Editor's Letter — March 2019
Can we create our way out of this?
Last month, I binged Josh Clark’s excellent “The End of the World” podcast series. The title, as it suggests, is part reality part sci-fi exploration of what the future of the world means. The show is a nice supplementary read to the uber-trendy Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari which concludes with sobering thoughts on the future of humanity. What’s clear is that we are facing a critical series of hurdles that depending on how we tackle them, will point us on a particular trajectory. “The End of the World” provides us with a lay of the land and what topics are most concerning. Oddly enough, the potentially dystopian undertones are relatively muted throughout the show.
The world we’re confronted with whenever we open our apps to today is less than ideal and rife with sadness and despair. But the one thing that seems to be critically important and biologically ingrained into humans is the power of storytelling. It’s no secret that MAEKAN is committed to purposeful stories. At their most positive, they provide hope, meaning, and comfort. They can also serve as cautionary tales and show us a clearer way forward.
The continuation of us as a species will, in some part, require aligning our beliefs with the right stories and the futures they depict. Who chooses to tell those stories and spread certain messages, will determine the path we end up on. Interestingly though, culture is fluid and dynamic, and trends are an ongoing representation of how fast we can rally around an idea. Humans can change behaviors at the drop of a hat, with narratives acting as the catalysts. There are many, many other speed bumps we’ll encounter, but at its core, the role of stories remains important if under-recognized.
In closing, it’s been a long few weeks for us. Between getting the new site ready, to challenging ourselves as to what the rest of the year will look like, MAEKAN has reached high and stretched wide—as it always has. The joy beyond what we do makes it easy to keep a brave face, but we also recognize that blind faith doesn’t always mean that things will happen. If there’s anything we’ve learned, it’s to recognize the delicate balance between having a vision and having an idea that’s aged poorly. With some luck, a cycle of renewal emerges where you recognize the ways in which your beliefs could be outdated and revise accordingly.
To use a gym metaphor if I may, building a business is no different than working out: you can’t expect to get gains doing the same routine with the same weights and rep scheme everyday.
Signing off for the month,