99U's Make Your Mark
Notable entrepreneurs and designers share their hard-learned lessons and practical insights
While the annual 99U conference (previously known as 99%, co-founded by CH and Behance) is a two-day whirlwind affair in NYC, the conference's daily-updated website—and now, their three-part book series—offer a way for creatives to get a more regular dose of motivation and advice. Through original essays and interviews, notable entrepreneurs and designers share their hard-learned lessons on working in a fast-paced, ever-changing world where e-commerce and social media are calling the shots. It's this new world that the 99U book series addresses: "The world has changed, and the way we work has to change, too. The 99U book series... offers pragmatic, actionable advice for managing your time, your career and your business. Traditional business or productivity books don’t typically speak to the needs (and working styles) of creatives, but the 99U series is designed specifically with creatives in mind," Jocelyn Glei, the book series editor and website Editor-in-Chief, tells CH.
The third and final installment, "Make Your Mark: The Creative's Guide to Building a Business With Impact," is a strong finish to the series. "[It's] a creative’s field guide to building a business with impact. The most exciting businesses today aren’t profit-driven, or even product-driven, they’re purpose-driven," shares Glei. "'Make Your Mark' dives into how to build a business with purpose and creativity. Whereas standard business books are rather dry, we’re tackling the topic from the maker's (rather than the manager's) perspective. So it’s not about manufacturing more widgets or having a great meeting, it’s about making stuff that really matters." Some examples inside include Warby Parker co-founder Neil Blumenthal on how companies need to be aware that customers have "extremely sensitive BS detectors these days" and are more empowered than ever; there's also author Warren Berger on moving away from answers to asking yourself the right questions—"If we disappeared, who would miss us? And why?" Overall, the wisdom from 21 different creatives, somewhat surprisingly, ends up pointing in a similar direction: how your company can make a lasting impact, rather than just a profit.
Images by Cool Hunting