WCSF has always held a special place in my heart as it started in motion a set of events that ended up with me working at Automattic.
So back in 2012 right about the time I had been hired at Automattic full time I really wanted to go again. I was so excited. When I asked around about it I was told that they didn’t want too many HEs going as that would deplete support. So I couldn’t go even if I paid my own way to go. I was so disappointed. So one night I hatched this crazy scheme. Nick Hamze can’t attend but what if I just attended under an assumed name. It was so stupid, I know. I was really grasping at straws.
So while trying to come up with a secret identity I came across the anagram site and found out that an anagram for Nick Hamze was Mack Heinz. So I registered the domain mackheinz.com and set up a site on flavors.me (I couldn’t use WordPress that would be too obvious.) Obviously I abandoned the plan about 5 minutes after a thought it up but I kept the site going for nostalgia’s sake.
Anyone who reads this blog knows that I like to make things, things that are seemingly simple. To make swag you just need to slap a logo on something and you’re done. Right? To me its much more than that. The most exciting thing in the world is figuring out a way to communicate what you and your brand is all about through a physical medium.
I believe swag can be powerful. We live in a wonderful, exciting, digital time. One where the entire world is at our fingertips but people also want a connection to the physical world. Swag gives us that. We can take something digital and give it physical form.
People also just want to belong. We live in a highly connection world but one that can also be isolating. People are looking for places to belong. Swag can also help with this. It can create a sense a belonging and community. It can connect people from all over the world. People who don’t even speak the same language or live in the same country.
While it may seem like I’m some DIY weirdo, alot of thought and care goes into everything I make and I believe that swag has the power to change the world. Swag is only as powerful as the passion behind it. Its obvious when something is created just for the sake of being created. The best things in life are those that come from passion, passion about the brand, passion about working with a talented team that shares the same vision, and passion to create something that has never been seen before.