Zenjoyable Invades the Skillfeed/Shutterstock Headquarters!

Zenjoyable Invades the Skillfeed/Shutterstock Headquarters!

Chamira_Aneri_Skillfeed_Photo_2014

Over the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of watching my monthly income grow slowly but steadily on the online educational platform Skillfeed.com, where instructors can post their courses and get paid on a per-minute-watched basis. I mentioned this as part of my passive income strategy in Episode 26 of the Podcast, and even posted a screenshot of my earnings in the show notes. The progress has been quite encouraging, and the fact that Skillfeed is a division of Shutterstock gives it instant and well-deserved credibility, in my opinion.

I Couldn’t Resist

So when I began planning a business + play trip to New York this past September 2014, I couldn’t resist sending the Skillfeed crew an email kindly requesting if I could stop by their headquarters and say hello. Being of the naturally nosy sort, I couldn’t help myself. The worst they could say was no, right?

Not only did they say yes, but they set aside an hour and a half block for me.

The Trip

Fast forward a few friendly emails and a handful of weeks later, and I found myself standing at the grand doors of their building in bustling New York, New York. I like to think I strode through their front doors with an air of unmistakable dignity and grace, but it’s much more likely that I tripped over my own sneakers trying to figure out where I was supposed to be. The attendants could tell I was a lost soul; they graciously directed me to the front desk to check in, and then I was standing on an elevator heading almost two dozen floors skyward to the Shutterstock/Skillfeed offices, tightly clutching my pass and sweating bullets.

I soon found myself in an expansive, lively, ultra-modern space, with groups of people in deep discussion working in see-through offices and ergonomic work stations. Many of them were 20 and 30 somethings – like myself – and none of them had the grim countenances that so many office cubicle dwellers normally have. In fact, they looked pretty happy to be there. Imagine that.

The Shutterstock + Skillfeed Crew

Aneri Shah, the Community and Content Coordinator at Skillfeed, was my gracious host. Having communicated with her via Facebook group, email, and phone over past year, it was more like meeting up with a college friend than a stranger. Occasionally stopping to introduce me to her fellow creative cohorts (I was always introduced as “Chamira, one of our Skillfeed instructors” to which I often received the warm reply, “Oh! It’s always cool to meet you guys.”), she took me through a maze of offices and hallways and described their creative process. The countless vision boards that revealed their constant desire to make tweaks to the Skillfeed process and website were enthralling. And I was utterly fascinated, mouth ajar, when one of the Shutterstock programmers launched into a full blown discussion about a project he had been working on literally all night, clutching his marker and energetically scribbling on a giant board for my benefit. Another creative mind passed by and greeted us fresh from her company massage, and a few minutes later, Aneri gave me a quick peek into their expansive yoga room, where another coworker was languidly stretching on the floor. On the lower floor, there was an impressive breakfast bar. Munching on fresh strawberries, I peppered Aneri with questions about their process and workflow as we looked out over the lively streets of New York.

 

It struck me how much Skillfeed was constantly seeking to improve, revise, and refine their rapidly-growing platform.

 

Their Awesome Curiosity

In return, she asked me questions about my experience as an instructor on Skillfeed, and it struck me how much they were constantly seeking to improve, revise, and refine their rapidly-growing platform. And as we trailed what felt like miles and miles of white boards and printed screenshots covering the walls, I noticed some specific concepts that were taken directly from instructor feature requests from the Skillfeed instructor Facebook group. Of course, certain features take time to implement, but the fact that they were actively taking physical notes and attempting to work them into the platform spoke volumes to me. They actually took our instructor feedback to heart.

It was totally the right decision to stop by.

Final Thoughts

The meeting ended much too quickly. An hour and a half later, I found myself back on the street and stumbling towards a Starbucks, needing potent caffeine to process the events of that morning. All in all, I was quite impressed with their genuine desire for improvement to a platform that has already had an impressive start, as well as their welcoming, unpretentious attitude. It’s really a win-win situation; the more money we instructors make, the more money Skillfeed makes, and visa versa. The icing on the cake came a few days later in the form of a follow up email from Aneri actually summarizing my specific feedback requests, and their resulting plans to implement them. She had listened.

Having a distance online working relationship with a company is cool, but meeting them in person is another opportunity altogether. I encourage you to do it whenever humanly possible.

I look forward to what the next year brings for Skillfeed, as well as its instructors.

 

 

2 comments
PrateekSingh1
PrateekSingh1

Great Article. Feeling excited after reading your experience. Really thanks for this

Chamira
Chamira moderator

@PrateekSingh1 Glad you enjoyed it, Prateek! It's been amazing watching your progress on Skillfeed as well.