A new focus

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I’ve just added two new categories (“Release Engineering” and “Startup”) to my blog. This reflects the new reality of my life.

Obviously, many of my existing posts are already about Release Engineering, an area I care deeply about, yet somehow I just never flagged them correctly – I’ll fix that. The bigger news is about “Startup”. A few months ago, I decided to take the plunge and actually do what I’ve been talking about for years – start my own startup.

Since then, every day has been really busy, exciting, scary and fun – sometimes even all on the same day! Finding a bug in some AWS API documentation. Reading legal contracts with a highlighter and having to stop to Google some of the terms. Getting phone calls from a stranger that start with “you don’t know me, but I got your name from xxx and I hope you can help…”. Saying “what could possibly go wrong” multiple times a day. Joking about “pay no attention to the man behind the green curtain” while preparing a demo. Politely declining a job offer from a cold call recruiter, hanging up, taking a deep breath, calmly reminding myself that 9 out of 10 startup fail, and then jumping back into the fray. Oddly enough, I find I’m sleeping more, and feeling less stressed!? So far. Oh, and I’m drinking even more coffee then usual (yes, that is possible!).

Things are still under wraps, but as soon as there’s something worthwhile to show or talk about, I’ll post here on my blog.

In addition to the PRODUCT of the startup, I’ll also be blogging about the PROCESS of creating the startup. Technical, business, human aspects… warts and all. I’ve found it really helpful, and encouraging, to read posts from other founders and investors who’ve gone before me, on what they learned while building a startup – not just airbrushed niceties but also the genuine good/bad/funny/horror/irreverent/snafu stories that people have posted about life while building a startup. Some I’ve nodded along with, say “that was obvious”. Some I’ve re-read multiple times carefully and made mental notes. All are honest and helpful – to me and I’m sure many many others also. In that “pay it forward” spirit, I’ll make time to blog about this, and hopefully others starting their own entrepreneurial path will find these posts helpful – in a “oh, that is clever, I should make sure to do that” way… or “oh boy, I need to make sure to *never* do that” way… or somewhere in between!

I have to say I feel incredibly lucky with the support and encouragement of friends, family, former-co-workers and others I’ve bumped into over the years. Not just generic “don’t worry – it will be fine” support. Even with best of intentions, telling people what you think they want to hear, even when you think it may not be a good idea, is not good – it can set someone up to fail. Instead, I’ve been getting really helpful, informed, constructive support and advice like “maybe if you change it to…” or “have you asked xxx, she might have an insight…” or “that was good, don’t change that” or “… ok, that didn’t go well, so how will you do better next time?” Sometimes hard to hear, but always true from the heart and totally honest. This support is priceless, and means a great deal to me, so I find myself listening very carefully and humbly thanking people a LOT.

One Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Kim Moir
    12 Jun 2015 @ 07:10:06

    Good luck John! I look forward to hearing more about your startup when it’s unveiled!

    Reply

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