Spend Matters is approaching its eighth anniversary, having grown from a hobby into the most evolved daily news, research and analysis source for procurement professionals. Twelve full-time people are now involved across our extended family of sites. We could use a bunch more at this point, but we have grown conservatively by focusing on the quality of our content and research first before revenue/cash flow modeling. In the coming years, we will continue to prioritize scaling the depth, quality and quantity of our content. If the right content is there, so too will be the right audience.
You've read the word "content" a number of times already in this rant. Content is not something that we generate by machine or by rote. It takes research, reflection and a very significant investment of time. It also requires a clear head. I personally write as much as anyone about the procurement market across our sites and research plus on a customized basis in our client engagements. These combined efforts put my daily output (weekdays) around something like 2,500-3,500 words per day in recent years -- often times more. Add to that thousands of other PowerPoint presentations, Excel sheets and emails and the collective content sum is really pretty crazy.
While I'm quick and hopefully prolific, I'm also human. And candidly: I'm a bit tired. For this reason, I've decided to preclude any chance of burn out by taking some time off. Starting July 25th until after Labor Day, I'm taking a mini-sabbatical -- roughly five weeks of R&R, not the standard academic 12 months -- in which I plan to not think about Spend Matters or work. I'm also giving my stalwart history and economic texts a break and plan to totally kick back with Tom Clancy trash and the like (how that ends up going is TBD). One thing is for sure though: I will definitely be a full-time dad.
I've written tens of thousands of words ahead, so the blog and Spend Matters PRO will be as well stocked as the finest of trout streams. Moreover, now that there are nine of us writing on nearly a full-time basis for the sites, you'll have plenty of thought provoking current entries on Spend Matters and PRO from Thomas Kase, Peter Smith and many, many others as well. But one thing will be taking vacation for the balance of summer when I depart: Friday Rants. Friday Rants take me longer than most posts and papers to write because I really try to personalize them. Their absence will hopefully serve as a reminder to just how much we produce on Spend Matters. And who knows, maybe after a few weeks, you might even miss the Friday tone and voice.
Now the important stuff: Logistics
- Perhaps most important, when I'm gone, if you're a provider or PR firm and you have breaking news you want us to consider looking at, please reach out to others on the team (Sheena, Peter, Thomas, etc.) We can't make any promises, but we'll consider news and reviews if they're relevant.
- Next, everyone should note that I'm going totally off the grid. I won't be checking voicemail or email. More important, from July 25th through Labor Day, my auto-response will instruct people to reach out again if it's important when I return or contact others in the meantime. If something is critical, there are others on the team who can handle your request.
- I thought about the notion of not having to respond to email for five weeks for some time (or think about it hanging over me after I return). I concluded that it's not a true eight-year recharge if you have to come back to tens of thousands of emails. I hit the near-burnout point earlier this summer and I don't intend for it to happen again.
- Before I leave, a few final housekeeping items come to mind. First, I hope everyone is excited to join me this fall as we approach Spend Matters anew and take this thing to the next level when I'm fresh and of a new, clear mind. Second, and most important, thanks to everyone on our team who's stepping in to make this sabbatical possible -- and who have grown with us as we've expanded. And thanks to our readers who've made Spend Matters and all of our other sites and ventures possible.
I'm excited to come back 110% recharged this fall as we continue to focus on the growth of Spend Matters, Spend Matters PRO and our range of other sites and related content. To see everything we're up to, check out our Azul Partners landing page (Azul Partners is the parent company of Spend Matters).