A DROPBOX MAGAZINE
Lessons from Leaders
is the 4-star key for
Chef Eric Ripert
Daniel Pink tell us
why when matters
Going higher with
Declining meetings, talking hoops, taking it
to the streets and Oscar on a budget. Did
you miss anything?
When Michael Bierut talks... well you get
the picture (he talked, we listened).
GET MORE DONE
Packing extra punch into your day
BY WAY OF JERSEY
Jersey girl UNIIQU3 takes her music and
style around the world. And the world likes
Timing is everything in comedy...and Daniel
Pink's latest best-seller
An exciting new voice on the club scene,
Swedish DJ/Producer TOXE is breaking out.
AFTER THE YELLING
Chef Eric Ripert stopped yelling - and that's
when things got interesting
CAN'T KEEP HER DOWN
Sasha DiGiulian keeps going higher and
higher, no matter what gets in her way.
THE FUTURE IS SORT OF SCARY
At least the one Paul Lambert and his team
take us to in their Oscar-winning work on
Blade Runner 2049
...AND ALL THAT JAZZ
Create, collaborate and blow people away
with the result. Meet Esperanza Spalding.
SHATTERING THE CEILING
Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon’s is giving girls a big
hammer and helping them swing away.
02 FLOW AUGUST 2018
Take your teamwork to the next level.
Dropbox Business helps your company
grow without limits.
Try free for 30 days
04 FLOW AUGUST 2018
in case you
missed it ...
WALKING THE TIGHTROPE
FIVE ON FIVE
There’s a steady stream of engaging
content flowing on the Dropbox Blog,
from compelling interviews to daily
optimization tips, to thought provoking
pieces on globally relevant topics.
In case you missed it, here are five
blog posts we particularly enjoyed.
“I think I can be a great mom and a great CEO, just not at the
same time…That’s just the superwoman myth… if we try to
follow (that), we’re going to burn ourselves out.”
Moms and daughters come together in a super-cool event,
Daughters of the Evolution, to share stories and discuss
how they approach the challenge of "work-life" balance.
Read more: Top tech women and their daughters discuss
balancing family and success »
“Something I think creatives do best is how we tackle
Combine innovative artists, activism, a space, the tools and
nine-hours...what do you get. Jessica English takes us from
start to finish.
Read more: Going behind the collaborative process: 3 murals
come to life at SXSW in Austin, Texas »
“We went through this together, and now, I can trust you with
anything because we journeyed and grew together as partners.”
LESS IS MORE?
James Laxton, the cinematographer from Moonlight, last
year’s Best Picture winner talks to Alice Tynan about
winning, creativity and the benefit of low-budgets.
“If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human
race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential,
that word would be meetings.” - Dave Barry
Picking up on a Salon.com study in which 47% of
respondents highlighted too many meetings as their
biggest time suck at work, Sage Cohen went about testing
the theory - by declining every meeting request for an
entire week. How did it turn out?
Read more: Think More and Embrace Mistakes »
Read more: 8 gains from a week without meetings »
“One of my favorite things about my job is I have new things to
work on every day.”
A few weeks before the Golden State Warriors and their fans
celebrated their third NBA Championship in four years, Ben
Taylor caught up with Warriors' assistant general manager
Kirk Lacob for a look behind the scenes of one of sport's
most successful organizations.
Read more: The Team Behind the Team »
SIX ON SIX
“SIX ON SIX”
06 FLOW AUGUST 2018
“SIX ON SIX”
Time is on my side...
As performed by Mick Jagger
of the Rolling Stones yes it is.
Well Mick, that really all depends.
Turns out, the timing of virtually
everything can be either on your side, or
working against you.
Whether it’s booking a doctor’s
appointment, writing a blog piece,
working out, taking the SATs, asking
for a raise or scheduling a meeting -
the “when” needs to be considered
when planning the “what”.
How do I know this? Because
Daniel Pink told me. Read his new
book “When: The Scientific Secrets of
Perfect Timing” and get ready.
You know those books that have
great advice on every page, but
somehow never get applied in your
everyday life? This isn’t one of them.
Apply you will. Don’t let the ton of
deeply researched material scare you
off, because in this case “deeply
researched” doesn’t mean boring.
