Tears of sadness, understanding & joy


Stepping down

For many of my close friends and family they already knew of the hard decision that was readily approaching. My time at TripLingo has ended. I am no longer an active member of the team and although today isn’t the official ‘last day’ working fulltime at TripLingo, I have been meaning to write about it. It was not an easy decision, and in fact I would really relate it to trying to breakup with someone who you still think is great while knowing that you need to move on — it’s not anything close of an easy task to do. I was sitting on this very thought for a couple months until my partners and I sat down and talked about how my energy has shifted and this thought was becoming apparent and I could eventually cause more harm by prolonging the decision.

With that being said, the main question everyone always wants to know is why. Why when we’re in the middle of our upcoming version 2 release, have been having month over month traction and closing our 2nd round of funding. Well, I’m going to be a dad and as great as TripLingo is going startups are hard, volatile and require entirely too much time and energy that I couldn’t afford anymore — better yet, wanted to give anymore. For the last six years I’ve been sprinting with a couple other failed startups, working freelance projects, other full-time jobs, speaking and just constantly learning that I’m just tired. I’m not sure how I kept the pace up for so long, but it has finally caught up with me. Also, with our soon to be beautiful baby girl on the way I want to make sure I’m there for those precious moments that I kept hearing everyone say to make sure not to miss.

This by no measure means that I’m disconnecting myself from TripLingo or the startup community. I’m just making sure my attention and energy is laser-focused while still having a strong impact. Currently, I’m an Advisor for TripLingo and will be officially helping out and advising a few other great companies too. I still run the Atlanta User Experience Group, and you can find me at Hypepotamus at-least once a week.

New Beginnings

With all that said, I am excited to say that I have recently joined up with a great team at Lithium as a Product Owner for Core Community. They’re a great company that understands social and for the past couple weeks they have helped reinforce that I’ve made the right decision being with them. Although based in Emeryville, CA (soon to be San Francisco) they have offices world wide and I’ll be working out of their Suwanee, GA office with the Core Community team as their dedicated Product Manager. It has already been exciting and awe-inspireing to meet my team members and do skype chats with all the other Product members within the company.

I’m really looking forwarding to helping them continue to create a great product that millions of people will use. As a product person, there’s that special feeling on knowing you’re working on something great, but to actually hear and see so many using your product just makes it even better.

Not a goodbye

With two long years of practically sleeping and living at the office with one another, it has been an amazing roller-coaster ride. Jesse eats, sleeps dreams and poops TripLingo and I know they’re going to still go on and do great things. I’ll miss playing HORSE in the back of the office and making crazy bets. Pratik (aka Pete) is a rock and developer mad-man, I’ll miss his random acronym-ing everything for no reason and his awesome indian cooking. I’ll greatly miss the FTF (french-toast-friday) brunches with James and in general talking about design stuff. It’s never easy separating from family, but this isn’t a goodbye. We’re all still great friends, and we’ll still hangout and see each-other.

2 thoughts on “Tears of sadness, understanding & joy

  • In agile we use the words sprint and scrum. Scrum we have down, short quick meetings, in, out, done. Sprint however, we have taken so far out of context. NO sprinter in the world runs 52 sprints back to back without rest. It would kill him. No Sprint Cup series car races 52 races back to back without down time (terrible play on words, I know). Yet when it comes to startups and software design, there are two wrong assumptions:

    1. Energy is everlasting and anyone who can’t keep up is weak.
    2. When someone leaves a startup, there must have been a problem.

    Both assumptions are wrong. Yes, there are weak folks who can’t keep up, but its not every developer/designer. Yes, folks leave startups ticked off, but its not every developer/designer.

    We see startups in periods, or seasons, of time. Build, finance, sell, etc. That same applies to all of life. Enjoy this season of experiencing a new family member. Hey! It won’t be much different with a new baby.

    No extra money, no sleep. Its just a different kind of startup… :)

    • Very well put, and I agree wholeheartedly. That ‘everlasting’ energy is a huge miss-assumption on my end that was difficult to learn & let go of, but glad I can now rest without feeling guilty though.

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