Learnings and shifting perspectives from 2015

Writing a synopsis of the past year and expressing hope for the upcoming year has become a bit of a tradition for me. I kept a journal when I was a teenager, keeping one now feels too cumbersome and self absorbed. Pitching in once or twice a year is easier. So here goes.

2015 was a year of immense learning and growth, both professionally and personally. It has been one of those years that has helped Rick and I to get on the same page as husband and wife as well as business partners. I have gained clarity on the legality and finances of our business and Rick understands the passion and idealism that goes into the kind of work that we do and want to do. On the other hand, we’ve been able to talk more clearly about our desire for a family and needs for the future.

There has been some of amount of self realization as well. On the work front, it was facing the decisions that we made as a company and appreciating the work that we do on a day to day basis versus saving all the smiles for the big wins. Technically there are no big wins, just small wins that lead to a big win. That iterative approach to getting things done is something I am getting to understand and appreciate. Work is relentless, never ending, there are decisions to be made and problems to be solved constantly, and we’ve learned to live and work on the go, and still be husband and wife. On the lighter end of the spectrum, I have been working on learning how to disappoint people, giving bad news and saying no to stuff. Apparently I have a problem with all those things but have slowly come to realize that it was important to set the right expectations. Some very self respecting folks think that assigning things their correct value is probably best.

We’ve  worked very hard this past year. I haven’t blogged on the Urban Matter site for months because we’ve just not had the time to come up for air. If we’ve had down time, it has been spent binge watching lives of more stressed out people on the West Wing. It has been a frightening, exhilarating and reflective year. If someone were to make a reality TV series on our lives where a day goes from euphoric to downright shit, within few hours, and vice versa they would have a hit series on their hand.

This past year we reinvented a project that we couldn’t install at its original site, we were chosen by SXSW eco Place by Design competition as a finalist in the data and art category, we made it on the Architectural Digest and the Atmel Blog’s lists for one thing or the other, and we were finalists for multiple projects over 200K. We also enjoyed a full year in our Dumbo studio that we love, with a team that we enjoy working with. We made bold decisions and got rid of heavy baggage that was pulling us down. We stopped questioning what we stand for so its been a good run.

Our hope for the new year is to install a bunch of work, create a prototype for an exciting new product and then take some time to travel to see family and friends. Not sure how 2016 is going to treat us but as 2015 taught us, its the small steps and the small wins that defines a whole yearful of activities. Hopefully I’ll get to pipe in and talk about how that is going for us.

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