If you look around yourself, many of the big companies around you are either technology or some other product/service companies. Maybe, none of these is a content-based company. In this article, I will draw out some of the factors that can explain this situation.
What are the factors needed for a business to grow? First of all, a company needs a commonly accepted perception of value around its service. If this perception of value is weak, then no bankable or scalable business can be built. Secondly, human resource-intensive businesses can only grow if they have a mechanism to cultivate and reward talent.
In both these contexts, the content industry does not have an outstanding track-record.
The perception of value around being a content-creator who can deliver quality is not consistent. Very few appreciate the effort and time involved in producing quality content as opposed to fulfilling a requirement to make quality code or a tangible object.
Instead of cultivating and rewarding talent, the content industry is notorious for exploiting and limiting its talent pool.
This exploitation happens in the form of sub-standard wages and a lack of proper acknowledgement and attribution of contributions. Instead of being motivated and rewarded, good talent is forced to start their own business to be paid fairly. This, in turn, leads to a fragmentation of the field.
At Storyflock besides offering a range of education and design services, I desire to establish fair and transparent ways of rewarding our team members. I believe that it is possible to build an organisation which has substantial capacities to achieve great challenges only by doing so. I have given enough of a thought to this to be able to develop a set of guiding principles. I want to share them here:
– Think beyond tasks.
One cannot build a company just on the imagination of the founders and partners. The primary responsibility of every member of a company ought to be the investment of their vision and desire into the reality of what the company becomes. Tasks need to be processed and abstracted away till they become less mechanical/repetitive and more creative.
– Demand creativity.
As a promoter, it is not your job to merely generate income and profit for the company. It is also your job to develop value around the creative contributions of each team member. The more value that exists for mechanical tasks, the more you create pressure on them to be more programmed and be less themselves/natural. The less natural they are, the less committed to the company and its vision they will be — because their natural interest in developing their potential and the company’s interest will not align anymore.
– Accommodate desire.
Irrespective of what you want to do, if you can accommodate what your team also wants to do, you already have a buy-in.
Companies may address a few of these three things that I am talking about here through money and financial incentives. Of course, money is the starting point, but companies also have to develop non-monetary instruments to do so.
Which brings me to a part of this post that may be more relevant to you. Would you like to work with us? Of course, you will want to know what the work is and how much money are we offering for it. And of course, I will extend that information to you. But, if I have managed to pique your curiosity through this post in any way — please feel free to get in touch and say hello.
For potential clients, it will always be more fulfilling to work with a company which has multiple ambitious leaders than a single-person shop that has an army of drones.
Of these are early days for Storyflock (we are < 6 months old), but I see no harm in sharing parts of my ambition and vision about how it grows in the future.