Yesterday I announced on my newsletter some big news …. (If you’re not yet subscribed, I’m sharing some of the messy bits of my creative process in an easy to digest package.)
This past Friday Sept 2nd was my last day at CreativeLive…
…and I couldn’t be more excited.
I originally began drafting this note last week while overlooking the majestic California coastline, near Big Sur, as a part of a much-needed vacation. My intent was to tap out a few, simple lines to share with you the “bittersweet” news that I was wrapping up my time at CL and fully now upon my next chapter. I figured it would be short, punchy, and easy to schedule to go out on Friday Sept 2nd, but somewhere late in the email drafting process, when the second glass of wine kicked in, that I realized I was fibbing just a little.
When I took a beat and came back to the draft mail a little later, I realized it didn’t express what I was feeling and I needed to explore it a little more. What I landed on is that “Bittersweet” is something we’re trained to say on the way out the door because we love what we’ve created but that every chapter must have its ending – which is most often supposed to be sad. We’re trained to avoid the risk of someone misunderstanding our thoughts on the time we spent building something.
Well, on the contrary, I can sit here and write with confidence that today – it’s all just sweet. No bitter. My departure – after starting the company waaayyy back in 2010 – is just simply sweet! After being acquired this time last year, CreativeLive is today in Fiverr’s capable hands, and the community at CL now has a more clear path of putting their creative skills to work in service of making real money on the Fiverr platform. It’s big business now (and I’m not a big company sorta guy as I’m sure you can guess…) – and I wish every aspect of the platform all my very best, far into the future. …But it’s all still just sweet to me somehow because it’s time for a new chapter – for the company and for me. I’ve been able to wrap up my tenure there as founder, chairman, and longtime CEO (9 or so of it’s 12 years…I lost count) at the right time.
I’m so proud of what the highly committed team of many hundreds of past and present employees have built. The hard work put in by all.
We launched the internet’s first ever, longstanding, “live” learning platform.
We pioneered and innovated so much stuff at the intersection of tech and media; live and on-demand video; online learning and community.
We proudly served tens of millions of creative learners.
We brought in hundreds of millions in revenue.
We streamed billions on billions of minutes of learning content in partnership with legendary instructors and in collaboration with many incredible investors and friends.
We evolved numerous times over a dozen years – and were then acquired by a multi-billion dollar, publicly-traded company (FVRR: NYSE).
And I like to think along the way we made the world a richer, kinder, more accessible, joyful, – and definitely a more creative – place.
As an entrepreneur, those are good goals to have achieved.
But it ain’t all a highlight reel.
Were there hard times? Yes.
Lessons learned? Wow. Lots.
Things I’d do differently next time? Yes, too many to name.
Things we could have done way better? Duh, ya.
Will I miss many of my colleagues? Of course. (That’s the biggest one by far.)
But it’s all of these things and more that I NOW get to – amongst many other interests as well – reflect on, refine, adapt, evolve, share and build anew with you dear reader. It’s a new chance to dream with new co-conspirators and to dream with you about what amazing new adventures there might be in store for this community.
For starters, I can officially confirm a few things now: a new book is well underway. New commercial photography. Some fine art. New speaking gigs (watch out here I come). Many more new podcasts to record and share, new formats. This weekly-ish newsletter. More videos to make. And, yes, new companies to build.
But mostly this is my announcement of a return to “Maker” mode.
“Manager” mode has its virtues – and I’ve trained myself to get good at those bits, but you know I’m a maker at heart. So make I will. I may rest a bit here at the end of the summer, but I’m not one to relax for too long….so suffice to say it’s good to be back.
Now, to go full circle with you here – and given I’m a betting man – I’d bet THAT’S probably why you started paying attention to my work (and subscribed to this email right here) in the first place. Amirite!?
Ok then – let’s get on with it!
Lots of love.