The Things We Didn’t Do

Oh the things we didn't do

In 2 years of this pandemic

Could take a lifetime

The pandemic has impacted our lives in every possible way. As a father of two kids, I often think about the birthdays, family trips, and milestones they’ve missed out on.

The last two years also impacted the business world in unprecedented ways. As professionals, we often don’t talk about ideas that languished, projects that would have thrived IRL but were left high and dry in the budding meta-work-verse.

It’s a rollercoaster of emotions to think about what didn’t materialize. We may, still, build a speakeasy for campaign advocates and organizers (more on that soon?).

So what did we do instead?

Not a complete list, but here are some important things that came to mind:

  • We built Civic Explorer to help organizations understand their target audience better in order to create impactful campaigns. Then showed 50+ trade associations, nonprofits, and advocacy groups.

  • We prioritized the migration of our analytics environment from S3 and AWS Athena to Snowflake and rebuilt our Universal Ingestion Pipeline (UIP) in order to process a larger volume of data.

  • Set up a polling operation to ask over 2,000 Americans week-by-week about their sentiments toward key issues.

  • We supported the urgent work of incredible partners like Inseparable, who’s work to influence the Biden-Harris administration to address the mental health crisis got a direct mention in Tuesday’s State of the Union address. Learn more about Inseparable here.

Joe knows what it takes to address the mental health crisis, and that’s all part of Inseparable’s plan.


Because we wanted to listen.

When the world stood still, we decided to take a pause. Like a silver lining, it allowed us to spend more time with partners on the ground who were trying to figure out how to mobilize ahead of a consequential election in the midst of a global pandemic.

Here are some of the challenges that we heard of the most:

  • Voter data is wildly unequal in its quality, and very hard to use/analyze without dedicated expert resources.

  • Organizations are desperate to understand their members better -- what motivates them, what they believe, and why they behave the way they do -- especially in light of changing digital rules around first-party data, targeting, and outreach via channels like SMS.

  • Managers need more and more accurate data to make better decisions. This may seem like a “duh” but we’ve been able to explore this along lines of say, geography, where the extra dimensions of the customer problem have become increasingly clear to us over time.

  • Cycle-on, cycle-off organizing is increasingly expensive and lossy. Regulatory changes like 10DLC are forcing our customers to think about “always-on” organizing, and our data and tools need to be built to support this emerging paradigm.

So where do we go from here?

We’re building and growing, guided by our partners’ work, and inspired by our shared vision of a more participatory democracy. Watch this space as we share more in the coming months.

What didn’t you do the last 2 years? Tell us in the comments below.