For a lot of our readers, cure.fit might look like it is all about the products and the technology that goes behind it, however, great design and creativity is at the heart of everything that we do. It is this reason why we have a large creative team with individuals across experience levels in varied domains.
We’re still a young organisation, and we understand that the standards, the culture and the processes that we create today will go a long way in determining the kind of products we build and the type of people that we will attract to work with us. Our organization has a few fundamental pillars that let creativity thrive. Looking back, here are a few things we’ve learnt that we hope will help you with your own creative journey.
Be a micro-entrepreneur
"With great power comes great responsibility" –Uncle Ben
‘Ownership equals freedom’ is a lesson you should carry with you for life.
cure.fit is big on OKRs (objectives and key results). You can set your OKRs yourself, as long as they align with the goals of the organisation. With this freedom of choice, we pitch our own initiatives and take total ownership of what we do. We take responsibility for the outcome, good or bad, learn from our mistakes and move forward with the aim of being better every day.
Don’t suppress your uniqueness, express!
It is important to be yourself especially when you are in the creative team as you bring your own set of unique ideas to the mix. What we appreciate is the openness with which we can communicate across the organization. Here at cure.fit one has the freedom not only to express but also the freedom to be heard by everyone. This ranges from the interns to the CEO.
This openness in communication not only applies to work but also to everyday life which drives us to be ourselves, every day. Here is an example of how one of the designers communicated an important office-etiquette message in a hilarious yet impactful manner on an org-wide group:
(Vinyasa is one of our office meeting rooms)
Say Sorry, not “May I”
Remember, almost everything is reversible, and people are unwilling to stop something already in motion, especially if you already have data to show favourable progress. This is especially true in a startup environment, where initiative, creativity and leadership are highly valued.
In any case, remember, it’s almost always better to ask for forgiveness rather than permission. Be proactive when it matters most. A critical time for proactivity is at the start of a project where there is a lot of ambiguity and project boundaries are not well-defined. When presenting projects, always make sure to tie them back to the company, team, or product goals and watch as resistance melts away.
Step into the eye of the storm
It is a well-known fact in our profession, you have to dig a lot before you hit the creative gold. Our entire creative team across cure.fit is part of an internal communications channel, where we engage in what we like to call a perpetual 24-hour brainstorm.
While there’s a whole lot of banter, you’re always clued into what’s trending or what has viral potential for social media and no matter how new someone is to the organisation, they’re encouraged to contribute.
Learn to thrive in chaos. Chaos and ambiguity can feel scary, but also usually lead to the highest opportunity for growth.
It is not just the product, aesthetics can make or break a deal
One of our designers narrated this incident to us, “Late one night before I had even considered applying for cure.fit, I was sitting with my friends outside the cult.fit centre in HSR, Bengaluru, and I found myself thinking, ‘That’s a beautifully designed building. The bright white logo on the stark black facade looks beautiful’. That’s the exact moment I decided to apply at cure.fit, knowing nothing about the organisation except that they understood aesthetics.”
These and other similar experiences have convinced us of the psychological effect good design has on people.
Challenge conventional wisdom
We recently ran a test on our app banners. Conventional wisdom states that you need to put all your information on your banner. Conversely, the creative team had a hypothesis that a cleaner and a simpler banner layout would be better and lead more users to click on the banner for more details. What we found was the simpler banner converted better, something we would never have known unless we had tested our assumptions.
Surf the leading edge
When Russia announced the launch of the COVID-19 vaccine, we had a post ready to go live on social media in under one hour. Imagine going from ideation to execution in one hour! This and other experiences like it blew away all our expectations of what is possible even when dealing with extreme constraints.
Being pushed by our peers and seniors to perform has taught us how to ship high-quality work, fast.
“Work Accomplished = Time Spent x Intensity” –Cal Newport
How are we able to move so fast?
Laser-sharp focus, rapid feedback and continuous iteration. Performance is not accidental in nature, but the result of a well-oiled process at work.
No creative-professional is an island
Innovation is not accidental or a fluke. It’s the organisational culture that encourages experimentation and out-of-the-box thinking. Creatives do their best work when they feel safe to express their ideas without judgement.
No matter what your company culture is like, here are some key takeaways that you can apply to your work at your existing job.
If you have an idea, don’t wait for permission to take it forward. Get started on your own, and once you have some positive momentum, appraise stakeholders and seek feedback. You can not work on your own always, you need others with a critical eye who can give you open feedback.
During our time at cure.fit, there have been many occasions where we’ve learned things that we simply weren’t taught in school.
This post describes just a fraction of what we’ve learnt during our time at cure.fit but we can proudly say these are the lessons that have had the biggest impact on our work. Hopefully, this will help supercharge your own creative journey.