Facing Down Defeat

Editor’s Letter : October 2021


There I sat, defeated after another grueling day at the computer. I’ve always counted my blessings for the chance to ply my trade in a field where many people often ask “how do you get into your industry?” But I suspect that beyond luck and “passion,” there are a few lesser-known characteristics that have allowed some of us the chance to forge a proper and fruitful career doing what we love. 


It’s been a while since I’ve had to properly manage a reasonable-sized team. I miss it at times, especially the opportunity to expand and build out bigger ideas while engaging in a bit of mental chess to get the best out of a group of individuals who often have different personalities and are working with you during different stages of their career. But as I’ve realized and perhaps said before, getting the best out of any situation is a series of largely unteachable matrices of analysis and assessment of the variables before you. This is my overly complex way of saying: “knowing how to use your tools is extremely important.” 


At times, this overly simplified advice holds little to no weight until you realize that your resources run out (namely time) and your passion evaporates. So back to the feeling of defeat. For the last few months, I’ve felt this lull that was seemingly inescapable (this feeling will undoubtedly happen to all of us, at multiple points of our careers). I remember sharing a 3 am Whatsapp convo with Maeland: there we were rifling off concerns and worries about today, tomorrow, six months from now (you get the idea). It didn’t help that we were stuck in certain situations doing things that were soul-sucking, but only on the basis that we felt we had so much to do and offer.


I came out of this conversation both ill-rested and also questioning the situation at hand. If we knew what were the underlying reasons behind our malaise, we had to change it. The bottlenecks, the inefficiencies, and the misused tools were all solvable. All it took was the desire to fix a jacked-up situation. 


The last few weeks have been some of my most rewarding in a while. I feel reinvigorated because my time seemingly has an impact and meaning for me. Over the course of our lives, a lot of lessons learned and advice received will come and, most certainly, will go when they lack relevance to our current moment; they drift out of sight, out of mind. But when shit hits the fan, hopefully, the half-lessons return with a vengeance (or a casual knock), and offer seeds to grow solutions. 

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.