The Interregnum is complete, and by the time you read this I should be back at it and under the yoke of employment. As much as I enjoyed Infoblox and intended to stay there, I’m looking forward to this next round. I’m at the point in life where I can look at it and think ‘maybe this will be my last kick at the can’ and if so, I hope I can make a difference.
And that’s why I jumped at this one. A few times in your life, if you’re lucky, you have an opportunity to ‘move the needle’ — my last project at Apple was like that, where my team built something that allowed them to completely redefine how they interacted with customers and did marketing using online systems instead of paper and the U.S. mail. By the time I left we were estimating that the revenue being generated out of that system was around $100 million a year — at least. One special project I did took two weeks to build and pulled eight million in costs out of the company the first year. Another took about four hours and made the entire “buy the album and get early access to tickets for the concert tour” possible, back at a time when they were still trying to make iTunes relevant.
Same reason for going to Palm — we had an opportunity to reshape not just the smartphone world (which, at the time, was iPhone and rumors of Android and a bunch of folks figuring out how to fight back against Apple) but mobile computing. As it was, Palm took the opportunity and fumbled it, then kicked it into a storm drain and skinned their knee trying to get it back — but it was still worth the try. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you get sold to HP, and then sold again, and.. But having said that, if you see what’s starting to show up out of the ashes in LG, there’s some really nice technology appearing that looks to be both good and viable driving TVs, which is a new and interesting emerging market, and I’m damned proud of the ones who were willing to stick with it and make that happen, and that shows that what we did at Palm wasn’t completely wasted.
This new gig has that same feel to me; an opportunity to help reshape how a big company does a part of the business that is going to be significant moving forward. I might be wrong, I might be right. We won’t know until I’m far down the path. It’s a much bigger thing for me than I’ve done in the community management universe — the scale is what attracted me and what may well be my biggest risk at failure. This is definitely a stretch job for me but one I’m really chomping to get at, not worried about doing. It’s going to be a distributed team, and I’m looking forward to that again, and hoping some of what I learned at Palm about that will help. It’s clearly the biggest challenge for me personally since I left Apple.
Heading into the time off I did what I normally do, which is build up a schedule way too full of stuff I want to do. When I got back from Yosemite I realized what I really needed to do was back off and unplug and unwind so instead of running around the bay area playing tourist, I caught up on some reading, I hauled my Elder Scrolls Online character to level 15, and I slept, and I finally started digging into the long-on-hold garage project, where about a year ago I started rebuilding the shop, and then stopped, and never got it started again. The reality is I have at least a dozen other projects where the first step is “I can’t really move forward without getting the garage straightened out”, so I realized I really needed to spend time on that. A few hours here and a few hours there, and most of the crap piled up into the “I need to deal with this” pile is now dealt with and I finally have the space where the shop is supposed to be cleared and started forming it. Probably the best use of my time, in reality.
These times are also good times to make changes to habits, because your habits are disrupted anyway, so I’ve been tweaking the diet and meals to try to shift things so it’s lower in carbs and higher in protein — which sounds like a simple task until you actually try it and want it to carry forward longer than a week or so. No idea if it’ll stick, but we’ll see.
I expect to continue not to talk much about the work side of life here; there’s very little upside and way too many risks to make it worth doing. Remember, kids, those “I am not a spokesman for….” disclaimers may make you feel better, but they’re ultimately worthless the first time some troll with an axe to grind chooses to chase your words.
So, onward in the new regime. Great hopes, great expectations, and no guarantees, but then, that’s life, right? And part of what makes it so much fun, because if you aren’t always reaching for the next brass ring, why bother get on the carousel?
See you on the other side….