I’m heading to Japan next week for a fortnight which I’m suddenly so excited about. It felt like I spent half of Thursday with pent-up energy just pacing the office eating cake (we had a bake off). Tam said he could tell that I was already in holiday mode. Oops

I’ve decided I can talk about our new service since a grand total of 9 people clicked through to last week’s notes. Hi 9 people! Hopefully you’re not from one of our competitors or something 😬. Maybe close this webpage if you are? Thanks.

So the service we’re launching at the end of the month, the thing I’ve had half a toe in recently, is Cremation. Specifically it’s a kind of cremation that costs far less than average and puts more power into the hands of families to organise something really personal. If we pull it off, it feels like it’ll be one of the things that gets us much closer to delivering on our mission (changing the way the world deals with death).

I went with Clare to meet a woman who’d recently organised a cremation on Monday to hear about her experience. It’s one of a series of visits we’re doing. It was such a privilege to hear about the highs and lows in her own words, and that first hand experience helped massively when working out how we talk about our service.

One of the words she used a few times was ‘surreal’ - which is a feeling I encountered myself when organising my Mum’s funeral. In some ways it just felt like one surreal thing after another - like when I had to choose between either a sunset or a dove on my mum’s temporary urn (there was nothing plain) - or when my friend did a donut in the crematorium carpark after the service, wound down the window and barked ‘get in bitches’. We are surprisingly still friends.

It’s felt like Ethan and Louis from the brand and marketing team, and myself on the product side, have been working really well together to define exactly what that service narrative is, whilst translating that to the bits of the journey that we’re each tackling.

On the wills side, we’ve been racing to get a prototype together to test with people next week. Off the back of what we saw in the last round of research we’ve decided to focus our attention on the parts where you choose executors (the people who ‘action’ your will when you die) and secondary beneficiaries (who’ll get someone’s share if that person dies before you). I honestly can’t believe we were working so long without a dedicated researcher - it seems completely mad even only a few weeks in with Clare.

Anyway. I’m off to Japan for karaoke, onsen and sushi. So back in a few weeks! 🎤🛀🍣

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