I just crossed the threshold of 15 years since I started my career, and it feels like a good time to take stock.
It seems to split fairly nearly into three 5-year eras:
- The PR years: AxiCom --> Wildfire --> Tradeshift
- Augur pt.1: starting, building a small team
- Augur pt.2: VC, children, pandemic
and I'm now in the next phase:
4. PRODUCT: HouseHeld, Beyond Work
I think so much of a career is about understanding yourself.
During the pandemic, I was asked to give a presentation to a group of junior PRs about "ambition". When I tried to relate it to my experiences, I found the only way I could define it was through escape.
I've always been restless. My attention has an appetite that grows hungrier and craves variety over time. When it strikes, I've found I have to move – whether I know where I'm going or not.
I've been very lucky in what has presented itself each time I take the leap. And that I have the various forms of privilege and security to feel safe enough to take it.
Most exciting to me is the feeling that everything so far has just been a practice round for what comes next.
The shift from working on marketing to product feels like a graduation. As I look to the decades of work still ahead of me, it's one that I feel broadens the scope, steps up to a plate with potentially no ceiling to learn and improve.
But maybe the biggest change after ten years of Augur is the return to working more closely and directly as part of teams. So much of life is about sources – where do ideas and inspiration come from, what changes you and makes you stronger or more capable or a fuller version of what you want to be?
The answer above all is other people. I've no doubt part of our minds is a form of LLM-style learning model. And I want to feed mine with observations of people at the top of their game, doing things I don't know how to do.
Running Augur was a great adventure, I learned a lot – and part of me wishes I could just chug along doing that kind of business forever. But the work I've since done on HouseHeld and Beyond Work leaves me with no regrets and no doubts that this is the right direction.
I'm sure it won't take another 15 years to find out.