Saturday, May 27, 2006

What it feels like to be an employee again

Someone asked in a blog comment what it feels like to be an employee again. I replied that my short answer is that it is too soon to tell. The "honeymoon" isn't yet over. I'll have a better answer in a few months.

I'm really busy coming up to speed in the new job and waiting for my first pay check (not to mention my signing bonus).

I'm also still in the process of moving my residence. I'll be looking at more apartments next Saturday and hoping to make a housing decision then or within another week as well. I may not be "settled" until late June. This process will consume a lot of my "spare" time and attention.

All of this activity doesn't leave me with enough time to contemplate what I may be missing from the entrepreneurial world.

In truth, my recent entrepreneurial efforts (past few years) were stalled, unsuccessful, unsatisfying, and distinctly unprofitable at the point where I contemplated employment anyway, so it's not like I had a very hard choice to make or a lot to regret.

Two months ago I hadn't even imagined that I would consider working for my new employer as a full-time employee (known around here as a "blue badge FTE").

If I had had some great entrepreneurial opportunity in my head two months ago I certainly would have pursued it, but I didn't, so there is nothing for me to "miss" there.

My current plan is to spend the next five to ten years pursuing team-oriented opportunities at my new employer, and then consider my options going forward. I don't anticipate spending even two seconds of my time contemplating entrepreneurial opportunities over the next five years. I'll be too busy to do otherwise.

I'll spend the next year just coming up to speed for my initial position. Then I'll spend another year or two after that in my current position, establishing as strong a performance track record and reputation as possible, and only then contemplate moving around in the company and what type of "career" development I might want to pursue, such as PhD, MBA, JD, or whatever, so that five years from now I'll have plenty of options to pick from. I have absoluetly no idea where I might be five years from now, either in terms or my nominal position or my career options.

For now, I'll dedicate my personal time to assuring that my work life is extremely successful. Any "spare" time will be reserved for non-business pursuits (i.e., non-work and non-entrepreneurial).

Whether I do any further blogging remains to be seen.

As a final note, I'm not terribly happy with the overall state of the technology sector (my new employer excepted), including the dismal state of affairs with hardware architectures, new Web architecture and infrastructure and application development, the stumbling progress of the Semantic Web, the dismal state of Artificial Intelligence, and the lack of sufficiently robust and focused research programs in computer science and related disciplines. Far too much of what we're seeing as "entreprenurial" is incremental improvement, "me too", and re-hashing of existing products and services, with far too little significant innovation. Meanwhile so many real world needs go unmet because the technology simply isn't "there" yet. Maybe my "plan" is that if I wait another five (or ten) years, we might see some big enough technological advances that my entrepreneurial drive might once again be stimulated.

-- Jack Krupansky


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