Sometimes, spaces look playful... but you can't actually play in them. image: reddit
Don't get me wrong. I love ball pits as much as the next guy. I spent pretty much every afternoon of my childhood at Chuck E. Cheese (and, unlike kids today, I actually got to run around and play by myself while the parents drank pitchers of beer). I'm all about play, and I'm stoked that so many Silicon Valley startups want ball pits.
But here's the thing: many designers and office managers think their job is complete once they've got that ball pit installed.
Creating a playful office space requires more than that.
Privilege is real. When I first graduated from college, I was definitely not in a position to "start my own thing." I had few savings, I lived in an expensive area, and I needed a job that would pay me now. I couldn't afford to "start something" that would probably fail, and definitely not be profitable for at least few months.
So I took a job at a startup. It was a daily deal site, like Groupon. And, like Groupon, it spent a lot on advertising. My daily ad spend was $13,000 -- and I didn't even know enough to know that was absurd.
By the time that company ran out of runway, I had enough savings that I finally was in a position to "start my own thing" -- and it's been awesome!
There is a lot of fear surrounding GMOs, or genetically modified organisms. Understandably so -- new technologies are always scary. They always require rigorous testing to prove their safety and efficacy. But there's a difference between healthy skepticism (which is a good thing) and flat-out rejection of scientific facts (which is a terrible thing).
It doesn't help that many so-called "scientists," like Nassim Nicholas Taleb (who is actually a statistician, not a biologist), as well as celebrities, like Gwyneth Paltrow (who have no background in science or statistics), passionately spread misinformation, falsehoods, and half-truthes in order to scare others into their way of thinking.
In many ways, Palo Alto, CA, is a paradise. This wealthy Silicon Valley town is built on the backs of tech companies like Google, Facebook, Palantir, and countless others. But with the explosive growth of these companies have come some serious problems.
Housing is unaffordable to all but a few. Traffic is horrific. And many people get terrible cell coverage, because Palo Alto lacks the infrastructure to sustain its population.
The FDA approved a new (and unusual) weight-loss device this week. AspireAssist is an external pump that empties up to a third of stomach contents into the toilet.
By now, I'm sure we've all heard of gamification -- a strategy that employs game-like elements in non-game contexts to improve employee, student or even just life engagement.
As someone who has studied and blogged about playfulness for years, I want to be on-board with the gamification movement. The problem is... a lot of managers are doing it totally wrong.
I recently wrote that one great goal for creative types (and aren’t we all creative types?) is to follow the 80-20 rule: consume 80% of the time, and create the other 20%.
This is important for two reasons:
The Stanford Marching Band once scattered from POTATO to NOTATO during their infamous field show, "These Irish, Why Must They Fight?" at the University of Notre Dame. The joke, while hilarious, did not go over well.
Turns out the potato famine was devastating and killed millions of people.
The good news is! Scientists are working on a modified potato that is resistant to late blight (the cause of the famine), so nothing like that will ever happen again.
Anyone who's been to Disneyland -- or even just a local playground or grocery store -- has probably seen a young girl in a Disney Princess costume. I remember girls playing dress-up when I was young... but I don't remember owning an official princess dress. I started wondering when this trend started... and whether it's really a good idea for parents to dress their daughters up like princesses as daywear.
My research got interesting pretty quickly. Here are some of the facts that surprised me most:
I've written several times about how much fun it is to travel alone (see also: Advantages of Traveling While Female; 8 Super Awesome Ways to Make More Friends While You Travel; and Feeling Alone? The Solution May be to Travel... Alone). But after several years of dating the best travel companion EVER, I spent very little time traveling alone... and I began to wonder, Do I still feel that way?
Well. Here's where I am, RIGHT now, as I write this post:
Traveling. Sola. In Costa Rica (and possibly Nicaragua and/or Panama, eventually).
And I absolutely still love traveling alone. (Even though, technically, I've spent very little time actually being alone.)
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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