It has been a while. Lots of change has happened in the last few weeks. For one, summer is on the way, I got a vaccine last week, and my balcony flowers are starting to bloom. But let’s address the big change.
Some of you might know by now, Anna, one of The Akin’s original co-founders, has taken the brave and difficult decision to leave the business and start a new chapter. As heartbreaking as that is, I support her choice and know that her next adventure will be one to watch.
The Akin always has endeavoured to be radically transparent, and I feel it’s my responsibility to share openly so it might help others.
At the beginning of January, both Anna and I were burned out from a global pandemic, working on a TA rebrand and still reeling from our busiest year of work to date. Like the rest of the world, we both examined our lives and questioned our futures.
Running a business is hard; you spend your time fighting fires whilst fanning new ones. The energy it takes to manage all that is intense. When Anna told me she was ready to exit, I understood her decision, but it hit me like a brick.
Settling the buy out of a co-founder is complicated. There are lots of moving parts to think about, and of course, money gets involved, which can be uncomfortable, and to add to that, it all needs to be legally tied up. We wanted to execute her exit with the intention of being kind and fair to each other. There have been times when it has tested our professionalism and friendship, and we both need some space and rest. But the dust will settle, and we can be proud of protecting the business we created.
I want to take this moment to thank Anna for her invaluable contribution to The Akin. Anyone who has met her knows how infectious her energy and kindness are. Together we actualised the dream we had four years ago when this project began. I will miss her presence in the company enormously.
For those who may be wondering what is next for The Akin. We have some exciting new things coming in May. First is our new positioning, look and feel, and after four years of makeshift branding, we now will have a logo! Then there is our Annual Futures project; we are excited to share it with you next month with a new format and perspective.
So now you got the gossip, here are some things you should know about:
In today’s world, trust is a currency that a brand cannot live without. Morning Consults annual Most Trusted Brand list is here. Unsurprisingly people are considerably more likely to seek out, pay more for, buy more, recommend and even forgive a brand if they trust it. Read it here.
The concept of cultural impact is not new – but it is ever-changing. Evolution in 2021 doesn’t mean being a “crisis chameleon” and rehashing your brand at every turn. The Fashion Law suggests the opposite: brands with a strong sense of who they are will adapt to change far better than those without. These are brands with the most potential for cultural impact. Read the thought piece here.
The future shopper could now be classed as a Digi-sapiens. Gen Zs and young Millennials have grown up in the digital era, blurring reality and fantasy. Lyst & The Fabricant explore attitudes towards virtual fashion experiences that are rapidly changing in the current climate.
You’ve heard of creators monetising via NFTs, but what about building their DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations)? No idea? Well, creator-focused platforms finally realised that wherever the creator goes, the audience and attention follows. As a result, platforms are aiming to attract top with compelling features and/ or cash monies. Patrick Rivera explores it here.
Signal Fire has created a Creator Economic Market Map, a crash course on over 100 top startups and tools built to help influencers. The map will give you both a broad and deep view of the creator ecosystem, which has more than 50 million content creators.
Do you know the internet? Know what a Politigram is? “Politigram is an online community: ages generally 13 to 17, overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly male, and mostly right-wing—but with a few interesting anomalies, left-wing accounts, etc. And it is something to understand as it could determine the future of politics.” The brilliant Sean Monohan interviews the equally smart Josh Citarella to talk about the concept over on 8ball.
The last decade maybe most importantly editorialized as a time of creative democratization. The decade to come has the potential to be marked by reinvention, adaptation and problem-solving. These questions led to a six-week think tank comprised of NeueHouse Members and TBWA\Chiat\Day staffers, exploring an idea known as Creative Sustainability. Read the very important white paper here.
The world happiness report is back again; the ninth annual edition of the World Happiness Report found that we were just as likely to experience and evaluate our lives positively as we were in 2019. Read here.
Building towards that creative, sustainable future is All Birds. They have created an open-source version of its Carbon Footprint Calculator online via Freethefootprint.com. Allbirds third-party verified life cycle assessment tool has been critical in its sustainability mission; the company wants others to use it “to drive the fashion industry toward a greener future.”
The jury’s out on this one, Akon wants to run a Senegal city on cryptocurrency—could it work? Envisioned as a sustainable smart city, Akon City has been pitched as a residential and commercial hub, complete with resorts, towering condos, recording studios, a stadium, and e-commerce franchises. The city will run on solar and wind energy to circumvent the country’s unreliable power supply. It will also run on Akoin, a new cryptocurrency currently being piloted by the Grammy Award-nominated singer.
72 and Sunny x Tinder = SMART, creating an apocalyptic, choose-your-own-adventure love story for Gen Z. ’Swipe Night’ is a dynamic choose-your-own-adventure style experience — full of twists, turns and a range of real-life moral dilemmas that matched users based on the way they played. Watch the trailer here.
A weird concept, but an important one to think about - mourning lost online content. “we believe personal creations online will never decay, fade, rust or go missing. They’d be secure in the elusive cloud. Indefinitely pristine. But not only are we wrong about their longevity, we never consider they could be murdered. Not by villainous criminals, but by the platforms that we trusted to host our personal artefacts.” Interested, head here to read more.
Award-winning Taiwanese filmmakers behind Design and Thinking and Maker are launching a new project called 'Relationships’. The film covers modern love & marriage, family, self, living and tech relationships. Captured through a modern Asian lens for a global audience. See the trailer here.
Until next week x