Passion in ‘Seriously We Think Free’ magazine

Each new person you meet or just notice daily leaves a dot of impression in your mind, is it good or bad – depends. I love to meet people who are not afraid of taking control over their dreams and moving forward to achieve those. I love to be inspired by the energy of their stories, experience and learn from it. 

In ‘Seriously We Think Free’ magazine the stories and experiences are told by the same readers of the magazine and our writers, bloggers, story-tellers are the ones who would like to share their way of doing, inspiring, creating and succeeding to make a difference for good. 

On the other hand we want to encourage readers to take little challenges which we placed in magazine and participate, co-create the content. It is done by integrating the social media connected pages, games, some die-cuts or cutouts in the magazine, places where readers can leave the message for the next readers. We encourage people to memorize print as contemporary media which is easier to read but it still can be hip by integrating  some unusual print solution, new look on advertisement as well connect print with all possible digital and electronic technologies.We encourage you to relax and get the physical magazine which can be touched, explored and read in the old-fashioned way, just open it and plan your next trip, inspire yourself with other reader stories and when you finished reading it then give it to someone else to be inspired.

And I love to put all these stories on the pages, reflect writers personality and figure out some interesting interactivity for it to motivate people to do it, to experience the story themselves. That is the reason for many interactions, die-cuts, games and some interesting social media connections in the magazine. We took all our printing, editing, design and communication mistakes into consideration from Issue 1 and as hard as the start was I am sure the progress will not be easier and faster. But we are on the way!

Issue 2 production just starting and we are slowly filling up our brainstorming wall with all those crazy ideas and deciding which one of those have to go or stay. And I am really crossing my fingers and hoping that you are as excited as I am. Put +1 if you would like to see Issue 2 be developed (we are counting it to see how many copies to print; our little user testing let’s say, hehe) : http://www.seriously-wethinkfree.com and I will crash my fingers and continue working on it 🙂

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Where to start?

startup, launch, start, new,

Background shortly: Last year we (e.g. creative frontend developer with the dream of becoming a finger-pointing manager and  multi-range designer with the dream to create her own job and do fun stuff after full-time work) started to create the big thoughts about our company creation. At that time we were driven by enthusiasm and sparkle of fall depression nowhere was found.  The idea was to create the world’s first (and only at least for some time) magazine that travels from one reader to another, which is an innovation in publishing industry and educational inspiration giver to many. ‘Seriously We Think Free’ magazine idea was living in our heads long before but finally the time  was to make it real.

As the people with no startup, publishing, management, business background what so ever, we didn’t know how to move away from our sketchbooks and notebooks to ‘iam-doin-business’ stage. We started inviting our friends who were more-less familiar with business development and asked in which direction to move to? Pretty fast we realized that we don’t have any documentation of business plan, vision, mission or some simple description of what is our concept (‘doh, we are creatives and developers and who needs business model’ – was our thought for a year!) Eeerrr, wrong! But this little detail didn’t stop us and we created our first  project plan with the planned delivery of the first issue within couple months. The extreme enthusiasm is appropriate for entrepreneurs but that’s what makes it all so special – you just hit your head against the wall until you see some light and only then you know-you might be close to the start.

Of course we never delivered in these couple months deadline, because on our way we realized – we have no authors/writers/potential readers/printing agency/distribution plan/BUDGET! Our approach was to find the readers by using social media channels and explaining to people the concept, getting them interested and inspired, creating early adopters who would eventually popularize our magazine just because they will find it appealing.  Of course the first ‘fan-base’ consisted from our friends and friend-friends, but we started disturbing the social channels, which was great.

Eventually many (read: boring) books were bought about starting the startups, management and business, many meetups and events were attended and finally we found out the direction and went ‘lean’ way.  While building minimum viable product (MVP) we were searching for the ways to get the budget. The crowdfunding was our only hope which we knew (and you must agree – it seems so easy on Kickstarter ) and it was a failure. At the end there was nothing else left and we self-funded the magazine to finally release it after one year of pointing to plenty of directions and then somehow ‘faking’ our way to release. The launch party and magazine was taken with such a great positivism from all attendants and readers, we were amazingly tired but still enthusiastically inspired. And we are continuing building the MVP and  spending all our evening and weekend time after full-time work and doing what we find so interesting to ourselves. Creating the startup is like going back to school but in the real world, daily you are finding out new things and learning something new and this cycle never ends.

Key takeaways: 1. if you don’t know where and how to start, then start somewhere and the task list will start growing.

2. Write some documentation of your business. Ideally it have to be business model with vision, short business description, plans about revenue channels, how to approach clients, which communication channels to use etc. As soon as you have an idea to ad something more – write it down in your business model and within some months it will start to look very decent and constructive.

3. Go Lean way! Don’t try to figure out all the details and possible failures  at once – it is not possible. Build small, think big and improve step by step.

4. Search for institutions, entrepreneurs, advisors who may suggest you some ways on how to start your business. Write to them, talk to them and don’t be shy on the learning process. (In Copenhagen you are able attend free courses and plenty of help)

I believe there are no strict rules of what have to be done first and what’s next, but there are many advises which can be given for each specific startup. It is your call – to take this advice seriously or trash it.  If I would start creating my next startup now, then I would be smarter and more progressively moving forward, but if it would be another industry I know nothing about – then the struggling part would be the same.

What advices would you give from your experience on – how and where to start?

The first is out

Sir Justin Jackson is the one who inspired and encouraged me today to learn from the first attempt and make the second one better. He mastered it with his article and left me with full power woman posture, high raised head and straight spine, of course. Me and my great co-founder did incredible job in starting up the first issue of our collaborative magazine Seriously We Think Free – there were ups and downs and no knowledge at all on how to start the bloody startup. No matter how many books we have read and how many inspiring  ‘Start with why’ videos we have watched, it didn’t gave us all step-by-step start the startup manual until we tried it on our skin. And though very exhausted I am gratefully pleased with the result, experience, meeting fantastic team mates and listening to the feedback – good or bad it will make us improve. No matter what you have in mind, what interests drives, if you want to start something in the field you don’t know nothing about – do it! Try not only once, but try many times till you nail it! The feeling it will leave you with is great!

Help and receive awesome magazine to your doorstep!

Dear supporters, believers and contributors – we are very pleased with all help and collaboration and love we are receiving from you!

We started crowdfunding in FundedByMe and you can help us to bring the first Issue to life by donating at least 1€ or checking other benefits you are able to receive – HERE!

We worked for a year on the idea, design and hand-picking the articles, we have huge faith that it is not for nothing and you will enjoy each story and detail we have put, please share, give some love and bake the project!