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Say Yes to New Ideas: Vimeo Shows How to Grow Creativity

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One final thing I want to share from the late January CornellTech@Bloomberg event, where Vimeo CEO Anjali Sud spoke to interviewer Scarlet Fu: Say yes to new ideas. Sud explained how her company created its newest service—Vimeo Stock, which launched in Q4 of 2018—and it's a model for how creative companies should operate.

The person running Vimeo's video production team came to Sud one day complaining that he didn't have enough resources to shoot all the footage he needed for the company's marketing materials. He couldn't rely on existing stock houses because their quality wasn't up to Vimeo's standards.

That looked like a business opportunity to Sud. "Can we launch a marketplace that will actually elevate the creative standards of stock footage, and can we do it in a cost effective way that puts more money in creators' pockets and allows more people to access that footage at an affordable price?" she asked herself.

She decided to go for it and put that video producer in charge of the project. Using a "scrappy team," he built Vimeo Stock from scratch in six months and leads it now.

"Don't be afraid to pitch ideas," Sud told the audience. But be smart about how you do it. Frame the pitch so the idea matters to the CEO, or whoever needs to sign off on it.

"If somebody walks into my office and says, 'Anjali, I have a great way for us to better empower creators and grow our business,' I've learned to listen. If it's a totally different strategy and that person's passionate about it, I'm going to find a way to give them an opportunity to figure it out."

In my experience, companies teeming with ideas got that way by giving ideas room to grow. But remember, just because you think your idea is genius doesn't mean it will find buy-in. Pitch it in a way that shows how it will benefit the company. Make it too good to refuse.

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