2020 was a devastating year for many people around the planet. I can’t imagine the sorrow of losing a family member or loved one to COVID-19. For me and plenty of others, 2020 was An Inconvenient Year. For Crimson Circle, it was a time of workshop cancellations (how Linda and I miss the in-person events!), a focus on Cloud Classes and our virtual communications with Shaumbra, and a re-evaluation of our internal operations. We were somewhat prepared for 2020 because we already had video production studios in Colorado and Hawaii, with the internal capabilities to produce high-quality content at a moment’s notice. We had already shifted away from live, teacher-presented classes where students meet with certified teachers to take part in core classes like the Sexual Energies School, Aspectology® and Journey of the Angels. The old in-person format simply wouldn’t have worked this year.
The 2020 “lull” also gave us time to focus on our internal systems. You might remember me mentioning that a few years ago, Adamus came to me one night at the Villa Ahmyo in Kona with an admonishment to “get our house in order.” He said the Crimson Circle would be going through big changes within 3-5 years, and to make sure we were prepared for it. I took him to heart because, well, he’s an Ascended Master after all. Over the past few years, we’ve improved many of our systems and processes, including video production capabilities, business and financial systems, and event management. We also embarked on a huge program to catalog and archive 20 years of Tobias and Adamus materials. Our old method was to record it and file it, but in reality, we didn’t remember what a lot of the material was about, or where it was. Under the guidance of Vili Aguirre, we’ve now cataloged, indexed and archived about 80% of our massive library so we’ll be able to access it at the touch of a button in the future.
Everything was working fine, but….
Our technology systems were a huge struggle. If you notice the bald spots on my head it’s probably due to our technology challenges. We used about 4 primary external technology firms for everything from our e-commerce store to security, databases, websites, servers, etc. Working with outside technology firms can be frustrating because software developers and programmers are at a premium these days. There’s more work to be done than there are workers to do it. You’re lucky to even be able to find someone willing to do your programming, whether or not they’re any good. We were fortunate to have an excellent primary consulting firm until about 2 years ago, when they dropped us as a client because they landed several new multimillion-dollar accounts. We hooked up with a new firm right away, but in the long run it proved to be a disaster. The stress level for some of our staff members was over the top because this technology vendor didn’t meet deadlines, was always over budget, and produced bad code.
At my wits end, I called out to Adamus for help in early fall 2019. I rarely do this, but I was desperate. “Adamus, we’re trying to get our house in order as you asked but we’ve hit a dead end with our technology issues,” I cried out.
His reply was straight from the Adamus playbook: “The solution will show up at your door,” he answered matter-of-factly. Arrghhhh! How about a nice clear answer instead of platitudes? What door? When will it show up? What will it look like? How much will it cost?? In that moment I had a taste of what it’s like to get the microphone during a live Shoud and hope to get a straight answer.
But Adamus was right. Just a few months later, a Shaumbra by the name of Jorge Merino from Salt Lake City drove to Colorado to attend a live Shoud. During the break, Linda approached him to say hello, him being new and all. He mentioned that he was involved in technology. Hmmm. Intuitively, Linda suggested that he talk to me later in the day.
Jorge politely introduced himself to me at the end of the Shoud day. We exchanged pleasantries, talked about the Shoud and how he had been watching for about five years. I asked him what kind of work he did in the Salt Lake area. “I’m a senior manager for a software development company,” he replied. DING•DING•DING. The bells went off in my head. Adamus’ words flooded back into my brain. “It will show up at your door.” Less than 10 feet from where we stood was the door to the studio. It was good enough for me. “Jorge,” I inquired, “would you be interested in talking about Crimson Circle’s technology needs?”
Four months later, Jorge left his prestigious job at a large software company and joined the Crimson Circle as our new Senior Director of Technology. It was quite a leap going from a well-established mainstream company to a relatively small (but cool) consciousness/whatever company with an Ascended Master on the Board of Directors.
Jorge spent the next four months getting to know our staff, our way of doing things, our culture, and our wounded technology. In July he assumed full responsibility for our Technology of Things. We were also right in the middle of doing a huge upgrade to our e-commerce platform. The project had started in May and was supposed to be done by late July. Jorge politely let us know that there was no way this was going to happen in a timely manner with our current vendor. He was right. The project still wasn’t anywhere near done when we terminated our relationship with the software development company in mid-December. It was just one more frustrating thing to chalk up to 2020.
But wait, there’s more…..
While Jorge and Michelle MacHale, our Internet Services Manager, were trying to keep our technology ship afloat, Jorge was also assembling a team of highly skilled programmers and developers. We knew we had to take our technology development in-house in order to get what we needed, when we needed it. I gulped when I saw Jorge’s plan to hire not only one, not two or three, but up to five full-time programmers and developers. However, when our Executive Committee (Alain Bolea, Linda and me) compared the numbers to what we were already spending with outside resources, it quickly became clear that we’d get much more and better service, tailored to our specific needs, for not much more money. We pulled the trigger and told Jorge to “hire away.”
What amazed me was how quickly Jorge put the Tech Team together. I thought it would surely take six months, but within two short months we hired four new full-time staff members. I think even Jorge was surprised at the synchronicity. “It shows up at your door,” still rings in my head.
The four new developers and programmers aren’t from the ranks of Shaumbra, but who knows? After they learn that energy is just communications, like software is just a form of communication, they might start tuning into the Shouds. Wait until they hear what Adamus has to say about TimeSpace!
We now have a highly skilled full-time, in-house technical team. Doing things in-house seems to be the best path for Crimson Circle. We also do all of our video production and post-production work in-house, and simply couldn’t do what we do if we had to rely on outside resources. We do the monthly Shaumbra Magazine in-house, as well as all of our graphics, music sourcing, social media and customer service. Now, with the new in-house technology team, we’ll be able to get our house in order quickly, per Adamus’ admonition. We’re already mapping out things for the future such as AI-based Content Searching, AI-interactive virtual Shaumbra gatherings, new Shaumbra-only social media platforms, interactive virtual Q&A with Adamus, and much, much more. What you’ll see coming from Crimson Circle’s tech team in the next few years is unheard of for a company our size, but then again, we’re ALL Masters.
DING•DING•DING keeps ringing in my head. “It comes to you” or, in this case, “It shows up at your door.” Let’s all take this to heart and mind in 2021. Just allow.
Introducing Crimson Circle’s Technology Team
Jorge Merino – Senior Director of Technology
American Fork, Utah USA
Juan Carlos Juárez-Lerma – Principal Engineer
Puebla, Pue., México
Alfredo Barranco-Gómez – Backend Developer
Puebla, Pue., México
Iván Parra-Hernández – Front End Engineer
Puebla, Pue., México
Iván Juárez-Lerma – DevSecOps Engineer
Puebla, Pue., México