Circa Survive is self-releasing their next album, using their past merch and ticket sales to fund it's creation:
Over the years we have been on both indie and major record labels. We are thankful for the opportunities we've had with them but it's 2012 and we want to try something we've never done before. We produced this record ourselves. This is raw Circa Juice straight from us to you. We also paid for it with our own money; money that likely came from you buying a ticket or t-shirt over the years. All in all we have never been more deeply involved in every aspect of creating a record.
I stumbled on an oldie-but-goodie post from 2006 on working happily with your design team. This was one of my favorite bits:
It's going to offend someone. If it doesn't offend them, then it will make them nervous. The Vietnam Vets memorial offended a lot of people. The design of Google made plenty of people nervous. Great work from a design team means new work, refreshing and remarkable and bit scary.
According to a team of researchers led by the Wharton management professor Adam Grant, introverted leaders typically deliver better outcomes than extroverts, because they’re more likely to let proactive employees run with their ideas. Extroverted leaders, who like to be at the center of attention, may feel threatened by employees who take too much initiative
Last Friday, there was a question posted on Hacker News asking if it's possible to become 'excellent' at both design and coding, which prompted the age-old discussion on generalists vs. specialists. But there was one response that really stood out to me:
[…] What is possible, is to become excellent as a designer/developer which is, instead, to focus on the embodiment of the inter-relationship between the two. To look at all problems as a fundamental tension between the two world views and an appreciation of how to thread the middle path.
This distinction is important. A designer that builds, applying the same level of craft to every part of what they produce, is a new kind of designer. They're often the glue or bridge between design and engineering teams, since they understand the problems facing each side with a unique perspective.
When I first joined Twitter (circa 2007) there weren't many people to follow that I knew personally. Having just started design school, I decided to search for and follow people in the Bay Area that matched any 'designer' results.
The thinking was as long as I had a portfolio link in my profile, a follow on Twitter would be a good way to introduce myself to other designers in the community. I was a young design student full of ambition and hope.
It turns out that wasn't such a bad decision. I met Charles through this little search box, and 3 years later I was packing my things to move to the other side of the country to work for a company he helped found.
What I find funny about this whole interaction is it didn't really lead to much. At least not immediately. We met for coffee and talked about working together on a freelance project, but when that fell through we didn't have any more exchanges. He briefly mentioned a new idea he'd been working on with a few others. Kickstartr would be a “new way for artists to raise money from their fans”, but he wasn't ready to talk about it just yet.
Years later out of the blue I received an email from Charles asking about my current status, and if I'd consider interviewing for the first design position at Kickstarter. It wasn't long before I found myself standing in the Lower East Side of Manhattan at 9:30am meeting Yancey for the first time.
By simply having a way to search for people by location and keyword, Twitter connected me with someone that would change the course of my life. It's hard to tell how connecting strangers with common interests on your platform adds value, but I think embracing that type of behavior can really make a long term impact.