I'll be completely honest - I've been thinking about this 1000th post for the past few days. I actually had the idea of reading some Medium posts, inspirational books and dig up some cool quotes, but that's actually pointless. This would be a no-edit kind of post and as much as I try to avoid preaching or imposing my values, ideas and understandings of life on others, I think this milestone would be a good opportunity for me to speak up about the things I care, dream and think of. It's a post where for a spec of time this website stops being a music discovery platform and turns back into weweregivenhope - the predecessor of Stereofox.
I had zero to no expectations about the development of "the project" back when I first sent those few messages 2 years ago. I just wanted to learn and music was the thing I gave most fucks about. I guess now its a good time to express my gratitude towards Gery, Darius, Dora, Alex, Anna, Peter and Sam who immediately jumped onboard and together shaped the initial concept. Yes, it is not the most revolutionary thing out there and yes many of its features are bits and pieces from other platforms, but I am immensely proud of what we created literally from scratch. I am also proud of the fact that these 25+ people from all around the world have decided to dedicate their time in the name of something useful for the people out there. Reaching 40+k visitors per month, I would like to believe that what we do makes someone's day slightly better.
If you have been following our story, you probably know that money is not the driving force behind what we do. I don't know what is it. Pure love for music, desire to learn and apply new knowledge or simply trying to prove that things are possible? I can't speak for the team, but to this day I still don't have any idea what makes me wake up in the morning with the thought "I wanna share a beautiful song today".
Being part of this project has given me not only the chance to meet some of my favourite bands, but it taught me most of the things I know about Design/UX, Programing and Digital marketing. Hell, it is probably the reason why I got my job position. It helped me connect with other people passionate about music, some of which eventually became my friends. I would never forget the day I interviewed the dudes from Caspian. Actually, there are so many cool memories I associate with this little website...
In that line of thought, I couldn't stress enough on how much I encourage people to start or participate in projects in their free time. Whether its related to a hobby or area you want to expand your knowledge to - it is an invaluable experience and it brings joy, satisfaction and a feeling of *enter adjective here*. Regardless of if you know me in person or not, if you ever need to ask anything - my inbox welcomes you.
There are three things I would like to share with you right now and I think they apply irrespectively of the type of project. Firstly, do things for the right reasons. A lot of projects dissolve because the goals or the motivation are unreal. Secondly, the importance of being honest, open and respectful towards others. Even if things are not as good as you want them to be, have the decency to communicate that. Be fair to everyone related to the project and show your fans and community not only the shiny side of things, but the problems which come along the way. We're all human and we all make mistakes. Thirdly, do things which make you happy. Money, number of visitors, bounce rate - these are all just numbers. They are not happiness and the moment of realization of this fact is not a pleasant one.
Speaking of humans, once again I want to say how lucky I feel I am for having a family, friends and a team (techies, writers, audio-visuals, my brother Juanito) who are not only absolutely awesome and supportive, but just... genuinely nice people. I know it would sound like a cliche, but none of this would have happened or would make sense if it wasn't for these people. I wish words can express my gratitude for all these guys and as much as I want to list them all, I will refrain myself from doing so. Also, everyone who shared, liked, spread the word about us, donated in the Indiegogo campaign - you boys and girls are great!
Sadly, there are always two sides of the coin. Don't take this next few lines as a complaint. It's simply explaining how things happen sometimes. Besides all the cool aspects of doing this which definitely out-weight the negative points, not everything is glitter. As much as it's all for fun, I've often felt some sort of internal pressure to do things better, faster and more efficient. To grow, change and improve. Adding this to the full-time daily job and basic human needs to be a social animal, this pressure at times affected me in a way I didn't like. It has led me to spend countless nights worrying about the project (especially during the time of re-design) and forgetting about important aspects of life such as some people in it. People who have influenced me more than they can imagine or I could put into words and whose existence and presence I miss so much. I am glad I realized I was wrong, I've changed and found a balance and hopefully one day they will see that too.
I don't know what future holds, but I know that even if/when we grow immensely, Stereofox would never be just a business. It's passion before anything else.
So, what did 1000 posts teach me?
Don't just follow a path. Have personality. Be honest and open-minded. Persistence, patience, passion.
Thank you for investing your time in reading this.