person holding clear light bulb

I made a post today at work.

On our internal “watercooler” P2.

I’m not sure anyone cares. But I had fun making it. That’s how you know it’s art that matters to you.

The only hashtag or tag, that I originally added was #human-written. A bit of a personal joke for myself as we evolve into a world of AI written text. How do we know what is actually human written?

I added a few comments. To my own post.

Like talking out loud? Or looking crazy. Maybe a bit of both.

This series of comments plays off a few themes within the company.

First, Matt (the CEO) often says, that we need to P2 things or it didn’t happen. Meaning post on an internal “blog,” a P2. Otherwise it will get lost forever in the annals (interesting to me that I just noticed that word has my name it, could be fun for an archive of anna site. the – I’d have to see if I could register a domain that ends in ls) of slack, verbal zoom communication, or a multitude of other ways. P2 or it didn’t happen, aka, document your work.

Second comment on my own post, HEs become Human Engineers. What does it mean to be an HE now? Happiness Engineer? I’m not sure it’s always changing. Much like humans.

Third, contains a line from our creed. One of my favorites, but it’s almost like children, I’m not sure I can really choose a favorite, I love them all differently. I know that Open Source is one of the most powerful ideas of our generation. And the tag #open-source-ideas. What if we “open sourced” our ideas. Instead of holding onto something, patenting something, or believing that we’ll become millionaires off our ideas. What if we just shared our ideas because it might lead to something amazing. Open source ideas.

This series of comments, starts with a link to a P2 post a coworker made where they were trying to create a space where Automatticians can share stories and experiences that exemplify the values of the creed. I was kinda sad that more people didn’t participate. Maybe it’s a bit of an effort on my part to draw some attention to their post. And what if we “open sourced” our connections, shared with each other willingly.

Second in this picture, a quote from an old post from Matt, on his blog in 2010. Where he said, “If you’re not embarrassed when you shipped your first version, you waited too long.” I deliberately inserted an error on the first your in the comment, hoping to draw someone into correcting me. Hoping to start some conversation. And I included a widow. A word that hangs out on a line by itself and looks terrible. Something that Matt recently gave a not-so-flash talk about. (Flash talks being 4 minutes or less, a tradition at the company, but Matt’s talk was 10 minutes or so. It’s good to be the king. Lul.)

Then I thought, there are a few phrases that could become tags that might work on this post.#written-word-art-projects #code-is-poetry #language-is-code.

Then I thought, I wonder what secret languages, i.e. codes, other Automatticians speak. I may have practiced many languages over the years, but I really speak very few. But I can speak with some individuals better than others. Is that a different kind of language?

Next, it’s been a while since I worked on #sustainability projects at work, but visiting the P2 for it, led to a post where a fellow employee was lamenting that we aren’t doing enough as a company. I agree. Perhaps my crosslink will draw more attention. One could hope. And maybe a little humor (the conversations will perhaps happen around the cooler, come on!)

Next, I share some personal projects. Something I almost never do. Because I find it rather embarrassing sometimes. But I linked to this blog (, IntelliSynth (an experiment of a website where I poke at science with ChatGPT), MournQuill (where I think perhaps my future lies), and Woodland Warmth Northwest (a business experiment, thinking about how I would use a website to help a small local business).

And I mention that I don’t make any money of these ideas (because I wouldn’t want them to be a conflict of interest at work) and I lead into another important bit from the creed for me. I will never stop learning. I won’t just work on things that are assigned to me. I know there’s no such thing as a status quo.

And I ask another question. What are you learning?

And #my-creed-is-curiosity

Then, back to the business at hand. What would it look like, if we (Automattic or a8c as we call it internally), changed how we market to individuals. I’ve been hooked on this idea of experiential art, and came across a P2 (now retired at work) about experiential marketing. And now I want to make a team that focuses on that. What would that look like?

And a thought, after I explored what it means to influence. What would it mean to unfluence? And is our target user, the unfluencer? Just working because they enjoy the work?

I have no idea what might come of this post. It’s kinda like sending a prayer out to the world. Who knows where it will go, or what impact it might have.

And I am more motivated by impact than money.

One response to “Innovating in the Open: The Art of Not Being Afraid to Look Stupid”

  1. […] My art project at work, led to an interesting conversation with a coworker about that idea. […]

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