Today marks the first time in 12 years that I haven’t been employed by someone else. My excitement and motivation to build something I believe in have outweighed my aversion to risk.
I’ve always been motivated by money and stability, and usually stay in a safe situation long after I should have left. So why the radical departure from my previous self? The inspiration of innovation.
The past three years have seen technology go through a massive upheaval thanks to three transformative innovations: iOS, Cloud Computing and the “Consumerization” of IT. Each individually changed the rules of the game. Taken as a whole, this has changed every business user’s expectations about how products should work. If something isn’t easy to use and isn’t always available, regardless of how it’s consumed, it will not survive. Your biggest competitor is likely the one that doesn’t exist yet.
This is no grand realization, but it was enough to make me think about what I want to do now and in the future. On one hand, I had a very good job at a stable company, as well as an outstanding manager who was both an incredible mentor and my outspoken advocate. But in staying with the company, my future would have been stale technology, fear of innovation and tighter golden handcuffs.
This change in our technical world has been set in motion, and I can either be a part of or watch it pass me by. Both the newspaper and music industries saw the change for years and did nothing. Look where it got them.
I learn best by doing, falling over and getting back up. So I’ve decided to go all in and start Gantry, Inc., focusing on making ExecutiveView the best product I can make. This is a very exciting time for both technology and business, and I’ve never been more motivated to be a part of it.
As I left my previous job, only a single person there thought I was making a bad decision ; everyone else was extremely supportive. And it was shocking how many shared the desire to build their own companies but couldn’t, for one reason or another. So to everyone out there who does not have the courage to go his/her own way, take advice from Steve Jobs, a man who always follows his passions:
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.