Less than a year after we launched EmotionReader, another company, Kairos, came along and bought it. I am continually amazed by the whiplash pace that tech moves at. Startup life truly is a bit like riding a tiger. It demands your full attention, and there is room for little else once the ride starts.
The last couple of months have been a bit odd, as I was still publicly the COO of a company, yet anyone paying attention to my Instagram account knew full-well that I had sold my farm in Portland and was living the high life in France, Spain, and British Columbia. I knew the company sale was happening, but until the sale went through, I couldn’t announce anything. So, I just mysteriously retired at 40, explaining little to anyone for months.
I first realized that the news was public when I suddenly got a wave of financial advisors trying to add me on LinkedIn. I did a quick search, and sure enough, TechCrunch had broken the news. These enterprising folks were hoping to take advantage of my newfound riches, and all rushed to get to me first. I politely declined, but as a marketer, did appreciate the effort.
I now find myself in an interesting spot. I went from owning a farm and part of a company, totally asset heavy, to being nearly free of possessions. Just about the only thing I actually own now is a new (used) surf van (it’s a minivan, I’m not that cool). I’m living out of Airbnbs, and working out of coffee shops. Making this massive transition, nearly overnight, was breathtaking, but I did it all for a specific, strategic reason.
Today, I’m in Santa Cruz, riding my bike from coffee shop to cafe,
stalking respecting the privacy of my favorite author, Jonathan Franzen, visiting the outsite.co co-working house, hanging with friends eager to convince me to be their neighbor, and looking at rentals to see how far my buck would go here. I love that I get to try on Santa Cruz like a pair of pants, seeing how it fits, seeing if I look different in the mirror. Tomorrow I’ll be in Sonoma. All the while, I’m scanning for the next opportunity.
As much as I look forward to whatever the next version of my life looks like, and have trouble imagining being a nomad forever, I love these interludes. I know full-well that too many options lead to analysis paralysis, but as I ping-pong around the universe this summer, I am careful to appreciate such infinite options. I do not rush through the afternoons spent napping in the surf van with a view of the waves and the setting sun. I do this because I know I’m resting up for a reason.
The next tiger is right around the corner.