26 July 2011

Move Fast and Break Things

'Move fast and break things' is a philosophy I've stolen from Facebook's work culture. Anyone who's seen The Social Network movie will know this ideology is at the core of everything they do, demonstrated by the regular Hackathon events they host where programmers stay up all night building for the purpose of building.

The outcome isn't necessarily important. It doesn't have to be perfect, nor necessarily functional. But by moving fast and breaking things, they approach problems in a different light that creates new solutions and new ideas. Many of Facebook's features have come out of these Hackathon events.

So why am I writing about it? Well, I think it lends itself to great advice for graduates looking to land themselves a gig in digital;

Build something.

Building something these days generally costs next to nothing. A lack of technical skills is no excuse either given Google is at your finger tips. And the only thing you'll need you should have plenty of as a student; time.

Time to move fast. Time to break things. Time to learn. Time to build something.

As an undergraduate I built this blog. Everyone's got one now (not to say you shouldn't build one too), but you could build a YouTube Channel. Or an online store that sells socks. Or a video that gets 1,000,000 views.

Throw yourself in the deep end. If it fails, pull the plug and build something else.

Six months ago I started a website called Angry Birds Blog. Like me, I realised people were searching for walkthroughs, Golden Egg locations and information about the game. The website now receives 95,000 hits and brings in $150 a month. But that's nothing compared to what I've learned over the past half year about SEO, SEM, AdSense, affiliate marketing, design, coding, ad placement and more.

And I reckon if you can build something, that's probably more impressive than talking about your empty resume in a job interview.

Edit: I sold Angry Birds Blog in September 2011 for a nice little sum.
The views expressed herein are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer. Also ponies are evil.
Pigs Don't Fly © Copyright Zac Martin