Dec 21, 2016
Abduzeedo celebrates 10 years this week. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact date, the first post seems to be dated December 21st, however there are pages that seem to date back a bit earlier. That doesn’t really matter for me because the most important thing is the fact that it’s been a decade. In the tech world this is really a milestone for a design blog.
You all probably have heard the reasons I started the blog, so I won’t spend too much time on that. I will focus on the learnings over the past 10 years. I will also try to highlight the mistakes, as those, in my opinion, are the responsible factors of learning.
I started the blog after my design studio got robbed in Brazil. It was a very difficult situation to go through, in my case it was amplified by the fact that it was the day I coincidentally decided to backup my files and had taken my external hard drives to work. As a result, I truly lost everything including all the equipment we had in our studio. That event prompted us to question ourselves on what to do next. Should we start over, from scratch; or should venture into something else. We chose the first.
That experience taught me a lot, I decided to be more proactive about things I had in mind, not postpone for, sometimes, imaginary excuses based on fears and other insecurities that a shy and introverted person like me goes through.
One of the first tutorials and also the icon for donations via Paypal. I got quite a few coffees :)
With the blog I started to publish more of my thoughts and work I was experimenting with in Photoshop. That resulted in the tutorials, which became the biggest promoter of the blog.
New opportunities, new friends
With the blog taking off in terms of traffic, it opened a huge door in terms of opportunities. Not only freelance work but also connecting with people from all over the world that discovered and read the blog. I also learned so much more about the graphic design industry that I was foreign to and in the end, I had the amazing opportunity to meet some of the guys I really admired. Designers like James White, Radim Malinic, Vitor Lourenco only to name a few.
With Francois and the master himself, James White
As the blog was growing I brought more people on board to help with posts and to keep the inspiration flowing. Aloa, Paulo Canabarro, Paulo Gabriel, Fabiano Meneghetti, Amanda Macedo, Francois Hoang and others. They were excited about contributing and motivated me to keep me going.
After a decade a lot has changed. The design industry evolved tremendously. From tools to ways to share and get feedback, it’s amazing how much easier things have become. With that, new challenges have emerged. The information overload became one of the biggest challenges for anyone trying to do anything, especially designing. With that, Abduzeedo changed with those factors too. We started as a simple blog and little by little evolved to a bit more than that. Our goals of sharing what inspires us has never changed. But the content has. We moved slowly from sharing tutorials, due to market saturation, to a more curated type of content.
We also saw our traffic reach amazing levels and then decline too. I never worried too much about traffic or monetization because the blog was always a side project. It’s something I do because I am passionate and I’m not obligated to do things differently due to commercial agreements. That is a big mistake, but one I am happy about doing. That way I can redesign the blog every year, or twice a year without worrying about the impact that it might have.
In summary, I’d like to say that for me the biggest thing I have learned over the past 10 years of Abduzeedo is that sometimes, a bit of not planning, a bit of living day by day and not worrying too much about the future can have unexpected results. I never imagined I would have had the chance to write a post like this about something I started 10 years ago and probably, the most important thing for me, the pleasure of meeting all the amazing people along the way. It's very humbling to hear that we somehow helped to inspire individuals to pursue a career in the creative industry.
Fabio and the Abduzeedo Family