30 December, 2016
I definitely haven’t been faithful to this blog for the bulk of this year. No excuses, I’ve just lacked the discipline needed to show it true affection.
My lack of writing aside, I just wanted to do a little shout-out before the year comes to a close. Not just because we grew Level99 into something I hope most of us love but because we got there on our terms (how rare is that?). Valuing relationships, delivering results and treating people the way we’d expect others to treat us.
Most importantly, we all used the word ‘No’ more than we’d ever done before. We only took work we believed in, devoted ourselves to it and often spent more time with our clients than our families.
We lost a Co-founder in Kim but we all learned a lot from him. We created logo’s not just our mothers love. Helped build a team brand with 3 of the most amazing human beings in DOTA2. Developed and ran social media brands that even Reddit approved. Designed and coded websites and apps that pushed us. Created work that helped sell out venues for esports biggest Tournament Organizers. Gave advice but always only charged for impactful work.
In an industry full of consultants on monthly retainers telling people what to do and never doing it, writing about things they’ve never achieved (but hopefully you will someday) and talking behind people’s back to win business.. we’re still here with our conscience in tact.
I’ve loved every single moment of the incredibly satisfying yet bumpy ride we had this year because of just one reason.
The people I work with are the most empathetic, team-first, honest, talented group of lifelong learners I know. We grew this idea over a year ago into a little agency with now just under 30 full-time amazing people that I frankly don’t even deserve to be in the same room with. The work I’ve been surrounded by this year, the things we have accomplished together… 2016 has literally been the most amazing year in my professional life and I have every 99′er to thank for it.
To whoever is still with 99 at the end of next year, I hope that together we can keep living our dreams doing what we love. I say whoever because if you’re an agency, esports team or even general esports business reading this, I wouldn’t be shocked for a moment if you finally succeed in hiring a 99′er. If we’re not better next year than this year, I expect our competitors to try and take the golden geese. If you are or were a part of this place we call ‘work’ at some point, you will always be someone I have an infinite respect for.
To the 99′ers here today, thank you for accepting me for this long as your colleague or even friend. I will do everything I can to contribute in some way to making your lives better next year. I won’t name the other people I have learned from and am so deeply thankful to this year because they know who they are… working with you all and watching you succeed has been nothing short of incredible.
And hey, maybe I’ll get off my ass and start penning down some more humbled thoughts from an industry amateur sometime soon.