Pressure’s On Hackathon

Cooking up an Entire Issue of CULT Magazine in 8 Hours

Heads up! This article is served raw and unfiltered from our content kitchen. It may contain a dash of common typos, grammatical mishaps, and imaginative spellings. Let us know if you’re allergic. Otherwise, enjoy this limited edition dish until our editing team refines it with their discerning palette.

The first issue of CULT Magazine was published on summer solistice of 2019, and there hasn’t been another volume since. Likely culprit? The love we have for our clients and an inability to put ourselves first. We had fallen prey to the shoemaker’s syndrome — selling beautifully crafted footwear to others while looking down at our own fugly ankle socks.

We arrived at PD headquarters at 9 AM on Friday, September 18, both virtually and in-person, to find the following:

YOUR MISSION

You are to ship Volume 002 of CULT to branch088@tph.ca before 4:59.99 pm today.

Mild bewilderment progressed to ownership and delegation. Questioning and resistance transformed into acceptance and action. And after a few moments of panic, one bout of crying, and several shots of adrenaline, would you believe we actually shipped on time? 

At 4:59 PM, we watched our own Jenn Nguyen press ‘Send’ on the email to the printer with the completed file attached, the wooshing sound coinciding with the clock turn over to exactly 5 PM.

Here’s what the final product of CULT Magazine Vol. 2 looked like.

 

By the end of the day, we learned 6 key lessons.

1. Don’t think so hard

It’s not that deep. Thinking things through is different than overthinking. The former ensures you’re without error; the latter finds error where there is none. You don’t always need to investigate the deepest layer of an idea. The Latin etymology of a word probably isn’t going to change the final outcome, and sometimes you just need to go with your gut.

2. We’re not in this alone

Delegation is key. There is no way for one person to do everything. In order to succeed, we need to work together and communicate clearly.

3. Done is better than perfect

We could tweak until the end of time, but that won’t be worth it if no one ever sees it. 

4. Sometimes there are too many cooks

While we nailed almost everything with a time crunch looming, some things can’t be sped up by throwing more people onto the problem. Copywriting and proofreading, for example, need to have singular consistency.

5. Some things can’t be rushed

Hyperspeed can be applied to many things, but there are some realities that just won’t bend, like illustration. 

6. We can do anything

Sometimes the biggest roadblock is one we’ve put there ourselves. When we commit to overcoming our own resistance, we can accomplish our goals.


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Darnell Toth
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