3 reasons I joined Mainstack (and what these incredible guys are up to)
With over 20,000 users from close to 100 countries, it is unbelievable that Mainstack has only existed for 1 year. So when the CEO, Ayobami Oyaleke — who is my friend from way back in uni (2012) — asked me to come on board to help set the foundation for the brand, my first pull was how much he had managed to achieve with the limited resources and small team he has had to work with.
Just like the many startups Ayo had tried to build in the past, I had been in the know from the earlier days of Mainstack to some extent and provided some advisory here and there, but it never crossed my mind to come on board. That was not a thought I had considered for any organization as I had focused solely on consulting for startups from the perspective of our agency (FourthCanvas) since 2015. But then, apart from how sold I was on Ayo’s incredible effort to sell the mission, I also considered the upside of getting an unprecedented opportunity to help build a brand from within. Like I said in my announcement video, it’s been beautiful combining those hats since June. That makes my second reason.
Lastly, but surely not the least important, was the alignment with my personal purpose — “to live out my voice while helping others find and live out theirs”. Listening to the CEO and other team members, the no-code webpage tool to sell yourself and connect all your footprints on the internet was more than just another cool tool. It was borne out of the desire to help everyone find expression and get the opportunity to fulfill their dreams while simply creating. How more aligned could this be for me?
Getting on board, I met, at a closer proximity, the quality, and passion that had made it possible to build the MVP product in 6 weeks at the very beginning. I met a group of young, agile people who gave their all and believed so much in the capacities (sometimes too much re: timelines). On the operations team which I converted to ‘Marketing’, two amazing ladies (Olaide Oyerinde and Bukola Oyelade) would help me settle down so well, while staying open to new things that I thought had to change while strengthening the evolution with quality ideas and insights from the work they had done up until that point. I met a Design team who consistently worked hard to improve the small details and an Engineering team that worked endlessly to implement the upgrades. Overall, this was a small team giving their best as inspired and led by the vision of an ambitious CEO who repeatedly emphasized the vision of a bigger global economy powered by creators.
I spent the first few weeks interviewing team members to gain deeper insights into their experiences and perspectives. It was beautiful to hear the many stories, and learn what it meant for everyone to work here. These inspired us to codify a brand strategy that would continue to guide and ensure that our actions and communications consistently express the things that mattered the most to the brand. That process of discovery would confirm for me that I was indeed right to be impressed as I was from afar.
With clear communication and creative copywriting, we began to rally around an organizational purpose “to make it easy for creators and builders to make it big”. I didn’t have those exact words at the beginning but I could feel it every time Ayo and I spoke prior to joining. Getting on board, I have continued to see this unfold in so many ways, and it is mind-blowing to imagine what this team could accomplish over the next year. That superstar team continues to grow. I brought Dunsin Ayodele on board (from FourthCanvas) to help us express the brand identity in still and motion visuals; we have expanded our engineering team; will be onboarding new people in product manager and HR while also currently looking out for a potential super-mainstar as Community Manager.
Last Saturday, we moved from our refreshing team retreat at Tarkway Bay to the HACKFEST Conference which we partnered with Ingressive4Good to make happen. I was on stage to share the Mainstack story. It was a beautiful moment to restate the things we care about — creators showing off their badasses, getting wealthier, and going global. Our booth was such a highlight for all attendees. We had a light setup for people to record themselves and put their voices out there with confidence. We also shared beautiful souvenirs too. One major highlight for me was watching two of our engineers who were present (Micah Gidado and Mojeed Adio) and two of our Product Designers (Israel Adegbulugbe and David Ayowole) sell the product like Marketing was their ‘9–5’. That’s the effect we are trying to create within and without, and I am excited to see it come to life. We made a cool video on Instagram that showed some of the highlights.
Every day we refresh to see new people visiting www.mainstack.co, setting up and starting their new journeys of setting themselves up for better presentations of themselves and the thing they create, and I am proud to be here, for now, to help strengthen the core values that keep us right on top of powering that. Here’s a link to my own mainstack if you want to have an idea of what yours could look like.
PS. You could check out #MyMainstackChallenge, and take this chance to show off your badass skill set.