Yesterday I went to my first Betahaus breakfast and it was great! I was invited by the lovely Monika from Somewhere, to get to know the people behind the creative network I’ve been a part of for half a year now. At the Beta-Breakfast every Thursday start-ups are given the opportunity to show what they are working on and yesterday it was Somewheres turn – so today I’m taking a chance to introduce you to this amazing network as well.
Basically explained Somewhere is the LinkedIn or Xing everybody secretly dreams of. The Networks helps people show the world what they do and how they do it, without the boring form of a classic CV. It also allows creative people from all over the world to connect with each other to share ideas, inspiration and life-experiences. When it comes to applying for a job a CV is actually not appropriate anymore, because it only shows what you did – excluding all the important other things like projects, failure or things you just invest time in because they are meaningful to you. Somewhere gives you the freedom to show WHO you are without trying to constrain you in way a classic application form would do.
So how does it work? The whole network is based on the idea of creating ‘Sparks’ small 250 character long posts, with an added picture. Sparks allow you to tell the community about ideas, projects or things you like. To organize sparks Somewhere asks you questions - so called ‘Provocations’ - like ‘What was your best working experience? Or What is your favorite magazine?' if you answer those questions your sparks will be added to a bigger collection and you can check out all the cool stuff other users answered.
I was very interested in Somewhere because of my Generation Y research and also because I always wondered how the by Richard Florida developed idea of the Creative Class could actually manage to have a meaningful creative network and conversations to share their experiences internationally. Somewhere seems to be the place where Creativity gets the attention it also should get in 'real life' work applications.
Somewhere also pushes the idea, that a thing like ‘Work-Life-Balance’ is not important nowadays and doesn’t need to be discussed if you do what you love. This goes hand in hand with my follow-up Generation Y research (check out the video, if you speak german), which showed that ‘meaning’ and self-fulfillment are the most important things, when it comes to choosing a future job for generation Y members. What I enjoy the most about the network is that it allows you to show how much fun you have doing certain things. Where people would be thrown off, when I write in my CV that ‘music is the fuel that keeps me runnig’ it makes perfectly sense to add a spark about this on Somewhere, because this matters to me and constitutes me as a person as much as the projects I do.
Coming back to my research I go with the theory that we are in the age of collaboration and connection, and that great networks are very important, when it comes to success in the working place. A network like Somewhere can become especially important when someone is looking for a new team member. As Somewhere co-founder Justin McMurray stated it in his introduction at the Betahaus: “When you have a job or problem coming up, you want to know which person you would want to work with and you don’t want to start looking and searching for the one, because it might be already too late for that” This precise fact can be underlined by the weird happening that Caterina Fake – the co-founder of Flickr - was shown the job opportunity by LinkedIn to become senior product manager at Flickr. This act of craziness only shows that in the end it won’t be about algorythms finding a job for you – it will be about the person who remembers you because they saw a 'spark' or connected to the things you do.
What I like the most about Somewhere is that it allows you to get into a reflective mood thinking about the things you did and figuring out your strengths. I had so many great interactions by now - with people that I would have probably never met in real life, because they are so far away - that I’m very happy that I signed on. For me Somewhere is the big creative playground with cool people I’ve always dreamed about.
If you are as excited as I am right now hit me up and I'll invite you.