Ain't Going Down Without a Fight

Rather. We ain't going down. PERIOD.

Hi Y’all - Kristin here with DoStuff. I’m the COO and founding employee.

In case you don’t know, we’re an Austin-based national media company with localized properties solely focused on helping our audience get out into their communities and have great experiences, rinse and repeat. We make our money (through ad spends) by filling the rooms of all the wonderful business owners throwing events, as well as connecting brands looking to engage a captive local audience at scale by creating meaningful content and experience. For perspective, we drove $2.1 billion to local venues in 2019 through 43 million attendees. Wowza!

Welp. Fast forward to March 18, 2020. Within a matter of days our world (literally the whole thing and also our tiny little DoStuff world) has changed dramatically. We were one of the ones that got hit, and we got hit hard. All of the businesses we deeply care about and also rely on have had to shutter. It’s awful. I’m personally a tiny peon in the bigger picture but decided in an attempt to maintain my sanity and champion the absolutely phenomenal team & community around me, I’d start using my nights in to share what’s happening in the world of DoStuff as we scramble to fight the good fight, stay alive for one more day, and support the communities that have supported us back for the past 12 years.

Brief summary of where we’re at.

In a matter of days (technically starting with the reality of SXSW getting canceled), along with the rest of the world, we went from, “WE GOT THIS. THE PARTY GOES ON.” to “OH FUCK.” Without getting into all the gnarly details we had to make a really fast, devastatingly crushing decision over this past weekend to save the business. We have a great fucking business, we’re doing well, we matter. We KNOW we have to get to the other side of this because we’re needed there. We have a small but mighty team located in offices across the country. This means employees in multiple markets with different rent prices, taxes, cost of living. We have to take care of them all. Our business IS our team. We weighed every option available to us to make sure we survive what could possibly be months on end of no new ad spend from event promoters & ticket sellers, the bulk of our business.

We had to tell the team yesterday that for the next two months we’re significantly reducing every single person’s pay. Everyone will get the exact same amount, no matter role or current pay scale. This includes myself and our CEO, Scott Owens. Even commissions earned during this time from deals that come in from COVID-19 related opportunities (I know that sounds crass but there is a place) go into a pool we all split evenly. Everyone will keep all of their benefits. We’re fucking in this together. This fucking sucks. We got this.

I have to tell you I could write a novel about the gratitude I feel for the 30 or so folks on our team - from our hard as fuck working CEO, to our lone ranger in Seattle, WA holding down the entire fort for Do206 all by his lonesome, to everyone in between (presumably they will all get a shout out as I keep this going).

So that’s where we are at. A team of superstars all working for reduced equal pay below everyone’s current salary (but slightly above unemployment). A team all resolute on continuing to work because we are all called to a higher purpose knowing that we have a platform that can really help the community - now, and whenever this all passes.

To be clear, we’re going to survive. Everyone will be made whole. We’ll come out of this stronger. But for now we’re just going to put our heads down and keep working. Happy may be the wrong way to describe it. But I’m at least grateful and thankful for what we do have. We will keep you posted as we progress.

*Edit that we've since launched a GoFundMe to help keep our staff supported. If you are able, we appreciate any help.

Lastly, here’s a few highlights from our journey today.

  1. We paused our subscription service (MORE) that gives out an experience a month, and decided to ask all of our members to stay onboard with this email.


2. We got tear-inducing responses like this back from our loyal users.

"I'll support you all, always. Looking forward to continuing to make memories with you when this all passes."

"Hi!I really appreciate you sending this and "humanizing" the brand. As someone in marketing, I appreciate that more than ever, especially in times right now.I'm absolutely not going to freeze my membership - the more I can support you guys, the better. We'll all get through this even stronger than ever, so know that we're all here and in this together, and I'm thinking of you in this tough time.Thanks for everything that you do for all of us fans!"

"I love this service, I think it is a great model. Honestly, I wish DoStuff needed an attorney in Austin or Chicago just so I could be more involved! You can count on my subscription, and just give me whatever tickets you can once social distancing ends/throw a party in Chicago. Best of luck to you."

3. Our entire team came together to launch #DoStuffatHome (kicks off tomorrow at 12p CST) through a series of heart-warming FaceTime calls resembling the one below.

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4. We prepared for a herculean day tomorrow as our team launches DoStuff [At Home].

I owe a LOT of shout-outs to a lot of folks at this point. Luckily we already have a tradition of doing so on a group Zoom call every Friday.