Becoming a PM, just thinking out loud, Uncategorized 0 comments on 6 years later

6 years later

I started at TokBox six years ago today.

It’s been an amazing journey to say the least. I interviewed with 20 companies my 5th year of college. I got a ton of first round interviews because I’d worked my ass off to build a killer internship resume. I just couldn’t close the door though on a bunch of companies (Mint, Facebook, Apple, Google to say the least).

But TokBox took a chance on me.

It all started with Timmy Wenzel who did my pre-screen interview. Turns out he had no idea what he was asking, but damn did he have me fooled. I came out to SF, interviewed with Ron, Nick, Kundan, I think Jason. It was scary. I wore a tie, and they all made fun of me. None of them are TokBox-ers today 🙁

I got my offer letter, and asked Timmy for more money. He said no. I took the job offer. Just asking Timmy for more money scared the shit out of me, but my dad said I had to do it. Timmy later told me if I’d asked again he would have said yes. I couldn’t though. His hair was too perfect.

There is genuinely only one other job I think I would have considered, and that was to go work for Steve Jernigan. I didn’t believe in the product Part of me thinks I should have just followed Eishay wherever he went. The road would look so different had I done that. I’d be a much, much better engineer though

Over the years the faces changed (a lot). Micky joined that November. I chased her the following January. Ian came the following May. Deidre came and left in that window. I think she was just 2 years too early. She and I just couldn’t convince folks quickly enough that the API was a legitimate thing.

It’s felt like three different roles. I exploded as an engineer under Yang. I exploded as a PM under David. And now only God knows what I’m doing under Scott. But all three of those experiences are A+.

In this epic state of nostalgia I think about all the things we could have done differently. What if we’d killed the load time llama, and just converted to an HTML based site? What if we’d hired that CTO guy? What if we’d handled the pivot differently from a company organization point of view? What if I’d left when everyone else was seeming to go?

The horizon for a VC-backed platform company is very different from a consumer-app company. We lost on that big time. And yet, Telefonica is allowing us to do great and big things. Silver linings abound.

I’m most proud that Janine and I convinced Ian to pivot. The technology was always meant to be a platform play (even if I had no chance of being the engineer to make it really happen). I told Ian once, “You’ve got me and Janine. That’s all you need to make this thing happen”. I was almost right.

I’m most sad about how many people we churned through along the way. I’ve never worked anywhere else, and so I don’t know if it’s typical to have such a “death” toll. It was a steep emotional cost to say the least.

This week Ian’s back. The vibe in the office is full of energy. The opportunities in front of us are so clear, so full of potential. The time coming up looks so much more full of potential than the time passed.

And I think that’s a sign that after 6 years… I did something right. Something to be proud of.

Life Updates, Uncategorized 0 comments on Going home

Going home

It’s been 4 really long days filled with airports, airplanes, meetings, and now I’m heading home.

Last night was an amazing night with Louise and Lizzie’s crews.

It made me want to see mine even more.

On FaceTime tonight, the babies gave me big kisses. She can speak so well now, and she expresses emotion so boldly. He’s just so darn handsome I can’t take my eyes off of him.

It’s almost worth waking them up when I land and getting a big kiss out of them both. Almost… 🙂

Fatherhood, Uncategorized 0 comments on Happy birthday Amelia!

Happy birthday Amelia!

Darling Amelia.

You turned three years old today.

What a year we shared together. You started school last August, and you’re getting ready to “graduate”. We’ve moved house, travelled across the US, met elephant seals, learned to communicate, did potty training, and so much more.

You hate to sleep. Especially alone. In fact, you weren’t sleeping through the night until just recently. And breaking that pattern was so incredibly difficult.

Your favorite songs were:

  • Anything by Miley Cyrus but especially “Wrecking Ball”
  • Anything from Frozen but especially “Let it Go”
  • ABCD
  • Old McDonald had a farm

Your best friend could be any of:

  • Lilah (from school and soccer)
  • Lucy Green
  • Luka (you guys can’t stand to be apart… or together)

Your favorite activities were:

  • Gym class every Saturday morning
  • Swimming
  • Going to the zoo
  • The Pet Store on 31st and Judah
  • Scooting in the park
  • Hanging out with Doruk

We travelled to

  • North Carolina (twice)
  • Myrtle Beach (and we’ll never do that again)
  • Pescadero over Christmas

Your major life events were

  • Starting school in August 2013
  • Moving to a new house in February 2014
  • Learning to scooter around the neighborhood
  • Surgery in May to close up another hernia

Developmentally you continue to amaze us. Your speech is fantastic (even though you can’t hit a pronoun to save your life). You’re athletically so talented. Fast. Coordinated. But you’re still a bit shy around other kids. You’re much better with adults.

You love Luka so much.

And you give the best kisses that any dad could ask for.

Happy birthday darling Amelia. When you’re finally old enough to read this, I just hope you’ll still curl up in my arms, and fall asleep on my shoulder, and not be too big to be my baby girl.

I love you.