It’s the first work day of the new year and in order to delay heading out into the frigid cold (it’s about 15 right now), I figure it’s a good time for a 2009 recap.
It was definitely one of the busiest years of my life. The year started normally enough, with both Sonali and I working for a large public company. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long before the economic meltdown affected them as well and the downsizing started in our division. This overarching storyline probably made the year seem more stressful than it really was, due to the multiple rounds and the general sense that something wasn’t quite right as far back as March. That all ended in September 30th, coincidentally my birthday, when both Sonali and I were let go. On the upside, I had an interview scheduled for later that afternoon. On the downside there was a going away lunch, complete with tequila. More on that later.
While this was all going on, I still needed something to do while building my rails chops and started putting some hours in Journalistics on the nights and weekends. We’ve launched one product, and are coming really close to launching the first preview of our main offering.
Perhaps the biggest work difference in 2009 was some first hand experience on the management and organizational side of product development. The challenges and solutions are significantly different than development. The biggest lesson learned is to not come up with a product plan without also coming up with a sales plan. It doesn’t matter what you build if you can’t convince people to use it.
While much of this post focuses on the negative, it was overall a very positive year. We did some very good work in my time at Premiere and it’s unfortunate we never got our product out the door. While the economic conditions resulted in a lay-off on my birthday, it had a happy ending. The interview was at Vertical Acuity, an Atlanta startup building a new syndication model for publishers. It was a great fit for both parties and I accepted their offer.
2010 finds me back where I want to be, in an small startup working on interesting problems. Being part of a small team with a lot on the line is very appealing to me. Also, since I apparently don’t like to sleep much there’s aforementioned Journalistics beta and the launch of Scoutmob. It’s going to be another busy year, but one that should be as enjoyable as 2009.
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