Mechanic & Locksmith "In The Spotlight"

From "The Now V20"

You know, it’s not about getting recognition, but true recognition feels fucking great.

I’m not wired to ask people for recognition. That’s an Abe and Matt thing (and I am grateful grateful grateful to be on a team with them, because they can make that ask in real integrity). Instead, I’m wired to do a quiet, considered, good job of something, and wait for someone to notice. This description fits me in the now, and also fits me circa 2009 or whatever when I wrote the first lines of code for Locksmith (née Gatekeeper): I wasn’t aiming to be seen, I was aiming to make something useful, and to then put it in a place where the people who wanted it could find it.

So when recognition does come, it’s something special for me. It’s something that I want, but I don’t actually want to ask for it. I want it to come organically, naturally—and for me, that means doing the thing, and waiting peaceably until it is found.

I’m delighted that people are finding what I (and now we) are making. Delighted. People are finding our work, and making their own work on top of it. That’s the highest and best compliment, I think—when someone finds something I’ve made, and they find themselves wanting to integrate it into their own path or process.

We’re at a point where Shopify itself is recognizing our work on a regular basis. It feels good. :) And while it doesn’t feel overdue, it feels like it fits. I’m proud of what we make, and how we make it; I’m proud of every single person on this team, and the class of presence they show up with.

In this latest season, Shopify has promoted (of their own accord) both Locksmith and Mechanic, two very different apps written with the exact same ethic. It’s not the first time Shopify has featured either of them, but it’s the first time they’ve featured both simultaneously, and it’s the first time that they’ve put their own production dollars into a long-standing feature page. This tells me that Shopify is paying us that highest and best compliment: they recognize our work as good for them, too, and they’re integrating it into their own posture.

It’s my understanding that our adoption of Shopify’s app design guidelines was an important prerequisite for Shopify tapping us for this promotion. I mention this here because building for Shopify, with respect for and dedication to this specific environment, is something that I’ve chosen very deliberately since the beginning. I’ve had folks from other commerce platforms (both employees and users of those platforms) write in and ask if I’d consider bringing our work to those spaces as well. That direction has never felt attractive. I don’t mind the missed opportunity, at all. It would cost me more to expand than I care to pay. By remaining focused here, I (and we) get to build something that belongs here, something that has grown up with the environment, something that isn’t just tailor-made for the environment but something that has evolved to fit here in a way that can only be achieved with time, and real presence. I love building things this way. Although, I should say: it’s less building, and more gardening. We’re dealing with living things, here, and I trust the ways they grow.

And like a garden, what we hold here doesn’t need any recognition for it to be. It exists for its own ends, and it calls and finds willing collaborators in the world just by virtue of existing. But when it is recognized for what it is, yeah, that feels pretty awesome. :)

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