Fuck Up Diaries III

Written by: Stephanie Andrews

Our Founder and CEO, Steph Andrews chats about her third and fabulous failure - launching Origins Mag... for the fourth time.

It’s been a long road for Origins Magazine. We’ve gone from being a blog on WIX, to a WordPress failure, to another WordPress failure before finally executing our own brand plan. 

Ironically, with all odds against us, in the time that our platform was out of commission, we managed to build a solid creative agency with consistent clientele. It’s become second nature for us to define other people’s brands, figure out what they need, and execute it. Meanwhile in the background, Origins Magazine – the original concept we were founded on, has been slowly disintegrating. 

At the end of the day, it comes down to a principle I l carry throughout my daily life; if you try to please everyone but yourself, you’ll never be truly satisfied. It’s better to do what you love and understand how you operate.  

Funny how sometimes the answer to all of your issues is right in front of you... 

Introducing the new Origins Magazine, where we demonstrate the realities of entrepreneurship. We interview everyday professionals, entrepreneurs, creatives, and thought leaders to show what it’s like to go through the everyday grind. So in light of our mission and fourth magazine launch, I’d like to share some words of wisdom from our executive team throughout each of our website fuck ups.

Launch Number One: 

 After staying up until 4am for two nights, then a straight 24 hours to get our first site ready to launch, the word ‘exhausted’ doesn’t cut it. Walking from the studio at 7am on the morning of our first launch, I remember feeling satisfied, but not having a recollection of opening my apartment door or reaching my bed. What I do remember however, is waking up at 12pm to all the interactions on our Facebook feed and the pure relief that our site was actually working properly. Somehow – we made it. 

Thoughts: Launch Date - Monday July 18, 2016 

Friday evening: 

“We can do this, we have 72 hours. Everything is going to be fine.” – Steph, in reflection to starting the website building process.

Saturday at 12am: 

“This is looking amazing. Let’s make a new logo.” – Alison 

Saturday at 1am (Britt stumbles over): 

“That logo is ugly.” - Britt

Sunday Evening (post new logo and layout creation): 

“I don’t know whether this looks like a Pokémon ball or McDonald’s Fries.” – Alison, in evaluating her new logo creation.

Sunday at 1am: 

“So maybe 72 hours was undercutting it a bit.” – Steph, upon exhaustion of the past 24 hours

Sunday at 4am: 

“My life might be a mess, but at least I can snapchat it.” – Steph 

Sunday at 7am:

"Why am I still here." - Britt

Launch Number Two: A Creative Disaster 

It was four months after our first relaunch. The Magazine was thriving, our reach as higher than it had ever been. The team was solid, but one thing was getting in the way: WIX. It just wasn’t working for us anymore, we needed a platform that was more customizable and mobile friendly. At the same time, it had been a gruelling few months of pumping out content, keeping up with clients, and taking full time university courses. Regardless, we plotted on, deciding to ignore the inevitable burn out we were all feeling. We took down the WIX site for what we expected to be a quick relaunch, hiring a freelancer to create our experience on WordPress. Sounds great right? Wrong.

The issue was that none of us had the energy to create another site. We expected the freelancer to do it all – to understand our brand and our vision, with zero work involved. Needless to say, the site did not turn out as planned. After three months, we were three weeks away from our first event without a website - starting from scratch.

Thoughts: Launch Date – March?? 

 Britt: “Thank god I’m in Singapore.” 
Steph: “Can we just finish this damn thing?” 
Ali: “I tried to like it…”

Launch Number Three: Fast and Furious 

 We had three weeks until our launch event. Tickets were barely selling, morale was down and we were stressed to the max. Between promoting and planning the event, we still had no site and no idea how to create it. Luckily, in the first week we managed to recruit our motion graphics specialist, Rangga Lukastrio, who happened to be a WordPress wizard. I think the entire team can agree that Rangga was hands down one of the best hires we’ve ever made. 

Somehow, after he came on board things started to get better. The site launched and the event was incredible. Every attendee left feeling happy about their experience. That night that I realized how strong our team truly is. To this day I have never been more proud of us, for managing to stick through the challenges and stand up in front of a crowd of people - pitching our project after four months of hell. 

Thoughts: Launch Date – April 6, 2017 

Steph: “At least we got branded bags out of this.” 
Alison: “Third time’s a charm.” 
Britt: “I’m going to Thailand tomorrow.”

Launch Number Four: The Magazine 

So here we are. It’s been four months since our event and we have been cleaning up our content, rebranding, and creating a brand new website. Introducing Origins Magazine, a digital publication that seeks to represent the realities of entrepreneurship. We want to show people what it’s like to take the leap, to beat the odds, and surpass challenges. It’s been a long ride, but we’re back and we’re not going anywhere. 

 Launch Date: August 8, 2017 

 Alison: “Sometimes all you need is a cookie and a coffee.” 
 Britt: “...” 
Steph (after a total of 8 hours of sleep in 3 days): “Delirium is bliss.”