We're Back from Our First Company Retreat and Still Riding that Kalamata High

I'm writing to you on a Friday morning from a small German village just outside Munich. In an hour, I'll venture downtown for my first in-person meeting with Serious Business, the branding agency we've partnered with to re-imagine Uncut's brand identity.

Not gonna lie: I'm feeling especially excited and inspired today. It might be the German 6-minute abs workout that my niece forced me to do at 7 AM before my shower. It might be the feel of crisp fall air on our morning walk to the local Bäckerei. It might be the rapidly-approaching weekend.

Or it might be that Kalamata high.

Just yesterday, the entire Uncut team left the Greek villa where we spent six unforgettable days team-building, feasting on pastitsio and olive juice, and hackathon-ing until late in the night. It was the first time we'd all met together in person. Each one of us arrived at the villa as a member of remote company. After a few well-chosen bonding exercises, weathering a wind storm and swatting away the myriad flies who decided to vacation with us, I think we left as a truly remote team.

Something I'm thinking about: there's a timely article out this week by Anne Helen Petersen on how companies are approaching remote work and and "back to work." Her subtitle — "How Your Company Approaches Back to Work is How They Approach Everything" — only expands the gratitude I have for our startup's approach to remote work: a hybrid model that thrives on a healthy balance of asynchronous collaboration interspersed with deep human connection.

One day out, I'm still reflecting on what this approach means for our nascent company culture. But I think every one of Uncut's team members would join me in saying it's special, and it's different.

It's Uncut.

Next week, Carlos and I will share a debrief of our company retreat in full transparency, from our budget to the timeline to the moments that made us realize our team is maybe just a tiny bit crazy. You'll hear from me in a series of posts on the themes of our work-focus, as well, from our budding approach to redefining audiovisual content to designing a "brand hero."

If you're curious in the meantime, you can check out portraits of our team members on Instagram. (And if your beautiful face feels like it's missing, did I mention we're hiring?)

Until then,