Or as our Fearless DevOps Leader would say, time for The Rebootening.
I bought the linkingarts.com domain name in 2001, before even LinkedIn existed. I started the company with two amazing partners, but we just didn’t gel as co-founders. We worked together for years (he is a brilliant programmer, she a rock-solid manager and organizer), but the mix wasn’t right for partnership.
It was a different world, a time of “webmasters” and the first dotcom boom, and bust. No iPhones. No Twitter or Facebook. The most cutting-edge sites used Adobe Flash. Netflix mailed DVDs. Unbelievably, you could keep them as long as you wanted. We were in Silicon Valley (Oakland and later San Francisco), and the parties were ridiculous. We started the company as a side hustle; by day I worked as IT Director for a film festival. In 2004 I left for good to flog Linking Arts full-time, and it kept me and others going until around 2020. Not a bad run.
Several painful circumstances led to the end of Linking Arts, or should I say, Linking Arts v.1. In 2013 we launched our own startup, Wedocracy, a wedding-planning app targeted at diverse couples, particularly those having destination weddings. We poured everything we had into it, all our time, money, effort, and most of all, passion. But none of those turned out to be enough, and we never gained the traction (or VC investment) needed to succeed. We’ve picked apart what we could have done differently (could we have focused more on finances and less on product? More on marketing and less on fundraising? Probably! Were we ahead of our time? Maybe). But putting everything into Wedocracy meant Linking Arts came second. And that took a toll.
One pandemic and a bit of recovery time later, I’ve got new, exciting talent in the mix and renewed excitement for what Linking Arts can be. Looking back, we’ve had some fabulous, fascinating clients and gigs, including building a social network in New York, guerrilla marketing an indie film, launching our own router company in Mexico, leading a UX process for the gamified release of a new Starbucks frappuccino flavor, reorganizing an entrepreneurship non-profit in New Orleans, designing a film society’s webzine in San Francisco, creating and coding mobile apps for treasure hunt fundraisers, cloud pareidolia sketches, 11:11 believers, Justin Bieber Beliebers, and many more. And this was all pre-AI!
I, and some fresh faces, can’t wait to see what’s coming our way. Stay tuned for a revamp (not just the logo, either) and reorientation. Let us know if you’ve got a project we can slay!
Please enjoy the following lark. Because why not.