Editor's Letter — May 2018 and Picking the Right Medium
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We’ve made some small but important decisions regarding the stories we publish on MAEKAN. For the past while, we discovered we were often forcing ourselves to tell an audio story when it wasn’t always the most fitting medium. Stories and tasks piled up as the reality of full-fledged audio storytelling took its toll. The audio experience is still one we love and are committed to exploring, but in order to grow, we are conceding that there are different solutions for different opportunities. We found ourselves making audio stories that could have worked just as well, or even better, as written pieces—putting round pegs in square holes. This was definitely true for single-person monologues and as such, this month and going forward, we’re going to start being more considerate about publishing stories in the appropriate medium.
For creators, you’re often ruminating over a slew of different things with plenty of big question marks mixed in. These uncertainties differ from person to person, but they can range from finding consistent pay, not burning out, and staying inspired. If you were to dig down into each of these topics, I suspect you’d eventually reach an underlying recurring theme: sustainability.
When I was younger, I used to think that the creative process was something that was meant to be difficult, messy, and above all else, unscripted. Things were often painstakingly difficult and we’d get bogged down almost trying to reinvent the wheel with each progressive take.
I recognized myself going through these processes, but my greatest personal challenge has been the overly complex nature of these systems that pandered to a weird personal fetish around a detail-oriented process.
I had half of it figured out.
A successful process replicates itself every day and establishes a level of trust, and a strong brand is a by-product of that consistent process. Naturally, a strong brand also allows you to put that layer across a number of different products that expand beyond original positioning. Do we want to create a MAEKAN hotel or airline in the future? Absolutely, why not. But solving smaller challenges consistently needs to come first.
We’ve established a foundation with audio storytelling, but it was overly restrictive in some capacities. The goal is to tell the best story using the best medium, not restrict ourselves to any singular format, which by-and-large has been the case with our storytelling. To come back to the original idea around the creative process. We’re still constantly told to “think outside the box.” I don’t believe that to be true. I say instead: define the box’s shape and size, then play within it. This box you create serves as the consistent parameters and what you create becomes valuable, understood, and hopefully scalable.
Until next month,