When you start a company, there’s a lot of ‘how-to’ advice on building its culture. Articles to guide you on who the right people are to hire, how many members to bring on to your team (and when), what type of office spaces you should find to attract the right employees amongst rapid growth – even what type of furniture to buy to fill that space.
However, there is not a lot of advice on what to do when you have recently moved into an office provisioned for building out the culture you and your co-founder have dreamed of, but then not being able to occupy it. Or how to lead on the news that there’s a virus on the run with little knowledge of how it could impact a team member, personally or professionally. Nor, what to do when your team is frozen due to fear of losing their job.
Not to state the overly obvious, but there is no advice on how to maneuver a start-up in a worldwide pandemic.
This crisis has impacted nearly every single person on the planet, yet none of us have proven guidance clearly stating what the ‘right’ next step should be (a single misstep can kill a startup) or even how to be a CEO during such a time. Like a start-up, you figure it out along the way and try to adapt as quickly as possible.
This year had some clear setbacks for StudioNow. We had to make some very stressful decisions and have some very delicate conversations. Difficult times led to inspiring adaptation and even growth. As a company that’s always been transpicuous, we embraced new ways of working transparently with our employees and creators in a new on-line office; the Zoom room. We got to meet our team’s pets, children, and judged our peer’s bookshelves as we conducted back to back virtual meetings across five time zones in bedrooms, kitchens, and patios.
With all of the challenges that 2020 provided, there were multiple silver linings. It humanized so many businesses in an entirely new way – including ours. We saw capitalism often conceded to community, and at StudioNow, we all saw empathy in incredible and inspiring ways.
Our employees, clients, and creators watched StudioNow transform with the launch of our entirely new platform. With great strides forward during some very difficult circumstances, we re-imagined StudioNow and built an innovative way to manage the creative process – underlying our strive to become a leading collaborative visual production platform powered by the best network of visual creators around the world.
StudioNow’s mission statement reads: “We exist to dramatically improve efficiencies around visual content production and enable the creators who create it to thrive doing what they love.” I can honestly say that we’ve built a world-class platform that affords that statement to ring true. I personally look forward to giving life to it and thankfully, the need to capture and share visual stories will never be quarantined.
As you are a part of the StudioNow story, without your personal contribution, commitment to our company values, your creativity, and trust – we simply would not be where we are today. This must continue in 2021 because when we come together, there is absolutely no limit to what we can build or achieve. I truly look forward to the next StudioNow chapter with you.
To better times,
Chad Newell, CEO