Keenly Thankful: An Annual Tradition

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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. I always spend it with my family, and I love seeing them. Structurally, though, it’s great because it actively encourages introspection. (And we all know how Keen likes its introspection time.)

It’s become something of a tradition now where, every Thanksgiving, I send out a message to the team, letting them know how thankful I am to be working with such amazing people. Back in 2012, when Keen IO was just six people, that was pretty easy. Last year, we were up to ten, and I already remember thinking to myself as I wrote it, “If we do well, there’s no way I’m going to be able to do this again next year.” It was a bittersweet feeling.

I’m happy to say that we’ve done better than just “well.” It’s remarkable to think about where we were as a business just 12 months ago, and where we are now. Heck, most of us weren’t even here 12 months ago. 😉

Anyway, despite what I said, I think I can do it again this year. It’s a long, intimidating list, but I think I’ve got this. (And if I write more about some people than others, just take it as a sign of me having worked more closely with them in the past. :))

AJ
Thanks for being so interested in the corporate strategy / fundraising pieces of the business. It’s great to see.

Alan
Thanks for your crazy big brain. It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to solve these hard problems together.

Alex
Thanks for leaning into remote-life. You’ve been a catalyst for making remote folks first-class citizens. It’s something I’m becoming increasingly proud of about Keen, and you really jump-started it.

Alexa
Thanks for your leadership. You’re wise beyond your years, and it’s awesome to see you apply your talents here.

Andrew
Thanks for being so damn funny. Seriously, that side of you didn’t come out when we met while you were interviewing, and now that you’re here, you’re like soul-crushingly funny. It’s awesome.

Angelo
I don’t really know you yet, but thanks for joining us on our little journey, and thanks for a really great introduction email. 🙂

Aubrey
Thanks for your awesome welcome email, too! But also thanks for your transparent eagerness to be here. It was a welcome reminder when I was feeling low that we’ve created a place that lots of folks actively want to be a part of. 🙂

Brad
Thanks for the effort, candor, and thoughtfulness you put into our interview process. I’m super excited to find out what the future holds for us.

Caroline
Thanks for your positivity and focus. It’s been really fun to see you work towards making Keen a first-class citizen in IoT.

Chelle
Thanks for punching so far above your weight class that it’s not even funny. I’m so happy you’re here helping us out. All the little things you do add up to such an important and influential role here. I’m glad you’re the one in it.

Cory
Thanks for, well, really just everything. You’ve been a huge source of support for me over the last year. It’s been amazing and tiring (but most of all, fun) to run Keen ops with you. Thank you for stepping up time and time again. I can’t express how much that (and you) mean to me.

Dustin
Thanks for being so thoughtful, inquisitive, and fucking talented. Seriously, my go-to secret weapon for “I want to introduce somebody to a person at Keen — who’ll make the best impression?” is usually you. It’s so cool to see the path you’ve laid for yourself since Techstars. Keep up the journey.

Jay
Thanks for coming along at exactly the right moment. It almost seems staged, sometimes (yes, sometimes I’m egotistical enough to think my life is like The Truman Show). You’re like a perfect blend of the things I like most about Keenies: brilliant, introspective, hard-working, and funny.

John
Thanks for both sharing your experience with us and helping us craft something new from that past. It’s great to have you assist with a new way to both give and get more from our customers.

Josh
Thanks for gracefully transitioning the keys to the castle over to other people. I know from experience how hard it is to do that. And thanks for applying your formidable talents in new and exciting areas for Keen. I know you’re going to continue doing great things.

Joshua
Thanks for your perspective. It’s awesome being able to work with a diverse group of people, and your active open-mindedness about people is quite inspiring for me.

Justin
Thanks for your energy, optimism, and flexibility. Watching you continue to excel (always with a smile on your face) at whatever Keen needs from you has been an honor.

