From all of us at Team Altair, we have been humbled by how our mission to create a healthy space for creators has resonated over the past year. It’s clear that based upon your interactions with us via social media and through the Visionary Discord that a place like Altair is needed in the streaming service landscape.
It’s also clear to us that in order to successfully deliver on this mission, a great deal more work is required. We want to set clear expectations with you all, make it easier to find information, and most importantly, make sure that we’re taking our own tenet of Mindfulness into consideration as we move forward. To that end, we have some updates for you on the current state of Altair and what we are doing moving forward.
On Season 0
In our original blog post, “Season of the Visionary,” we highlighted our plans for our debut season sixteen weeks in advance. While setting November as a target for launch lit a proverbial fire under us, it is now clear to us that while we might be able to launch a product we would be proud of technologically, we would not be able to launch a product we would be confident in supporting our entire vision for a Mindful, Transparent, and Safe platform. As such, we will not be launching Season 0 on November 15th and are in the process of re-evaluating when in 2022 our next target date will be.
The explosive growth of the Visionary Program has been nothing short of humbling. So many of you have joined in the last week or so, and we’re honored you’ve contributed to Altair to help support its growth. When we launched the Visionary Program, our intention was more in line with a game in Early Access. Our Visionaries would provide feedback on the minimum viable product, or MVP, which we called "Season 0". That feedback cycle with our trusted group would have grown in importance as we cleaned up features and prepared for general access to everyone with Season 1. With more than 2000 of you currently, we now have an incredibly healthy level of testers, and we can’t thank you enough. As such, we will be closing new admissions to the Visionary Program on September 30, 2021.
For our Visionaries participating in the Season 0 testing, we will be shipping new features in smaller increments rather than shooting for a full MVP. For both our Visionaries and other folks interested in seeing what’s coming with Altair, we’re also planning video updates where we’ll demonstrate new features in progress and talk about upcoming changes. We’ll host the live version of these on Altair and also provide VODs if you can’t catch them at the moment. Please look forward to it.
We hope you’re as excited as we are to start seeing the platform in action, even in chunks, and testing of these individual features will go a long way to ensuring our stability and our commitments to the tenets of Mindfulness, Consent, and Safety. While we don’t know exactly when Season 1 will launch, we know that we want the full platform operational with test streams presented by Visionaries to run for a month beforehand, which will serve as a good benchmark. That said, once Visionaries can begin streaming, we will open registration for everyone, though they will not be able to stream until our Season 1 launch. It’s crucial that our Visionaries have their communities with them, in full, when they go live.
On Mindful Communication
We understand our communication thus far has not remained consistent and has not always been mindful, which is antithetical to our ethos. We have begun taking steps to be better about this going forward and apologize for the harm we caused in the past. We know that words can be just words, but we are committed to showing you through our future actions and communications that we stand by what we promise.
In addition to this work, we are updating our support documentation that we will make available to everyone. As we mentioned in our announcement on September 20th, we have been working on this already, but our plans did not work out as intended. We apologize for the frustration and confusion that came about when folks attempted to investigate and find answers but were unable to do so in an accessible manner.
We would also like to address the concerns with the blog post we shared on mental health and creator wellness. We chose not to take immediate action on this post, as we felt it important to adopt a mindful approach to deciding how to balance rectifying the post without making it appear as if we were hiding the mistakes made. We feel it's important to own our missteps rather than trying to undo it or pretend it doesn’t exist. We decided the best course of action we can take for now is to update the post with a temporary placeholder recognizing our missteps while we take the time necessary to ensure our message on this important topic adequately represents our intent and does not inadvertently harm the individuals it is designed to guide.
Reviewing other pieces of communication shared, we realized that some of our other verbiages incorrectly represent us, and that can also adversely affect individuals looking to us for their future. We have used variations of being a mental health or mental health-focused company in the past but moving forward, we will properly describe ourselves as a content creation company that is passionate about being mindful of people’s mental health. The inaccuracy before was harmful and misleading, and we apologize for not being mindful of that before.
We wanted to touch on the steps we’re taking to improve representation within Altair. While we currently have some representation of marginalized individuals directly on the Altair team, we agree with you that improving that story both internally and with external stakeholders is a needed improvement. Bryan recently touched on how we are kicking off regular discussions with BIPOC creators to give affected folks the chance to be heard, especially those that aren’t well represented within Team Altair. We’re looking forward to announcing details on how additional folks can participate in this discussion in the next week or two.
We also would love to have better representation within Team Altair to ensure we have folks with different experiences shaping discussions and actions internally. We also recognize that while many companies say they welcome hires regardless of race, creed, sexual and gender orientation, etc., they often do not make those opportunities explicitly known to marginalized folks. Team Altair, as it stands today, formed organically, as many startups do, around individuals that shared ideals and goals. Still, we’d like to get a head start on ensuring that future hiring opportunities ensure that folks of all walks of life are not only welcome but encouraged.
We want to be clear - we’re not trying to make a diversity play here. We understand that hiring someone of a specific demographic doesn’t suddenly ensure we now have a sufficient understanding of the challenges they face. We do, however, want to ensure they know they are welcome, the opportunity exists for them, and most importantly, that we want folks of diverse backgrounds to feel safe in applying to be a part of Team Altair. We’d like to expand more on this in the future, so please look forward to a blog post from Jackie talking about her experience as a Korean-American woman and what made her feel safe to reach out in joining the team.
On Our Commitment
We truly appreciate your passion for Altair and the energy you’ve spent to help us make it the platform we all want it to be. We wish to continue receiving feedback and accountability so we can identify and address issues and blind spots as they arise. However, as we mentioned earlier, we are a content creation company founded because we’re passionate about being mindful of people’s mental health, both externally and internally. Many members of our small team have mental health struggles, so we ask that everyone ensure that discussions are mindful of people's mental health on all sides of the conversation.
We understand you all have been hurt by us, and we can’t apologize enough for our actions that brought us to today. And we thank you for giving us a chance to continue to have these discussions with you all.