Bigger isn’t necessarily better

Our second WPP Microfellow, Timi Merriman-Johnson writes a blog called Negative Buoyancy and swears he can't float. But he sure can write. See his thoughts below on his rotation at Digit last week. Timi tweets here -- NM

Social media has completely changed the way we understand certain words. Before 2006, the act of following a complete stranger would have been the prerogative of the criminally inclined. And writing on the walls of those we knew would’ve been a sure-fire way to lose friends, not gain them. Funnily enough, it has also changed the way we view relationships. Nowadays it’s quite common to come across a Facebook profile casually boasting an excess of 1,000 friends. A thousand?! I barely have five. Two years ago, evolutionary anthropologist Robin Dunbar claimed the human brain was only large enough to manage 150 meaningful relationships at a time. I’m more than inclined to agree with him, as over the course of my 22 years I have come to realise two important things:

Sometimes, less is more. And that bigger isn’t necessarily better.

These sentiments could not manifest themselves any better than the fluid, bustling machine that is Digit, London. Digit isn’t the largest design company in the world, neither does it rest atop the tallest of buildings, and yet that’s what makes it so great. With the exception of the meeting rooms (and the toilets) a conversation held at any point in the studio can be heard by the rest of the team. The faint buzz of the coffee machine frequently makes its way from the kitchenette, all the way to the strategy department. And the muted hum of music manages to permeate all four corners of the open plan workspace.This interconnectedness informs the way in which Digit works on their projects, the relationships the employees all have with one another, and the way they treat individuals who don’t actually work here. Simple. Human. Interaction.

Enter me. As an industry rookie, I had no idea what to expect when I turned up at Digit four days ago. But thankfully I can report that the folks here at Digit were genuinely kind. In my time here I’ve been given the opportunity to speak to members of the team about their respective roles in the company. I was sent on a field trip to Oxford Circus to conduct research on the in-store presence of four major clothing brands. And lastly, I was given a week long auditing task – an exciting opportunity to contribute to a live, on-going project. Everyone has treated me as if I work here, and not once have I been made to feel like ‘the work experience guy’.

Many thanks must be given to Nomfundo Msomi, my mentor, for looking after me this week. You are funny, efficient, considerate, brilliant. And a huge thanks to the rest of the Digit staff too. You did the unimaginable. You made the daily morning commute, pressed up against various members of the general public worth enduring. Thank you. Dear reader, in all seriousness though, I’ve had a great week and I’d love to come back, should the good people here be happy to have me again.

Digit: a design company with technology at its core, and an Xbox 360 in its communal area. This is a cool place to work.


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