On Sept 18th 2020, I pulled the trigger and bought this domain. It's really wild to think about what has happened in the past year with this site.
The main thing that's super important to me, is that I started it and didn't stop.
When I first bought this site, I bought it because the itch to finally start this got too strong and said fuck it. I mean I've been having this itch for awhile. As you can see below.
Also just noticed I had the idea for a venn diagram logo since 2019, and the idea of the logo being a venn diagram when I was creating it earlier this year wasn't in my mind. Crazy how that came back full circle (pun intended??).
What finally pushed me to build this site and purchase the domain was after reading "This is not a T-Shirt" by Bobby Hundreds. From that book I learned about the rich culture of the Hundreds and that The Hundreds started with a simple blog about streetwear. Why couldn't this idea I've been brainstorming for years on end begin with one too?
The book is a great read by the way, highly recommend. Bobby Hundreds is a fantastic writer.
But yeah, this time last year I decided to pull the trigger and go for it. It was September 2020, I was in my room just trying to figure out how I wanted to go about this blog with the idea to build a company from it.
What did I want to do?
What idea am I trying to portray?
How do I want to go about it?
What should be the name of the actual brand?
The naming of Simplex Minds specifically wasn't something I've always had. When I was first thinking of starting a clothing brand in prob 2012-2013, I wanted it to be Simplex Apparel. Clean, simplistic, but interesting designs on hoodies and t-shirts. Just like any other clothing brand. Made some designs, but nothing I truly wanted to print and sell. Simplex Apparel would then later get trademarked, so I couldn't do that.
From left to right (2014 , 2017, 2017)
I personally couldn't leave the word "simplex" behind, it's been with me for so long. The meaning resonates with me. The typography of it looks so clean. And it's been my baby for so long. So I knew I had to add another word to the end to differentiate the brand from others.
I went through "Simplex Multimedia" "Simplex Cinemas" "Simplex Studios". A bunch of different things that idk, just didn't feel right. I mean we could probably have different branches with those names later down the line, but it just didn't feel like those names could encompass everything I wanted.
So then, what was it that I wanted? What was it that I wanted to portray?
Simplex. "Make the complex look simple"
What does that even mean? How do you make the complex look simple?
Well... I guess you have to know what the complex is. You have to understand the complex.
There's a lot of people out there making the complex look simple. They know so much.
They have simplex minds...
So then once I had the name, I spent a few weeks trying to figure exactly what I wanted to do with this. I realized that if I want to promote process and everything that comes with it, that I need to live it as well. And if the point of the site is to promote process, might as well write about my active thought process when trying to figure this out.
Then I bought the domain and decided to write my first post.
"...Simplex Minds is going to be a place for me to document my journey as well as highlight others who are working to complex look simple.
Simplex Minds will always be growing. This is only the beginning."
Now, it's been a year since that moment. I have 3 other talented creatives working with me on this project and with the vision for expansion in the near future.
The person I was a year ago would have never thought that where we are right now with Simplex Minds would have been a reality. I mean we could be doing better with viewers/readers, but we are doing some great things. When people begin to notice, they'll notice and I truly believe that.
We have been consistently been posting a new feature every week since the first week of July. We are on the back half of the first season, with the plans for a second season in the works.
I'm looking into legitimizing this blog as a company in order to try and get funding for future projects and to go about different ventures that will eventually be in the cards. That is so wild to me.
Like from last September until this past May, everything on here has been just my thoughts. I was just trying to understand this platform and trying my best to get it to feel right when I chose a plan of attack.
The initial plan for this site was to reach out to people I believed were making the complex look simple and just interview them. Send out some cold emails and hope that I could get enough interviews in. After sending out a few emails and getting little to no responses I realized that that wouldn't be a good way to go about this platform. (I did get a response back, but those plans got put on hold.)
Why would anyone who's successful in their respective fields want to spend their time getting interviewed by someone who is just starting a platform that doesn't even have any content on it? or probably won't even turn into something? I mean if I were in their shoes, I don't know if I would message back also. Why waste my time on some random person from the internet who is all talk right now?
So what could I do then?
I could just write about those people instead and bring in my opinion on why I feel like they're making the complex look simple. Cool. I can definitely do that. But, that's a lot of work from one person. I also think it would be cool to be exposed to other people that other creatives think are making the complex look simple.
