In 2010, Seth Godin asked people to make a list of what they shipped. I did the exercise in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. I have come to believe that this is a important exercise, especially for entrepreneuers to see what they have accomplished.
2018 felt like a reset year for me.
In April, I stepped out of my role at IT Revolution, something I had been involved with since 2013. It took me some time to get figure how to spend my time. Walking away from something that was a significant chunk of my life and professional identity made it feel like I didn’t accomplish much this year.
And then I started making this list and it proved yet again why it is such a good exercise.
What did I ship this year?
- Published a completely updated version of Every Book Is A Startup.
- Started a networking group for book publishing professionals in Portland. We met four times throughout the year.
- Worked with three authors on their book projects.
- Helped my wife Amy move into and open her new office for Silver Mountain Health.
- I posted a series of 40-ish blog posts to test what it was like writing with that frequency again.
- I started a podcast called Better Books and posted three episodes.
- Signed the next author I’ll be publishing in 2019.
- Walked 12.5 miles from my house to Dharma Rain Zen Center on an early morning to mark the opening of our Fall Ango training period.
- I sat for my first week-long meditation retreat at Dharma Rain. I also sat for two other four day retreats.
- Celebrated a company I helped start got sold to Google.
In 2010, Seth Godin asked people to make a list of what they shipped. I did the exercise in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. I have come to believe that this is a important exercise, especially for entrepreneuers to see what they have accomplished.
What did I ship this year?
And I helped 16 Kickstarter projects make their way into the world.
In 2010, Seth Godin asked people to make a list of what they shipped. I did the exercise in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. I have come to believe that this is a important exercise, especially for entrepreneuers to see what they have accomplished.
The most important thing that happened this year was my wife Amy Buckley graduating from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine with a Master’s Degree in Oriental Medicine. I am so proud of her for completing this segement of your journey towards helping heal others.
What did I ship this year?
And I helped 24 Kickstarter projects make their way into the world.
In 2010, Seth Godin asked people to make a list of what they shipped that year. I did the exercise in 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2014. I have come to believe that this is a important exercise, especially for solopreneuers to see what they have accomplished.
What did I ship this year?
And I helped 33 makers ship their own crowdfunded projects.
In 2010, Seth Godin asked people to make a list of what they shipped that year. I did the exercise in 2010, 2012 and 2013. I have come to believe that this is a important exercise, especially for solopreneuers to see what they have accomplished.
The biggest thing I did in 2014 was start a publishing company. Astronaut Projects shipped five titles this year, widening distribution on two books and launching three new ones to the marketplace. As for the new ones:
- If you work in enterprise IT or know someone who does, The Phoenix Project is a great book for them. We have more than 75,000 copies and the sales keep growing each month.
- If being a leader is a part of what you do (and a hint: it is a part of what everyone does), then you need to read 10th anniversary edition of Radical Leap and then read Radical Edge.
Playing publisher this year has had me going to trade shows, dealing with inventory stock-outs, and planning strategy for how to build on the successes we have had. The most important thing it has shown me is how the scale of distribution can make a huge difference in the success of a book.
The second thing I did was travel. Alot. In July, I spent two weeks solo in Japan. In August, we took a two week road trip to meet my family in Colorado. And in September, I spent the better part of a week in San Juan Islands with a great friend. I also had trips to San Francisco and New York City.
The one goal I didn’t accomplish was relaunching the Every Book Is a Startup. I looked at it several times throughout the year. I got the book moved out into a format I could edit and found that I wanted to rewrite the whole thing. My view of books as startups has evolved alot in the last two years. The time to clarify those views was hard to come by. I continue to think it is important and am thinking about how I can accomplish this one in the new year.
I am grateful for everything that was 2014 and I found myself more focused on the quality of the effort rather than the magnitude of the outcomes.
There are changes afoot for 2015. More about those next week.
In 2010, Seth Godin asked people to make a list of what they shipped that year. I did the exercise in 2010 and 2012 and decided to do it again this year. I have come to believe that this is a important exercise, especially for solopreneuers to see what they have accomplished.
