What I learned from Wirehive in 2017
As the year draws to a close I thought it would be nice to spend a little time looking back at 2017 and what I have learned.
I started working for Wirehive a few months ago, before that I was a freelance web developer and digital marketer for a number of years. I’d worked mainly in isolation most of that time, only bringing in other people or companies when I absolutely had to. And so I’ve been on a pretty steep learning curve in a number of ways. Here are some of the most important things Wirehive has taught me. (I should stress that this is just my personal take and does not represent the official company line on things. Except party canons of course.)
What blockchain actually is
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming to be an expert. Far from it to be honest. But Rob our CEO genuinely is. And his desk is next to mine.
It’s just possible I have spent an inordinate amount of time nagging him to explain it to me again (and again and again) and I think I just about get it now.
It’s not just how it works that I’ve learned, I’ve also learned how the concepts of blockchain can be applied to things other than crypto currency and how that will undoubtedly be one of the big things of the next few years.
And I’ve also learned that when that guy offered to pay me in Bitcoin for the work I did him a few years back I probably should have said yes.
People are great
One of the reasons I decided to make the move from working independently and get a proper job with a proper company was that working alone constantly can take its toll on you.
I’m a sociable kind of chap. I like to shoot the breeze over a coffee, I like to meet people and find out what they are passionate about. Wirehive has some incredible people. I’ve made some really good friends here already. The whole company has a great feel, supportive, and kinda playful. Since my first day I have looked forward to coming in to work.
People are awesome, and Wirehive has some of the best.
People are terrible
God I hate people. Working in a busy office is a nightmare. When you’re trying to concentrate on editing a tricky bit of video footage and someone bounces a large foam ball off the back of your head.
When you go to grab a coffee, and come back to find your computer now reads everything you write out loud to the entire office.
When someone takes the last Pepsi Max from the fridge and you REALLY wanted it.
Beer at work doesn’t make me less productive
I was genuinely surprised when I first started work here to find the drinks fridge (a giant glass fronted monstrosity filled with all kinds of delicious things) had a selection of alcoholic drinks in it. They even started getting low carb beer to cater for my ridiculous diet.
I held out a few days before I had my first desk beer, but sometimes having a nice cold beer is exactly what you need. And if anything, it has made me more productive. I’ve stayed away from the spirit shelf though. No-one wants to see drunk Martin fast asleep, drooling on his keyboard.
Our Security and Compliance Manager is a werewolf
Is it on?
I was a little stumped the first time I was asked that question at lunchtime, but it turns out it was indeed on. And it often is.
“It” in this case is a wonderful game that goes by the name of Werewolves.
I won’t try to explain the game to you, but it is an awful lot of fun, Tim can’t lie to save his life, John cheats like a pro, and Ash is a terrible werewolf.
There are some seriously clever people out there
Now I realise that this shouldn’t be a big surprise. Obviously there are some seriously clever people out there in the big wide world. But working by yourself means that you don’t often get to meet someone who really impresses you with quite how clever they are. How well they understand something you don’t, and how articulate they are when discussing it.
I’m not just talking about people at Wirehive either. Though there are some incredible people here.
I’ve been to a lot of breakfast briefings, lunch meetings, impromptu coffees and just general networking things and I am amazed at how many seriously impressive people work in the world of digital.
Our CTO has a thing for party canons
I don’t know why we have them, but we do seem to have an almost inexhaustible supply of the damn things.
No one warned me, and the first time he fired one I nearly wet myself. I was in the middle of trying to synch an audio track to a video I’d been working on and so a completely unexpected explosion a couple of metres behind me out of the blue was, well a little surprising.
They tend to be used to celebrate big achievements, or finishing really important or complex jobs, and as a concept I love it. But seriously guys, some warning please!
No-one wants to be on film
I love video, planning it, making it, watching it, editing it. I firmly believe it is not only the future of marketing, but that it is vastly under-used and under-rated. There are a few other companies using it in cool, innovative, and generally enjoyable ways, but for some reason it doesn’t seem to be anywhere near as big as it should be considering how accessible it is as a form of media.
I suspect I know what that reason is.
Since day one here I have been struggling to pin people down in order to get stuff filmed with them. People who are articulate, knowledgeable, and confident suddenly become inexplicably busy when you have a camera and ask them to come and film something with you.
As a longstanding YouTuber I don’t really get it. But it is what it is I suppose…
Everyone knows what GDPR is, but no-one knows what GDPR is.
If there is one thing I am fed up of hearing about it is GDPR. The number of articles, videos, podcasts, round tables, lunch meetings, presentations, and just general stuff about GDPR I have been invited to since I have been here is truly mind-blowing. And almost every single one has been saying the same thing.
The fact is we know what GDPR is, but we don’t know how it will be implemented. And until it is in force and it actually is implemented we won’t know that.
Maybe that’s just me being pessimistic, but my personal take is that as long as you are genuinely trying to meet the requirements of the regulation you’ll probably be fine.
I write really well on trains
For some reason I’d forgotten this. Several years ago I did some contract work in central London and I commuted in on the train. It was an hour each way, and it got to the point where I could knock out a thousand words each way. Years of working from a small office kinda made me forget. But travelling around to meet up with people, create joint content, and needing to have a laptop with me made me realise that there really is something about trains that stimulates my creative side.
Maybe it is just knowing I have nowhere else I can possibly go for a while, or maybe it is the sounds and movements of the train itself. Or maybe I’m just a freak. But either way, I write really fast on a train.
There is way too much cool stuff to know it all
I love to learn stuff, always have. I don’t care what it is, History, Science, Blacksmithing, Programming, Sewing, Languages, Bare Knuckle Boxing, it’s all good. There is so much out there that is interesting that it is utterly impossible to learn even a small percentage of it.
Working for Wirehive has not helped me with this.
It has opened my eyes to so many more things that are absolutely fascinating that is can almost be a little disheartening. Artificial Intelligence? Riveting! Augmented reality? Captivating! Hosting Architecture? Utterly engrossing!
So much to learn, so little time…
Die Hard is a Christmas film
Seriously, it really is. In fact, I think I’m going to put on my Santa hat and go watch it now.
Happy Christmas everyone!