People seem to be surprised being mentioned in my articles in a "special thanks" section, tweets, videos, or when I send a personal "thank you" email. As I got questions about it and my thoughts around this topic were not ordered, I've decided to sort them out by writing this article.
Why I'm giving so much appreciation everywhere?
First of all, I don't think that I'm giving a lot of appreciation, but I certainly feel like there is not enough appreciation being given in general.
I feel like people do not appreciate enough external factors
I believe, that giving an appreciation is important and that more people should be more transparent on where their success comes from. For example, most of the productivity gurus on Youtube always show you their presence and give great pieces of advice, but they never mention the amazing teams they have behind the scenes that take over a lot of the tasks required to produce great content efficiently.
Most bloggers don't tell that their articles went viral because someone was kind enough to link them in a meaningful place.
Without that, there is a distorted image of success on the Internet, showing that all the success of a brand, person, or company is a result of the hard work a true leader behind it had put.
And I think that's bullshit.
Every success has a factor of luck behind it, and also, an uncountable amount of people provoking that success. This is my case at least, and I want to be fair saying it loudly.
Is it popular thinking? I don't think so, because I bet it doesn't sell well. But I don't care at the moment. If I can't be transparent and honest with what I do, I probably won't do it.
This is also extremely visible in Open-Source world.
Companies can build amazing things, earn tons of money, but they rarely spend a coin to appreciate all the open-source software they use every day. They spend thousands of dollars on expensive courses for their staff but rarely spend a minute to appreciate the public tutorials and guides their developers use to educate themselves.
I disagree, I rebel, and I will stand against that.
I'm not building my business on my own.
As I've mentioned the Youtube productivity gurus, here is my case. I DON'T build my projects on my own.
I want to make a difference in the world, but I'm building Hanami Mastery and everything around it based on other people's work.
- Without sponsorship, it wouldn't be possible to dedicate time to create great content. With greater sponsorship, I can create greater content and do it more often.
- Without Hanami and all libraries around, there wouldn't be anything to write about!
- Without great photos done by amazing photographers, I'd not get interesting cover images and thumbnails for my episodes.
All that I just take, without asking for permission, just because it's legal to do so. But is it fair?
The very least I can do is to say "thank you" from time to time.
Freelancers and coding help
I heavily make use of great developers willing to help me with the issues or features I have trouble with. I do delegate the advanced react stuff wherever I don't know how to do something or have no time to do it.
The whole Hanami Mastery website is not done by me - I mean, only partially. Without the freelancers and random people helping me with the Hanami Mastery page, it would take WAY MORE time to create the infrastructure around an effortless content publication.
I do appreciate that people help me with it and by showing their contributions and paying for the work they do - no matter it's open-sourced - I see it as a very minimal thing I can do to say "thank you".
Resources: videos, courses, books, articles...
The super nice recording hardware is recommended to me by my friend. Just like that, but this changed the way I work and allowed my videos to reach the next level of quality.
Note taking system and the content creation process is a result of dozens of videos and courses prepared by other people, who had spent hundreds of hours on their research - thanks to that I can just take all required knowledge in a nutshell, and go straight into the effective production process.
I would hate myself without giving something back to the world for all the good stuff I took from others and this is why I'm giving away part of all the Hanami Mastery income and add links to the bottom of my articles without a real system behind it.
Don't understand me wrong. I'm a good ruby developer, I did a lot of work to expertise in what I do and how I do it, I've spent thousands of hours in preparation, failed projects, and research.
For example, I'd started planning the Hanami Mastery almost a year before I've published the first article!
I do appreciate also my own hard work, but without great people, I've met in my life, without their support and encouragement, without my great wife and kids that motivates me to do better every single day, I'd be nowhere.
SO I'll continue giving appreciation for all the people I can that help me, for two specific reasons:
- I want more people to appreciate others' impact on their success - and If I'll do it, it's +1 person, and if I'll inspire anybody, it's +X.
- I believe, that when I'll say thanks to others in various ways, I'll get a thank you from others I help to or inspire about something
Note: This is how it should work. Does it work this way? No idea. I'm writing it in the middle of 2021, in 5 years I'll come back and give an update.
I'm just happy when I hear from time to time: "Hey Seb, I really like what you do! Keep going!". So I'm trying to do the same for others.
So what worries me a bit with this approach?
Well, there are only two main things that I am worried about when I say "thank you" in public posts.
Someone could feel unfair by getting small appreciation for a great help
I'm not sure actually if this is how people feel often or not.
There is a possibility, that people who helped me more in my life could feel undervalued by my appreciation if I'll just say thanks to them, when I, for example, will add a link or a public shootout to a person that helped me indirectly and unconsciously because I just grabbed one's Photo from Unsplash.
However, I don't want anyone to expect something special from helping me.
I would love if people help me just because they believe in what I do and they value my work or me as a person. Not to gain something back - and this is what I'm trying to do.
A great example is, that I'm sponsoring on Github all the people of Hanami team, but I don't expect any one of them to sponsor me back. My gest for them is my appreciation for the work they already did! The whole Hanami Mastery initiative, on the other hand, is a project that tries to improve the way people appreciate the work done on the great open-source projects.
Growth and companies
The growth scares me. I don't want to grow Hanami Mastery infinitely. I am really inspired by the book: "Company of One", which highlights a similar mindset to what I believe in. I'd like to stay small, to better serve my audience.
With this, I could keep saying "thank you" wherever I want and however I want.
However, sometimes it's hard, especially when it comes to talking to companies. Most companies will not give anything without getting something in exchange, it's just the brutal way the world works.
Or maybe I'm just wrong and did not meet enough companies in my life? Time will tell, and I'll adjust these thoughts.
Whatever path I'll choose, growing the company or not, I certainly want to reach more audiences, help more people, educate more people, and so on. Therefore, at some point I'll not be able to give enough appreciation for small bits of help anymore. :(.
Projects grow, communities grow, and we always have only 24 hours in a day. Yeah, that sucks.
Note: So if you are a company and you care about being appreciated, It's worth helping me when I'm in the early stage. You'll probably get a permanent link at a less cost for your budget.
Sometimes, However, I'll get valuable help and I'll not be able to even say "thank you" due to holidays, illness, or just forgetting.
Sorry, happens, I'm just a human.
I'm posting this as a note that will evolve, but I want to make it clear what's in my mind and why I'm doing certain things.
There is no system behind that. Sometimes I'm finding a nice code snippet on Reddit in the comment to my episode, pointing on an improvement that is mind-blowing for me. I'll link to it and the person without thinking.
And sometimes I forget. Then sorry.
However, I want to say thank you to everyone that helped me in my life and in this project especially. I'll not list anybody in this article, because the list would be endless.
If I'd list everyone, I'd start from my mom for giving birth to me...
So don't go that way. Let's keep things simple.
I DO appreciate if you help me, helped me, or will help me. Willingly or not. You may be an inspiration to me. You may produce something I've taken for my needs (like cover photos). Or I could learn from you. Whatever.
In the recent Cruella movie Baroness (Emma Thompson), said: "Don't say Thank you! It's losers speech" but I disagree. I'm not a Baroness, but I don't care.
I'll try to say "thanks" all the time as much as I'll be able to as this is who I am.
Do you like this content?
As always I want to say a special thanks to my Github sponsors! Any support allows me to spend more time on creating this content, promoting great open source projects.
- Tim Mossholder- for a great cover image