Yesterday was my last day at my old job. It’s a decision I had been considering for a while now, and one that’s been settled in my head since the end of August. I still wonder, though, how I’ll remember this week looking back.
Over the past year, I came to realise that writing in-house software, regardless of the problem domain, was never going to stimulate my AD/HD-addled brain in a wholly satisfying way. That wasn’t reason enough to quit, though. I had a great boss, comfortable enough pay, camaraderie with some interesting co-workers, and the work still offered good challenges often enough to make it worth doing. Not all was rosy (my job description was in transition from “independent contractor working from home” to “employee commuting to an office building almost an hour away”) but life was good.
In short, the job had its upsides and downsides, like most of life. I didn’t really quit my job because the downsides outweighed the upsides, though there were plenty of days when that’s how I felt. I quit my job because of its opportunity cost. I’ve been wanting to start my own company ever since I was a twelve-year-old, craving augmented buying power but thwarted by those feckless child labor laws. I think my motivations have matured a little, but the dream never died.
As my interests changed — from computers, to music, to photography, to fleeing the torment they call “higher education”, back to computers — I collected a lot of neat software ideas. But ideas are like opinions: valuable, just not in a way that puts food on the table. (Unless you’re a patent troll…I digress.) Out of all my ideas, only a handful seemed to have much feasibility or market potential, and out of those, only one has consistently held my interest.
Since I first latched onto it in the Fall of 2004, I’ve watched the idea slowly move towards mainstream while I tried to do schoolwork and while I drove to my quasi-cubicle. I tried to fit it in as a hobby, but never got the momentum to bite off any sizeable side-project in my “spare time”. Trying to pursue two nearly-overlapping software lives was distractingly complicated. Now my mission is simple: Create the best software for organising photos geographically. Ever.