Effective teamwork: Lessons learnt from publishing Alpha Efficiency Magazine

Lately we’ve been publishing a little less, with good reason. I’m very grateful that Darren finds the energy to jump in and help us keep the steady stream of content.

We’ve been working hard to ship the first issue of Alpha Efficiency magazine, and we are very pleased to consider it a great success. What I am particularly proud of is the fact that we’ve managed to ship it despite hardening conditions that were surounding us; circumstances like:

  • me adjusting to a new job
  • traveling to Europe
  • both of us commuting two and a half hours on an average day
  • having to find pockets of time to create articles
  • conquering the 6-hour time zone difference

In many ways these obstacles helped us focus on the things that truly matter. Once you conquer the big problems, you realize that success is never perfect, and all problems are there for a reason. Here are the greatest lessons we’ve acquired as the CORE of our Alpha DNA 2.0…

Being Lean – It doesn’t mean under-delivering

Shipping an indie magazine on a shoestring budget has helped us decide what we are not going to do, so we can save time. We had tremendous amount of great ideas, and we wanted to give our all, but there was simply not enough time and space in our lives to ship everything right at the outset. By prioritizing the importance of our message to our subscribers, we’ve managed to deliver the most value for the least possible amount of effort, whilst also thinking about how to continue delivering high-quality content consistently in future months.

Being lean means focusing your energies where you will create the most impact for the least amount of time possible. It means making hard choices on deciding what you won’t do. This puts time management in perspective, and thanks to our great passion for productivity, we’ve put a lot of theories to the practical test, and passed it. More than 200 people tried out Alpha Efficiency in the first few days of launch, and we consider this a job well done.

Perfect is enemy of DONE

We didn’t get everything right, and it’s fine. We had some major problems as well, like installing a wrong Analytics code to our Apple app, but it wasn’t a critical thing for our audience, so we decided to move along. There were numerous other small sacrifices that would delay the shipment, but commitment to our core audience has been made, and we’ve hit the publish button.

Working in a team creates accountability

You know that your team mate depends on you, and the whole project becomes more than just work, it becomes a commitment. Trust develops, and Darren and I became like clockwork. Intuitive understanding allowed one of us to jump in when the other one was struggling. This kind of cooperation goes beyond work, it creates the urgency and importance, more powerful than when you are working by yourself.

We discovered the new frontiers of ourselves

Realizing that you can develop a magazine, launch it and sell it on the App Store has moved boundaries of what is possible for us. Not only do we have more confidence in what we do, we also feel very happy with the accomplishment and impact we’ve created. This made us go through a mental shift, from someone who is trying it out to someone who is doing it.

Believing in idea makes it possible

We couldn’t do this without our partners: Daniel Gold, Mike Vardy, Augusto Pinaud and various other people that helped in more or less significant ways. They knew how hard we worked on this, and they trusted us that it will be a great success. Thanks to this mutual belief, other people followed and thanks to them the whole project was a great success.

Belief is contagious, and it has to be the cornerstone of sales. We didn’t know it would be this great, yet we had a belief, and at the end of the day, that is all matters.

The next steps

The hardest is behind us, and now the consistency comes to play. We are keeping up with the experiments in our lives and encourage you to do the same. We always aspire to challenge the status quo and move things to a next level. Sometimes, instead of planning things out to exhaustion, it is just the right time for thinking on your feet and taking massive action. We learnt a lot from planning it – we’re learning even more by doing it.