Last Man Standing

I’ve pretty much made a career out of good timing. Technology moves in waves, and riding those waves correctly means enjoying the highs and getting out before the crashes. For example, a successful product launch is a great high, but what comes after the launch is only partially dictated by what led up to it. The market is fickle, and success or failure is largely out of your control. Getting out after the launch gives you the best possible outcome: if the product succeeds, you get to tell everyone you were part of it. If it doesn’t, well, its in the past, and you can just move on…

Besides, incrementally improving an existing business year-over-year is nowhere near as thrilling as creating one out of whole cloth. So as a general rule, when I feel like I’ve learned what I need to, I look for another wave to catch. This timing has served me pretty well for almost two decades. So when we decided we were not looking to leave after my recent product launch, it was a definite break from tradition. On the other hand, my boss, who’d been riding the same wave up and down for 24 years, decided this was his high point, and opted to exit. And he wasn’t even the first. I was hired in a group of “Platform Leaders”, by a Director that unceremoniously exited the company a few months later. Two years after that, and I’m the only one of them left in that role.

Being the last man standing is definitely a new experience for me.

Ohio probably isn’t on anyone’s map of must-visit places. But taxes are reasonable, schools are good, government is usually only a little bit right of center, and real estate is affordable (if a little slow-moving.) Its a pretty decent place to hunker down for our kid’s sake. And while the job isn’t going to make us wealthy, it does pay the bills, and seems to continue to present opportunities for growth. Maybe developing an existing business is a challenge worth taking on, and its definitely time to add some management experience to my resume. So, for now at least, I’m the acting business manager for our new products teams — my own two, and one I’ve inherited. I’ll have to interview for the promotion sooner or later, and its definitely not a “sure thing” but its looking like I’ll stick around to see what happens.

Shelby’s big brother gets announced next week, and I’m certain there will be interesting things in store for at least another year or two…

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