I'll Stay Micro

We all know the “Silicon Valley” siren call:



I used to sip this Kool-aid…

For years:

Like a bug drawn to light in the middle of the night, I was spell-bound…

Thankfully, over the past year or two, I’ve started to recognize how silly all of this was, and ultimately how empty these promises are. Over time, I’ve come to realize that:

Unfortunately, this side of the startup founder equation is seldom talked about. Conveniently, you only hear about the unicorns, and the overnight success stories.

It’s been a long time coming, but…

I no longer have any desire to start a startup (Yay!)

Instead, I’ve selected a different path. I chose to stay micro (working on side-projects while still employed).

http://roostermade.com/ is my playground now.

The formula is simple:

  1. Find a job you adore (where the compensation meets or exceeds your needs)
  2. Keep your job
  3. Build fun projects on the side (limiting yourself to an hour or two each weekday outside of work)

I consider myself extremely blessed to have stumbled into Help Scout. We’re treated well. We’re trusted to do our job. I work with super smart people on a product that thousands of people love. It’s my dream job really, and I plan to stay there for a very long time.

Giving up my startup obsession set me free

I no longer dream of quitting my job. I no longer fantasize about launching a startup. I no longer obsess about business ideas with every passing thought.

I feel more balanced. I feel happier. I feel healthier. And while I do plan to continue tinkering with projects on the side, money is no longer a primary driver. It’s so freeing to work on a side project, and know from the outset that it doesn’t need to turn into a business that will conquer the world! It can just be a fun little project.

Not every technology business needs to be a unicorn. Not every side business needs to grow into a full-on company with employees. For all of the hype around becoming a startup founder, it’s just not all that it’s cracked up to be.

I for one choose to stay micro.


I don’t do comments on this blog, but if you have thoughts, I’d love to hear them. You can email me at designpro@gmail.com.