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Superhero Company Culture & the Meaning of Life

Superhero boy

Superhero Company Culture & the Meaning of Life

During our PixelRockstar Wapuu Love Parade at WCEU Vienna this year, we had the opportunity to meet Topher DeRosia. Topher is a WordPress superhero and publisher of HeroPress.

As I often do when I meet new people, I checked his blog. Two of Topher’s articles, one that explained the evolution of a superhero and another that detailed the meaning of a superhero culture, motivated me to share with you my own thoughts on this fascinating subject of super human powers in life and in business, in connection with our goal to become a mobile, global and transparent team, just like codeinwp and other Rockstars are doing.

The Superhero Story

When I was a child I was fascinated with superheroes. I would spend a lot of my time reading comic books – Asterix and Obelix, as well as all the American superheroes, were my favourite – and I really loved watching superhero movies.

Back in the early 80s renting VHS and Betamax tapes was a usual practice, and my dad used to rent movies for us. Every other weekend my dad would take us to the supermarket to do our grocery shopping, and on our way back we would always stop at the video rental store to pick up a cartoon movie for my sister and myself. One of those days I noticed a great movie at the store: Spiderman, from 1977. 

Those who lived those times will remember, but for those of you who didn’t: when the cardboard box of the movie at the shelf was empty, that meant the movie was already rented. Ever since I discovered it, I was regularly checking that movie to see if it was available, but I would find the box empty every time.

One weekend after I found the box empty again, I went to the counter with my dad so he could take out his picks. As I was approaching. the lady behind the counter said to me: “Hey, I have something for you. I noticed you’ve been checking the Spiderman movie box for weeks. It was always empty, right? But since the last rental I kept it her for you.”

Needless to say, that day I had a great time enjoying the Spiderman film I had been wanting to watch for so long. The counter lady made me incredibly happy in a moment, with just one simple act of kindness.

This all happened a while ago, when I was a kid, but I haven’t forgotten. What was maybe just a small gesture to a little boy, became a vivid memory until today.

As I grew older I thought a lot about superheroes, and what it means for a person to have superpowers. Over time, I realised superheroes are just overhyped humans. All humans already have superpowers, but often times they are unaware of having them, and so their superpowers cannot shine.

That woman at the video rental store had a superpower, and she used it that day: the power of empathy with a child’s feelings, and the capacity of doing something with it. Her action brought me joy that day, and created a memory that accompanied me in my adulthood.

Superpowers come in all shapes and forms. Your endless love for your children is one superpower for sure. The capacity to build lasting friendship, or to see and sense things before most people do, or even the ability to be amazing at video games. Everybody has their own superpowers, they just need to be aware of them.

And the most interesting thing about superpowers is that they often shine the most when you combine them, when different people team up and put their powers together.

Super+heroes at PixelRockstar

At PixelRockstar I feel privileged to work with some awesome super+heroes. Co-founders Amos and Vita each have very different superpowers.

Amos is incredibly multi-talented for all things media and online marketing. He knows how to prepare, shoot and edit awesome videos. Communicates with people from all around the world with ease. And he has an incredible work ethic, drive and motivation.

Vita just joined us and already empowers our visual perception on all fronts from the website all the way to every aspect of the PixelRockstar plugin. Vita is always in a good and balanced mood and knows how to keep things structured. He’s able to get things done in a timely manner even after working 16 hours a day. You should check Vita’s travel notes, when driving around Europe in a caravan.

And our technical lead, keeps the whole show running with perfect code that will work in most situations. He has exceptional capacity to transform functional needs into code with superspeed and outstanding response times.

Finally, myself, Alex. My superpower is what some people call strategy & planning, or business development: I am good at supporting the team in thinking through what we want to do, when we want to do it, and in which order we should do it.

How to make a superhero team work

Getting a team of superheroes to work together is the biggest challenge of any organisation. And it all starts with communication.

One of the most important reasons why organisations fail is because of bad communication.

In Business School they used to tell us that to be successful in your job you need to know yourself. Simply as that, no further explanation. As a young student I remember thinking to myself: “Yes, sure , I know myself alright.” But with time I realised that wasn’t really so. In fact, I realised that most people don’t know themselves really well.

The challenge to get people to work together well is that each of them should aim to know themselves. That knowledge usually leads to better communication within the team, which often time translates in to a better survival rate for any organization 🙂

How to know yourself?

What does it mean to know yourself? It’s a difficult question, but for me, I think it means to know your true self in deep, and to behave and act according to that true self’s needs.

So that is one possible way of what you need to do to reach the full potential of your superpowers. When you don’t know your true self and you’re not acting according to it, it can hinder you in exploring and enjoying your abilities and skills. And so, your superpowers stay undiscovered, unused or underused.

My own path to get closer to my true self has taken me to discover Yoga and Mindfulness (a combination of Yoga and Meditation). I was motivated to explore these disciplines by people like Naval Ravikant, Loic LeMeure or the Buffer Team, and other people from Silicon Valley and the startup world, whom I heard talking about the power of medidation for years. After abandoning Yoga many years ago, I have now rediscovered it with a wonderful teacher, who motivated me to connect with the spiritual aspects of life again.

But this is just my personal experience. There are many different ways to follow to find your true self. You just have to find your own path.

While this might seem unrelated to building a successful superheroes team, it’s actually very important. Your true self is the basis of how your brain shapes your life. By knowing it you can be more balanced and have more energy. You can have more empathy to listen, help and enjoy interacting with people. It’s a state of mind that will enrich your life in ways money and material joys could never reach.

For me, PixelRockstar is an expression of that desire to explore the true self and acting accordingly. I think we have the luck of having created a great team of people that wants to work together in the long run. It is a privilege for me to work with all of them in this adventure.

Now back to you. Are you ready to use your superpowers?

Alex Preukschat

A WordPress publisher since 2008, Alex loves the open source Internet. During his many years of publishing experience, he had been missing a tool to help online publishers to quickly add affordable images to WordPress, without having to worry about legal issues. This is why he decided to create PixelRockstar with Amos. Alex is interested in superheroes, monetary policy and Bitcoin.

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