Monday, December 21, 2009

On to the new old thing

Ever since I quit my job at the lab 4 years ago to pursue a startup, I'd been fumbling around learning all sorts of things. And though I had determination and persistence, I simply didn't know a lot of things outside of coding. Who wants this? Why would they pay money for it? Where do you find them? How do you change your idea if it doesn't work? Going into it, I knew I didn't know anything and that I'd learn, but I also didn't know what I didn't know.

For the past year and a half, I've been with a startup that went into the YC program. So as much as I wanted to pursue my own ideas, I was advised to join up and watch other people and learn. And learn a lot I did. What to do, and what not to do. And just seeing founder from other startups helped. What their thought processes and attitudes about their line was work was. Meeting role models are easier than reading about them, I guess.

And yet, while I've been learning about things outside of code, I felt like I've been sailing downwind when it came to technical things. Sure, I'd mess around with chickens flocking (which embarrassingly, I haven't gotten back to), but for the most part, I was consumed by work. Getting the tickets done and getting better at communicating with other team members.

However, much of my creativity was sapped. It was hard to fire up the editor afterwards and explore something new. I have a whole list of things I wanted to dive into more deeply. Haskell's type system. Erlang servers. Spatial trees for Frock. Arc language. Potion language. Prof Strang's Linear Algebra lectures. Visualizations and info graphics. Mobile web apps. 3D printers. And though I've dabbled in all of the above, it's not yet been enough to satiate my cravings.

But I have learned that it's also a lesson in keeping things small and simple at first. Much kudos to those working a full time job and are able to get a side project up and running.

This blog also suffered as a result. I was afraid that the things I was learning outside of code might reveal too much about the internals of the startup I was with, so I just left nothing to chance. I simply fell out of the habit of blogging about what I've learned, and as a result I feel like my writing skills have deteriorated.

But now I've left the startup, moved to Mountain View, and I'm pursuing my own once again. It's not a secret what I'm working on, but I'd just rather talk about it in a separate post. I've also started exploring other technical topics as well, as I hinted in the last post about Potion. I'll start finishing up the backlogged technical posts.

So for those of you that still are subscribed, well, thanks for your faith. I'll be writing more, and I hope you'll be able to learn something from reading this blog as well. Have a great holiday!

Posted via web from The Web and all that Jazz

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