1000 Days to Day 1
Xperian. All reals.
Ready for the game
Today is 2nd April 2021. Team Xperian completes 1000 days of moratorium. Yes, you read it right. A 1000 day moratorium (a period of delay). A planned one. A focused one. A committed time to figure things out.
How did it all start?
2011-2018 : Let's solve wicked problems of the world. The best way to do it is an agency. Tada! Let's do it 🎉 The seven year consulting stint (Oghma) starts here.
As a premium user experience agency, we had Fortune 100 clients in our portfolio, enough cash in our bank balance, several projects in pipeline, many ongoing projects and well paying clients. What more could we have asked for?
We worked passionately every single day. We gave our best to every project we picked. We poured our heart and soul into every pixel we crafted. But something left us exhausted, depleted, tarnished and empty inside. We felt this unanimously as a team. This was puzzling.
We solved the most wicked problems for the most popular brands of our time. We loved every bit of it. Isn't this what success sounds like?
Except that we lost our sleep, our cognitive fitness, our health and more during this period. We paid a huge price for being passionate. It made us question, if passion was worth it at all 🤔
It was 1st April 2018 (exactly three years ago). For the first time the fools day had a significance in our thinking. We truly felt like fools for not taking care of ourselves for almost 7 years in a row.
We looked around. We asked our maker friends if they are also feel the burn out. Shockingly, we heard a resounding YES. We digged deeper to understand the problem further.
We realised that we belong to an emerging, significant and a special profession. The industry was and is still wrapping its head around it. Here are some of our findings:
- A detailed portfolio (takes several months to make one) is a must to get selected for a phone screening. Forget the actual interview.
- Our interviews feel like an internship. Our unpaid take home assignment lasts upto a week. Imagine going through five interviews at a time.
- It is a default expectation to produce wow-some, sexy, simple, unique and original work in a stringent timeline and a shoe-string budget. The deadline always was yesterday.
- Our profession is super inclusive. It is the only profession where everyone can have an opinion and everyone can take decisions. Just the final accountability is ours.
- It is also the only profession where we are paid to send most of our work to dumpster. It does pinch sometimes.
- And more such.
Makers who solve the world's wickedest problems deserve better. They must be cared for.
We felt it is worthwhile to dedicate our lives to raise the bar of creative problem solving hereafter. This is exactly when the vision of Xperian was born. The WHY was clear. However, we had no idea about the WHAT and HOW.
A blank canvas with a shining North Star in front of us made us think harder and deeper. We decided to spend next one billion seconds of our lives to raise the bar of creative problem solving.
That number roughly translates to 30+ years.
Our thumb rule was to spend 10% of time (30 years) in figuring out things that are worth doing. So that is how 3 years moratorium came into picture. Little did we know that we would also taste a pandemic in this period.
3 makers.1000 days. 1 awesome ride. 30+ MVPs. 100+ experiments. 4Cr (~600K USD) in revenue from trying things out.
Today we complete "that" 1000 day experimental journey.
The good news is, we did find what we want to do for next 27 years. The great news is, we did find what we will never do for the next 27 years as well.
In this journey we learnt tons. We transformed both as individuals and as a team inside-out. The metamorphosis is real. We became better product people. We made better products. Above all, we discovered how to be, become and belong as makers.
For the next 27 years and more, we have decided to dedicate our lives to help makers make better digital products using design, product and no-code. Time to start our all reals.
We want to do the above via a community, education, coaching, advisory and consulting for individuals and businesses.
We've come a long way, yet it is just day one.
We want to share everything we learnt in these 1000 days with you. Over a period of next 100 days we will take you through our lessons learnt journey in the form of a podcast. Stay tuned and join us on the reflective journey.
Appreciate you all for the amazing support during the moratorium with your advices, feedback, engagement and more. We wouldn't have found the best jobs on this planet if not for this period.
Here's a special tribute to celebrate our tribe.