From "Connected (with Abe + Isaac) — Volume 15"

“All good things come to those that stay true.” –Tupac

Black Friday!

I like to think of each now as the sudden collision of a million different stories. The impossible ways in which I came to be me, the paths everyone here took to get here, the roles each physical material has played before they came together as a coffee table. That kind of thing.

Brief bit of background: the majority of my work-as-Lightward is in software, and the majority of that software is for Shopify. (If you’ve done any decent amount of online shopping this year, you’ve probably interacted with a Shopify-powered online store.) My team and I care for two Shopify apps: Locksmith, and Mechanic. Locksmith is for access control for your store; Mechanic is a development platform for doing pretty much anything.

This year, Shopify released datastories.shopify.com—a visualization of all orders across their system, live. There’s just an insane amount of moving energy out there right now, and you can see it, with this tool: orders flying across the planet, each one connecting someone who made something to someone who wants it.

Black Friday, Cyber Monday. This year, this phenomenon—BFCM, as the industry calls it—feels to me like a natural wonder. Like the synchronous spawning of coral (have you heard of this?), where all the coral of a species simultaneously launch their reproductive material, because the time is right. Today, a significant chunk of humanity decided to interface with itself in this way, and honestly, in its own way, it is absolutely beautiful.

Fun numbers:

  • Locksmith has been around for a few years—it’s well-known in the community. Our traffic ebbs and flows on a daily basis, usually peaking at 6k requests per minute (as in, 6 thousand times in a minute that our servers respond to someone needing something). Today, we’ve been averaging 12k requests/minute, double the normal maximum, and we briefly peaked at 30k per minute.

  • Mechanic is younger, but still busy. It’s seeing about 1.5x its traffic. And today, for the first time, it crossed the threshold into 5 million pieces of work done in a single 24-hour period.

I slept for five hours total last night, waking up every couple of hours just to make sure everything was solid. It’s so, so solid. I’m proud of what I and we have done here, and it is delicious to see our tools being used to make so many more things, in the hands of so many people. Co-creation, layers and layers and layers of it, of which we are just one. You are too, no matter what you do—and I love, love, love how we’re all connected in it. :)

Assorted notes on customer support

Someone on my team worked very hard to help someone, and that someone responded with a one-liner (they only communicated in one-liners), saying that they’d moved on to another solution, having not gotten the help that they needed.

We compare notes, internally, when things go well or not-well. I feel like sharing some of what I had to say, because this is the kind of mood I want to put out into the world. So, presented without further context, here are some samples of how I feel about customer support:

  • it’s okay, first of all. :) if you earnestly worked to do right by them, then you’ve done all you can do. good work.

  • in my experience, I’ve learned that responding to short messages with a long reply tends to result in a lot of wasted effort. if someone doesn’t put effort into composing their message, they often will not put much effort into parsing our response. two applications for this: (1) matching the merchant’s level of investment is good (exceeding it at times, but never by much), and (2) don’t sweat it if they’re just like “I don’t feel helped”. it takes two to tango, and you can only control your own steps.

  • on that note, it’s *okay* to let people walk, if their ability to receive help does not match our ability to give help. everything we do is about setting up well-matched relationships between us (who we are, what we do) and merchants (who they are, what they need). a conversation like this is a good indicator that this is not a well-matched relationship, and it is *good* when people self-select out. it’s really okay. :)

  • apart from us showing up intentionally and in our integrity (which you did), the most important thing is that they get what they need, whether that’s us or not. they found another way, and that’s good.

  • you closed this well. you’re good. :) ❤️ keep your head up - there’s no shame warranted, at all at all, and I think this went as well as it could have. no biggie.


P.S. Isaac is an incredible, intelligent, loving boss and CEO and I’m so proud of how he shows up in this world. Love, Abe

Each moment is laden with glory. Watch for its shine. 🔆

Originally sent out via email

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