The Daniel Pink magic that made his
previous best-sellers so approachable
and provocative is ever-present here.
We caught up with Daniel to ask a few
questions about the When of timing
and why we should care.
08 FLOW AUGUST 2018
Q: About 30 pages into When, a mounting sense
of lost opportunity waved over me as I realized
I've been doing it wrong all these years (damn
you, late afternoon meetings with Finance!).
This may well be one of the best books on
optimization I've read in years (and I've read a
lot of them). There are practical, executable
With that in mind, how has your work routine
changed post-research compared to
pre-research for the book, if at all?
Daniel: It’s changed may own routines in several
ways. Let me offer two.
First, once I began understanding the research
on peaks, troughs, and recoveries, I reorganized
my day. Since I’m a more of a lark than an owl,
my peak is the morning. That’s when I’m best
doing analytic work - like conjuring words and
trying to make them march in formation. So
early in the writing of the book, I took a new
approach. Every morning, I came into my office
- the garage behind my house - around 830. I
gave myself a word count - usually around 700
or 800 words. And I didn't do anything else until
I wrote the required number of words. No
checking email. No watching sports highlights.
Nothing. I didn’t even bring my phone into the
office. By doing that every day - 700 words
today, 800 words the next
day, another 800 the day after
that - the pages begin piling
up. And, believe it or not, this
book on timing was the first
book I ever delivered on time!
Second, I’ve become more
systematic about taking
breaks. Each day, on my list of
ngs to do, I try to schedule at
least one afternoon break. And
those breaks almost always
abide by the design principles
that science tells us make
breaks most effective -
moving, outside, social, and
fully detached. So in the
afternoon, you might see me
walking around my neighborhood - often with
my wife, but never with my phone. I used to
think that amateurs take breaks and
professionals don’t. Now I understand that the
truth is the opposite: Professionals take breaks.
It’s the amateurs who ignore breaks.
DQ: aniel, as I mentioned, this book has
optimization tips throughout. If you and I had
the opportunity to walk the National Mall for
30 minutes chatting about When and its
relationship to the collaborative process,
what's one actionable tip I would take away?
Daniel: I’d ask us to spend 15 of those minutes
talking not about how to collaborate more
effectively and instead talking about why we’re
collaborating in the first place. What are we
trying to accomplish? Why are we doing this in
the first place? What’s the point of the exercise?
Then I’d schedule a separate time for a
pre-mortem. In this technique, created by
psychologist Gary Klein, we look out, say, one
year from now and imagine that our shared
project is a bust. Then we try to figure out what
went wrong. And then, returning to the present
day, we set up ways to avoid those pitfalls. I’d
much rather make mistakes in my head in
advance than in real time on a real project.
Q: When has received a lot of press and reviews
since it came out and landed on the best-seller
list. Is there anything in the book that you
thought would receive more attention, but
Daniel: I thought the material on choral singing
- the fact that it’s basically as good for us as
physical exercise - would have gotten more
attention. That said, there’s still, er, time!
Looking for more from Daniel? Check out his
fantastic Ted Talk on motivation below or visit
DanPink.com to connect with him on social media
and read more about When and his five other books,
including other New York Times bestsellers A Whole
New Mind, Drive and To Sell is Human.
in the kitchen
with Chef Eric Ripert
My Dad held up his glass to mine and proclaimed
“to easily one of the best meals I’ve ever had”.
Perhaps predictable when dining at Le Bernardin, the revered
Michelin three-star restaurant in New York, but to this day that
experience (a treat from my Dad on our first trip to New York back
in 2014) stands out as a truly memorable culinary event for both
The evening was a study in collaboration and creativity.
From the first step in the door the team produced a
seamless flow of exceptional hospitality, ambience,
service and food.
As the chef and co-owner of Le Bernardin, Eric Ripert’s
part in this orchestra of teamwork is not insignificant.
We caught up with Chef Ripert to talk creativity,
collaboration and a surprising new option that
needed both to make the menu.
Q: Chef Ripert, can you talk the collaborative
process at Le Bernardin? And the evolution, if
any, in how you approach collaborating today
vs. when you first began your career?
Chef: Teamwork at Le Bernardin is everything.
