Star Wars and the CTO


When I started another white board challenge, I wanted to kick some serious ass. The participation of the previous one had been okay, but rather lukewarm and I wanted to have a real kicker next. So I picked a theme which I expected would resonate massively with the nerds:

Star Wars!
This was a no-brainer. Or so I thought…

Yesterday, 8 days after I had started, this is all I got:

Frankly, this is far below my expectations and arguably worse than the previous I want to go to…. I mean – hey – it’s Star Wars! Just to break this down: I drew Admiral “It’s a trap” Akbar. Then nothing happened for a long time. Then Krishna wrote a comment on the machete order next to him and I replied. Then I drew a simple Chewbacca, because I thought people might be intimidated by the rendering of my Admiral Akbar. Then Sagami-san drew a cute R2D2 and a Zombie like C3PO. Then I drew Greedo. Raja added Darth Vader. Sagami-san added Jabba. Someone added Yoda.

Overall, this is sad. No Luke? No Leia? No Emperor?
The problem is that I drew half of what is on here, and this is not how I want it to be.

Today I erased the board in the morning and wondered what to do next.
Lamia had the perfect idea: two days ago, during our CTO’s townhall meeting, somebody asked what I consider a very embarrassing question about what hair and skin products she is using. I mean, if you have the CTO of your sizable organization in front of you, maybe you want to ask a more meaningful question (also: would a male CTO get such a question?).

Lamia suggested to use this in a humorous way for my white board challenge and that’s what I did:

This took me longer to draw on the white board than my normal challenges because I wanted the drawing of our CTO to be at least remotely recognizable. Pretty hard and it’s by far not perfect (in fact it’s way off, but I also did not spend more than 20 minutes). Most people who passed by while I was drawing were able to tell, however, and loved it (though the site Director did not like the speech bubble: it’s a pun that you will understand or not – in my company many people do).

But what happened after? Apart from getting really nice and positive feedback from throughout the organization (yes, including the higher levels – we are a cooler company than you might think), within a little while the first builds appeared. Clearly, people felt more passionate about this topic than about Star Wars (gee, who would have thought?):

I had to pixelate a drawing on the lower right, I’m afraid.
It’s funny, but it contains internal stuff, so this one has to stay below the carpet.

I wonder whether more people will add next week or whether I will have to move on to a new challenge…

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