> I had hit a ceiling in terms of what I was learning and I got bored, to be totally honest.
I wish more companies understood how common this is.
I also liked how you didn't investigate the idea of Kickstarter that much. I've heard other people say this too about good work they've done, that they fell into things. It makes me wonder if we're paying attention to the right signs before making decisions.
Which signs do you pay attention to now?
So much about making the "right choice" is about understanding and being responsive to your emotional intuition -- not a category of feeling that you often hear celebrated in (speaking frankly) bro-heavy tech spaces.
I still pay attention to how an opportunity makes me feel: excited? afraid? leery?
Then I work backwards to: Why? (Sometimes, being a little afraid can be a good sign, haha -- it means something will challenge you.)
And I pay close attention to the people I would be working for: how do they communicate? who do they respect? how do they picture the future?
I also think about my own end goals. What am I looking for? Do I just need a paycheck? (That happens sometimes.) Is there a specific skill I'm trying to master? Will a role be a stepping stone toward a bigger picture, long term goal?
It's a confluence of factors, and there's no science on how to balance them against each other. Again: that emotional intuition will guide you. (Keep it well honed.)
Oof, long answer. Does that help at all? Feel like I might have gone off deep into left field with this one. :)
That emotional intuition - have you noticed or observed any ways in yourself, or in others, to really keep this sharp?
Yes, definitely. You have to carve out time for yourself, very deliberately, and be conscious about minimizing the amount of stimulation and distractions you are letting in. Spend time alone, go for long walks with your phone off, let your mind wander. Devote mental time to the things that scare you and trouble you -- really, really lean into them. (Another friend once said to me: "Embrace the struggle." Also a helpful mantra.) Therapy, if it's an option, can be great self maintenance. So is daily meditation, even if just for ten minutes. (It helps you get into the habit of unplugging.)
The work of focusing on your "feelings" is interesting because, often, it's actually the opposite of "focus." It's more like letting yourself drift freely and, in doing so, mapping your interior sea. :)
(Not to get tooooo hippy BS about it. Ha.)
And in the last line, you elicited a reaction from me to say "This isn't hippy bs" and buy in to what you've said. Thanks for the deceptively good answer :D
I enjoy the distinction you make between "sustaining" -- I like to say "nurturing" -- a community and growing one. It is important to think about that.
Thank you for reading!
Do you know if there's a French version of this? For a gift. I couldn't find in my web search.
At first we were just using Google Analytics and SQL. A couple years into it I deployed Mixpanel, and eventually we built our entire analytics infrastructure from scratch and used Looker to expose it to the rest of the company.
Here's the 30,000 foot view of how that worked:
I was at the company for over 6 years and by the time I left, my data team had people working on data science, machine learning, traditional BI, and of course infrastructure.
I wrote about that experience here:
Spoiler alert: I'm now at Y Combinator working on data science with their admissions team, so things have come pretty full circle :)
I get the feeling, Kickstarter feels like a different life for you now. Out of curiosity did your equity at Kickstarter completely vest before you left?
Kickstarter does feel like a completely different life, but that's only because of how much I was able to grow while I was there. That's a good thing, I think!
My equity did not completely vest, no. Close, but no!
* Alright I'll add a question - what do you think was the spark whenever users fell in love with the product/community?