If you ever need advice, I recommend you talk to V. I once told her that I think she should open an advice booth like Lucy from Peanuts. V’s advice is always solid and smart and honest without fear. One day, about five years ago, I asked her for some career advice and she gave it to me, and she added, “You’ll do all of these things, and they’re like pixels in your life. One day you’ll zoom out and see the whole picture. The whole picture is what you’re meant to do.”
For the past two years I kept trying to zoom out and see the picture. I had published two books, blogged successfully for years, done speakerships, organized a very successful event series and the picture that it showed me was to be a digital marketer. I’ve been zooming out for the past several months trying to see how marketing fits in to the picture. And I’ve been trying to wedge in my obsessive thinking that I can teach the world to cook. Never mind that I have no formal cooking experience nor am I a very talented cook. I am a brave cook, but not particularly talented. Until about March of this year, I couldn’t figure out how to combine all of the writing and the marketing with the cooking.
Here’s what happened in March — I was on a walk with Fancyhats and I had an idea. We walked on. I put the idea away. Two weeks later, Fancyhats sent me a note and said, that was a really excellent idea. I should pursue that.
I then went to San Francisco and was staying with my dear friend Hannah and sitting in her living room with her husband J, who’s a very smart guy that I respect and love hassling in equal measure. J said, “Melissa, what’s next for you? What’s next?” And I shrugged. But Hannah and J know me way too well. And he kept pressing me. I said, “Well, I have this idea.” And I explained it to him. And he said, “That’s so smart. Do it.”
So I did.
I have a new project that combines every single pixel of my working life. It’s got being a mom, a marketer, a novelist, an event producer, an editor and a lover of technology. It’s got my experience as intern when I was 19 at the SFSU literary magazine and the seasonal systems I learned as a bookseller. It’s got my experience marketing technology and working with a specific demographic. Oh and I managed to wedge cooking in there too.
Here’s where the project is at: it’s funded, and we’ve hired a developer and a designer. I own the URL where some of it will live, but more of it will live on your phone. I’ve seen the second round of wireframes and given my feedback. We’ll start the coding next week for an August 15 launch.
Many of the readers of this blog know what it is. They’ve seen the wireframes and listened to the whole idea. I’ve been telling more and more people about it and it’s interested to watch their reactions. Some people get it and say yes, give me that. Others say, good for you and that’s it. Everyone says, That is so smart. Which it is. It’s wicked smart.
I know that if I could work on this thing 24 hours a day I would. I’ve never experienced a start-up before. Can I call it a start-up? Am I now a women in tech? Maybe. I get thrilled every single time I look at the wireframes. I want to jump up and down and I’d really like to talk to the developer every single day and text him and talk to him, and video conference call, but I don’t want to seem crazy. And he has a regular job too, so I try to give him space. But GIVE ME MORE!
I’m super excited to launch and show everyone the finished product. And also many of you will be beta testers. No, you didn’t volunteer. Yes, I am volunteering you. Thank you for participating.
Stay tuned for the awesomeness as it happens!