Startup success by design

A visit to Canva HQ. As startup founders, we all need stories like this one to inspire us.

Canva Office

Canva is super cool Australian design software startup recently valued at over $1bn. It’s only the second Aussie tech unicorn after Atlassian.

I’m a fan of their product and recently visited for a tour. It was such a delight to meet the team in my hometown of Sydney. Here are some notes from the experience:

  • The Canva team all stop work and eat lunch at the same time. The communal ground level space lights up with energetic conversation.
  • New team members get shiny star balloons above their desks, and number balloons for work anniversaries.
  • Visual design culture permeates every space, so for example the motivational wall posters are actually cool and meaningful.
  • Creative thinking is felt everywhere. Toy animals in a race show development stages of Canva software features.

Canva lobby

Following my recent visits to Airbnb, Facebook & Google in the Silicon Valley, it was great to compare the Canva experience and identify common threads for these innovative companies. At the heart of each one is a team culture powered by diversity, creativity, collaborative thinking and bound by a strong shared vision.

The Canva product UX / UI itself is so well refined and simplified that my kids under 10 can produce great looking graphic design easily (I might be out of a job soon!)

Thanks again to Shipra M for a wonderful tour and my buddy Syed A for arranging everything!

The Journey

I love the article that co-founder Melanie Perkins posted. It’s jam-packed with gems, insights and inspiration from her entrepreneurial journey. 

© Peter Gould. All Rights Reserved.