“Mr. Maheu, who once oversaw North American operations and corporate development at Razorfish, called Mr. Dachis and Mr. Kanarick “industry pioneers and visionaries” and said the company’s goal was to “return to profitable operations and positive cash flow while successfully serving the expectations of our clients, shareholders and employees.”
“The culture at Razorfish’s NoHo offices stood out in comparison with other consulting firms for its warm and creative environment, employees have said. The two men, both from middle-class backgrounds, helped foster that, the employees said.”
So why do I care? A friend was in the CIQ offices the other day talking about the early days of Razorfish and how it was one of the most nurturing amazing creative environments he had ever seen. That stood in sharp contrast with other stories I’d heard from another friend, of Razorfish being hell on earth for its employees.
I had always admired Razorfish greatly in my early days, amazed at their wonderful playful Christmas give-aways. I spent mucho time surfing their job listings not because I was job hunting, but because I liked to luxuriate in the interface like a hot bath. I applied once, I think, only to hear nothing. Later I heard tales of shocking arrogance to their clients, and I swore not to follow that example…
but I’ve only seen Razorfish from the outside. I have no idea what’s true and what’s not. They are a myth to me.
And now we carbonites are trying to build a nurturing creative environment, and I wonder what lessons can be learned. Is it just impossible to grow a company and not have it eventually own you? Is it important to stay small? Maybe nothing can last, and the only thing to do is grow a small company, then sell and start another. Maybe companies are like kittens… only cute when they are small.
(Don’t get me wrong, I love cats. Quite more than I love corporations)