Beyond the assembly line. —

Editor’s Letter : June 2018


A few weeks ago, I took a call with someone I consider to be a great example of a successful creative entrepreneur. The company, he and his partners, run was recently acquired, which will undoubtedly open doors and in many ways allow them to expand outwards at a much faster clip.


Over the course of the conversation, we discussed at length the idea of teams and the relationships within these teams. A singular person can achieve great things on their own. But the challenges that exist in the world today, whether systemic, creative, or cultural require something much more: the involvement of others.


One thing that I left the conversation thinking was that, if a brand/company/partnership is to be successful, the internal relationships requires an absolute level of commitment and integration.


For the last few months, each person on the team all felt as though they were walking down their own respective paths side-by-side with each other. People were going through the motions in a creative factory assembly line. That feeling was starting to be increasingly apparent. You weren’t coming to the office to work with others, you were simply rolling up to a desk at the MAEKAN Office.


As systems improved, individual team members had clarity on the separate tasks that needed to be accomplished. The consequence of this was a shift in our work culture but also an overly surgical approach to creating stories. The stories we aim to tell shouldn’t be like this. This should be nuanced and layered, maybe even slightly imperfect.


I’ve done a lot of pondering over the last few months. It feels as though we’re going through our own personal pains of trying to scale, trying to understand who we are, and how to be sustainable. For a while, it was under the guise of one person creating the game plan and others diligently following. A better way of approaching what we’re doing is an interwoven element between all parts. If we aren’t all in it together and aligned, it could very well cease to exist.


Teams, and especially healthy teams require upkeep and maintenance. There’s a general baseline one can achieve. But why bother starting something, taking on the burden of headcount, and adding the responsibility of others if you’re not trying to create a truly measurable impact. If you want to solve bigger problems, you need to reach for things that are impossible on your own.


Until next month,

Eugene Kan


Eugene talks about our recent strides with reinvigorating our creative processes and continuing to move forward, even as the challenges we sought to solve and the world around us continue to evolve.