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Bugs and Blogging – Ryan’s First Week at 9 Clouds

This is a filbert weevil. We aren't sure what that is, but we're certain Molly loves it.

I had been warned, but it still caught me by surprise.

“WOOODYY!!!”

I walked out of a 9 Clouds meeting held in the Lemonly conference room and was greeted by a chorus of graphic designers shouting my nickname in unison. It seems the Lemonly crew had been planning this ambush for a few days. Fellow 9 Clouds employee Sarah Carnes told me it was coming. She was looking out for my best interests. Lemonly was looking for the element of surprise.

They got it, because I still jumped. After the laughter died down, I thanked the crew for their warm welcome. It was representative of my first week of employment at 9 Clouds, which is to say that it has been welcoming.

Feeling ‘At Home’

Thanks to my new co-workers, I quickly felt at home in the 9 Clouds office, which is just down the hall from Lemonly. I learned about the staff, which includes one fellow SDSU graduate and Jackrabbit fan, John, three Chevy Impala-driving Sara(h)s (two with an “h,” one without), and one Molly, a graphic design expert and USD grad who wouldn’t hurt a fly – literally. Birds, cats, dogs, ants, gnats, centipedes, millipedes, preying mantis(es?) – you name a creature in the animal kingdom and Molly loves it. In fact, I am under strict orders to hand over any insect who may find his or her way onto 9 Clouds property to Molly so she can gently escort the trespasser out the door and back into the wild.

This is a filbert weevil. We aren't sure what that is, but we're certain Molly loves it.

This is a filbert weevil. We aren’t sure what that is, but we’re certain Molly loves it.

These things are good to know, as are the many technological skills I’ve picked up during my first week on the job. From learning new programs – “Slack” may not sound like something that promotes efficiency but is in fact a robust and powerful piece of software – to meeting great people and discovering work processes and techniques, it has been a fun-filled and educational week.

I enjoyed a “welcome lunch” on Monday and spent the week learning what makes 9 Clouds tick. The research portion of my training included blog posts and podcasts from inspirational folks such as travel blogger Chris Guillebeau and author/entrepreneur Seth Godin, who referenced Greek legend Icarus in an especially poignant podcast interview.

The Tale of Icarus

Per the legend, Icarus received a strict warning from his father, Daedalus, as the two used makeshift wings for an escape flight from a prison. Daedalus instructed Icarus to avoid flying near the sun, as the heat would melt the wax holding his wings in place and send him tumbling into the sea. He also told his son not to fly too low, because the sea’s moisture would dampen Icarus’ wings and weigh him down.

Although the commonly recognized morale of that story is that headstrong Icarus soars too close to the sun and plunges to his death, Godin says we can learn from the danger Icarus avoided as we discover ways to take advantage of the ever-evolving technology that surrounds us. “I think we are flying too low,” he says.

His metaphor was appropriate for my first week at 9 Clouds. It applies to our work. We help businesses reach their full potential. We encourage them to reach for the sky, and to not be satisfied with age-old business practices.

I’m excited to join those efforts.

And I’ll be sure not to step on any bugs, Molly. Our office is on the fourth floor of a tall building, and I would rather not meet a fate similar to that of poor Icarus.

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