April 1st, 2011 § § permalink
I attended SydStart yesterday. In many ways it was just what the doctor ordered. It was a really good event with great speakers and a friendly community of startuppers. (I don’t like the term entrepreneurs for a crowd like this one. Startuppers is more descriptive and inclusive, don’t you think?)
Hours after I’d left the event, my brain was still buzzing. (I could go as far as saying the sleepless night I had was all SydStart’s fault….. ok, so I will. Dammit SydStart!!) The biggest observation I have about the startup community is how much it’s grown. Not just in terms of numbers but also in terms of thinking and ideas. I remember there was a time when it was rare if I’d not heard of the products being pitched in a session before it was pitched. Maybe I’ve been out of the local scene too long, but last night was remarkable. So many new faces and so many new companies. And everyone seemingly open and willing to share. That’s truly awesome. Let’s keep this up Sydney.
The other thing that hit me only later was how good an event like this one is for the startupper’s soul. Sitting in front of the screen, obsessing about product and strategy and design and marketing and competitors and roadmaps and wireframes…. It can get uber stressful and feel like the designer of the startup rollercoaster forgot to add enough peak bits. (Really, who does that?! *tsk*)
Going to an event like this one is how you get your highs fellow startuppers. The passion and enthusiasm you’ll encounter is so energising, you’ll feel like you just got back from a two-week vacation at the end of the day. (And then you’ll lose some sleep, but take it as jet-lag….)
I’d made a decision to get out there and get more involved in the community this year, do what I can for whomever I can, and I’m glad I did so. It’s gonna be so damn easy to stick to it with events and people like SydStart.
Oh, and I tend to take it for granted that everyone knows that I’m always open to a chat, coffee, brainstorm session…. ummm so now you know. I’m happy to help, so drop me a line, let’s talk startups!
June 22nd, 2010 § § permalink
So I’ve been watching the World Cup, as I do every four years, and have been mainly supporting the underdogs. My exceptions – France, Brazil and occasionally Spain, Germany and the Netherlands. Actually, I wasn’t sure if I’d be supporting Brazil this year – they crashed and burnt 4 years ago, and my heart hasn’t recovered. And then France, the runners up last World Cup, go and lose their first game and draw the second. *sighs*
And then there’s England – they draw with USA, their fans go into shock then rage, and I wonder why anyone is surprised at all. I mean really, that *is* their pattern… *ducks*
Now the reason I mention these teams is that they’re full of rock star players. Guys who make millions doing what they do really well between World Cups. Guys who win Player of the Year awards and are household names. These teams’ player lists read like the fantasy football teams we build.
And yet, the teams are crap.
And so, musing on this in a sleep-deprived haze, it suddenly hits me – Many Rock Stars does not a Team make.
As you know, I’ve been job hunting the past few months. One thing most startup job listings have in common? Using words like “Rock Star” in their role descriptions. And I’ve come to realise that they aren’t using the term just to look cool and funky, as startups tend to do. That’s what they’re actually looking (waiting) for. And so, those of us like me, those who are really really good at what they do but don’t have a rock star reputation preceding their job application don’t even get a look in.
There ain’t nothing wrong with wanting to hire a rock star mind you. All I’m pointing out is that filling a team with too many rock stars isn’t the best thing for a startup. Every startup needs ‘generalists’. People who can fill in the voids between the specialist rock stars. I do believe there is enough anecdotal evidence out there as well, from following the startup scene via blogs, as well as listening to ‘insider’ stories of failed or troubled startups.
Oh, and feel free to forward this post to the English manager.
January 29th, 2010 § § permalink
So it’s my last day at Tangler. That’s right, I actually resigned from my position. Who woulda thunk it?!
Occasions such as these tend to trigger reflections, and I’ve had a fair few running through my head. Gotta get em out before brain implodes.
First up, a beeeg Thank You to my awesome team – everyone I had the pleasure of working with. (I shan’t name names right now, they know who they are!) You’ve become my teachers, my friends, my mentors, my supporters. I’ve been thinking back to my first day at work, and the thing that stands out to me is what an incredibly educational journey the past 3+ years have been. Turned a N00b into a semi-geek, you did.
I also have to acknowledge all the amazing people I’ve met through my stint at Tangler. There’s a special group of cool, crazy and charming people I couldn’t imagine life without – my fellow Tangler and TanglerLive addicts. [See ya in our forums ] Also, the ever helpful and generous Sydney and beyond startup/geek/web community. So many people have gone beyond the call of duty for me. I owe many a *insert cold/hot beverage of choice*.
The immediate question I get when I tell someone about this is “What’s next?”. The simple answer – another startup: Me!
I’m not completely done with Tangler; I’ll be consulting with them on an ongoing basis. And I fly to San Francisco in about a month. The long term goal is to work and live there.
~Flashback~ I remember a couple of weeks after I started working at Tangler, I turned to Marty and said, “This is it. This is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I’m a startupper!”
Nothing’s changed. I love the startup life, it’s what I wanna do forever and ever and ever. I love the roller-coaster ride that it is, the teamwork it requires, the innovation and improvisation it lets me indulge in.
Hence San Francisco. Can’t wait to being smack in the middle of Startup Central!
We’ll see what happens. It’s both thrilling and terrifying – what in the world am I getting meself into?! Egads!! – but I’m chuffed that I’m giving it a shot. After all, that’s what matters doesn’t it?