IIP Berlin: First Week in the City

Having been to Berlin once before on a short trip in high school, I was familiar with the very tourist-y aspects of the city. But with now the ability and opportunity to live here for a longer duration – 11 weeks – I am very excited to get a grasp of the culture and begin to assimilate into the diverse and fascinating society that Berlin is the host to. While I could write about my first week of tours and orientation, I will choose to save those stories for a later date, in a more comprehensive post about most of my sight-seeing and travels. What has been a great and significant aspect of my time here has been my introduction to my workplace — Pixsy, Inc. I work here at Pixsy with a fellow IIP student, Brianna, and what we do and how its done is very different in a variety of ways from the corporations and big companies that we learn about and understand in the classroom. Pixsy is a small legal-tech start-up that works with photographers to detect unlicensed use of their images online. Once an unapproved use is identified, the photographer files a claim with Pixsy, which opens a case here at the office. The team of case managers then pour over all the information that is a part of the case– the information for the picture, the photographers copyright registration information (if they have it), and the contact information for the infringing company. Then, depending on how big and how valuable the resolution is, the in-house team either contacts the infringer, or the case is sent to our global network of law firms to take the case to court.

When I first began working here, the CEO of the 21 person company, told me he was going to have me work closely with him. He initially gave me a list of projects he thought I might be doing over the course of the 10-weeks, and gave me lots of readings on start-ups, entrepreneurship, and various presentations that reflected how he envisioned Pixsy, and how he wants the company to be run. Much of this start-up philosophy can be linked to what most people would call “silicon valley” ideology. My CEO really loves this kind of ideology, and he think innovation is the key to successfully running a startup or any business. And here, freedom and responsibility are a huge part of that thinking. He believes, and has had me learn all about, the concept of ensuring that the company only hires truly responsible people; those who are self-disciplined, self-motivated, and the like. By having an office of those kinds of people, you can give them tons of freedom in the work environment, and naturally, they will be motivated and responsible to get it all done. The belief behind this is that high performance employees breed innovation, in order to get innovation you need creativity, and in order to generate creativity there must be an environment of freedom and rather than processes and control, the presence of context for their goals. It is honestly something that I never had learned much about or read before, so being given the opportunity to learn from my boss and hear how he set this company up, and the many ideologies and philosophies at work here is truly interesting.

So in the end, I am really excited about being in Berlin and having the chance to travel around and see Europe, but I am even more excited to continue my work here at Pixsy and really get the most out of the internship and my time working here!