Brit Morin: Inspiring Creativity with Great Content [Entire Talk] | Summary and Q&A

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November 20, 2015
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Stanford eCorner
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Brit Morin: Inspiring Creativity with Great Content [Entire Talk]

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Summary

This video is a talk given by Brit Morin, the founder of Brit + Co, about her journey to becoming an entrepreneur and the importance of creativity in society. She discusses her mission to inspire adults, particularly women, to embrace their creativity and how this led to the creation of her company. Morin shares her experiences and learnings from the first four years of running Brit + Co, including fundraising, team building, and the evolution of their products and services.

Questions & Answers

Q: How did Brit Morin start Brit + Co?

Brit Morin started Brit + Co as an experiment to address the belief that adults, especially adult women, don't think they are creative. She conducted a study comparing the creative abilities of five-year-olds and 25-year-olds and found a gap between the two groups. This led her to start Brit + Co with the mission of inspiring and teaching creativity to adults through content and products.

Q: How did Brit + Co evolve over the years?

In the first year, Brit + Co focused on creating content and building ancillary apps. However, they realized that their content was more popular than their apps, so they decided to shift their focus to growing as a media business. In the second year, they doubled in size and raised their seed round of funding. They also started exploring commerce and launched DIY kits as a subscription business. In the third year, they found product-market fit and tripled or quadrupled growth. They expanded their content, hired a sales team, and launched initiatives like Re:Make and a curated marketplace. In the fourth year, they further scaled their operations, raised $20 million in funding, and launched video content.

Q: How did Brit + Co navigate challenges and changes in company culture as it grew?

Brit + Co faced challenges in maintaining company culture as they scaled from a small team to a larger organization. They emphasized communication and focus to ensure everyone understood the why behind decisions and to combat cliques or passive-aggressive behavior. They also learned the importance of hiring expensive people who can do the job of two or more people.

Q: What are some trends and insights about creativity in mass culture?

Brit Morin identifies two trends in mass culture related to creativity. The first is the rise of mainstream creativity, as creativity becomes more popular and is seen as a way to relax and destress. The popularity of adult coloring books is an example of how creativity can have positive effects on mental well-being. The second trend is the growing focus on understanding how creativity impacts the brain. Research is being conducted to determine if creativity is a muscle that can be trained and strengthened over time.

Q: How has Brit + Co contributed to promoting creativity and connecting with its audience?

Brit + Co has contributed to promoting creativity by creating inspiring content, offering online classes, and curating a marketplace of products from makers and artisans. They have also used video to tell stories about art and creativity. They have connected with their audience through their mission of empowering and teaching creativity to adults, particularly through content that is relatable and accessible.

Q: What are some future plans for Brit + Co?

Brit + Co plans to continue scaling as a media business, focusing on video content, editorial content, and online education. They also aim to further develop their commerce and marketplace offerings. Additionally, they have launched the I Am Creative Foundation, which provides grants to women and girls for creative pursuits, and they are exploring collaborations with other organizations to promote creativity and the maker movement.

Q: How has being a woman in the tech industry affected Brit Morin's journey as an entrepreneur?

Brit Morin believes that being a woman in the tech industry can set you apart and bring unique perspectives and opportunities. It has allowed her to create a business primarily for women, who are the biggest consumers on the internet. She sees being a female entrepreneur as a way to stand out in a field dominated by men. She also mentions the challenges of pregnancy bias in the industry but emphasizes that it is conquerable.

Q: What role does creativity play in society according to Brit Morin?

Brit Morin believes that creativity is not limited to specific individuals but is a trait that everyone possesses and can tap into. She sees creativity as important for individuals' well-being and as a way to disconnect from technology and daily stress. She also highlights how creativity contributes to innovation and can have positive impacts on mental health, cognitive abilities, and self-esteem.

Q: How did Brit Morin's own experiences and childhood shape her journey as an entrepreneur?

Brit Morin's childhood experiences, such as being involved in Girl Scouts and taking art classes, fueled her passion for creating and making things. Her early career in technology and working with media companies also influenced her entrepreneurial journey. She saw the need for creativity in mainstream culture and the opportunities to bridge the gap between traditional media and digital platforms through personalized, relatable content.

Q: How did Brit Morin overcome challenges and setbacks in building Brit + Co?

Brit Morin emphasizes the importance of persistence and determination in overcoming challenges. She mentions the ups and downs of running a startup and how she learned to control her emotions and maintain focus. She also mentions learning from data and adapting their strategies based on what was working. Making tough decisions, such as firing an employee, was necessary for the growth and success of the company.

Q: What are some key learnings from Brit Morin's journey with Brit + Co?

Some key learnings from Brit Morin's journey include the importance of data-driven decision-making, the need to adapt execution tactics while staying true to the mission, the significance of hiring the right team members, and the ability to control and manage emotions as a leader. She also emphasizes the value of open communication, especially during periods of company growth, and the power of focus and specialization in driving success.

Takeaways

Brit + Co is a media company founded by Brit Morin with a mission to inspire and teach creativity to adults, particularly women. The company has grown from a one-person operation to a team of over 80 people, raising significant funding along the way. They have focused on creating content, online education, and commerce offerings to empower their audience to embrace their creative side. The importance of mainstream creativity and understanding the impact of creativity on the brain are trends that Brit + Co is observing and exploring. Brit Morin's journey as a female entrepreneur has allowed her to stand out in the tech industry and connect with a diverse audience. Challenges and setbacks have been overcome through persistence, data-driven decision-making, and maintaining focus. The key learnings from Brit Morin's journey include the significance of company culture, hiring the right team members, and effective communication. Overall, Brit + Co continues to scale and expand its offerings, while promoting creativity and making a difference in people's lives.

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