Modern Makers #40 - Trust the process

❤️ How to fall in love with the practice 💰 More money for Airtable and Squarespace

Welcome to issue #40 of Modern Makers.

This week in the agenda:👇

❤️ How to fall in love with the process - 5 learnings from Seth Godin’s latest book
🌈 An exercise to better understand where you are in life
💰 Huge funding rounds for Airtable and Squarespace


Welcome to the new makers who have joined us since last week's newsletter. I hope you had a great week!

On my side, I published a new version of Modern Makers. This V3 is in line with the new brand entity that I introduced a few months ago and also contains a Wall of Love with some great tweets I received from some of you over the last few months (thanks again for your messages, it always gives me a huge boost of motivation). The site is still built with Carrd, a perfect tool for this kind of project. Any feedback to share with me?

This week I also participated in the new fundraising round of Gumroad, one of the major tools of the creator economy. Gumroad raised $1 million from prestigious business angels Naval Ravikant and Jason Fried. Its founder Sahil Lavingia wanted to raise another 5 million via Republic. The idea: to allow anyone to invest on the same terms as Naval and Jason, with individual investments ranging from $100 to $1,000. In just 24 hours, Gumroad raised $5M from 7,000 investors. I’m happy to be one of them! It's not every day I get the opportunity to invest alongside Naval and Jason 🙂

📚 Book of the week

The Practice: Shipping creative work

Author: Seth Godin
Release date: 2020

Do we still need to introduce Seth Godin? This author is probably one of the first I read when I got my marketing degree thirteen years ago, especially his books Tribes and The Purple Cow. His latest book, The Practice, came out at the end of last year and contains 219 bullet points, a format very similar to what Seth offers on his famous blog. A book for content creators and artists. Here are 5 essential points:

  1. What's the practice? - The practice is about embracing the process of creation. Creating content is a generous act. You don't do it for applause or money. You try to make things better, to provoke change by doing something that might not work. The practice is all about starting, not finishing. It's about aiming to improve, not aiming to be perfect.

  2. Fall in love with the process, not the outcome - Focus on the process, try to do your best work and be happy with the outcomes, good or bad. It's only after you trust the process long enough that it will become your passion. As Seth says, "do what you what love" is for amateurs. Professionals would rather say "Love what you do". If you need a guarantee you're going to win before you start, you will never start. Simple as that. The process needs to be separated from the outcome. If you focus too much on the outcome, you will probably end up just following a recipe as it has proven to be working for some other people. Something safe that you know would probably work. But you're not creating art then. Commit to the process and focus on what's in your control. Find your infinite game. The goal isn't to win. The goal is to find a game you want to play. The infinite game is the game we play to play, not to win (Simon Sinek - The Infinite Game). Try to find a game you want to play every day. Each action is then a step on a journey you hope will continue. Before you start anything, try to ask yourself this question: "If it fails, would it be worth the journey?". If the answer is yes, start now! Otherwise, you would be better off considering working on something else.

  3. Make an impact on someone, not on everyone - You need to know who you are creating content for. You won't be able to please everybody. What the masses like is usually average anyway. You need to define your core audience. Who is your work for? Who are they? What do they believe in? What do they want? What's their narrative? Focus on this group. Listen to their feedback. Let them tell you how you can improve your work. How you can create better work for them. You have to accept that your work isn't for everybody. That some people won't understand your message. That they won't pay attention to your content or recognize your efforts.

  4. At first it will suck. That's okay! - We only see the end result, not the process and the suffering to get there. Every artist has a ton of failures. Failing is part of the process. Artists fail, then they edit and they do it again. Quality will come later. You have plenty of time to make it better. As you iterate, you accumulate experience that will help you become better. The Beatles' first songs were average. Picasso didn't produce a masterpiece on his first try. What matters is that you get started, that you start producing. If you start your blog tomorrow, try to produce one article every day. Once you have 50 or 100 articles, you will start to see what works with your readers. Your writing will become more fluid and more impactful.

