In the world of business, we continuously push ourselves to new limits to better our work and grow in our areas of expertise as we continue down our crazy-but-awesome career paths. Each of us has goals, role models, motivators, and people we aspire to be like. The team members at Buckeye Interactive want to share with you the successful people who continuously inspire us to keep pushing further and to never let our goals fall out of sight.
Sarah, Digital Strategist
Gary Vaynerchuk – I took a social media class with one of the best professors Capital University has to offer (Anthony Iannarino) my Junior year, right after switching my major from Biology to Marketing Communications. One of the books assigned to read was “Groundswell“, which was filled with case studies on the power of online communities and social media successes. My favorite case study was on Gary V. and the creation of Wine Library. I was intrigued by his work-ethic and the hustle he displayed to start his online sensation. My favorite part about this now very successful entrepreneur and venture capitalist is how real he is. He’s an advocate for the startup community and whole-heartily pushes people to follow their passions. If you haven’t heard him speak or read any of his books, I highly recommend you do so. Unless you’re offended by the F word. Because like I said before, he’s extremely real and isn’t ashamed of his Jersey roots, foul mouth, and love for the NY Jets.
Quote: “Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, what do I want to do everyday for the rest of my life…do that.”
Mike, Web Developer
Luke Wroblewski has been a pioneer in engineering the mobile web. From his early days in UI/UX for eBay, he has emphasized principles which embody modern design (on and off the web) – focus on the content first, and the rest will follow.
Quote: “Don’t just test your designs and sites, also test your assumptions.”
Samantha Warren created Style Tiles (styletil.es), which as someone who often finds it difficult to approach visual design as a process is a huge leap forward. Not only do style tiles provide a great approach to responsive design, but they lead to better unity between client, designer and developer.
Quote: “An interior designer doesn’t design three different rooms for a client at the first kick-off meeting, so why do Web designers design three different webpage mockups?”
Steve, Web Developer
If I were to ever get a geeky tattoo it would most likely revolve around the WordPress mantra of “Code is Poetry.” Like a well-written verse, code has the ability to change perceptions, challenge pre-conceived notions, and move the world forward. While WordPress doesn’t cite the author of that tagline (probably the result of a handful of developers playing marketing team, strung out on coffee in a room with a whiteboard), I think it’s an important trait of well-crafted software.
A relatively new idol to me is Phill Ryu, an app developer behind some of my favorite iOS applications. Those familiar with his work will recognize that Ryu’s applications tend to push the boundaries of what people expect an application to do. In a Venture Beat interview, Ryu gave this inspiring quote:
“I think the important thing is to never take anything for granted and question everything — all the known interface design conventions, the clichés and rules of the genre. These are formulas, and to us formulas are just a fancy way of describing the rut you’re stuck in.”
Finally, a quote from one of my favorite fictional characters: Ron Swanson (played by Nick Offerman) from Parks and Recreation:
“Never half ass two things- whole ass one thing.”
Tony, Web Designer
Olly Moss is easily my favorite designer/artist working today, and not only because he often combines two of my passions (art and movies), but because his artistic aesthetic resonates with me unlike any other designer. I’m incredibly attracted to his work, and would love to own an actual Olly Moss print someday! His work represents the creative side of design that appeals to me, and that inspires me most.
Quote: “I’ve always considered illustration and graphic design (along with photography, animation or any other creative discipline for that matter) as tools in a toolbox. The more tools you have, the more versatile you are and the more things you can build. Why bother trying to confine yourself to one specific tool? You’ll only hobble yourself with limitations.”
Dan Cedarholm is the co-founder and designer of Dribbble, which is all that really needs to be said. On top of creating one of the most prolific online communities for web designers, he also started his own web design studio and writes articles and books on standards-based web design. Dan represents the technical side of design that I aspire to achieve.
Quote: “There’s a possibility that *really great* web design receives neither praise nor criticism. It just works.”
Paul, Web Developer
Larry Page took an idea most people thought was impossible and made it a reality. He saw beyond what was possible at the time.
Quote: “If you’re changing the world, you’re working on important things. You’re excited to get up in the morning.”
Without Linus Torvalds, the world would be a different place. Although not a very popular person outside of the Computer Science world, code he wrote powers an overwhelming majority of the Internet. Another guy who saw a problem and fixed it.
Quotes: “Most good programmers do programming not because they expect to get paid or get adulation by the public, but because it is fun to program.”
and another: “Any program is only as good as it is useful.”
Tori, Copywriting Intern
With my passions being both art and writing, two of my greatest and most intriguing inspirations are Augusten Burroughs and Vincent van Gogh.
Augusten Burroughs is the author of many best-selling, startling, raw novels that are written based on the biography of his life. On top of being an amazing writer, he has lived a ridiculously difficult and entertaining life, from being raised by his mother’s insane therapist to being madly in love with a man who he knew was dying. He has many crazy stories and life lessons to share. I’ll take all the advice I can get, because I’m 110% sure I will never experience even 1/42589 of what he has.
Quote: “This is how you survive the unsurvivable, this is how you lose that which you cannot bear to lose, this is how you reinvent yourself, overcome your abusers, fulfill your ambitions and meet the love of your life: by following what is true, no matter where it leads you.”
― This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike.
It may seem cliché to claim Vincent van Gogh as one of my biggest inspirations, but really, how many people can be that mentally unstable AND have their left ear torn off while still creating some of the most beautiful art the world has ever seen? So far, I only know of this man. Enough said.
Quote: “It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.”
Josh, Web Developer
Steve Jobs – I think what I like most about Steve is his passion and his commitment to a holistic approach to product design and development. To have an understanding of every part of the thing you’re building and how they affect the product and your users is extremely important, and the only way to do a great job is to have an understanding of those things.
Quote: “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”
Jeffrey Zeldman – I don’t know that I have a favorite quotation from Jeffrey, he has so many insightful thoughts and things to say. Zeldman is an inspiration to me because of the thoughtful way he approaches everything. He is always looking at the semantic meaning of the code he writes and what it means for the user experience and he is always committed to best practices even if he is trying something experimental.