The story behind the open cloud ninja sloth

A couple years ago Sara was leading a project to figure out a way to convey the spirit of an open cloud to our internal audiences. A recurrent element in our journey has been the need to communicate visually not only the growing portfolio but also the multi-faceted open source strategy in the cloud, recognizing the many nuances and complexities of it.

Over the years we’ve crafted many vehicles to do so, from the simple ones like this spheniscidae, the hexagon, or the many logo slides to the complex like the portfolio, choice or approach ones. But we were missing simpler elements, particularly ones with a story that you can tell at a bus stop. I kept telling Sara to think as an open cloud enthusiast picking which temporary tattoo to apply. So working with the internal community the team came up with the open cloud ninja sloth:

As you can notice, the sloth came with the addition of an icon highlighting the “open” nature of the cloud, and our designer was quick to notice the hidden heart as well. Since then, the sloth and the open cloud icon have been spotted from stickers to challenge coins, but I was never expecting to find an Aussie wearing an open cloud ninja sloth t-shirt in Las Vegas (arguably, Vegas would be the one place where you could expect that)

Funnily enough, I didn’t know where he got his t-shirt from (Ignite Australia), and he didn’t know where the sloth came from. So I shared with him the story of the open cloud ninja sloth. The cloud with a heart that is literally open and the ninja sloth committed to that open cloud which might surprise you… even if slooooow.

I learned a ton from the journey of the open cloud ninja sloth and can’t stop encouraging teams to work on their icon and spirit animals even if they don’t have a product or a brand to push and even if they excel at any other type of visual expression.

At the very least it invites a question at a bus stop, or an impromptu storytelling session in Vegas.

With a hat tip to Ken, Ale and David, thanking Caroline for always reminding me when someone asks for the story and wishing Sara all the best in her new role!

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