I often look back at the things that we’ve done at MAEKAN and wonder “what if.” What if we had not been so stubborn about investing massively diminishing returns into stories that only a handful people would see? What if we had spun up a creative services business way way earlier (Adam Studios) and generated revenue? But looking back, this solution only appeared after we’d made some distance in our journey ahead. Just as we did, many startups go out and create their version of something as a reaction — the internal belief that they’re offering a solution to a problem.
One of our most devastating modern day ailments is the belief that speed is the penultimate determinant of success. How fast we build a company, how fast (or cheap) we can do something, and how quickly we can publish something all come to mind. Being first has its merits but, in most cases, you can boil it down to nothing more than a title of quickness rather than longevity or quality.
My joie de vivre (enjoyment of life) was missing. I could probably extrapolate this sentiment onto many of us, who have been battered by so many things out of our control ranging from political disarray to the invisible forces of COVID which have pushed us to change our behaviors. For me, I often counted myself as a person of limitless inspiration and grew worried about suddenly being lost at sea.
Making It Up
Eugene and Charis talk about the difficulties that social media managers face and how platforms as well as businesses could do a better job of supporting workers in that area. They also discuss an essay that describes the author’s life growing up on a commune and what non-commune individuals could learn from that mentality.
Charis and Eugene talk about Eugene Rabkin’s essay, “Read This Before You Decide to Work In Fashion” published in Highsnobiety which goes through a laundry list of negative aspects of the fashion industry. They also discuss an artist zine created by Marco Marzocchi called “How To Destroy Everything”, which is connected to a discussion of digital devices as an extension of human memories and the emotional significance we give digital archives.
Charis and Eugene talk at length about streetwear brand Chinatown Market deciding to rename themselves. This comes in response to people in the Asian American community expressing their concerns with the use of the name. Eugene and Charis discuss this situation in light of the current context of increased anti-Asian racism in North America as well as discussing whether personal wardrobes should carry sentimental value.
Charis and Eugene talk about worldbuilding as a visionary, collaborative practice as described by Ryan Madson in Strelka Mag—Wakanda being an example of worldbuilding. They also discuss NFTs: what they are, what the possibilities could be, what they hype is about.

“As anything becomes ‘figured out’ and it becomes easier to do, it becomes less effective.”

— Emmett Shine, Pattern Brands

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