Last week marked the end of my employment with OnShift Inc. What started off as possibly the worst idea for a business conceivable (I’ll justify this claim later) is now an enterprise.
It has been a really good experience. I got to build something all myself. I had some really patient customers that politely filed bug report after bug report, and met with me over and over again to discuss their frustrations.
And then the business crossed one of those inflection points.
We started getting sales. Customers became happy to be references. More than once, people offered to pay for the product out of their own salary after they sat through a demo.
Some fantastic developers and designers joined the team.
In March I sat in the back of the room during a training. At the end, the trainer pointed me out. Usually I take that moment to do my little talk about how this is a new product, and these users are going to run into bugs or things that just seem goofy. I tell them I really want to hear about them, so that I can fix them as soon as possible.
But before I started my speech, everyone started clapping.
So that’s why I have to / get to / want to / need to leave. For about four years now, I’ve been banging rocks together trying to start a fire. And now I got one. So now I’m going to take a break, and perhaps more importantly to OnShift, get out of the way.
I’ll be happy if the business makes it big. I’ve been fully vested in my shares for a while now and I keep those after I leave. But this was never about getting rich. This was about proving something. I aimed to prove that I could design a product and then start a business around it.
I’ve been focused on getting that fire lit for the last four years. Now it is lit.
As for that worst possible biz plan, I’m not going to spell it out. Instead I’ll cram all the bullet points from my partner’s slides into one run-on word salad:
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