The Innovation Game With Regina Dellea
Occupations, affiliations, and projects.
Head of Video, Genius
PEOPLE WHO DO FOCUSES ON THOSE WHO TAKE ACTION TO PURSUE MEANINGFUL WORK AND LIFE PASSIONS—WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO YOU TO “DO”?
I think I can only focus when I’m moving forward. I get really restless when I don’t have something I care about to focus on. Sometimes I just have to keep “doing” in order to find the next thing that excites me and motivates me to dive in and “do.” I’ve worn a lot of hats in every role I’ve had for this reason, because I’m most excited when I’m learning something new.
#1 motivating mantra to get through tough moments.
What’s your favorite thing you’ve learned so far this year?
This year I’ve learned to chill out a little bit. Which, to be honest is a work in progress, but I’ve made more progress in the last year than in the previous 27 years of my life, so that seems like a good sign.
What’s your favorite lesson you’ve ever learned?
Looking good and being liked are much less important than working hard and being kind.
Favorite method for logging any kind of inspiration.
Notebooks!!! I have so many of them, but I usually have two with me: one for my to do lists and notes, and a little tiny holographic one I keep with me for miscellaneous thoughts, book quotes, and lyrics.
To date, what accomplishments are you most proud of?
I’m proud of the life that I’m making. I’m proud of the fact that I moved away from New Hampshire. That I live in this city and have great friends and a real career. I’m proud of what I accomplished at Vox and the friends I made that I accomplished it with. I’m very proud of the first web series I produced, Flip The Script, and the conversations it started.
I’m so proud of the team I’m building at Genius and of the content we’re making. We’re really focused on high-quality content and I think it shows in everything we put out, from Deconstructed to our flagship series Verified. I think most of the content I’ve worked on in my career has been innovative—I’m not particularly interested in following what everyone else is doing in video. I think at Genius in particular, we’re good about asking why something exists first. We’re not going to make something just to contribute to the noise; we’re going to make something because it deserves to exist and because we can make it better than anyone else can, because we care about getting it right. I’m really proud of that. Every day we put out something new that I’m proud to have been involved in.
3 words that you want to be remembered by.
Live free or die. I know that’s four words, but it’s my state motto and it’s super badass—something from New Hampshire that will always be a part of me.
What’s the next goal?
I want to be a little more present in all aspects of my life. I don’t want to spend so much time thinking about the small things and the day to day that I forget to step back and appreciate where I’m at and what I’ve built so far.
Top 5 people you would invite to a dinner party.
Lady Gaga, Melina Matsoukas, Reese Witherspoon, Michelle Obama, Margaret Atwood
What’s the best piece of advice that you can give to someone right now?
Keep trying. Throughout my career I’ve had a lot of insecurity because of how hard I’ve had to work—I thought that if I was good at something, it’d just be easy. I’ve wanted to give up or “slow down” because sometimes it feels like it shouldn’t be this hard, but every time I have just put my head down and kept trying, it’s really paid off. Maybe not right away, which in the land of instant gratification can be hard to swallow, but usually much later on. Even stupid little things I learned while working myself to the ground as an intern have ended up being helpful to me seven years later.
By "do-ing", you create your own unique legacy. How do you want your legacy to look?
I just want to make things that I’m proud of. Things that are different and that move conversations forward. I’m particularly interested in making sure that the conversation started by #metoo continues to progress and that we actually do something to change society rather than just pretending it’s a few bad eggs. I’m all for sexual abusers and harassers getting fired, but let’s not pretend it happened in a vacuum. I want more accountability in all industries. I think people in media have been especially compliant in turning our heads because it’s easier. I want us to all start investigating more, asking harder questions, and refusing to promote content that will set us back as a society. Even if I can just be a very small part of forward progress, that’s enough.