Whether creatively collaborating on a new
dish or ensuring an evening in the dining
room runs smoothly, our employees are our
family and must all work together with
respect and harmony. We have an
unbelievably loyal team - many of the
members have been with us for more than
20 years! We have a warm relationship and
overwhelming dedication that makes it
easy for them to understand and share our
vision with every guest who joins us at Le
10 FLOW AUGUST 2018
Previously, I used to be a very authoritative
chef. I would yell at my cooks and had very
little tolerance and patience. It was the style
of management that I learned from other
chefs during my early years of training.
Around 2000, I started to contemplate the
kitchen’s atmosphere; we were losing a lot
of employees and I was confused. I decide to
re-evaluate the way I manage people
and I realized something in
myself - I couldn’t be
happy if I was
angry; those emotions
can’t coexist. Now, we
don’t yell at Le Bernardin,
there is no drama. Today
we have arrived at a certain
level of management where
the team is happy to work
together, and even during
our busiest times, we have
a peaceful environment.
Q: Le Bernardin recently
introduced a vegetarian
tasting menu option. Can
you take us through the
creative process you and your team went through as
you designed this new option.
Chef: In January of 2018, for the first time ever, Le
Bernardin created a Vegetarian Tasting Menu. The goal
of this menu is to highlight vegetables in the same
focused and dedica ted way that we’ve always treated
fish – to simply elevate the quality and freshness of
each ingredient. The creative process is not something
you can control and you never know when inspiration
To develop this menu, as with any of our other dishes,
we rely on teamwork and collaboration. What I ask my
sous chefs, and also impose on myself, is to take notes
whenever they have an idea. I write it down on
whatever piece of paper I have nearby. Eventually, I
bring all of the papers together; I carve out a spot
conducive to creativity – calm, quiet, clutter-free.
Sometimes, an idea sounds really good and we’re
excited to pursue it, but when we try it, we realize it’s
not at all what we expected. We don’t rush ourselves.
We work on new dishes and sometimes we get lucky
and it only takes us a few days to master them, and
other times it takes months.
A best-selling author, TV host and regular guest on a variety
of food-focused programs, Eric Ripert has built a reputation
as one of the world’s preeminent chefs. His flagship
restaurant, Le Bernardin is consistently ranked amongst the
best dining establishments in the world.
Keep up with Eric on Twitter (Eric Ripert) and Le Bernardin
Sasha DiGiulian talks
As she summits a towering 2,300-foot granite dome
in Madagascar, Sasha DiGiulian books another in a
list of impressive “firsts”, this one the first
female ascent of Mora Mora, ranked as one of
the most difficult climbing routes in the world.
I knew who Sarah was before Mora Mora, but
reading about that climb dialed me in. I had
a chance to connect with this top
American climber to talk collaboration,
creativity and inspiration.
12 FLOW AUGUST 2018
Q: Sasha, what does collaboration look like when
prepping for a climb? And what does it look like when
you're on the climb?
Sasha: While climbing is an intrinsically individual
sport, more often than not it is not possible without
a climbing partner. I have a really special
relationship with each climbing partner that I
have because there is a lot of trust built into
Currently, my climbing partner (Edu
Marin) and I are prepping for a
two-month long trip in the Canadian
Rockies around the Banff region. We
have three big walls of the most
challenging technical faces that we
want to complete, each in one day. In
order to prepare for this project we have
been mapping out the gear that we
need; from ropes, to trad and sport
gear, to the on-the-wall sleeping
Q: What role does creativity play
when you're on a climb?
Watch Sasha completing the first female ascent of
American Hustle in Oliana, Spain
A Columbia University grad, when Sasha’s not ascending a
grade 9a, 5.14d (as the first North American woman to climb
what is recognized as one of the hardest sport climbs
achieved by a female), she gives her time to organizations
that inspire the pursuit and access to sports, and female
empowerment. She is on the Board of the Women's Sports
Foundation and serves as a Global Athlete Ambassador for
Right to Play, Up2Us Sports, and the American Alpine Club.
Check out what’s she up to today - Sasha D iGiulian
Sasha: Climbing is all about solving a
gigantic jigsaw puzzle; putting
individual pieces of the puzzle together
in order to “send” or “summit” the
climb. The creative process mainly
happens during the climb - there is an
element of visualization and
thoughtfulness that happens beforehand
but a lot of the creativity is packaged
within the flow experience of climbing.
