99U is known for being a great inspirational resource for creative types. That’s why we’re teaming up with them once again to showcase some of our favorite articles off of their site. For July, that means interviews with legendary artists, tips for amping up your creative energy, and ways that big companies are solving big problems – from innovation to collaboration.



How to get hired when you are just starting out

At 99U, we often share best practices and insights from the world’s most productive creatives, but what about those of us just getting started? How do you fill out “past experience” on an application when, frankly, you don’t have any?

The surprising benefits of a creative rivalry

Mohammed Ali had Joe Frazier; for Bill Gates there was Steve Jobs – chances are, you too have at least one close rival. You monitor their achievements with admiration, and also – admit it – a touch of envy. Lessons from history and psychology show us how these relationships have the potential to help or hinder creative success – but it all depends on how we handle the competition.

The cure for creative blocks? Leave your desk.

Everyday between 8:00 and 8:30am writer Stephen King arrives at his desk with a cup of tea. He turns on some music, takes his daily vitamin, and begins to work – exactly as he began the day before. Using this routine, King has produced well over 50 books, averaging 1-2 novels a year since 1974 when he published Carrie. Clearly, daily routines can be incredibly valuable. That is, until they’re not.


Strategic Conversations: How Toyota solves big problems

How often do you find yourself in a meeting when someone says “we need to think differently here?” We are living in a world of rapid change and surprises. “We’ve got to become more innovative” is the popular leadership response to handling uncertainty and change. But it’s not often followed up with concrete examples of what “being innovative” actually looks like.

9 awesome interviews with creative visionaries

We love a good interview. To us, there’s nothing so useful for demystifying the creative process as hearing an artist or entrepreneur speak from a very personal perspective about how, and why, they do what they do. This weekend, we combed through the archive of epic and inspiring interviews and came up with this shortlist. Straight talk from Ernest Hemingway, Dieter Rams, Patti Smith, Steve Jobs, Ansel Adams, Tina Brown, Chuck Close and more.

How to build a collaborative office space like Pixar and Google

When the Second World War ended, universities struggled to cope with record enrollments. Like many universities, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology built a series of new housing developments for returning servicemen and their young families. One of those developments was named Westgate West. The buildings doubled as the research lab for three of the greatest social scientists of the 20th century and would come to reframe the way we think about office spaces.