For a long time I didn’t really understand what the value of our work at ZIGO was. The personal value was clear: I just love asking honest questions to people I look up to. But why were people watching and sharing? Why did people offer to pay for something we gave away for free?
The overwhelmingly kind responses to our work have long felt undeserved. Even after months of conversations with smart people about the value of our work, I didn’t get it. It seemed like people saw something in ZIGO that I didn’t understand.
Looking back, I identified too strongly with what we do. For me, ZIGO meant Tom + me. So every opinion about ZIGO came through as an opinion about us. And I struggled to identify myself with the kind things people said about ZIGO.
But then Marjan Gryson from Touché shared how an ex-convict found the way to her organisation because of our video. And how this was happening all the time. I went back to our mailbox full of feedback and suddenly found a mailbox full of proof:
ZIGO is not about us. It’s not even about our videos. It’s about the effect of those videos. And we’re only partly responsible for that.
The effect of our videos is the result of our content + our viewers. When viewers are speaking kindly of ZIGO, they’re speaking kindly about the effect ZIGO has so in fact, they’re speaking kindly about themselves. Now that’s something I can work with.
We’re now making a conscious effort to maximise and document the effect of every video we launch. While it’s too early to brag about the results, I already feel this is opening up the door to an amount of ambition I have long shied away from.
Turns out other people better understand what we are doing than we understand ourselves. I should write that down.