One thing that’s really exciting for me as of late is a new-found energy around the whole MAEKAN editorial wing. We’ve been quiet the last little while and with Charis’ bandwidth opening up, her and Nate have done an amazing job around reconfiguring our whole process. Process and procedures are an interesting thing that most creatives don’t think that much about. At a small scale and as a small team or individual, we don’t think about how we arrive at a particular outcome. I’ve pushed everybody around us to think more about documentation and being more process-focused, not because it detracts from the serendipitous creative outcome.
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.
Recently, I’ve felt increasingly uncomfortable entering come-one-come-all “open” spaces where the idea of uncertain outcomes and interactions (but ostensibly promoted as dynamic and spontaneous) is built into the experience.
Charis and Eugene talk about cohort-based courses as compared to massively open online courses. They also discuss the Barbell Strategy method of balancing security and risk as a structure for creative careers.
Eugene and Charis discuss how the nature of the internet collapses time, space, and context, resulting in a volatile environment that breeds bad faith discussions with no room for nuance or complexity. They also talk about the cooperation economy as the next phase of the creator economy/the passion economy.
Charis and Eugene talk about Naomi Osaka choosing to not do press at the French Open and what the relationship is between press and athletes should be. They also discuss the shift in perception of creatives signing corporate deals.
Eugene and Charis talk about how Willie Norris is reimagining menswear from a trans perspective at Outlier. They also discuss a recent Atlantic article by Ed Yong that goes into the reasons why people aren’t necessarily feeling better as the pandemic decreases in intensity.
Charis and Eugene talk about the Disgusting Food Museum in Sweden and where disgust, as an emotion and judgment comes from. They also discuss China trying to find ways to standardize the behavior of online fan groups.
Eugene and Charis discuss what alternative forms of value there are, beyond financial, in engaging with NFTs in museums. They also discuss “keeping the line alive” in creative work as written about by artist Mateusz Urbanowicz.
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.
Eugene and Charis discuss our relationship to work and our sense of ownership over our time. They also talk about challenges scientists face when communicating their ideas clearly around how to present complex thoughts.
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.
Eugene and Charis discuss Cathie Wood’s perfect content strategy for the portfolio of ETFs she runs at ARK Invest. They also talk about A.D. Carson, a hip-hop professor, and his thinking behind getting his rap album peer-reviewed and published by an academic press.
Charis and Eugene talk about what the pricing of the Hermès Birkin bag teaches us about setting prices according to the value in stories. They also discuss Alexi McCammond’s hiring and firing from Teen Vogue as the Editor-in-Chief in relation to systemic problems within companies and cancel culture.