This time twelve months ago I was in Toronto, where it was cold, and not just the weather.
I’ve learnt a lot of things from this time.
1. Trust no one
2. People are selfish and usually look after themselves first. I lost out because I went into bat for their concerns, yet they never so much as said boo themselves.
3. I’ve had people come to me asking for references. Hardly anyone so much as said goodbye to me when I left (maybe a handful)…I learnt that this was because they were told I was persona non grata however sometimes you do the right thing, not what you’re told. To have the very same people come to me 6, 9 and 12 months later asking for more from me when they couldn’t even do a simple thing such as say goodbye. Farking unbelievable, with maybe only one of two exclusions (I wont name them, but they know who)
4. I have an internal conflict between apathy and caring. Most people look out for themselves, and it makes them a smaller target. One part of me says I should have done that, but the other side says that you should do what’s right, even when it puts you in harms way. I’m slowly teaching myself apathy, it’s probably better for my health and sanity in the long term.
5. I was unduly harsh on Toronto when I got back, and as I’ve since discovered that San Francisco has more beggars, but only just. At least it’s warmer in SF 🙂 Seriously though next time I’ll come back under better circumstances, and I might end up liking the place. It reminded me a little of Sydney, although with more French speakers.
6. Venture Capital is not an end to a means. There’s a place for VC, but you shouldn’t sell your soul for it.
7. You can tell how well a company is going by assessing the terms from which ppl depart it.
8. Rick Segal is a hard ass but not a bad bloke, I wish we had met under better circumstances. One of the more interesting ppl I’ve met, and I’ve met a lot of people in the last 12 months.
9. NDA/ No-disparage contracts etc are shite when you’re expected to follow them and no one else is. Worse still when your protests fall on deaf ears but when you so much as say boo, you’re the worst bastard out there.
10. Control is everything. I’ll struggle to ever give up control of anything again, and I certainly will never put my heart, soul and full time work into something that I don’t control again…unless of course I’m being paid well for it, upfront 🙂
11. It was a hard time, but I still feel good in myself that although I lost out, I did what was right and I can sleep well at night. In fact, despite some of the anguish I’ve never had a bad nights sleep because of it.
12. Did I lose out? I walked away with some cash in the bank and my morals intact. Maybe I was the winner? only time will tell I guess.
13. Skip, unlucky
14. Bloggers aren’t paid enough full stop, not in any one particular company but most of them. I’d support minimum payrates for bloggers tomorrow. They’d still be a lot lower than in just about any other industry, but I think you need a min for work done. Some blogging jobs (again singling out no particularly company) are slave labor like, and if they were regulated jobs would be illegal in many countries.
15. considering 12, I think I have been lucky. A couple of projects on the way, hopefully the paperwork (business plan etc) done on the new startup before christmas, great writing job working with best in the business Michael Arrington, get to travel in Australia and to the US speaking and working. I’ve never really been more content. 2007 has been an awesome year. Now if only Qantas would hurry up the net access on the Sydney-SFO route 🙂