Q: What inspired you to start climbing and
what's inspired you to keep climbing?
Sasha: I started climbing when I saw six; I
loved the fact that I was in control of how I
moved up the wall.
Climbing is this input-output formula; what you
put into it is what you get out of it. This varies at
times - the effort that I put towards training,
exploration, and big projects, but what has
remained constant is my passion for it. I love how
climbing has taken me around the world, given me a
lens to experience remote corners and interact with
I love the process of not knowing I am capable of doing
something, physically, then revealing to myself what I
am capable of when I figure out the mental side. There
are many aspects of climbing that I love; the sheer
physical experience, the mental puzzle-solving, and
“THE FUTURE IS KIND OF SCARY”
14 FLOW AUGUST 2018
“THE FUTURE IS KIND OF SCARY”
“ALL THAT JAZZ”
16 FLOW AUGUST 2018
“ALL THAT JAZZ”
in social enterprise
Three numbers that help paint the picture of Dr Anne-Marie
Imafidon’s journey thus far. You don’t have to talk very long with
anyone who knows Anne-Marie before you’re very likely to hear the
terms inspirational, tireless, ambitious and prodigy.
3 of 70. The number of girls in Anne-Marie’s class at university.
20. Anne-Marie’s age when she graduated from Oxford University
with a Master’s in Computer Science.
38,500. The number of young women who have been
inspired into Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
careers through the STEMettes program co-founded by
Anne-Marie envisions a science and tech
community where women are equal
contributors at every level, from the
engineering department to being
founders and funders...and every day
she focuses on making this a reality.
We caught up with her to talk
STEMettes, soft skills and 2028
Q: Anne-Marie, when working
with young women interested in
STEM and entrepreneurship, obviously
there's a healthy focus on core skills, but
can you talk a bit about the conversations
you're having around creativity and STEM?
Anne-Marie: The conversations are intertwined. To be great in
STEM you need to be in tune with the arts. We talk about the fact
that you are more likely to win a Nobel Prize in Science if you’ve
engaged with the creative arts as part of your upbringing. If you are
able to explore that creative side it makes you a better scientist and
a better technologist.
STEM is creative. It is about problem-solving. Entrepreneurship is
about creating new things and making them happen, so there is a lot
of talk about that and how you use creative skills to then make that a
18 FLOW AUGUST 2018
a reality if you had the idea.
For us, we find it liberating to allow the girls to explore
when we give them tasks, it’s always done to a theme,
so that is how we explore with young women, even if
they are not interested in STEM.
Q: We're currently seeing an explosion in the ability
for people to collaborate. This is due to many factors,
but amongst them is a new generation mobile
devices, apps, cloud-based applications, and the
increasing availability of inexpensive internet access.
As someone who is focused on ensuring females will
be at the forefront of tech's evolution, how do you see
this trend impacting the young women you work with?
Anne-Marie: In terms of the increase in being able to
collaborate across different places, what we are seeing
is that it is allowing people from different places to
But also for the young women, it’s
meaning that when they start
working there is going to be a
better environment, an
environment that’s more likely
to be empowering for them
and allow them to flourish.
Because it’s using more of
an altruistic, more
collaborative side to get
things done in a way that
allows them to be more
successful than people that
do not take advantage of that
collaboration - of that
teamwork - and of using those
devices and of that community
building effectively to make
things happen, to make change
and to grow whatever it is that
they are doing or building.
You are seeing this a lot with this generation. Young
women are doing very well in a space that is
completely new where you are seeing that less from the
kind of traditional groups who are used to hierarchies
and closed types of working.
Q: Anne-Marie, for 14 and 15-year old STEMettes,
what does the tech sector look like for them in 2028?
Anne-Marie: My hope is that by 2028 those 14 and
15-year-olds will have more routes than ever, not only
to access tech, but to be drivers and creators in tech.
Also, there will have been a whole generation of digital
natives and they will be able to think through and even
anticipate more of the unintended consequences of our
relationships with tech than the current generations
have been able to.
There is a lot of chat about ethics, there is a lot of chat
about how the workplace is changing and I think by
then we are looking at more home and life and how we
interact with each other.
