Being Awesome and Making Cool Things Happen
I met Dan in the lobby of the Hilton, and almost instantly, I was drunk off the Big Spaceship cool-aid. Starting with the layout of the office space, the structure of interdisciplinary teams, the lack of organizational hierarchy, and the scope of work – I was smitten.
Dan Mall has been with Big Spaceship for two years, but claims he had always been a “fan boy” of their work. After following Michael Lebowitz, the CEO of Big Spaceship, on Twitter, Dan met Michael at a conference in 2008. Within a year of their first face-to-face meeting, Dan was working for Big Spaceship.
Dan now lives in Brooklyn. He plays in a contemporary Christian band called Four24, and he and his wife Emily are expecting their first child this fall. At SXSW, Dan spoke on: Jeffrey Zeldman’s Awesome Internet Design Panel where they discussed the state of the publishing industry.
How Big Spaceship works - The Interdisciplinary Teams.
Interdisciplinary teams at Big Spaceship are responsible for design and execution of creative. Teams at Big Spaceship are not client specific; each interdisciplinary team receives client projects based on availability. The belief is that all teams are considered equal in terms of skill-set. Designers and developers work side by side, and not one person feels that their particular discipline trumps another.
Another unique aspect is that each team has the ability to brand their team, maintain autonomy over their team as well as their working style. When teams are developed, they “launch” their brand internally within the agency. When Dan's team, Candy Robot, launched, they bought branded apparel, baked a robot cake and mimosas for their party. Another team rented a smoke machine, and on the morning of their launch, smoke was billowing as they walked into the office. The Stephanies, have a policy that they never work past 7 p.m.Continued on the next page