  5. We become what we do - The story we tell ourselves will lead to the action we take. If you want to change your story, change your actions first. If you do something creative each day, you're now a creative person. If you repeat an action each day, you become the kind of person who does an action like this each day. "We don’t ship the work because we’re creative. We’re creative because we ship the work." You acquire and develop an identity by acting as if. But you need to do the work. If you just plan and overthink, you won't become the person you want to become. So what are you waiting for?

When I launched Modern Makers, I naively imagined that I would quickly reach the 1,000 subscriber mark. The reality is quite different. Growing a newsletter is very hard, and requires a lot of time for the promotion of the content. If I had known this from the start, I might not have started. But I know why I write this email every week. And more importantly, I love writing this email. I fall in love with the process. If the number of readers explodes in the future, it will just be a bonus. But the end result can't be the most important part of your project. Otherwise, you will probably get discouraged before you even start. Or you may give up after a few months. Trust the process!

Three other content that caught my attention this week:

  • Why Michael Saylor Believes Bitcoin is Hope - MFM - Michael Saylor is the CEO of MicroStrategy, one of the first public companies to invest heavily in Bitcoin ($2.2 billion now worth over 5 billion). In this episode, Michael details the reasons behind such an investment. He also recounts the negotiation that allowed him to sell the domain name for $30 million.

  • 🏎️ Formula 1: Drive to Survive (Season 3) - Netflix - the Netflix series dedicated to Formula 1 made its return on Friday with the release of the 10 episodes of season 3. I find it really interesting to see the behind-the-scenes of this sport, especially the physical and mental pressure that the twenty drivers involved in the competition are under. This season is of course marked by the impact of Covid-19 and the ultra-spectacular accident of Romain Grosjean. The official season resumes next weekend with the Bahrain Grand Prix and I’m so excited!

  • 🤔 Your Life Journey Exercise - Ray Dalio - While each of our lives is unique, we can still define an arc of life littered with events that will probably impact us all. Ray Dalio breaks down our lives into three main phases, each of which is made up of about fifteen events. He invites us to take the time to evaluate our own lives as well as those of our loved ones in order to prepare ourselves for the next ten years to come. I recommend that you take a few minutes to do this exercise.

🌎 What’s new in the world of no-code

The week started with the announcement on Monday of a new round of funding for Airtable. This Series E of $270m values the company founded by Howie Liu at over $5.7bn. This huge round comes just seven months after a Series D of $185M. Since its creation in 2013, Airtable has raised a total of $617.6M. The company now has over 250,000 customers. This new round was led by Greenoaks Capital and will allow Airtable to accelerate the development of its Enterprise offering as well as recruit new employees.

More than ever, Airtable is a major player in the no-code space. A bit like Salesforce, a whole ecosystem is being created around Airtable. I can't wait to see how this incredible tool evolves.

Still on Airtable, I discovered via this video by Gareth Pronovost that it was possible to connect my Amazon Alexa speaker with Airtable via Zapier. An original way to create a new record in a database.

Squarespace has announced a new funding round of $300M. The online website creation and hosting service founded in 2003 is now valued at $10 billion! Its main competitor, Wix, is valued at $17 billion. Squarespace recently launched a new feature to create memberships to compete with solutions such as Patreon, Substack and Ghost.

Softr now allows you to export a block anywhere on the web. In concrete terms, you can retrieve data from an Airtable database, inject it into different blocks created with Softr and then retrieve the HTML embedded code of these blocks to publish them wherever you want. You can see an example with this Carrd site where I embedded two Softr blocks.

📦 And also…

As always, if you're enjoying Modern Makers, I would love it if you shared it with a friend or two. You can send them here to sign up. I do my best to make it one of the best emails you get each week, and I hope you're enjoying it!

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I also invite you to contact me if you have questions or need help with no-code tools or if you want to have a virtual coffee with me ☕

Have a great week, and keep building!


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