So thinking about 14 and 15-year-olds it won’t be
purely about profit.
It’s not that money will ever stop talking, but there will
be other facets alongside money that talk, which
means if we’re discussing privacy, security and
well-being, all of that will be baked into either
technologies that are taking off, or companies that are
As referenced above, Anne-Marie is one Oxford University’s
youngest graduates. After a career in finance she turned her
attention full-time to the STEMettes, a lauded and awardwinning
social enterprise. You can keep up with Anne-
Marie on Twitter and the STEMettes website.
founder and CEO of
STEMettes.org, speaking at
the CYBERUK 2018 security
conference in Manchester,
I’m sitting on a park bench on an
unseasonably warm fall afternoon,
with a book and an iced coffee.
The park? Central, around 68th on
the upper west side. The book? How
to use graphic design to sell things,
explain things, make things look better,
make people laugh, make people cry
and (every one in a while) change the
world... by Michael Bierut. The
coffee? Hazelnut, from Sensuous
Bean on 70th.
The symmetry of reading a Michael
Bierut book in New York City was not
lost on me. Well beyond their
physical address, Michael, and
Pentagram, the design studio he’s
called home for close to 30 years, are
part of the city’s esthetic, flow and
From guiding pedestrians via the
expansive wayfinding system,
signage and graphics for the New
York Times headquarters, Saks Fifth
Avenue bags, the Penn Station
Concourse graphics, the New York
Botanical Gardens logo, working with
the New York Jets and more – a walk
in the city is, in many ways, a walk
with an iconic studio and a graphic
We didn’t have a chance to go for a
walk, but we did connect with
Michael to talk design.
20 FLOW AUGUST 2018
Q: Michael, what's the collaborative process for you and
your team when you start working on a new project?
Michael: Every partner at Pentagram manages their own
small team, and I’ve noticed that every team approaches
collaboration a little differently. When I get a new
assignment, I usually bring in one of my designers to work
with me on it. That designer will take the lead on the
project management and ultimately has the responsibility
to see that it’s going to be done right.
Sometimes a project is complex and will require a bigger
team. For instance, if a project combines identity and
environmental graphics, I might bring in two designers,
one for each area. Other times one designer takes a lead
and others are pulled in, often to provide specialized
assistance for a specific part of the job. Because we all work
together in a big open plan office, people are making
connections informally on a continuous basis.
Q: To follow up on that, can you provide an example of an
ideal collaborative experience with a client?
Michael: Having a client participate in the creative process
is a way to increase the chances that they’ll understand,
and fully commit to, the final recommendation. Because so
much work depends on the quality of its ongoing
implementation - work that is often done in house, or by
other agencies - we invest a lot of time in making sure the
client sees the solution as something they can take full
possession of. That said, our clients seldom expect to be
“co-designing” with us: they come to Pentagram because
they respect our expertise and look to us for leadership.
In my experience the key is to avoid “presentation mode”
- those sessions when salesmanship overtakes empathy -
and keep actively listening through the whole process.
Q: How has your creative process evolved over the years
when working on identity design projects?
Michael: Although the technological context of brand
identity has changed radically in every possible way since I
began in 1980, I honestly can’t say my creative process has
changed that much. I think as I’ve gotten more mature,
I’ve come to realize that clever solutions sometimes work
beautifully at the moment of launch but don't stand up to
the test of time. Simple ideas tend to endure, and it takes
restraint and even humility to stay simple.
Q: From what I can remember, 20 years ago, when an
established company changed their logo, it barely
registered outside the design community. Not so today.
What's changed? Is it a function of social media?
Michael: It may not be only social media, but it is
technology. Logos are no longer just things that people
encounter (and usually pay no attention to) on the sides of
trucks or the ends of commercials. Instead, they’re icons
Watch as Michael Bierut and Joe Poesner explain how a simple mark ends up
meaning something big as a great logo.
that they press their fingers on dozens a time a day
(or an hour).
After decades of brands hoping that consumers will
adopt them as badges of personal identification, that
dream is coming true to a somewhat scary degree. So
people increasingly feel that they own the brands as
much as the entities that the brand identities purport
And thanks to social media, they’ve been invited to
talk directly to those brands, most of whom
desperately wanted this degree of intimacy, and
many of whom got more than they bargained for.
