Once upon a time
Last Wednesday, I visited one of our Pilot to run Sybil on another of their projects. The project is developed on another site, that means another environment, new deployment challenge. I won't dig into the technical issues I've met, but I'll rather share a personal experience and feeling.
When I need to go in town, my motorcycle is the best way to move. Whatever the typical morning traffic jam, I know I'll be there on time. It makes me feeling like a game character that runs, jumps, and bounces to reach its goal and earn some bonus. My mission? Show off The Great Sybil whatever the dangers. My destrier? My motorcycle to flight over the lava. My weapon and my shield? My laptop and my smartphone to counter attacks and obstacles. My laptop is the toolbelt that makes me ready to adapt and improvise. You cannot expect to have an access to a correct computer with a decent OS. My smartphone is my preferred spell. It gives me access to Internet thanks to tethering. You cannot expect that where you go you'll be able to access the Internet. When you need to improvise, it's an unbelievable source of information and means. Do I need a tool to do something? No problem, I can aptitude install that tool. The tortoise may have its home on its back - I got my whole company on mine.
Why I'm feeling like a adventurer? Because I enjoy it. Because I like that kind of challenges. Because I want to provide a great product to my customer and help them. As when you're a child, you imagine some situation and you enjoy it. That's exactly the same. I really live and enjoy it. It's a great feeling.
So what? I realize that it's important and it's the feeling that pushed me to start 8th color and build Sybil with Martin. Yes, as any adventure, it's sometimes hard because the risk, the long hours, the money (or lack of), the unexpected future, the uncertainty. Yes, it's hard. It's also a part of the joy. If it was easy, it would be less fun. It would taste less like an adventure. That feeling is something very important because it drives me. I want to continue, to reach each mission, to meet each challenge.
I'm not sure I would be capable to do the same without the same enjoyment. I can't imagine spending most of my time to do boring things. Yes, sometimes, you have to for good reasons. But I'm not sure there is any kind of good reason to stay with boring things if you can change for something that really enjoy and drives you.
Which level? Easy, Normal, Hard
Some will advocate that money is a very good reason. I would answer it's more a constraint, another challenge. Even, it could help you to focus and not waste your time and money on things that are not worth it. Other will say that family is another one. I would answer it's again a good thing. It's a marathon, you're a human with feelings and emotions. You cannot forget what makes you, including your family and friends. It probably reminds you that there is a life aside your startup or project. It will recall you that even if it is sometimes necessary to work long hours, it would be better to not work too much. You cannot be efficient, creative, and productive when you're exhausted. To be honest, Martin and I sometimes work about 80 hours per a week (and I'm sure some have done more). Each time, we try to relax the next week and chill out. It's hard when you're workaholic - or driven or just a bit too enthusiast.
But each time, this is a constraint that helps us to continue, to keep the joy to do it, and to stay creative (and productive). It's maybe counter-intuitive, but it's not because you work more or play more, that you produce more or play well.
That's a great feeling, and it makes me really addicted to the process of a startup and building a company. I didn't know before I could enjoy so much the development of a product that addresses real problem of real persons. It's a very great experience, and I cannot avoid to think about other possible realization of ideas even in industries that I don’t know about. The technical part is not the only fun. The development of a business is really an interesting and fun aspect. We made a joke of it:
If the product works, we’ll push it and make another one. If it doesn’t, we’ll make another one.
With my bike, my laptop, and my smartphone, I'll be on the road and drive to live another adventure. But now, the 8th color one is a great one.
Do you want to play?
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