It's been one year since I founded Nineteen80. My non-compete with Point B has expired, and I'm currently working on a life sciences startup, Singletto.
Starting a business is challenging but rewarding
Starting a business has always been on my bucket list. I learned everything from company formation documents, opened a business banking account, set up my books, and worked through a trademark.
Throughout the year, I experimented with services, platforms, and partners along the way. I even filed for and received my trademark for Nineteen80®️.
Owning your own media production is a strategic advantage
I've been able to produce and develop my media assets without much external assistance. The creative and content production cycle is complicated and lengthy. There can be so many moving parts from creative direction to storyboarding to content production (filming, recording, copywriting, editing), and distribution. By owning this entire stack, I could generate more content than ever and own the whole chain. My capabilities today now include video, photography, audio, graphic design, and animation.
The Internet is at scale
To the earlier lesson, the Internet has achieved scale. There are very few arbitrage opportunities left, and if you do find them, they go away very fast. For example, earlier this year, LinkedIn was a great place to get organic reach. Midway through the year, that reach diminished by 90% as LinkedIn started to monetize their platform. In a space where everyone is competing for attention, it feels like yelling into a hurricane.
Racial Equity is a hashtag
After three months of lockdowns, the murder of George Floyd sparked a movement. However, from my vantage point, it was quickly met with confusion, performative acts, and simply a statement issues, a hashtag, and maybe a social media post.
I'm doing my best to explore this issue on my own, through a series on my podcast. I'd say Merry Christmas, but if we genuinely want to lead with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, then we better be inclusive. Not everyone celebrates Christmas. For me this year, this is a rough year because we're divided, and many are marginalized. While we celebrate with red and green stockings, Santa hats, and presents, let's not forget that there's a big racial divide, and until the marginalized lives matter, all lives don't matter.
Be open to opportunities
Toward the end of the year, a former colleague of mine reached out and we explored ways to work together. It started as a concept and eventually led to a startup that stayed in stealth for most of the latter half of the year.
Nineteen80 will continue to exist, but this startup opportunity gives me the resources to build Nineteen80 the way I want to, without the need to take on gigs that I don't want to do just to make revenue. Expect more products and less services. Expect more innovation and less bland, boring things.