2017 Review

2017 Review

2017 was…a mixed bag. Some of the highlights included:

On the downside:

  • The primary business model for my startup failed and we were forced to pivot
  • As a result, we had to lay off a large portion of the team
  • Also not unrelated I unfortunately accumulated significant credit card debt for the first time in my life
  • Probably also not unrelated (but also just a byproduct of growing old), I had more health related issues than normal including my 3rd knee surgery

So, like I said. A mixed bag.

In addition to these specific highlights/lowlights there were also several intangible constants. I love my kids more than anything and it has been so amazing seeing them grow up throughout the year. More than anything else, I am just grateful that we are all (relatively) happy and healthy. Regardless of the stress I feel on a seemingly more regular basis these days, I thank God every day for everything. We are extremely lucky to be alive and truly blessed.

Echos From The Past

Echos From The Past

A friend of mine from SoCal randomly reached out yesterday by responding to an email I sent on my last day at Wells Fargo over 6 years ago. I wanted to post it here because it got me thinking a lot about how much things change and how much they stay the same:

“There’s always a way – if you’re committed.” – Tony Robbins
“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other” – Abraham Lincoln

It is very difficult for me to express the wide range of emotions I have on my last day onsite at Wells Fargo Dealer Services. As tried to pick out the names for this email of team members, IT partners, business partners and external vendors I have worked with over the past 7 years, each name brought up different memories of tough challenges, frustrating setbacks and exhilarating successes that we all shared together. Through it all…mergers, late-night deployments, sev issues, Holloweens, audits, security policy reviews, Christmas Parties, scrums, OPICs, all hands on deck, emergency fire drills, lunches, code reviews, strategy sessions, Leadership Conferences, project meetings, 8:30s, post-8:30s, 1pms, war rooms, interviews, goal planning sessions…I have been amazed by the relentless drive to succeed, resiliency from setbacks and determination to overcome obstacles so that we can achieve our goals. It is something that is built into the fabric of our culture and it will ensure even bigger and better success in the future. I can’t thank each and every one of you enough for everything you have given me including your friendship.

I plan on keeping in close contact with Atul and the rest of the team, so I look forward to hearing about all the great things you achieve in the future.

As much as I love what I do today building a small startup from scratch, I forget how much I actually appreciated certain aspects of being at a much larger organization. Among other things, I was lucky enough to have two people above me (Bryan Kim and Reza Leaali) who were amazing mentors and helped me more than I could ever imagine throughout my time at Wells. Creating and growing a small startup is at times a lonely, isolating experience. I guess part of what drives me today, though, is the thought that at one point in the future perhaps I will have helped to create a culture that embodies the best of my old company in its heyday.