When people ask me for the one thing they can do to increase their creative capacity, I always tell them to find a creative friend. Being around—and learning from—creative people is the single most important thing you can do to quickly raise your own creative capacities. This is what Marissa Mayer is doing at Yahoo by buying Tumblr. She is bringing 26-year old Tumblr founder David Karp into Yahoo culture, as well as Tumblr’s great young Gen Y staff of social media experts.
Mayer is also buying the NYC innovation magic. There is something great going on in the New York startup scene that is different from the West Coast. Technology continues to dominate the California scene, but culture plays the biggest role in New York. New York focuses on what is meaningful to people, then goes out and finds the technology. It’s about emotion, engagement, connection, happiness. Not geeky technology. Tumblr gets that. It’s in Tumblr’s own culture.
Tumblr also has something else that Mayer should embrace—a new kind of health care system for its employees. Sherpaa was developed by Dr. Jay Parkinson. General Assembly is using it too. https://sherpaa.com
Mayer can use Yahoo’s enormous platform to scale Tumblr. But that’s the easy part. Absorbing its creative culture, giving power to it creative founders are more important. Mayer just went out and found a new creative friend. Now she has to learn to play with him.