We've been giving a lot of thought to our mission recently; to why we exist, what values we believe in and why our place in the creative industry is so important. It's a valuable exercise for a number of reasons, validity, purpose & significance all contribute to ensuring we're headed in the right direction on a number of different points, and that we're making decisions based on the right reasons.
Tunnel vision is a very real and very apparent issue when building a product designed for millions but developed by a handful. Creators should be able to look at our mission and firmly support the values we're build upon. One clear purpose is something everyone can have in common. Right now, with our product still a (small) number of months away, we thought aligning transparently with the exact people we're building a product for, was something worth spending time on.
Community - Discovery - Collaboration
In a (now historic) blog post written by Paul Buchheit about the iPad in 2010, a sincere focus on product is narrowed into very simple words: "Pick three key attributes or features, get those things very, very right, and then forget about everything else."
"If you're creating a new product, what are the three (or fewer) key features that will make it so great that you can cut or half-ass everything else? Are you focusing at least 80% of your effort on getting those three things right?"
Our three most important features are Community, Discovery and Collaboration. They are what we believe, to a creator, are the cornerstones of progression. They aren't outlandish, extraordinarily new concepts - but they're hugely important and are what we're building our entire product, and thesis on. We want to become the best at the things that really impact and empower our creators.
So right now we're building the best community we can, discovering artists with and without representation, creators ready to make the leap and those that aren't. We're celebrating and searching for the people that forcefully push against society's gravitational force of doing what is common and familiar.
Discovery is inwardly and outwardly significant. "Good artists copy, but great artists steal" may be a topic of discussion, but the very definition of discovery is rooted to the idea that to create we must be inspired, and inspiration takes many forms; fellow creative individuals being a key one. Our passion for discovery is also a nod to our ambitions, and the giant pool of creators that we hope to guide in their development.
Too many people struggle to get access to the creative industries because they've not got an 'in', or they don't live in a creative hub, or because they feel like it's unattainable for people like them. We strongly believe everyone should have the opportunity to break into the industry of their choice, and that to aspire for a career in the creative arts should be a decision that's met with as much pride as that of another industry. Generations of creators for years to come will be affected by the decisions we make right now. Let's pave the way by staying true to our values, and help make creativity work for everyone.
Picture by @ marissaalper on Instagram.