One of the busiest streets in Vancouver is West Georgia Street, the only road which leads away from the downtown up North through Stanley Park.
“There are traffic jams all the time so paradoxically during the daytime the street is quiet because the cars move very slowly - it’s a different thing during night-time, when the newly rich drive their Porsches and Ferraris loud and fast,” says Pauli Suuraho.
Vancouver is kind of like the Silicon Valley of Canada with a significant concentration of technology companies. Pauli Suuraho moved there for Rovio, an entertainment company, when they were setting up a branch studio and needed an expert to build their production pipeline.
A pipeline is a set of steps which every task goes through within the company. The pipeline needs to be smooth and functional otherwise the projects don’t move ahead, costing extra time and money.
You can think of a pipeline as similar to the road leading away from Vancouver. Having potholes and hazards along the way slows the traffic down and blocks the work from getting through efficiently.
Pauli built and developed Rovio pipeline for six years both in Finland and in Canada.
Over the years he has seen how every company has its systems and has gotten weary of the problems it causes - those problems we will tackle in detail in our next post.
“I would like the methods of working to be shared to everybody. Everyone could use a modular base for their projects and build their custom pipeline easily around it,” says Pauli.
Pauli has founded Puida.
In a way, it was his way of working that started the whole idea. A mathematician by education, nobody ever taught Pauli software development. He has learned it the hard way - by trial and error.
In his opinion, it should not matter how we solve things, as long as we come to a good result. People should not have to focus on a lot of arcane rules and conventions to manage how they get their work done.
The idea is simple:
People should not need to focus on how they are expected to work, and the way that they work together and their tools should reflect that.
At Puida, we approach how to manage creative work from the individual up not from the top down.
Coming up with a short and memorable name, that nobody uses, is extremely hard. So we got an idea, and it shows you something about how we solve problems.
As a Finnish company, we wanted a Finnish name, so we made a program that downloaded a dictionary from the website of Kotus. From there, the program selected all 4-6 letter words and checked if the corresponding domains were available. It also scored the words based on how many hits it got from YTJ. From this list, we picked “puida.” which translates to “discussing a problem until it is solved.” It also means to “thresh out seeds from the grain” editors note
We take hard problems, like creative work management, and thresh out the unnecessary steps from the system, and streamline it so that work is easy, efficient and most of all independent.
“At my core, I am an extremely lazy guy. I don’t want to have to do unnecessary, repetitive work in the future. I don’t sleep at night if someone spends time doing pointless tasks that software could do for us”, Pauli remarks.
We will not have a streamlined future if we keep using the systems we have and re-do proprietary solutions inside studios, because in the game and animation industry there are one hundred and one problems.
We will tackle those next.
editors note: puida also means “act of showing your fist if you disagree with something.” Truly a strange word!