As chief inventive officer of Squarespace for the previous decade, David Lee has witnessed a number of phases in its evolution. He was there within the early days when the platform was nonetheless a “scrappy” startup constructing upon founder Anthony Casalena’s authentic elevator pitch when he launched it from his dorm room in 2003: “an internet site that makes web sites.”
That was a distinct segment on the time, however Squarespace has since expanded its enterprise past net manufacturing and grown up in a digital panorama that’s shifting once more. The present part, which Lee likens to the Wild West, is being fueled by a brand new wave of creators and entrepreneurs—and the model needs to be with them for the subsequent stage of that journey.
As platforms like Squarespace attempt to sustain with the quickly increasing creator economic system, they’re additionally feeling stress from the broader tech business, which is going through mass cutbacks and layoffs. However Lee, who oversees Squarespace’s lauded in-house company, believes the identical rules that helped the model take off will information it by means of the subsequent unsure interval.
“Creativity was all the time on the root of our function. It’s about the way you differentiate your self in a sea of sameness,” Lee stated. “Within the part of the net that we’ve moved into, that very same factor applies to what we’re doing now.”
Ranging from scratch
Squarespace, which marks its twentieth anniversary this 12 months, appointed Lee in 2013 to be its inventive chief. For a corporation with a seemingly dry enterprise proposition, hiring a designer with a background at inventive businesses together with TBWAWorldwide (the place he was worldwide digital govt inventive director) and Wieden+Kennedy (the place he was inventive director), might have appeared an uncommon transfer.
However the rent—and subsequent company launch—demonstrated an “unorthodox construction” whereby “the inventive workforce sits on the govt desk,” stated Lee.