Kevin L.
Thanks for your dedication. It’s been awesome getitng to know you over the last year, and one thing that constantly amazes me is how dedicated you are to solving whatever you’re looking at. Once you sink your teeth into a problem, you don’t let go, and it’s pretty fucking cool to have you focused on Keen problems.

Kevin W.
Thanks for… being you. We haven’t worked together at Keen yet, but I’m so excited to have you around. Certainly for the talent and experience you bring to bear, but honestly (and this is a testament to the latter, not a denigration of the former), more for just getting to be able to see you more. Can’t wait to spend more time with you.

Kyle
Thanks for this whole journey. We’ve built a pretty impressive thing together, my friend. Can you believe it?

Maggie
Thanks for your positivity and your work ethic. I’ve never met somebody who can get as much done as you AND do it with a smile AND have the work be such high quality!

Manu
Thanks for being so patient and thoughtful during your interview process. I’m super jazzed to have you join the team. Let’s build some cool stuff together. 🙂

Maria
Thanks for finally pulling the trigger on leaving Lockheed! And thanks for coming aboard. I’ve always been impressed with your kind, extroverted, funny, and nerdy personality. It’s going to be great having you here.

Micah
Thanks for your continued focus on making everything around you beautiful and pleasant and wonderful. It’s phenomenal. And thanks for always being there when I want to make stupid jokes, noises, and faces.

Michelle
There’s too much to be thankful for here. Your work’s amazing, but what’s even more important to me is how supportive you’ve been for me (and for everybody on the team). I know you don’t think it’s a lot, but I can’t tell you how important you’ve been to my emotional well being. Thank you.

Nahid
Thanks for your leadership. It’s been a pleasure to watch you step in to the experience team and co-create something wonderful.

Nate
Thanks for your presence. We all know how talented a writer you are (never, ever doubt it for a minute), so I’m going to focus on how, at your best, you incubate a really amazing feeling of community here. Thanks for that. And at your worst, you’re still funny and awesome to be around. 🙂

Peter
Man, what a pleasure it’s been to watch you work and see you grow over the last year. I’m so excited to watch what you achieve in your future. It’s going to be pretty damn impressive. Thanks for sharing this part of your life with us.

Rebecca
Thanks for your unabashedness. I love having you around. You’re wickedly smart, incisive, and supportive. And thanks for being a bleeding heart liberal. Having a buddy to be excited/depressed with about current events has been super nice for me.

Ryan
Similar to Kyle — thanks for this journey. Can you believe what we’ve done? And thanks for being as introverted and anti-social as me at parties. Looking forward to ignoring everybody else for years to come. 😉

Stephanie
Thanks for letting us take part in your learning. I can’t believe how much you’ve learned and how much you’ve accomplished since you’ve been at Keen. And thanks for your unashamed enthusiasm. It’s a breath of fresh air in this age where liking things isn’t cool.

Tim C.
Thanks for your ability to give guidance when needed and to take direction when asked to. It’s a remarkable thing to be able to navigate that treacherous path as well as you do.

Tim F.
Thanks for your unflinching positivity. I’ve never met anybody who radiates as much of it as you do. It’s a joy to be around you.

Terry
Thanks for being a great role model. You’ve done such amazing work, all while being so thoughtful and clever and nice. Also, thanks for opening my eyes to how great remote employees are.

Walter
Thanks for being so kind and so… present. There are a good four or five people (at least) who wouldn’t be here if you weren’t. I think it’s a testament to just how wonderful a person you are. Don’t ever forget that!

Wow, I did it! Yay! Here’s to another amazing year. 🙂

Love,
Dan

[Editor’s Note: And a massive, gargantuan thanks to Dan for being the sort of person who would go out of his way to thank every single member of the team on his day off. I can’t really even speak to his day-to-day brilliance, because it’s kind of beyond my understanding, but thank you for caring so much and working so hard to help make this place so great.

Also thank you for being the only human willing to dress up as Twin Boba Fetts with me for non-Star-Wars movie premieres.]

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