Journey: where we’re at
The last two weeks were madness. We successfully launched in creator beta. We fixed bugs and triaged issues and started a user support rota and even pushed out an update with a completely new camera under the hood (hats off to Jared!) right before we all took off for the 4th of July for a quick break. It all feels living and breathing now which is scary and definitely more fun.
As far as launches go, it was modest, and we have our work cut out for us, but I’m extremely proud of what the team pulled off. This was hands down, one of the riskiest, nerve-wracking launches I’ve ever been through or led. For a multitude of reasons that don’t make sense to list out here right now, it felt like one hell of a knife edge to walk. The fact we even pulled it off at all, let alone so smoothly is a testament to our ability to de-risk things and pull together as a team. Sweet.
👉If any of you are part of a creative organization/group, mailing list or media property that wants to give out beta access codes, hit reply to lmk!
Journal: what I learned
We also started planning Q3. While it is insanely difficult to step back from going 100 miles a minute on a million things to be strategic, align, and make sure all systems are pointed towards the right goals for the quarter, I’m learning how important it is to seriously take a whole day off to do this. It’s so tough to fit in the strategy part when it feels like our to do lists are constantly overflowing, but it’s soooooo important. This was one of the biggest pieces of feedback from our company retro Karina ran last week so trying to do a better job of this in Q3. Q2 was a quarter of realignment, Q3 is now the opportunity to be aligned for speed and effectiveness.
Personally, I’m working on learning what I’m flexible on, and what I have strong opinions on, and how to set those things up differently when it comes to strategic discussions. This is really challenging, because even though I’ve earned myself a position to be able to have opinions and drive strategy the way I think it should be, it’s been a lifetime of diplomatically positioning things to men around me, inviting their feedback with a smile on my face even when I don’t want it, and leading with explaining why I am qualified to be in the room as opposed to leading with the outcome and talking about how we’ll get there (the way it should be done).
Karina pointed out there’s absolutely no reason for me to do that anymore, it is simply a waste of time and an ineffective way to lead. But it was a learned behavior for a reason, and negative reinforcement is hard to undo. It requires constant planning and mindfulness to break the patterns. If I get lazy or I’m having an off day, the old ways creep back. It makes me annoyed that I have to unlearn this dumb shit, but proud that I’m here now and also that I can share this with you, so that you can watch out for these things too and try not to fall into these traps or let the people around you fall into them!
I’ve been learning a lot about how to do editorial, which is something I’ve always been adjacent to, so I’m not a total n00b, but with our launch, we also launched an online magazine to feature creators: TRASH MAG! We’re super lucky to have the amazing Tierney Finster leading this and I’m excited to see where this strategy takes us.
👉If you’re a creator (or know a creator) that we should interview about their process, creativity and challenges for this magazine, we would love to chat to you!
Jams: what I’m into
I’ve barely had any time to listen to music or watch videos or really do anything that isn’t work, but I did take a few days off for the 4th to have a much-needed break upstate with friends near Rhinebeck. On Saturday night we saw the most magical display of fireflies. (I’m from a real cold place that is cold enough to frequently have northern lights, but definitely no fireflies, so I was like wowwwwwww)
I honestly had no idea this was even possible, and I have a feeling it might have been a once in lifetime kind of experience unless you live in a place like that. I wish I’d had the right kind of gear to capture video, but you’re going to have to imagine what it looked like instead: sitting on the side of the road by a clearing with a pond to the sounds of frogs and an insane display of lightning bugs lighting up the sky like mini LED drones in the darkness. I joked that it could have been a live performance that we would have paid a lot of money to see in Brooklyn with amphibians making ambient music + a light show. Just wait, next summer this will be playing at Knockdown with limited edition flickering JUUL merch 😂
This week my jam is firefly facts:
They will be more plentiful in wet springs, this is their ideal breeding condition (we had a very wet one)
They love muggy humid nights for blinking (it had just finished raining when we saw this)
The warmer the better for activity, cuz like all insects they are cold-blooded (it was pretty warm)
The lighting up is a chemical reaction the fireflies completely control ie. they can turn their lights on and off when they want. If you want to nerd out on the chemistry, more here.