2020 has been a year to remember, but one which many would probably prefer to forget.
For The Book of Everyone we have to count our lucky stars. Our team remained healthy and as an online personalised gifts business, we were relatively well positioned to ride the storm.
Looking back though, it was all a bit spooky.
Innocent of what was about to unfold across the world, late in 2019 we launched 3 weirdly relevant new personalised gifts.
“Wise(ish) Words for Surviving 2020”
The first was a personalised book titled ‘Wise(ish) Words for Surviving 2020”. This sage(ish) and funny(ish) guide helped many stay sane throughout the insanity that followed.
The more superstitious of you will be relieved to learn that we’ve just launched Wise(ish) Words for Thriving in 2021’. Should our subconscious psychic powers prove on point for a second year in a row, you should prepare yourselves for an astonishing, reach-for-the-stars kind of year. You deserve it.
Maps. But filled with great memories.
Every morning this year, if felt like we woke up to a new map of unfolding across the news. Bushfire maps in Australia, COVID maps everywhere and the blue and red hues of the endless US election maps. 2020 was a year where we all became accomplished cartographers, virologists and masters of US state geography.
At the same time we branched out from books into personalised maps, enabling customers to create bespoke prints of their favourite places and memories, complete with a photo to mark the occasion. We hope these maps, filled with romance and brimming with nostalgia, were welcome respite from the other maps taking over the world.
Over 100,000 bundles of video joy
The final uncanny coincidence was our launch of a free online video celebration service (The Video of Everyone) for those occasions where you can’t be there in person.
The Video of Everyone took off as the world went into lockdown.
By April we were uploading 5,000 videos a week as thousands of birthdays, weddings and social gatherings were cancelled. In their place, our customers sent collaborative video celebrations to spread joy to friends and family whilst they were stuck at home.
Video celebrations were also made to simply cheer up those alone in local communities, or to say a big thank you to all those working on the front line in hospitals. We all found a new appreciation and gratitude for these heroes.
We finished the year on a wow by enabling customers of our Milestone Birthday Books to add video celebrations to their books that could then be viewed by the recipient in glorious Augmented Reality. We built The Book of Everyone with a promise to make gifting more personal. Giving you the ability to actually appear in your gifts has taken this pledge to a whole new level.
In reflection, 2020 has been as sobering as it was defining.
From the terrible loss of life caused by the pandemic to the positive effect on the environment through a reduction of over 2.5 billion tons of carbon in the atmosphere.
From the transformative moments in the Black Lives Matter to the election of a new US President who seems refreshingly big on empathy and small on drama.
And within all the turmoil, 2020 has gifted us something closer to home. A year to reflect on the people that really matter in our lives. Through all the trauma, we quickly find that family, friends and humanity are what we care most deeply about.
Having a good supply of toilet rolls comes a close second.
A big thank you to all our customers. I hope your books, maps, cards and videos brought rays of sunshine wherever they landed.
Thank you to our team for your hard work, your belief, and for being so much more punctual on zoom than you were ever when you worked in the office.
Keep smiling. Here’s to less hand sanitizer and more hugs in 2021.
Goodbye 2020. It’s been emotional.