- The Phoenix Project (1/15/13) – We spent much of 2012 building on this project and I spent most of 2013 launching and spreading word of this book. We have sold 28,000 copies of The Phoenix Project and learned so much about shipping. We used Google Adwords to test titles and subtitles. We followed up with SurveyMonkey gathered invaluable feedback on the book and how we were promoting it, which lead us to a 3-day Free Kindle giveaway and 20,000 downloads. We have more planned for this book and another in 2014.
- Year Two at NCNM – My wife spent the last 12 months in school full time studying Chinese Medicine. It was a lot of work
- 1000 Lunches – With my wife in school, I am the primary person shipping three kids off to school every day and picking them back up. 200 nights of homework. 250 loads of laundry. This is a nod to everyone who is doing the same.
- Monster Loyalty (5/2/2013) – I helped my friend Jackie Huba find a home for this project at Portfolio. It was great to see Jackie take her passion for Lady Gaga and expertise in marketing to create a great book.
- Teaching Publishing at Wizard Academy (9/4/13-9/5/13) – I was honored to teach a wonderful group of authors in Austin. I shared the stage with my good friend Ray Bard and got to spend two days talking about what make book succeed.
- I started a Zen Buddhist practice when we moved to Oregon in 2010. This year, I decided to take the next step in my practice and take a teacher. The most visible part of that choice was the three month process of sewing of a rakasu.
2014 is shaping already to be a big year. I’ll start to share those goals next week.
Seth Godin had started a meme in 2010 where he asked people to make a list of what they shipped that year. I did the exercise in 2010, missed it last year, and decided to return to it again this year.
I have come to believe that this is a important exercise, especially for freelancers to see what they have accomplished.
Here is what I came up with for 2012:
- New Ebook Version of The 100 Best Business Books of All Time (1/4/12) – We spent months working on a new electronic edition of our book. A lot had changed with formats and devices in the three years since the book was first published and we wanted the book to act more like an app. If you buy the ebook edition, you will find it filled with links to other books both inside and outside the book.
- Every Book Is A Startup – Version 3.0 (1/20/12) – A new edition came out and I did a short Q&A about the challenges of serialized publishing.
- Taught Two Courses in the Publishing Program at Portland State (Winter and Spring Terms) – I spent time in the classroom this year teaching two graduate classes. In the winter, I taught Publications Management, a 10 week MBA for creative types. In the spring, we tried a new class called Entrepreneurial Publishing, where students came into the class with ideas they wanted to develop into businesses. Anyone who has taught knows how much work it is teach that a class for the first time. These were two big projects in the first half of the year.
- miniTOC Austin Talk (3/8/12) – I was proud of this talk. I pushed hard on the idea of minimum viable publishing and talked about the possibilities in the most complete way I have to date. The tie to the copy of the Gutenberg Bible at University of Texas still feels good.
- Ken Segall’s Insanely Simple launches (4/26/12) – I was happy to see Ken’s book about Apple so well received both here and overseas. This was the first book that I served as literary agent on.
- “Being Direct” in Publisher’s Weekly (8/21/12) – All the talk about “discoverability” finally got to me and I wrote my rebuttal to this idea that suddenly readers where having a hard time finding books. I suggest that if publishers had a relationship with readers much of the consternation would be solved.
- Speaking at SOBCON NW (9/28/12-9/30/12) – I was honored that Liz and Terry asked me to lead one of the Masterminds and talk about the importance of customer feedback. We talked about everything from Amazon reviews to Net Promoter Score.
- Every Book Is A Startup – Version 4.0 (11/5/12) – This new release contained a chapter on pricing and an extended interview with Eric Ries.
The most important project we shipped this year was my wife starting at the Natural College of Nautropathic Medicine in September. It was also the best best thing to happen this year, but this beginning was another milestone among many over the last few years as we moved across the country, bought a new home and the whole family adjusted to a new life here in Portland.
Looking ahead, 2013 is already shaping up to be a great year. I am teaching again at Portland State. A number of clients have projects that will launch in the first half of the year. And I want to get back to more writing, so look for a new project early in the new year.
Best Wishes to you in the New Year!
My year started with some big questions about what was next and in May, a trip to Oregon answered many of those questions.
Seth started a shipping meme yesterday. Here is a list of what I shipped, a list I am very proud of.
Happy New Year!