Category: The Team

An interview with Behance’s Head of Strategy, William Allen

Our Head of Strategy, William Allen, was recently interviewed on Social Media Week about his role at Behance, strategy for building community and the importance of company culture.

You’ve been at Behance for over a year now. What’s been your biggest challenge leading strategy at Behance?
WA: The biggest challenge is what to focus on. If you’re ambitious, your attention can be pulled in thousands of directions; the challenge is to figure out what are the most important things you can accomplish and include them in your strategy. Choosing the right thing is hard. We focus on our mission which is to empower the creative world. At Behance, we want to be the “wind at their backs,” which means giving them anything they need to be successful and also means matching the talent with opportunity. The reason why Behance gets 70M pageviews a month is because of these creatives–we step back and showcase their work, allowing them to be their own best representatives. We give them the tools.

What’s been your strategy in building the community? How do you know what to include and what to leave out?
WA: You have to have a world view and you have to have a compass of where you want to go. That mission shapes every action that you take: for us it means building deliberately and intelligently. We’ve been concerned about building the right kind of community, the right people for the right platform. It’s important that we fulfill the mission which is giving our user the resources they need to be successful at their careers versus growing quickly. And that takes time. The human quality of curation has been an important part of our strategy, where the good quality work really bubbles up, and it make the site aspirational.

Keep reading here

Don’t Let Your Startup Make These Design Mistakes

Behance Co-Founder Matias Corea recently spoke at State of the Startup, a monthly New York-based event, focused on the latest startup trends. Asked to speak on the most common mistakes designers make, here are Matias’ top 5 tips:

1. While it’s great to have designers who understand code, they should ultimately focus on design and not both.

2. Interaction design can’t simply rely on the way things look, and has to explore, test and prototype the way the work as well. A sure-fire solution: wireframes!

3.  Typography (and readability) rules everything.

4. “It’s better to have a hole than an A**hole” – Neal Blumenthal. Make chemistry and culture a priority within your team.

5. Focus on the product, no the exit. Success come from quality work and quality work stems from passion – create something you truly care about.

Check out the full article here.

Behance Uses Rackspace and RightScale to Scale a Thriving Creative Community

With an abundance of visual work uploaded to the Behance Network each day, we need a lot of processing power and a hosting solution that can store a large amount of data while processing it rapidly. With that in mind, our CTO Chris Henry, determined that Rackspace and RightScale were the best match for all of Behance’s hosting needs. In a recent case study, Rackspace sites Behance as an example of a company that can rapidly scale, stores lots of user-generated content, saves time and money and allows developers to focus on building a better product instead of constant site upkeep.

Check out the full case study here.

A Personal Note On Behance’s Growth, Funding, & Progress

Dear Behance Community-

I want to share some news with you about Behance’s growth and recent progress, our first round of funding, and exciting days ahead.

For the past five years, Behance has been a bootstrapped enterprise. We’ve sold Action Pads, books, job postings, conference tickets, and even banner ads (horror!) to generate the income to build Behance. It’s been amazing, and we’ve developed as a team and company in extraordinary ways.

But now, more than ever before, we see a tremendous opportunity to take Behance to the next level as it grows by leaps and bounds. The community is showcasing and discovering creative work at a fast clip!

  • Users’ projects have received over 1 billion views, and over 75 million views in just the past 30 days
  • Behance now showcases more than 2 million creative projects – after passing our first 1 million project milestone just eight months ago
  • We’ve received thousands of testimonials from creatives being discovered (and getting jobs!) on Behance.
  • Visitors have appreciated projects over 22 million times, and Behance’s curation team reviews ~30,000 projects every week for consideration to be featured on Behance and our 15+ Curated Gallery Sites.
  • Users have created over 10,000 personal websites using ProSite, leveraging Behance’s massive reach alongside their personal brand

Given our rapid growth, it’s time for Behance to scale. We have an exciting product pipeline we want to make happen. So, for the first time, we debated the option of continuing to bootstrap vs. raising funds. Ultimately, the team wanted to kick things up a notch: We want the resources to do our life’s greatest work in serving the creative community.

We met with all sorts of investors, sharing our mission and the progress we’re making. Ultimately, it came down to finding partners who share our vision and values.

We’re thrilled to bring on Union Square Ventures as our lead (and first) investor in Behance. The USV team understands the role of the creative community in the world, and they have a tremendous history of advising network-based businesses, namely Etsy, Twitter, Foursquare, and Kickstarter among others. And USV’s culture aligns very well with our own.

