Monday, June 25, 2007

Leaving Microsoft

It's official. I've decided to leave Microsoft.

The past 25 months have given me a great opportunity to learn and grow, while working for one of the best software companies in the world.

But alas, the time has come again to change things up, take on some risk, and start a new adventure. In just a week, I'll be moving down to LA to bootstrap a startup with Jeff, a friend from college who recently finished his Masters and with whom I worked on the mates project several years back (and as a sidenote, he's been up to some pretty cool stuff since!).

We won't be working on location-based social networking or flying robots, but it's a little too soon to share our plans just yet.

With that, I leave you with some pmarca words of wisdom...

First, and most importantly, realize that a startup puts you on an emotional rollercoaster unlike anything you have ever experienced.

You will flip rapidly from a day in which you are euphorically convinced you are going to own the world, to a day in which doom seems only weeks away and you feel completely ruined, and back again.

Over and over and over.

And I'm talking about what happens to stable entrepreneurs.

There is so much uncertainty and so much risk around practically everything you are doing. Will the product ship on time? Will it be fast enough? Will it have too many bugs? Will it be easy to use? Will anyone use it? Will your competitor beat you to market? Will you get any press coverage? Will anyone invest in the company? Will that key new engineer join? Will your key user interface designer quit and go to Google? And on and on and on...

Some days things will go really well and some things will go really poorly. And the level of stress that you're under generally will magnify those transient data points into incredible highs and unbelievable lows at whiplash speed and huge magnitude.

Sound like fun?



pws said...

I've enjoyed your blog for some time now. I fully expect you to just change the title (Life and the Startup Blog) and continue on.
I"m due back in Redmond in late August (Service Manager EEC) and am a bit bummed I won't be able to express my thanks for your words in person.
Good luck!

adamjh said...

Thanks dude! That means a lot to me.. have a great time out in Redmond -- I'll definitely miss it.

joshie said...

I guess you'll have to rename the blog again. . . "Life and the Super Secret Startup"?

Anyway, Chris, my roommate Justin and I are going to California for the 4th. . . we're flying into LA on July 3rd, then driving up the coast over the next couple days. If you're in LA by the 3rd we should do dinner & drinks or something! (email me!)

Berno said...

Good luck with your new venture. Keen to read about your rollercoaster start-up life and new life in LA.

Anonymous said...

Good luck, would like to hear about your thought process about leaving MS and opening up your own business. Many developers share similar feelings but never act upon it. Would like to hear your mental and financial thought process. Thanks.

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huxia said...

hm~ really want to know what happened when you are not in microsoft.