Urs Bucher is Zurich CEO of Amazee Labs, a high performance technology group. He makes light of the fact that he is slightly older than most of his employees and has developed software with COBOL and punch cards. Bucher also served in key positions for Microsoft GmbH and KPMG AG, so that early experience served him well.
BS: How do you describe your current work?
UB: Overseeing what we do here @amazeelabs (we’re a 20+ people web agency, based in Zurich, Switzerland and Austin, TX) – my main task is to keep all parties happy. Where the parties are our current & future clients, our staff and the company owners.
Making sure everything’s balanced. For today and tomorrow, of course.
That sums it up pretty much on a very high level; but of course in a small company like ours, daily work differs quite much from these “big” things – but the key point is not to lose sight of these important things and not let the urgent get into the way of the important.
BS: What has changed the way you learn?
UB: This internet thing, of course, what did you expect?
Seriously: The wealth of information we have at hand today changed learning at all ages and in all situations enormously. Back in the days, we used to say that you don’t need to know everything yourself, all you need to know who to ask for some specific piece of information. Today this is more valid than ever, and I guess today’s equivalent to the old saying is “Google is your friend” (we’re not getting into the political discussion about Google & “don’t be evil” here, are we?).
For me personally, I think that today I learn a lot from working with other professionals, seeing how they approach and solve problems. Pair that with the fact that I’ve always been a news junkie and soak up every piece of information I can get my hands on plus some experience I’ve gained during the last couple of decades, include some curiosity, shake and mix all ingredients well – that’s a good head start for some “extended general knowledge”, which so far was and is good enough for a generalist like me.
BS: What is creativity? [five words]
UB: Creativity is “Thinking outside of the box”. (Yay – that’s five words –hooray!)
BS: Are there major differences in creativity between “art” people and “tech” people?
UB: In my field of work, “art” people translate by and large into designers and “tech” people into coders. And while they differ in a number of ways (think emotional vs. rational thinking, behaviour, style, approaches, communication), they both create something. They both work on a task and use their creativity to solve it. Tools and techniques will differ for sure, and the results look, feel and taste different. Both results are not really tangible (we’re only talking about online here) so both results are abstract; at least up to a certain level.
Having said/written all of that I guess my answer simply is no, not in my field of activity. That might well be different in other areas.
BS: What has helped you achieve bigger, better results?
UB: That’s a difficult one… once “result” is defined it’s a mix of “making a plan and sticking to it”, experience, dedication, courage; spiced up with “some” curiosity. Oh and work, good plain old work, of course.