We had a great time this week getting a behind the scenes progress tour of the City View at Metreon. We love working at this venue and are super excited to see the final touches when the remodeling is complete! They really took the time to answer all vendor questions and took into consideration what different vendors need in a venue. There are more power outlets available, a redesigned prep kitchen, meeting rooms with built in audio visual, and now there are air doors that separate out three different spaces within the larger space.
Here are some of our favorite photos from the walk-through! We’re pretty excited to be a part of the relaunch of this iconic venue next month! […]
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer is a good book for photographers since it delves into creativity and inspiration and where that all comes from.
Since many photographers are also small business owners, the same creativity and inspiration is also useful for running and growing a business.
Some of the insights that came out of the book make a lot of sense and having done a lot of work with the companies and folks profiled in the book, we’ve found things to incorporate into our own studio and agency as well.
One such thing is the focus on a “Third Place” and traveling. Most of this relates to getting out of your comfort zone, which helps to create more creative pathways to come up with better ideas/solutions to problems. When you’re not at home or work (and hence at a Third Place) or when you travel, especially internationally, you are put into a different way of experiencing things from culture, to language and more. When you are in this type of a situation outside your comfort zone, your mind has to work in new ways to figure things out and when it does so, inspiration can often strike. By doing this on a more regular basis, you put yourself in situations that might offer a greater chance of thinking of new ideas.
Zappos probably means different things to different people, but to us at Orange Photography, we think of them as a company with a great culture and focus on customer service – two values we hold quite dear ourselves – so it was fun to finally get to check out the Zappos Insights Tour at their headquarters in Las Vegas.
While they are about to make a move to downtown, which is personally, my favorite part of Vegas, there was a lot going on at the offices and it reminded me of many tech companies here in the Bay Area. It was interesting that many of the folks on the tour had never seen a workplace like this before since I had assumed that a lot of this type of more casual work environment had filtered out.
One thing you couldn’t escape was how integrated the core values and culture was critical to Zappos. From standard things in the tech world like free food cafeterias and great benefits, there was also a lot of things they did that I hadn’t heard of in larger companies. One of those things was that everyone in the company does four weeks of customer service training. It doesn’t matter if you are the new CFO or a CLT, you go through this same training, and during the holiday crunch, everyone in the company (again from the top down) does 10 hours of customer service. This reminded me of when I first met Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist, who was still doing customer service even though the company had grown so much. […]
Chances are you’ve been into a Starbucks at some point and if not, that you know the brand. People have all sorts of feelings about Starbucks but one thing is for sure – they’ve had a very interesting ride as a company. This book tells of the experience of Howard Schultz, the two-time CEO and spokesperson of the company.
Onward is a quick read and as a business owner of an expanding business, I was particularly curious about what sort of challenges they faced as they grew. Obviously we’re no Starbucks, but I’ve found that you can learn from the history of almost any business.
The key lessons learned that I think are relevant to Orange are the LEAN principles of feedback on processes as well as reassurances that using your guiding principles is a great way to steer your business when the waters get murky or you don’t know exactly how to proceed. Our company, like Starbucks, is focused on maintaining standards of social responsibility and green practices so those factors make it easier at times for us to decide how we want to improve our business. […]
ASMP has been putting on the Strictly Business series for a while now and having attending the last two, I can heartily recommend it. Many photographers have the mistaken notion that just becoming a better photographer is all you need to do to improve your business. While the 10,000 hours of practice theory that Malcolm Gladwell has posited in Outliers is true, you still need to know the business side as it’s not enough today to just be a great photographer.