When we started working on this project, summer was coming to a close in the Northern Hemisphere, and the first cool breezes of autumn were beginning to whisper around the days’ edges. Now, as I write these words, snow is gusting into drifts outside my window, blanketing bare tree branches in white, turning the landscape monochrome.

The changing of seasons is perhaps the Velveteen Rabbit2 of metaphors — well-loved, but threadbare — but it remains a part of our vocabulary not only because of its universality, but because of how beautifully it captures the constancy of change, and the ephemerality of life.
When we described this project in our newsletter as “The Season of the Weirdo,” we did so very deliberately. There is power in embracing change and mutability3, and in beginning a project with seasonality in mind.

So often, in our businesses, we make commitments that fail to account for ebbs, flows, evolution, and adaptation. We set goals like “publish blog posts twice per week,” or build out content marketing calendars months in advance, hoping that by making things concrete and well-planned, we’ll ease the execution process and infuse it with consistency — and that that consistency will translate to a kind of trustworthiness among the people we’re trying to connect with.

There is power in structure, to be sure, and in routine and discipline. We’re not advocating for tossing these aside.

But working with the ebbs and flows of energy, working with focus and intent, allowing for seasons of rest and creative fallowness, are crucial. We need times of reflection, of processing feedback and listening for input. We need seasons where we listen to our weirdos for what wants to be addressed next, and imagine ways we might address those questions.

Before we retreat into our fallow season, we want to wrap this one up with a few reflections on how we’ve come to see the value of seasonality, and how that approach intersects with a weirdos-first strategy.

We’re big fans of gardening metaphors around these parts, but we also like to use art galleries as an analogy for digital communication strategy. If you’ve visited a larger museum, you’ll know that they typically house both long-term exhibits, where the permanent collections are displayed, and rotating exhibits that are time-limited. Over time, the permanent collection is what a museum may become best known for, while the rotating exhibits keep visitors coming back, and create a sense of urgency4. This interplay between two kinds of experiences — one of having one’s expectations met, and the other of novelty — is part of what makes a museum visit pleasurable.
With Find Your Weirdos, we’ve been aiming to create something akin to a short-term exhibit: a focused deep-dive into a particular theme, time-bound and perhaps a little offbeat, and certainly not trying to tell the whole story of who we are as a company5.

As you emerge through the doors of the exhibit, and perhaps envision yourself walking through the museum’s gift shop, this might be a meaningful time for both you and us to reflect on what we just experienced together — and how you might wish to apply it to your own work.

Here are three lenses through which you might like to view your Find Your Weirdos experience.

The Practical: we crafted this project to be as useful to you as possible. We hope you’ve not only been inspired by some of the examples we’ve shared, but that you’ve used the questions for reflection to prompt your own efforts to focus on the people who truly get you.

The Meta: Of course, if you’ve been paying attention, you’ve likely picked up on the meta level of this project, which is that we created Find Your Weirdos in part to help us find our weirdos. How did we do? Do you feel more or less connected to us than you did before you found this project? How has it resonated with you? Have we given you something worth chewing on?

The Even-More-Meta: There’s a third layer we’d like to invite you to consider, though, as you weave your way through the gift cards, coffee table books, and artful home accessories, and that’s the question of how you might create your own seasonal exhibit.

You might notice, in fact, that many of the examples we’ve shared were relatively short-term: Impossible Burger’s focus on high-end restaurants morphed into a season of fast food, which gave way to international expansion, and so on; Moleskine hosted live events for their weirdos, which is about as timely a project as it gets.

The truth is, the seasons are always changing; it’s just a question of whether we’re changing with them, and adapting to the opportunities and challenges they present, or not. From where we stand, there’s power and freedom in choosing a focal point for right now, without attaching yourself too tightly to where you want to go. After all, your weirdos will have their own ideas, and you want to be responsive to them.

Business, like every human endeavor, is an adaptive process, a relational one, and an experience of constant flux as the environment around us shifts. At the heart of finding your weirdos is a commitment to relationship, to listening and learning, to adapting to new information.

Our hope for you is that the coming season brings you closer to your weirdos, offers you information and insights that enable you to adapt, and gives you opportunities to be generous.

Thank you for visiting. We hope we’ll see you again soon.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • If we give ourselves permission to change focus a season from now, what would we most love to share with our weirdos right now?
  • What themes or topics have we been exploring? How could we create a space to talk about them, if we set clear time constraints?
  • What kind of freedom would it give us to declare a niche focus, just for a short time?