2016 Retrospective

Twenty Sixteen, everyone’s favorite year to hate in modern memory. I’m not really going to address any of the globally bad shit that went down here, I’m just going to talk about myself. That’s healthy, right?

2016 was a pretty big year of change for me — so a lot of the targets that I set last January… were no longer on the firing range, so I had to roll with the punches a bit. My position at Rapt Media was eliminated, so all the objectives I had for my organization there were summarily discarded in early May 🙂 From there, I shifted into consulting work; I’m incredibly grateful for my professional network here Boulder — as soon as word got out that I’d been laid off, contract work materialized within days. I entertained a few full time opportunities, interviewed with some great teams I would have been incredibly fortunate to join, but after reflection, I realized that I could take the opportunity to go full time with FlightlessCo.

Given that, I found re-opening the yearly OKRs a little bit demoralizing, but I did get to look at what I did accomplish.

I had a bit of a severance period from the layoff, during which, I sat down and wrote a first-draft manuscript of book that I’d been rolling around in my head for a while; a “Tech for Non-techs” type thing meant to grease the skids of communication between departments in business organizations. Editing is a grinding, horrible process, so a second draft is ongoing.

Addressing a few “Objectives” from the original 2016 post:

Objective: Personal Brand

  • I replaced a few items around my personal brand, before deciding that I’d fixed some of the weakest links and that money could be spent better elsewhere.
  • Smiling is hard to measure, but in February, I attended a personal growth training called the “Landmark Forum”, which takes a view of separating the way things have been before and the way you can approach things now. Coming out of that, I feel like I smile more.
  • Totally failed to learn German. It seemed so fun in the afterglow of the trip, but I dropped the ball here. Even in the run-up to this year’s trip to Stockholm, I pretty much brushed up on zero Swedish.
  • The money target changed, with the end of a monthly salaried position to self-employment. Now I just take disbursements that match my monthly spending target.

Rapt Objectives… no longer in the picture.

Objective: Launch games with Flightless

  • Short Story RPG: The Wackiest Race came out this year! Sales have been slow, and feedback on the final product has been instrumental in continuing the brand. Growth here is a slow burn, but it’s a project I believe in, so more are coming out soon, and I expect a cumulative snowballing effect as there are more adventures in the ecosystem.
  • Valour has been in front of a number of publishers now — some are still actively reviewing, some have said “No”, and some are waiting to review until the first group are done. Through taking an active stance on this in ’16, I’ve made contacts at over a dozen publishers, who will be great connections moving forward with this and other designs. I’ve also begun a collaboration with a game designer friend on a project I’m quite excited about as well.
  • Playtesting continues for Terraformist; I’ve previously only referred to this as Project T, and it is … this close to launching; our third round of player testing is currently underway, and signaling among these early players is quite strong that the game will be popular when launched. Email me if you’re interested in checking it out before launch.

Objective: Beach Bod 2016

Made some sick progress on this early on, but in the career shuffle, and then the time commitments involved getting a business of the ground, the goalpost moved from “become Adonis lookalike” to “make sure I don’t get fat again”. So far mostly successful.

Objective: Mobility on Demand

Mobility on Demand took a bit of a backseat, as the business came together, but now there’s chance for it to possibly crank.

I also put down a few contingent objectives, “just in case” I accomplished any of the main objectives. I hit some of these by accident, or something. I guess they were somewhere in the back of my mind. Here they are, since I’ve never published them anywhere else:

Objective : Write novel

I completed NaNoWriMo this year, writing a light sci-fi (somewhere between Dune and ‘steampunk’, I suppose). I spent a few times during 750 words throughout the year jotting down plot outlines and character backstories, plus notes on the science research I was doing. Then in November, I cranked it out.

Objective: Travel more.

The change from full-time to self employed/freelance certainly facilitated a time freedom to do this. Here’s a list of places I visited during 2016 (without counting the last holiday Europe trip, since the 2016 part of that was mostly just scrambling to return NYE costumes and sitting on planes):

Andrea and I are slowly practicing and improving our discipline at the Workcation, a term we didn’t make up, but we do plan on perfecting in 2017. I’ll be writing more about that for sure.

Objective: Turn woodar.dj into a force

This blog had its own ups and downs — I hired a project manager partway through 2016 in the move to full-time Flightless, and after a month or so, she suggested that I get shit done instead of stressing about not getting posts up. It was good advice, though I definitely don’t want things to go too cold, because when the momentum is up, there are great discussions in the comments, and there’s always a positive reaction to posts on reddit and elsewhere.

  • Conor McGoey

    Nice to hear I wasn’t the only one who had some high points in 2016 🙂
    I bet 2017 will be a great year for both of us!