At the end of every year I am thinking more about the coming year and all that I want to accomplish and what I didn’t quote finish. But actually taking the time to look back at 2022 I’m a surprised at how much happened in the KmikeyM community.
I waited not so patiently for my TEDx talk to get released. I was in Austria in late 2021 for the talk and managed to have a great time and not get COVID (the numbers spiked there soon after I left). Then it was a few months before the talk finally went online, coming as a bit of surprise on March 13th.
I really wanted to give a super tight talk, but I ended up clocking in at 22 minutes! There was just too much to say about this 10+ year project. More than 32K people have watched it, which is pretty amazing considering the length. (Thanks again to Jona for the amazing work on the slides!)
I had hoped that this would have been an opportunity that sparked more chances to give talks, because while I get INCREDIBLY nervous, I do enjoy it. But my choice to get really honest and look at the ups and downs of being publicly traded kept the focus very personal, which I think makes it less fitting for a typical speaking gig.
The year started off with a new job at Roll where I was hired to be the “Community and Creator Evangelist.” I was very excited to take everything I learned with KmikeyM and help others build their communities using web3 protocols. It ended up not being a great fit as the company was still in the erratic phase of looking for product/market fit but needing to invent milestones to show progress to VCs. This resulted in a bit of a dog and pony show in terms of priorities and I found the lack of depth around community building to be frustrating.
I coped with some of disappointments of that job by investing in my office space. I added some new monitors, re-arranged things, and bought a nice office chair. Important lesson: Invest in yourself! All of these investments continue to serve me! I mean, just look at all these monitors:
One person the talk did impress was my friend and shareholder Kevin. He’s a writer and documentary film producer and we’d talked about the idea of doing something with KmikeyM together. After he saw the TEDx talk we got serious about the idea of writing a book.
We found an agent (weirdly we both went out through our networks and ended up on the same person!), Kirby Kim, who helped us shape the proposal over the next few months. We wrote a sample chapter and scoped out the rest of the book and submitted the proposal just before the holidays this year.
The biggest impact on the KmikeyM share price was the hostile takeover. Back in 2021 someone I didn’t know asked me some questions about how shares worked and ended our little Q&A on an interesting note:
He seemed interested, but didn’t even create an account, so I followed him on Twitter (if you like SaaS you’ll love his Twitter) and forgot all about it.
As I was preparing for the Shareholder Summit I also released a number of new shares in an auction. I watched as bids came in and was incredibly surprised when a massive bid was made and a new name rose to the top of the KmikeyM Leaderboard.
Taking a massive position of 10% of all outstanding shares @Patticus now has almost twice the number of shares of my previous biggest shareholder. The entire community was shocked, and initially it was a secret who this new major player in my life was, but he agreed to sit for a chat during the Shareholder Summit, and explained his takeover was more a “friendly” hostile takeover.
Also, see his tweet thread about it here.
Surprisingly the reveal of the major shareholder was not the biggest draw of the Shareholder Summit. While thinking about the event I decided I wanted to hear from shareholders and stakeholders, but instead of the previous years of presentations about areas of expertise, to focus them on their own shareholder journey.
Using the amazing technical production skills and facilities Aaron has built in Portland I hosted a series of three fireside chats.
The first was a look at the past with my oldest friend and project-partner Josh and Jed, one of a small number of friends from my Army days.
And then the unveiling of the mysterious new powerful man in my life chatting with my former co-founder Marcus (see video above).
I ended the Summit on what felt like, if not exactly risky, a little bit of a dangerous note. My partner Kathryn and my ex-fiancé Marijke sat down in person for a talk about how being publicly traded has impacted my personal life.
To this day I have a hard time re-watching this one. This might be the weirdest thing I have ever done, and I didn’t even really do anything. The idea for this wasn’t even mine! I am glad it happened, it made me incredibly uncomfortable, and I wouldn’t recommend this to others.
Other Projects + Events
While those were the major shareholder events, a lot else happend this year!
Marcus and I kicked off Experimental Garden Group, which is an investment club and community media project. We started with a first season as a podcast produced with help from DJ Shadowband and Tom Carroll.
We raised some money and have invested in a number of speculative endeavors (including some Hawaiian shirts, a vintage video game, and a virtual horse). Season 2 just kicked off as a mailing list. That will likely run through most of 2023 and then we’ll see what happens next!
Kathryn and I travelled across the country again this summer, with plenty of bike rides as we continue our quest to ride bikes in every state.
As has become my annual tradition, I bought $100 of onions from the internet and took this inspired photo.
3 Minute Review, our near daily podcast, had so many episodes in 2022 (and will continue in new year. We have 4.8 / 5 stars on Apple Podcasts and a total of 526 episodes!
Alex and I hosted another Guerrilla Happy Hour at The Blue Room when he visited Los Angeles. This is an event series we’ve been sporadically doing since 2011.
We visited a bunch of places in California this year including Santa Barbara, Ojai, San Diego, Cambria, Huntington Beach, Sacramento, and Redding.
I rode my bike, played tennis, went to the gym, hiked with george, and swam a bunch for exercise.
And I did a pretty terrible job of taking photos this year, which is something I’d like to work on for 2023.
Stats and Figures
- Other than the strange flash crash the share price is trading higher than usual!
- There were 12 Shareholder Votes.
- We hosted a shareholder poker game every week of the year, even when I couldn’t make it.
I used to track my various social media accounts each month, going all the way back to 2011. While I didn’t update every month I did note the numbers at the beginning and end of the year.
- Total Follower Count is up 4.32% since January of 2022.
- Highest percentage gain was Instagram which is 20.91% higher.
- Second highest is YouTube Subscribers, up 17.73%
- Lowest drop percentage is Tumblr with -11.96%
- Second lowest is @K5M_Diary Twitter account with -6.95%.
But the most meaningful numbers are:
- K5M User Accounts: +11.50% in 2022
- 2022 most recent number: 3752
- 2011 first number recorded: 128
- K5M Shareholders: +3.42% in 2022
- 2022 most recent number: 1179
- 2020 first number recorded: 970
Retroactively, cherry picking the highlights, it was actually a very good an interesting year for KmikeyM. Personally it was pretty hard, but most of the hard parts happened early in the year, and are a little fuzzy in my memory.
In looking over the events of the last year I’m reminded that no amount of planning or prediction counts for very much. One reacts to what is thrown at them, or as was famously said,
“No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.”Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke
That’s not to say planning is useless. Benjamin Franklin would have liked the words of wisdom from shareholder Murat when he gave his presentation on Product Speculation and told us all, “Plan the work, work the plan.”
“If You Fail to Plan, You Are Planning to Fail”Benjamin Franklin
So the next task is to plan 2023 in so far as one can plan anything. Ultimately any plan is a dynamic document, but it’s nice to start out with some thoughts, ideas, and schemes.