Work in the Time of Pandemic - Part 1
My Love-ish Letter to Littorary (and Other Startups)
By: Sasha Som
Littorary is a brand spanking-new startup. Our goal is to create products that will help us quit our dependence on plastic. If not now, then when will it be a better time to treat our bodies and Earth with respect?
Littorary is also a part of a startup boom. Greg Rosalsky, writer and reporter for Planet Money, discusses this phenomenon in a recent article on NPR.org. In this piece, he writes that Americans are choosing to carpe diem despite – or because of – the pandemic and what it has wrought. Social distancing demands that we do things differently and startups are reimagining ways to move the world forward. According to Rosalsky, this is something that economists ominously call, “creative destruction.” It’s a term that Harvard economist Joseph Schumpeter coined in his 1943 book to describe how capitalist economic structures are always undergoing transformation, starting from within, to keep up with the forever changing nature of demands.
I embrace the notion that Littorary and startups like it are engaging in this type of destruction. With the pandemic raging, it’s life-affirming. What we want are sustainable practices where our health and the environment are not acceptable collateral.
We should rise from out of the ashes.
Startups like ours are proof that the desire to refashion the world for the better is boundless. They are also proof that making dreams real, especially from the ground up, is such an age-old human struggle. In other words, we at Littorary see you, you fellow startups.
We still have a long way to go to reach our goals. Logistics, design, audience, and finance, just to name a few, are variables that we keep needing to grapple with and master. Our goal to get our products to you taunt us by seeming within reach but moves just a hair farther away. Nothing seems within our control and the damn finish line is the worst mirage ever.
Not only do we deal with barriers to building a business, but also we stand in our own way. No self-imposed deadline can overcome the urge for perfection. If you have ever started an ambitious project that you’ve fallen head over heels for, you know what it’s like. And you know how that passion for that mission burns. It’s cliché but it’s apt: there’s fire in our bellies. We feel like our startup has much to offer, more than helping save the planet. We are at the drawing board designing, redesigning, and then redesigning the redesign to bring aesthetically pleasing things to you, things that remind you about why you enjoy that particular drink (coffee, tea, hot chocolate?) or why you savor your favorite dish. Food and drink are more than physical nourishment. Why else would we have the saying, “comfort food?”
We hope you hang out with us at Littorary for a little while longer. Keep in touch by signing up for our newsletter. Until Part 2!
Hope and keep busy. -Louisa May Alcott