Every day matters

We had an internal culture of counting the passage of time from Day 0, the day (in California) we started working on the project. We made the first calls and published our first vaccine availability on Day 1. I instituted this little meme mostly to keep up the perception of urgency among everyone.

We repeated a mantra: Every day matters. Every dose matters.

Where other orgs would say, ‘Yeah I think we can have a meeting about that this coming Monday,’ I would say, ‘It is Day 4. On what day do you expect this to ship?’ and if told you would have your first meeting on Day 8, would ask, ‘Is there a reason that meeting could not be on Day 4 so that this could ship no later than Day 5?’

I started every meeting and status report to the team by reminding them what Day it was. Our internal stats dashboard had a counter of what Day it was. I had a whiteboard in my apartment showing what Day it was. I wrote that every morning as soon as I woke up, and updated the other two numbers right before I went to sleep. Those were: the number of locations we had published to Californians where they could currently get the vaccine, and the number we knew about elsewhere across the United States with the vaccine.

The latter was zero at this point, of course. I brushed my teeth, wrote my emails, ate my meals, did media interviews, called my family, negotiated with funders, and said my prayers with the zero where I could see it.

From The story of VaccinateCA.