This reminds me of getting rejected for the first job I applied for in DC. It was the first interview I ever had with a web development agency for a fulltime position. Getting the rejection email devastated me. I was ready to accept that I was such a failure, that I would never be able to become a professional web developer.
To cheer me up my then girlfriend dragged me to go watch a hockey game and eat some chili with some of her friends. There I met a friend of a friend who two days later I was interviewing with. That night I got a job offer.
If I had taken that first job, I probably would have stopped contributing to WordPress and would never have helped run the DC WordPress Meetup. I never would have moved to AddThis which led to my current gig. So much would be different.
Moral of the story: Failure is a gift, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time.
My junior high’s colors were Blue and Gold. Today’s tie/shirt/sweater combo would have worked great back then for when we dressed up for wrestling meets.
Should of been a Wild Cat. OOH, AH!
In high school one of my favorite courses year in year out was broadcasting. We learned the technical and creative aspects of making radio, television and video. One of the main points that Mr. Wunderlich, our teacher, always drove home was the importance of segues and transitions. Moving between two shots or stories shouldn’t be a jump cut or feel abrasive to our viewers. It’s advice that made sense then and still makes sense today.
Fast Forward to now, and I just finished up one of those transition in life. At the end of last month I made one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. I decided to stop working with some of the smartest and most talented people I have ever met and leave the AddThis team. It wasn’t an easy decision, but an opportunity came up that I needed to jump on.
Last week I joined Privia Health, a young company working on a serious problem: Keeping People Healthy. I’ll be filling the role of Senior Interactivity Engineer and focusing on building a great user experience and making it easier for my teammates to do the same. My new team is incredibly small, with the addition of me there only four members of the tech team. My new company is still at an early stage, just having closed a Series B in April. And there are going to be many challenges and opportunities for me. I can’t wait to face them.
I’ll miss the constant contact with my friends and coworkers at AddThis and the challenges of building in such a high scale environment, however the chance to join a team this early on that is aiming for such great things was too good to pass up. In Mr. Wunderlich’s class our work was broadcast on WMTH which had a motto of “We Make Things Happen”. Today I’m continuing to make things happen.
Today marks my one year anniversary of joining the team at Clearspring to work on AddThis. We have a tradition in our office of bringing in a pound of candy, so today I brought in a pound of Peanut Butter M&Ms. Apparently this started as a tradition at Microsoft many years ago and somehow migrated over to us. I chose peanut butter m&m’s because they are delicious.
It’s been a great year. Some of the highlights include: Refreshing our Get AddThis process, Making AddThis More Accessible , Revamping our integration with both Blogger and WordPress (which just got another update Today!) and moving away from flash to canvas based charts.
Of course the biggest highlight has been the opportunity to own features, drive innovation and learn from and teach my coworkers. They have made the last year a true pleasure.