Make the web beautiful
When I started my YouTube channel, 5 years ago, I came up with a tagline that I would say to end all of my videos and live streams. Today, I’d like to go deeper into what this tagline really means and why I love saying it.
“Make the web beautiful.”
In this age of technology, more and more interactions are happening over the internet; Email, social media, slack, webcam, etc. The web has the power to connect us all faster and is truly a beautiful invention.
Besides having the ability to connect us, it also saves us time. You can order almost anything online and it can be at your door anywhere from 1 hour to 2 days. You can get someone to drive you somewhere within minutes. You can even hire someone to give you a haircut with task rabbit. It’s all quite amazing.
If you look under the surface of these apps, it’s just a bunch of code and graphics.
But even deeper than that is a group of people that had to work together to research, write and test the code. Other people had to research, sketch, design and test the user experience. Beyond that you have project managers who organize the projects, IT people who keep systems working, and marketing people telling the world about the app and so on.
When you tap or click on something, there is more going on under the hood than you realize. When it comes to building anything for the web, you will need to work with a team. That is why, when I see a beautifully made website or interact with a very easy-to-use app, I tend to stop and just think, for a moment, about the efforts it took to make that app or website.
To me, “make the web beautiful” isn’t really just a tagline that put at the end of each video. It’s more of an appreciation and thanks to everyone who works hard to make the web a kinder and more positive place for each human.
Speaking of kindness, over the past week I was very fortunate enough to go on another work retreat with the Webflow team. As with every retreat, it was an event I’ll never forget because of all the beautiful humans I get to meet there.
Last year, Webflow unveiled its secondary mission and its 7 core behaviors. At this year's retreat those core behaviors were on full display.
1. Start with customers
Everyone on the team started each of their mornings with breakfast while answering customer support tickets. This helped the team understand what our Customer Support team does to give world class service to our customers.
2. Practice extraordinary kindness
At Webflow, there are no cliques and no judgements towards each other. Just pure kindness towards their fellow humans. If you ever need help with anything, more than likely several people will immediately offer to support and listen to you.
3. Be radically candid
This is a behavior I’m personally still working on. I have so many ideas to help grow our community but there are times I’m afraid of them being shot down or not knowing how to bring them up. At the retreat, I learned that I shouldn’t be afraid to speak up or just work on my ideas if they are coming from another core behavior.
4. Move (uncomfortably) fast
If an idea is 80% there, it's better to start testing it and see if it works rather than waiting for an idea to be 100% perfect. As Bryant mentioned during the retreat “perfection is the enemy of done.”
5. Just fix it
No one likes to be blamed for a mistake. We are all trying our best, however there are times when we aren’t 100% and that’s ok. We are human. That is why, whenever possible, we just fix whatever needs fixing and help others learn from it.
But this doesn’t only apply to mistakes or bug. It also applies to improving features or ideas that may help the customer.
6. Lead by serving others
When I walked into my hotel room and settled in, I noticed an envelope with a card on my bed. To my surprise, it contained a handwritten thank note from our CEO, Vlad. The note was so thoughtful that it made me nearly cry with joy. Then I learned that all 119 other Webflowers also got a personal handwritten note from Vlad.
It’s these types of special actions and moments that makes Vlad such a unique and kind leader. Whenever you need him, he will do everything he can to listen and serve you.
It’s this type of leadership that makes me and everyone else in the Webflow team want to serve others in that same way with everyone we come in contact with.
7. Dream big
Dreaming big is my favorite thing to do and naturally my favorite core behavior. We are encouraged to dream big and pretend there are no barriers that would prevent us from working on ideas that may seem crazy today but normal in the future.
It’s always fun to think about the “what ifs” that could help make our community happier and grow bigger.
Each retreat I get to go to reaffirms that it is possible to find a company that not only cares so deeply about the mission to helping others but also it’s possible to find a group of people that cares so much about each other. Each Webflow team member has such a big, kind heart to help and serve others.
There is so much extraordinary kindness, empathy, inclusion, and diversity within our team and community. This is especially apparent through the interactions between the team and community as well as the way the Webflow platform empowers everyone to build for the web.
To me, this makes Webflow the most perfectly imperfect company I’ve ever been a part of.
Because of all the special moments I’ve experienced from the first day of joining the Webflow community in 2013 to ultimately working for Webflow, I’ve decided to tweak my tagline to make it more apparent as to why I love the web.
So, thanks for reading this blog post and as always…
“Make the web beautiful together.”