This post is cross posted from my LinkedIn account. You'll find most/all comments there.
As a long time pilot and builder of an experimental airplane that I flew for hundreds of hours, I am well aware that aviation accidents normally happen not because of one failure, but rather due to a cascade of errors. It is similar with leaving a company.
First of all, I loved working at Lifesize for almost 12 years. You can clearly see the impact that Lifesize had on me in the farewell letter that I sent. You can read So Long and Thanks for All the Fish on my personal blog. Sure there are the products, but I will miss the people the most. I had a fantastic job.
We all put a tremendous amount of pressure on our employees and expect accountability. That should be reciprocated and I felt that we didn't hold up our end of the bargain. That irritated me. I had no intention of leaving, but that was the catalyst for sitting up and asking the question to myself, "Why are you still here?". It wasn't one thing. You know when you know & it was past time to go. For all the sensational details ... well, you're just going to have to wait for the book!
There are so many intriguing opportunities ahead, it does no good to look behind other than for clues to what you want to do next. It is usually as simple as go do something. Go build something. Go learn something.
Since I've left, I've run across many written pieces that reflect my thinking. Here are four of them. Make sure you get down to the fourth one. It's the best by far!
Marc Andresson recently republished a piece about product market fit. The gist of the story is it's all about the market. The product and team are secondary. As I'm the proxy for the product in this story, then that means I need to find a bigger market. Maybe just a different market. Looking.
Ben Horowitz gave the commencement address at Columbia this spring. His advice? "Find that thing you're great at. Put that into the world. Contribute to others. Help the world be better." Yep.
Tim Ferris recently wrote How to Say "No" When it Matter Most. Too many parts to quote, but one references Derek Sivers and asks how often are you saying "Hell, Yeah!"? If not, hell yeah, then the answer is no. He writes, " Once your life shifts from pitching outbound to defending against inbound, however, you have to ruthlessly say "no" as your default. Instead of throwing spears, you're holding the shield." Not enough spear throwing.
But it was this piece from Basecamp (formerly 37 Signals) founder David Heinemeier Hansson that resonated with me the most. It is titled Reconsider. Read it. It closes with, "Examine and interrogate your motivation, reject the money if you dare, and startup something useful. A dent in the universe is plenty. Curb your ambition. Live happily ever after." Brilliant.
And with that ... the LinkedIn profile changes to:
Gap Year | Explorer | CTO Riveted