I have two distinct phases of my career at TokBox split between working in the engineering group, and then transitioning into product once we launched OpenTok. Building the prototype of the OpenTok platform is both the marker of the transition, and the high point of my career in engineering.
I call it the high point because it was a period where I felt like I was locked in, and able to execute at a fantastic level. Context-switching between coding the project, evangelizing the API, Â and doing my day job was as efficient as could be. By the end of September, when I left to get married, I was on a high that I genuinely appreciated after two years of sloshing through in a bit of Â a lost state.
I fully transitioned into the product team by March, and was thoroughly getting my ass kicked the next day. Right back in that lost state, I got bullied into decisions I didn’t agree with. I didn’t understand how to successfully create accountability, deliver ownership, motivate, or execute. And that didn’t change for some time. It was de-motivating, and difficult, but I found a bunch of small wins along the way to help push through it. Small wins are the flotsam of a drowning PM, that’s for sure.
But then funny things started to happen. I stopped feeling bullied, and instead turned meetings into really intelligent conversations where folks could disagree. I found the guts to suggest crazy ideas, and bold initiatives. I started defining the discourse and language of my meetings, and then my colleagues, and finally my company.
And then I arrived back to that high. And let me tell, after the slog of everything else it’s a good place to be.