“The same, but better” kickoff to 2024

Digital strategy insights

The Same, But Better. Flywheel Strategy.


Make space this year to make the impossible, possible 

“The same, but better”, where our 2024 kickoff got its roots.

I began leading the Digital Product teams at Brooklinen in June 2020. Let’s rewind to that time.  A little over 90 days into the COVID pandemic. The world had shifted from “let’s work from home for one more week…” to the ominous future without a clear end in sight. Forecasts and guesses on when life would return to normal, or what “normal” could mean in the future? Those were in the rearview mirror.

From the comfort of my cozy kitchen bar in San Francisco which served as a make-shift desk, I learned during onboarding that the company expected a complete site redesign in less than 4 months. The goal of the redesign: to introduce a new visual brand identity and bring the tech stack up to date to the latest best practices. All while onboarding and building trust with the 7-person product and engineering team.

It was a mighty ask. With an impossible timeline. While the world and the workplace was massive uncertainty. 

I withheld my gut reaction “There’s no possible way!”. Instead focused on learning the intricacies of the scope of the redesign in parallel with the velocity of delivery that the team supported. On top of it all, I introduced a completely optional virtual “happy hour” every two weeks. Anyone from the team could join. No one was required to show up. The only rule. No executing on work during the happy hour. 

It’s through those happy hours that our team created a piece of what is so special about in-person time. We laughed at the latest COVID trends. We shared which shows were worth binge watching. How to get started on a hobby of knitting. Favorite collections of tea flavors. We learned the names of everyone’s pets. And partners. We were first on the scene to play Wordle. 

The other 79.5+ hours of the 2 weeks were dedicated to the massive, complex and time-intensive site rebuild. But for .5 hours every two weeks team members joined the happy hour Zoom and created space to be human together.

It was in one of those virtual happy hours, that Justin Oakley, an ambitious and thoughtful engineer, shared how he struggled to explain the complexity of the project to his family and friends. He boiled the goal of the site redesign to its most pure meaning, “We’re making the site the same, but better.”

“The same, but better”. It became our way of summarizing the hundreds of Jira tickets, thousands of lines of code, and countless hours poured into the project. When things became tough and blockers seemed immovable, we said let’s focus on making it “the same, but better”. 

It became a unifying phrase to acknowledge all the microscopic details of the initiative, in four short words. The phrase only came to life because we created space to step away from to-do lists and connect as people. People who respected the whole self of each of their colleagues.

In 2024, Flywheel Strategy is excited to bring the same level of enthusiasm, ambition, and determination to the year. Look at where your business is at and where your business hopes to bring to life in the next year. There are opportunities to make your business “the same, but better”.  

Flywheel Strategy can help you turn the impossible into the possible. Through the process, unify your teams and accelerates your business.

How did the story end with Brooklinen’s site redesign? In the end, we provided the business with two options. Option 1: launch the key purchasing experience in the redesign ahead of the holiday shopping season and then follow with the rest of the site’s redesign in Q1. 

Instead, with less than 10 minute conversation with the leadership team, we shifted the redesign launch to the following year. This allowed a cohesive, seamless site launch without the risk of interrupting the success of the holiday sales season. The way we created stakeholder alignment in such a seamless, pain-free way is a story I’ll save for another day.

For now, we’re keeping our eyes set on supporting brands as they make their digital, brand and marketing functions “the same, but better” in our 2024 kickoff.

January 4, 2024

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