Marc Grabanski, CEO & UI Developer of Frontend Masters

2023: Backflips, Business, and BBQ

January 02, 2024

Happy New Year! Here are some highlights from 2023.

My Family 2023
Family Vacation in Florida

Our kids are 4, 7, 9 and 11 now! It’s really important we get to spend a healthy amount of time with them, and I’m grateful to the team at Frontend Masters for making that possible.

My Work Updates: Frontend Masters Highlights

I can’t believe I’ve run this business for over ten years! Our first workshops were in December 2011. We’ve come a long way since then! 😅

Here are some end-of-year highlights:

  • We increased royalties for our authors by 50%. It is a considerable ongoing expense increase (and a bit scary). Many of our teachers live off their royalty income through us primarily now, so they certainly appreciate it!

  • We significantly improved the platform through new search functionality, self-service team management functionality, and new login/registration flow.

  • We launched a new course format that is quiz-based. Folks enjoy it, and we plan to record more like it!

  • We hired our VP of Learning at the end of 2022, and this was his first full year, and he crushed it. We also recently hired a Lead Product Designer and leased a new expanded office to fit our growing team.

Launched The Frontend Masters Podcast

We launched The Frontend Masters Podcast this year, and it’s been a lot of fun! We’ve had many of the teachers on the show (13 so far), and it’s been an excellent way for them to share their stories.

You can listen to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or YouTube.

Fun Team Events

We had a couple of team events this year. I hosted a BBQ at my house, we went go-karting, and we are doing a company retreat in Costa Rica in January 2024!

Team Gokarting
Team Gokarting
Team BBQ

Customers Watched Nearly 1 million hours of Learning Videos on Frontend Masters!

Those many hours impress me since they’re focused, dense learning videos. There is no clickbait or fluff. It’s all very focused time spent learning.

Exciting 2024 for Frontend Masters

Next year, we will continue hiring for critical roles, investing much into written content, building more features for enterprise customers and teachers, and more. And we already have nearly half the workshops for next year booked, so it’s looking like an exciting 2024!

Our Mission is:

To educate and empower more people more deeply. We equip people with the mastery to use tools to turn their dreams into reality.

We’ve made significant investments in 2023, and I’m excited to continue this mission to help more people learn and grow!

My Personal Update: The Health Journey Continues!

I’ve followed my health checklist for a few years as closely as possible.

The First Backflip

One of the most significant accomplishments in 2023 started during a blizzardy day at home. I couldn’t get to the gym, so I sent some backflips in my basement 😄. I had been training them for about six months, but it was the first time committing to flat ground.

I have since done more flat-ground backflips, but they still need to be clean and consistent every time. I’m still working on them!

Giants on the Strap Bar

I’ve been working on Giants on the strap bar for a while now. I’m getting more consistent.

Completed Two Half Marathons

This year, I finished two half marathons and ran over 300 miles for the year!

Elm Creek Half Marathon
My First Half Marathon
Running Stats for 2023
Running Stats for 2023

I’ve attempted to get into running for the last five years, but it had yet to work until this year. This year, I ran primarily for enjoyment and not to push myself on every run. That turns out to be what turned the corner, and sometimes I like running now!

Hiking Trip to Oregon

One of the year’s highlights was a hiking trip with a friend (Chris Coyier) in Oregon. We hiked over 15 miles daily and even jumped in an alpine lake!

Cascade Mountains
View of the Cascade Mountains
Oregon Mountain
Me and Chris Coyier on the Hike

I Quit Competitive Videogames for a Year

I’ve been a gamer my whole life and have struggled with playing too much when I have many responsibilities. Over a year ago, I threw my gaming computer in the closet, and it’s been there ever since. I have mixed feelings about this since I love games, but with four kids, a business, and other health goals, I’ve not been able to find a healthy balance with them.

The only games I play now are with my kids. I’m hoping to find a healthy balance in the future, but for now, solo games don’t fit.

Some Goals this Year

Ditch My Phone

Overall, I watched too much YouTube and Instagram and just too much phone use in general.

A blessing in disguise: my daughter accidentally broke my phone, and I haven’t used my phone for almost two weeks. As a result, Life is better now, so I will attempt to go without my phone for a while.

How will I accomplish this? I’ll buy an excellent pocket camera for photos and videos. Then I can text/call from my computer or watch — I’ll see how long I can go without a phone!

Release the Family Videogame … Finally?

The family videogame is done (enough) and works on iOS and Android. I’m trying to find a good way to wrap up and launch it.

Exercise and Skill Improvements

Overall, I’m happy with my progress in gymnastics and running. Even if it’s mostly muscle, I have an issue with being too heavy for what I want to learn in gymnastics, so I need to dial in my diet.

Here are some overall goals for the year:

  • Add HIT workouts (bike, rower, etc)
  • Add some weight lifting (legs primarily)
  • Add split squats, Jefferson curls, good mornings, and nordic curls
  • Continue flexibility
    • hips
    • shoulders
    • back
    • legs and hip flexors
  • Running – match or exceed last year
    • 300+ miles
    • at least two half marathons
  • Gymnastics
    • backflip (consistent)
    • front flip (consistent)
    • round off tricks
    • front/back layout
    • front/back handsprings

There’s a lot more than this, especially with the business. But I’ll leave it at that for now!

Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2024! 🎉

Marc Grabanski, CEO & UI Developer of Frontend Masters

Career Journal on Web Dev, Business, & Life

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