Michael Bierut, a partner at Pentagram since 1990, is
a senior critic in graphic design at the Yale School of
Art and a lecturer in the practice of design and
management at the Yale School of Management.
He is a co-founder of the popular and informative
website Design Observer and the author of several
books, including his newest, Now You See It, his
collection of essays, published in fall 2017.
22 FLOW AUGUST 2018
in the club
Electrifying producer, DJ, rapper and
musician. The rising star that is UNIIQU3
talks collaboration, influences and
Q: What do you look for in a possible
UNIIQU3: What I look for when I’m trying to
collaborate is swag. Every rapper, singer and
producer has a different swag. I make music that’s
so different and I always like to challenge myself
to try stuff that’s foreign to me. That’s the only
way I’m gunna grow as a musician.
different about me. It continuously brings me
success. I also learned to be a BOSS and give
people what I expect to receive. I got high ass
standards too. Those are life lessons.
Hailing from Newark, New Jersey, UNIIQU3 has broken out
big, universally regarded as one of the top young producers
in the EDM space. Take a few minutes to listen to her latest
(and not so latest) tracks on the UNIIQU3 Soundcloud, and
keep up with her on the UNIIQU3 Instagram.
Q: You're taking your version of the Jersey Club
sound all over the globe, bringing your unique
(no pun intended) perspective and influencing
those music scenes. Have those international
shows influenced your creativity?
UNIIQU3: The pun could be intended HAHA!! I’ve
been so many places! London, South Korea,
Australia, Mexico so YES traveling and performing
internationally has influenced me creatively. I like
linking up with other producers and DJs
everywhere I go. I also go to local shows, be a
tourist and listen to the radio stations to get
inspiration. I’m one of those musicians that likes
to cater to the audience they’re performing for.
Depending on the city or country I’m in, I like to
pay homage to the sounds that those places
birthed and play my take on their sound, which
would be a Remix I produced or rapped on.
Q: What have you learned in your career so far
that you could
share with other
learned to trust
a a producer to watch
Toxe (born Tove Angeelii) has been
tagged with the above, and more. Her
accelerated journey from Swedish
high school student to the next wave
of influential DJs and producers is
notable... and the journey has
seemingly just begun for this
emerging talent. Youth will be
We caught up with her to ask
about the role collaboration
plays in her creative process.
24 FLOW AUGUST 2018
I like not knowing what to expect when starting a
collaboration and I prefer to collaborate with people
whose work is very different from mine, while there
is still a mutual, big and humble respect for each
Q: Obviously it's a different creative process when
you're working on your own vs. working on a piece
of music, or project with someone. Tell us a bit
about the differences, the pros, the cons of each
Toxe: The difference is simply that when working
alone I can let my ideas run wild without anyone
questioning and responding to it. I feel like it’s
important for me to have those moments of just
being an unstoppable machine printing out ideas.
Q: What were those first collaborative experiences
like when you were getting started? How does that
compare to collaborations you're doing now?
How's it changed, if at all?
Toxe: My first collaborations were with online
friends when I was in high school cause I didn’t
know many people in the city I grew up in who were
into similar stuff. So we were just sending projects
back and forth and working separately. That was
cool cause at that point I wouldn’t feel comfortable
working on music in the same room as someone else.
It was important to find and understand my own
way of making music, undisturbed, at first.
But I think collaborating with others really helps me
grow the most, even if the outcome turns out
horrible. I learn so much from letting people in, it
really helps me understand myself better and what I
what I want my own work to be.
Toxe is a Swedish musician crafting some of the most
innovative music productions on the scene today,
highlighted by her distinctly unique drum patterns. Check
out to samples of Toxe’s music on her Soundcloud page.
I only started working with people IRL after moving
to Berlin in 2017. That has definitely been the
biggest difference, going from chatting online to
being in the same room. Musically I still, most of the
time, prefer working alone though.
Q: What are you looking for when deciding if a
collaboration will be a good fit?
Toxe: It depends what kind of collaboration it is, but
it usually becomes clear after hanging out a bit. I just
look for people whose mind I really admire or whose
work I love, but is something I couldn’t or wouldn’t