I made a couple of changes to how we work in January:
- WhatsApp groups: I switched to WhatsApp for async because it’s simpler for most people. It’s also more direct compared to Basecamp which we now only use for documentation and announcements.
- 4-day week: Monday is typically a busy day because we all have day jobs, which is a great excuse to start work on Tuesday, which we now do.
- Weekly broadcasts: We send out updates in Basecamp every week — at the beginning to set the pace, and at the end to recap.
- Async calls: I called when I thought it was necessary.
And it all worked very well.
- The J Guide: We’re on the third round of edits for The J Guide E3. The first round was to improve the storytelling, the second to tighten the panelling and this one is for typography and other details. The images look really great and I can’t wait for us to publish. Seeing as this is the last story for a while, I’m glad we’re taking the time.
- Hanky Panky: After many months, we’re done with the animation rough! Joshua has started tie-down and in-betweens. He’ll also be redrawing the backgrounds. LMBSKN and Remy Baggins started on the score and the sketch is amazing! Reminded me all over again how important sound is in a film, and I can’t wait to share the next version.
- Feel Good: We signed 8/12 contracts and received 2/12 stories. Instagram and Twitter are up. Niyi Okeowo joined to help with art direction and we completed the core visual identity. I also made a prototype of the website. We had a cool chat with Wale Lawal, founder and editor-in-chief of The Republic about their editorial process and there were a lot of impressive moments on this call e.g. finding out that he reads every single essay published on the site!
- More agile: Now that working rhythms are clear, I need to introduce regular planning, retros and 1:1s to help us be as productive as possible.
- Publishing rhythm: Moving forward, the goal is to publish something every month. So all things being equal, we’ll publish a new version of Hanky Panky and a Feel Good story by the end of February.
- Operations person: We need to sort employee contracts, do a balance sheet, hire a web designer, etc. and I suspect I need to hire one more person for this work, bringing the core team to four (Assistant Editor, Assistant Producer, Research Assistant, and now a Manager).
- Animated series: Funmbi gave me the idea to make Hanky Panky into a series about the different lives that converge in Lagos traffic, so I’ll try to flesh that out this month. The tentative name is “Go Slow”.
- Cover Back: After The J Guide E3 is published, we’ll get back to Cover Bank. The goal for February is to bring the database up to date and, if there’s time, add a thousand more images.
We’ll see. 🤞🏾