Did I accidentally start a publishing company?

I want to spend a moment thinking about Product Club, and what excites me about it, and where it might be heading. When I created Workshop Tactics, I didn’t have a firm plan about other decks. I just knew I wanted to leave wiggle room in the naming convention. And now I’m in the position where I’m starting to think about what those next decks are. Getting Workshop Tactics shipped was like a launching a rocket. There was a lot of initial energy expended, and now it’s cruising. The design, templating, branding, manufacturing, and distributing are now all solved problems, which means I can leverage more decks into existence, faster - except that it isn’t faster. There is still one colossal bottleneck: my range and depth of specific knowledge. This led me to realise that I can play the editor/publisher role, not the author.

There are far more experienced people than me, on a swathe of topics, skills and methodologies (Note: you are reading my realisation of how the publishing industry works, in real-time). Collaborating with others frees me up to focus on the design and distribution of the tools, and working with experts who have specific knowledge means the deck will be more useful than I could ever have made on my own. What I bring is clarity and accessibility, to otherwise dense or under-utilised knowledge—all to help people create change. What if Product Club was the O’Reilly of the card deck world? Is there even a card deck world? (Note to self: tomorrow, answer the question: “why cards?”) If you’ve got specific knowledge that would benefit being a physical card deck, you could work with me to publish it. In turn, the Product Club library of content grows, and the interconnectedness of the decks compound.

They say writing is thinking, and writing this has made me think I might’ve started a publishing company. Is that what I’m doing here? A card deck publishing company with a community? That’s exciting! And it’s already underway. The first Product Club collaboration is on the topic of storytelling, which I’ll share more about in the New Year.