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The startup suck

January 1, 2007

Startups suck. Not suck as in suck ass, but suck as in suck you in. It’s an interesting experience.

I work at a company that somewhat resembles a startup. I’ve worked there (as an employee, that is) for 3 months now. Like many of my collegues, I tend to work 60-hour weeks.

Before that, I was self-employed, and I worked 60-hour weeks, too, and I dare say with more stress. However, somehow I always managed to find some time to keep somewhat involved with some amount of open source stuff on the side, whereas now, I don’t even seem to find the time to read the members@apache.org mailing list.

It’s not because we don’t use open source software at work:

$ pwd

/Users/lsimons/dev2/tvp/bistro-trunk/external-libs

$ find . -name '*.jar' | grep -v '.svn' | wc -l

     294

It’s also not because my employer doesn’t want me working on open source projects (quote: “if this thing starts taking up more than 30% of your time we should sort-of talk about it”).

It’s about the rhythm. Just about everyone in our little p2p video company works like crazy, yet parties like students (actually, the students tend to leave the bars way early in Leiden, whereas we often get kicked out). In many ways, coming into the office (which I tend to do for about two days a week, the rest I work from home) feels more like arriving at a mini-conference than like, ehm, coming into the office. It just sucks me in, and I like it that way.

What I do these days? Judging by flickr, crowd control, ranting, eating, drinking, and making a fool of myself (and others). I don’t think there’s a public picture to be found on flickr yet of me actually working. Hmm….

I guess I should be happy I don’t work at youtube — then the above links would’ve been to the even more embarassing christmas dinner video footage, that, as far as I know, hasn’t made it off of our SSL-secured intranet. Of course, if we do our job really well on the COW (short for Content Owner Website, looks to be the main project for me to work on in January), we might be seeing a video channel on TVP about TVP before I can come up with a ploy to prevent it…

PS: you’ll be missed, Mads. I’m sure you find the job you’re looking for soon.

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