Every Friday morning, we have our MailChimp Coffee Hour. Most Fridays, it’s to talk about what’s going on around MailChimp. We started this after our company passed 100 employees or so. As you can imagine, a weekly company meeting can get really boring and repetitive. We hate repetition here.
So every once in a while, we invite creative, interesting, thought-provoking, and downright weird people to come and teach us something new. Lots of companies do this. Etsy has their excellent "Code as Craft" talks, and we all know about the Talks at Google. But if there was an ulterior motive to ours, it would be to emphasize the importance of creativity, chaos, and loving what you do.
Some past coffee hour guests:
Michael Lopp blogs at Rands in Repose, and is the author of Managing Humans (a book that greatly influenced the management style at our company). He gave an inspiring talk about the role of "Designers, Programmers and Dictators."
Baratunde Thurston visited and made us laugh our asses off. Also talked about his creative process, adapting the editorial process to the Interwebs and social networks, writing How To Be Black, and offered to kill our CEO to see if employees would cry. Interestingly, this would not be the only threat to kill our CEO at a coffee hour.
Merlin Mann (aka @hotdogsladies) came to talk about priorities. Favorite quote: "Procrastination is when you forget who you are."
also see: We Commissioned a Rock Opera
Bruce Schneier, author of Liars and Outliers, came to discuss trust, cooperative systems, and abuse of those systems.
Seth Godin talked to us about the importance of being weird:
Jeanette Lee, aka The Black Widow, taught us about perseverance. Also, some really cool trick shots:
Chris Rickwood took a random sound sample, and proved that "the real world sounds bad ass."
Dan Zarrella talked about Unicorns, and the similarity between Facebook and Jersey Shore.
Jon Gustavson, Table Tennis champ, taught us about top spin:
Jon Watts, director of AKA Blondie, talked about following your passion, no matter what, until the project is done:
Other awesome guests (who came before we knew these coffee hours would "be a thing" and so we failed to take good photos):
- Dan Roam taught how to draw on the back of napkins
- Erica Farr, from Emory University, discussed archiving important works in the digital age. Where’s the "paratext" in a Word Document?
- Dr.Irving taught us about the healing power of animals