Soooooo, I guess it's time to try and find people to bring onto the project.
The first person I thought of was my "lil sis" Mia. Met her during college and picked her up as a little sis, which I treated like I would a normal little sister. I would see her photography all the time and knew she wanted to do it professionally.
I initially pitched it as a "creative development label". Like a music label, but for creatives. Invest into different creatives and allow them to create to develop.
Mia was down for it and then we would begin to have weekly meetings. After a few meetings, I realized that if we bring on two more writers we would have 4 writers and we could build enough content for a "season" without burdening everybody with too many projects.
That's when I decided to hit up Ricky and Carissa.
Ricky was a friend I met in 2019. I was brought on a project to film the creation of a band and Ricky was a part of said band. I then filmed the band's first 5 rehearsals and saw how talented him and the rest of his bandmates were and currently are. I kept in touch with Ricky over the past couple years and thought he'd be a great addition to the team (and he has been). A one hour pitch over zoom later and he said he'd join the team.
Carissa was a friend I met in college. She is actually my really good friend's girlfriend. I was catching up with him and telling him about Simplex Minds, my plans for it, what I wanted to do with it simply because I was hyped for it and maybe partially drunk lol. I brought up the possibility of adding Carissa because I knew she was a dope graphic designer from the projects I've seen. I've always loved seeing her work and thought she'd be a great asset to the team. He asked her, then I hit her up for a meeting, then after another hour long Zoom pitch meeting, she was on board.
Made a little presentation for an "orientation" and the team was assembled. From then on we would have weekly meetings on Discord and just work on Simplex Minds.
The thing with this team is that everyone is doing this for free as of right now. We have been meeting up weekly consistently since April 1st. We are about to go into Week 13/20 of our first season. Everyone has been on top of their content and has been doing an amazing job with it.
The amount of dedication this team has for Simplex Minds blows my mind and I will never not be grateful for it. The team isn't doing it for the money. They are doing it because they believe in this platform. They see the potential in this platform. They see value in it.
We are planning on expanding the team for the 2nd Season! Like wtf.
When we started the first season, I told them that idk if we'll be doing a 2nd season. Idk what kind of reception we will get. Idk if y'all will even want to stay with this team for a 2nd season. What we will focus on for this first season is personal growth. We will break down the people we believe are making the complex look simple and learn from them. Publish the articles to allow others to see what we see in these creators. And just see how it goes.
If you want to leave after season 1, there are no hard feelings whatsoever. Like legit, y'all are dedicating your time to a project, platform, and idea I want to pursue. I can't pay. I want to, but just can't... and they've stayed.
So now that it has been a year into this platform, I am really excited to see what happens in the 2nd year. We have been discussing Season 2 extensively these past few weeks and, wow, are we getting ambitious. It isn't just blind ambition now, it's ambition that we have worked towards and built momentum towards.
Once this season ends, we will have 20 weeks of consistent content published on this website. We will have broken down 20 creatives we collectively believe are making the complex look simple.
We will have the resume built in order to expand the content that we want to go after.
With that said, the plan right now is to have the Season 1 team move on from writing these features. Bring in a new team to write about the creatives they look up to. Bring in different creatives. Expand our viewpoints and introduce y'all to more creatives.
The Season 1 team already has plans for Season 2, with more ideas in the works.
Pulling the trigger and purchasing this domain has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. Like truthfully.
I have done things with this site that I am so proud of.
I gave myself a platform to be completely honest with myself. I've discussed my relationship with fear, getting overwhelmed, and my relationship with starting something.
I've created my first actual mood board. I've designed a logo. I've figured out and wrote out the company's values and mission statement. I've been actively working on this site for a year now.
I'm actually going for it. We're going for it. That is so crazy to me. This is only the beginning and the potential for this platform is absolutely crazy. Like the ceiling for this site is literally non-existent.
This is checkpoint 1 of many many more in the future. Can't wait to re-read this post in a year and see what has changed. See where I am at at that moment. Then the year after. This is only the beginning and the rest of the empire is still being designed. All I can tell you is that we have a lot in store for you in this coming year.
Year 1 of many.
See y'all next year.
With much love,