First, an explanation of where we’ve been these past few months.
In January, our family went to Japan. Nobody intended to work. In fact, that was one of the rules. We wanted to experience Tokyo, and cross something significant off our bucket list. Cindy got to visit Studio Ghibli, one of her favourite anime houses. I, Chris, watched some boxing at the legendary Korakuen Hall.
At one point, we visited the Yokohama Museum of Art. That’s where we got the idea for this site re-design.
The creativity in Japan is outstanding. From the Harajuku fashion district to the artisan seafood restaurants, we were impressed with the audacious designs. Tokyo is one cultured city. Indeed, along with New York City and Paris, it is one of the world’s truly world class cities.
But Tokyo’s past 100 years have witnessed tremendous change. It is currently world renowned for its technological innovation. Yet, it’s not so far removed from its recent medieval history.
The Yokohoma Museum of Art was showcasing photography of the past 100 years. From geishas beneath cherry blossoms to bosozoku biker kids revving their engines to salarymen riding the trains, it’s remarkable what’s been recorded on black and white film.
Feeling inspired, I adjusted my phone camera filters so it would mimic the look and fell of the 1960s. To my astonishment, I discovered the Japan of 2017 wasn’t so different from the Japan of 1962. Soon, I fell in love with this discovery.
Who Are We?
If you look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, you’ll see that self-actualization sits at the top of the pyramid. In each of us, there’s a desire to intimately know who we actually are. What makes us tick?
Periodically, the same has to be known about businesses. Every venture has a mission. It’s the engine that makes the whole thing run.
The first year of running Boldkick was full of lessons. Because I had spent the past seven years building a start-up, I unconsciously ran Boldkick like a start-up. In fact, many people would look at our site and ask what product we developed.
At the end of the day, though, we are creatives offering our services. Our passion is the art of social media, and the old website wasn’t exactly saying that. How do we adequately communicate that our first concern is human connection?
Let’s Make Art
What I often tell clients is that social media isn’t a young technology. It’s actually one of our oldest. We’ve been doing social media since the caveman days. It’s called art.
Art is what humans use to communicate our experiences to other humans. When you think about, isn’t it amazing that inanimate objects can represent something as abstract as thought? And isn’t it even more amazing that physical objects, like servers and fibre optics, can run something as ethereal as the Internet? It’s called “the cloud” for a reason.
Because all of this takes computer science to run, we sometimes get side-tracked by the analytics. We put undue focus on KPIs, or as one of my colleagues calls it, “clackety clack”. But human relationships must be experienced.
So when we came back from our hiatus, we wanted to make it apparent that social media requires art. It requires well-crafted copy, design, and strategy. If you want to build something beautiful on social media, you’ll need a blueprint, and then execution of that blueprint.
Real and Stark
When I began my black and white photography, I found that a lack of colour forces you to see the world through different parameters. You have to start looking at tone, contrast, and texture. Some things that seem modest take on a authentically gritty character.
This is what we discovered about Tokyo. When you remove all the colour, it is no longer peppy and jovial. You begin to see calm and sad outliers of city life. There are many.
In many ways, this is a metaphor for Boldkick too. Once we removed the extraneous colour that overwhelmed our previous site, we knew that we wanted to tell stories. Believe me, great brands have a story that’s worth being told, and we want to tell the good tales.
It just so happens that our story is about people dedicated to the craft of our art. Our art is social media.