Thoughts from last year

Happy new year to you!

My last post, a few months ago, talked about starting a new business. Sine then, it is nice to be able to post more ideas that run through my head, but I couldn’t find the courage and time to do it.

This time though, i feel, it is good to share a bit of what’s going on. And in the spirit of public accountability on my annual commitments, here we go.

Perhaps, this will be less of personal commitments, and more on work related items. Last May i set out to be an independent consultant, and expected to learn a lot along the way. Fast forward to now, i think i have learned a few things about myself and of this new direction.

The most ideal type of work for me is working with people and working with software. I realized, they have a lot in common. If with software, there’s code and architecture, with people there’s intention, mental models, and practices. Programming people might sound sinister, but it is possible to curate a space so a group of people can function together for a common purpose. The same as we can write code and design the architecture, so the systems can function together for a common use.

I see myself building more of my consulting around this aspect. Going deeper, on how people may work together to develop better software.

I initially thought i like to be working with startups. Last year, has given me the opportunity to test that. I feel a need to adjust my original assumption, and elaborate that it is not about startups, but instead it is the process of creating something new, from an imagination to a reality. We can probably call this the innovation process.

What draws me to a startup, is it’s fanatical approach to pursuing the process. Of course, it is possible to have this in a larger company, but due to the size of an organization, with the varying intentions of the people involved, there are more internal challenges to deal with. In a smaller group, it can move fast and act efficiently. On the other hand, with limited resources, it is also against other odds.

This year, i am opening up my mind to working with mid-to-bigger institutions, though still on the innovation process. I still have to qualify opportunities, as to what will work with the model i am striving for, but i think i can widen my reach by not be exclusive to early stage companies.

Another aspect, that i miss these past months is forming a business of my own. I define this as forming a valuable product or service that i can sell, with a team that i curate. A few months ago, i might have said i am moving away from this type of role, since i find it a bit stressful dealing with uncertainties and making decisions that negatively impact people’s lives. I take this aspect seriously, until now.

However, my perspective on this has changed a bit. I was anxious about my lack of confidence on what i can do. I am afraid i might not be competent to go through a decision, and may make serious mistakes along the way. I feel i need to prepare or ready myself, up to a point thinking, that i am not made for it.

I realized, i am not alone in thinking about this, and that more people i met in my engagements, also have this self-doubt. This is just an aspect not commonly shared outside oneself.

Exposing myself to many startups and working with their founders, i am able to observe, learn, and confirm what will likely work should i form a business. I can now count at least 5, whom i have worked with from an idea or initial concept, to a thriving, sustaining initiative. Not all of these may be a new business, but it is a significant initiative, that may count as full-pivot from their previous state.

Of course, i have formed businesses from scratch before, but it was more with an unintentional approach. This time, it is more deliberate. Just as what they call deliberate practice, where in addition to going through the initiative, there is a wholistic awareness of the situation and an intention to learn.

This year, i feel it is time to revisit this, and start building a substantial entity.

I’ll leave this post for now with these thoughts, and will dive deeper on each with their own individual posts.

Other commitments for this year:

  • Get out of financial debt! Just one big obligation to fulfill.
  • Complete 42km at the upcoming Cebu City Marathon
  • Complete 42km at Sundown Marathon in SG
  • Perhaps, another 42km in the late Aug to early Oct time range
  • Complete at least 1x 15km – 30km trail run/events per quarter
  • Log 1000KM on the run
  • Log 1000KM on the bike
  • Tour at least for 10 days each to Japan and Indonesia
  • Bring to a more richer engagements the learning circles i am part of
  • Increase frequency on essay writing
  • Complete at least 2 photography projects