We’re also thrilled to have a few other people we admire help fund Behance, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (via Bezos Expeditions, his personal investment fund), as well as Dave Morin, Yves Behar, Chris Dixon, Dave Tisch, Dave McClure (via 500Startups), Alexis Ohanian, and Garrett Camp. These thinkers and investors have a history of changing industries. It’s a dream team for us.

Quite simply, we want the wind at our backs as we tackle the biggest problems facing the creative industry.

The creative world needs better attribution for creative work to yield more opportunity. We need to combat spec contests, middlemen, and commoditized marketplaces with better ways to find top talent. We need to boost efficiency in showcasing creative work and collaborating across disciplines. …Lots to make happen!

No doubt, Behance is still in the first inning. Our team is more excited than ever before to listen, learn, and serve the creative community in meaningful ways.

Going forward, you can expect a faster, more effective Behance and an unwavering mission to help you get organized, take creative control and make ideas happen.

Much love and respect.

Scott & Behance Team
Alex K, Alex L, Alison, Bryan, Chris, Clément, Dan, Dave, Dmitry, Florian, Jackie, Jenn, Jess, Jocelyn, John, Malcolm, Matias, Matt, Mell, Nami, Nina, Oscar, Raewyn, Sarah, Scott, Will, Zach

PS: Join us on this journey! We’re building a world-class team that wants to serve the creative world in extraordinary ways. Here are a few positions we’re hiring now!

 

 

Explore great interface design at the Art of Apps Exhibition

 

 

 

 

“Creating an amazing user experience for an app — one where the device itself almost melts away — requires a thoughtfulness and cleverness that can be hard to find.”
- Peter Rojas, Creator of Engadget, Gizmodo & RDRD LBL

In celebration of Internet Week, The Art of Apps gallery, hosted by Peter Rojas, is opening to the public for one day. The exhibition aims to showcase the “greatest user interface designers of our time,” including Behance designs from our Chief Designer and Co-founder Matias Corea.

The show opens on Monday, May 14 at the Soho Gallery For Digital Art, 138 Sullivan St., New York, NY

RSVP and learn more about the other exhibitors on The Art of Apps site, produced by One Clipboard on Splash.

 

Creative Tools for Creative People: Action Books

Did you know that Behance actually began with paper products? Back in 2006, when our small team was imagining ways to help organize the creative world, we knew that we needed to start with ourselves. So, before launching the Behance Network, Action Method or The 99%, we created a series of action-focused paper products – and, now we can’t imagine life without them! Here are a few snapshots from our design team’s idea-filled Action Books:


‘What is your next big idea?’ Matias Corea, Behance’s Chief of Design, brainstorms cards for Action Method cards in his Action Book.

Clement, Behance’s Senior Designer, sketches interface designs in his Action Book before they make it to the screen.

 

Israeli Design: Capital Holon

This is a guest post by Behance Curator Oscar Ramos who recently visited Holon, Israel to attend the iconic Design Week. Here’s what Oscar had to say about his experience and some of the great artists he met along the way:

Holon is 6 miles south of Tel Aviv with over 200,000 inhabitants and its mayor, Moti Sasson, was recognized as one of the top ten mayors in the world by Monocle Magazine. In the last few years, Sasson has introduced five new museums into Holon, including the Israeli Center of Digital Art, the Israeli Cartoon Museum, and the Design Museum Holon. Designed by Ron Arad, the facade of the Design Museum is formed with bands of Corten steel at different states of oxidation, creating a gradient of oranges that curve voluptuously to become the iconic building that hosted this year’s Design Week Holon.

The initiative, which focused on Israeli design, brought more than fifteen design week directors from all over the world to see the work of local creative professionals through exhibitions and one-on-one meetings. Designers Plus Ten, curated by Galit Gaon, presented 42 Israeli designers, each represented by one piece from the beginning of their career ten years ago and one from this past year.  One of the participants in the exhibition was Adital Ela  who teaches sustainable design in neighboring Holon Institute of Technology. Adital’s mentor, Daphna Yalon, have developed a compression process for earth and straw, based on ancient techniques and new study of materials. Adital introduced the Terra Stools, which are made in this manner.


Terra stools by Adital Ela.

Yael Friedman  makes wearable rings of dry vegetables or converts them into toys, in the form of  engineered puzzles.

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