreneurs and not soloist. Louis and we didn't know where that was ultimately with the long path was for that but ultimately big business took over the learned their lesson. About what talent wants and a lot of them have changed the way they do business pretty dramatically but I do wonder if Biz will come along again as the Solo. The world grows to kind of say. Okay we understand now what people want. And we're GONNA adjust again and maybe maybe it is the end of large organizations physically physically but you know. I just wonder if they're going to sort of see an adapt through our normal economic and societal benefits to organizations that scale. Well absolutely and were not arguing. that the solar independ- dependent life is for everybody. I have a bunch of brothers who are extremely successful all of the big company guys and when we sit around and talk I think they'll look at me and think why would you not want to work on a global scale. You know they were. At and T. and pricewaterhouse coopers and they loved working at that scale. I understand that So we're not talking about everybody but I do think that Scales the enemy of creativity period. End of story. I couldn't agree more but let me. Just add a footnote to that the so the four of us are sitting around talking and we would all argue that by virtue of our profession where creatives. Yes but you down to Washington. DC and there's a law firm down there call the Potomac group and it's one hundred lawyers. None of them are employees. They're all indies and there is a firm and what the firm does is it makes a market between clients that have specific needs that can be satisfied legal needs on a project basis and these lawyers who have left often the most prestigious law firms in Washington and New York to work with Potomac because they want flexibility. They want to work on projects. They don't want to work full time. And so and their creative there are creative attorneys their creative consultants and I think there are people who who WANNA WANNA be able to do Exercise the creativity and the way in which they approach the law or they approach accounting or finance. And I believe me. I'm not ignoring the fact that there are lots of people primarily women but not only women who are attracted to this life for purely practical reasons schedule reasons scheduling scheduling companies. Say they can offer more of that in God knows they're trying but you can't. There's really woman entrepreneur now runs you know. I don't know it. Forty Billion Alien Dollar Company. Who said to me and my last days and ink in two thousand twenty set to Maitland simple truth matters? Large companies require and demand obedience. They you just do. I mean these companies often have employee manuals that are as long as the Russian novel for God's Sakes and they have an entire department that's really frankly designed to protect the company from employees. They call it. Hr but that's really what they're doing there and so I'm not. I'm not being cynical about them. I think that's required. That's required when scale and there are companies that do that really well and there are people who flourish in that environment. I was wondering if we could generate a list of things things that we as a society could care more about advocate for. That would make possible this kind of work with some sort of legal protections something about student loans loans. I'm thinking about the kinds of structural barriers that prevent people from being liberated in this way portable health insurance. Yeah the one thing I came out of that event with in what I don't even know if it came up specifically but it was I remember telling you solo has to launch a lobbying arm. We gotta get to Washington and we gotTA start. There's no protection for soloists whatsoever but just isn't and insurance is unbelievably cost prohibitive. So the world doesn't really help you pursue this line of work. Do you have a sense of the psychological profile of the solo worker. ill-fitting Chino's you were talking. They don't they don't here's here's a here's the statistic where well aware of the fact that A significant minority of people who are now in these started out not voluntarily but they were they were laid off and so they did it often thinking it was temporary and out of desperation and after bring some income in so I'll do some projects while I look look for another job and there's a company down in. DC called embryo. Descend some research that says if a typical person like that lasts as an Indie for between eight and twelve months. The chances are eighty percent. They'll never go back and get a job again. So it tells you something about On the one hand the incredible fear that people feel about making the transition out of the world of regular Panja Film. And on the other end and the fulfillment on the other rant for people who are looking to build us an economically sustainable life around interesting work. The future is brilliant Ryan and possible and possible really practically possible. It's challenging it's difficult is especially challenging for people who have inflict Ed Glass. We grew up in as as participants in a traditional workforce not easily. Leave that behind. But once you get involved in this world it is exhilaration. What is your best advice to a big organization who are more likely to hire even on a temporary basis these wonderful solo workers there's To become more comfortable with them and to be able to hire them in places where it would have a big economic impact. I'm thinking all all kinds of places including the rural worker who with high speed Internet is now living the dream of being creative to all kinds of places that are still emerging economies across Africa and Latin America and Asia. It's it's I don't have the answer to that but the question is so funny because as you're asking it I'm thinking unless they're one hundred percent committed to supporting the solo world their inclination is going to be identified talent and want to hire them right so that I think the question is. How do we find someone so committed that? They won't try to hire right that they're going to respect that you've chosen this way of living your life trying to invent an AI. Around work around I can give you an example company really very traditional mainstream company pricewaterhouse coopers. They built a platform for indies. And it all you go on the platform. So let's say you're a consultant assault. You go on the platform and you can search anywhere in the world any project. That is Available right now for contract work and you can search it by industry specialization The economic value the project and I think the logic behind this was that they felt that increasingly. They're relying line too much on indie consultants who were in heavily socially networked communities their global firm and he wanted to figure out how do we make consulting work for P. WC MUC- accessible to population of indies globally. And kind of take down the barriers. If you will.