The lowdown on what’s going down:

Ever since starting the Videofruit blog, I’ve been hyper focused on one thing: list building.

Growing my list. Teaching you how to grow your list.

Lists are fun. I like ’em.

captain-jack-i-love-you-man

But focusing on the same topic non-stop for 2 years comes at a cost. I have to say no to a lot of cool ideas I have. So, in 2016 one of my primary goals is to spend more time creating cool crap.

Not with the intent to sell it.

Not with the intent to do a huge product launch.

But just create stuff for the sake of creating it. Cool ideas that I’ve been stuffing away in an Evernote folder labeled “Make this one day.”

So, every month this year I’m going to block out one day to make something cool. Turn one of my weird ideas into an actual product.

Maybe people will buy it. Maybe they won’t. Honestly, I don’t care.

I just want to make stuff :)

Year in Review 2015

Bryan Harris —  Bryan Harris /

You know the overdone preacher story about the plant that grows underneath the soil for a decade without any visible sign of growth and then one day, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, it grows to 10′ tall?

(Trust me. It’s a thing.)

That was Videofruit in 2015.

It was a crazy year.

Every January I take a few minutes to pause and reflect on the previous year. Then I write a review and answer three basic questions (h/t to James Clear for this format):

1. What went well?

2. What didn’t go well?

3. What’s the plan for 2016?

I have a terrible memory, so being able to look back on last year’s review article is really fun and helps me remember how far we’ve come.

You should write your own Year in Review article. (If you do, post it in the comment section so everyone else can read it.)

Alright, onward!

Grow your email list with my free List Building Checklist

Last week me and Huck (my 6-month-old) started a new family tradition.

The Tradition: Driving to Home Depot, him screaming at the top of his lungs, us buying a Christmas tree and letting the tree nearly fly off of the top of the car on the way home.

Incredible tradition. You should try it. :)

Growing up my dad always got a kick out of hiding and disguising our Christmas presents. One year me and my brother woke up, rushed into the living room and found two gigantic boxes beside the tree. I’m talking BIG boxes. Refrigerator-sized boxes.

See, in prior years we had developed a bad habit of shaking our presents to figure out what was inside them. My dad wasn’t a big fan of this. So that year he wrapped all of our gifts up like normal but then stuffed them inside gigantic boxes. Then he wrapped the gigantic boxes up.

There was exactly a 0% chance of us shaking the gigantic refrigerator box.

= Mission Accomplished.

Other years produced many other crazy harebrained ideas from my dad.

It was fun though. It was a cool tradition.

I like traditions.

Last year I inadvertently started a new tradition on this blog. I wrote this recap article of the first major product launch I ever did. And then a few months later I followed it up with a recap of the first 10ksubs product launch.

Looking back on those articles, they were two of the most fulfilling (and best) articles I ever wrote. You guys commented, emailed and told me in person how much they’ve helped you and how much you enjoyed them.

Blog comments…

Are they good or bad? Vanity metric or valuable metric?

Over the past year the online version of hipster has been to kill the comment section of your blog and delete your Facebook account (examples 1, 2 and 3).

 

“Why does Seth Godin not have comments? Seth is awesome, I want to be awesome…Do I need to get rid of my comment section as well?

And what about Copyblogger? And Michael Hyatt?

Dang. This blog thing is hard!”

^^^ Recent conversation I had with myself.

..

That conversation with myself led me to crunch some numbers.

Just last week we wrapped up the Fall 2015 launch of 10ksubs (the product we sell in order to pay the bills and keep the lights on at Harris HQ).

And as the launch wound down, I started taking notes in order to write a detailed recap post like we did for the Spring 2015 launch. We got so much positive feedback on that article that we’ve decided to do a full recap of every major launch we do. That way we can share all the stuff that worked and didn’t work and lessons we learned so you can benefit from them as well. These recap posts also have a nice side benefit of forcing us to fully document what we do so we can replicate it with the next launch.

Anyhow…

As I was taking notes and outlining the launch recap article, I ran across this tweet.

The 33rd Time

Bryan Harris —  Bryan Harris /

The biggest lesson I’ve learned this year came from watching a mouse trying to tote a cracker home for dinner (link below).

In the video a little bitty mouse tries to pick up a gigantic cracker and throw it 3 inches above its head so it can take it to its little mouse family for a nice dinner.

But guess what happens?