For the last three and a half years, I have been working at Sanoma Media. It is my last week there. In October I will be joining the startup Silk.
When I started working, fresh out of university, I formulated two choices for myself. Either continue my internet company I set up as a student (doing internet development and advice for small companies) or take a job as a business consultant. I opted for the latter. It seemed the right and rational thing to do. I did many projects for many companies, had many very smart colleagues and did a lot of things a rational person would do. I learned what companies did, how organizations worked and how analytical thinking could get you further. But it was work on the sideline, mostly focusing on the financial bottom line. Figuring out how companies can working more efficiently, cut costs. However, I was way more interested in how to be successful in terms of growth, innovation, exploring new markets, new business models.
Luckily my employer gave me a half year off to work on my own product. I met an angel investor to help me build Spectives.com in 2007. Spectives was a visual RSS reader. A really novel and wonderful idea. We worked hard to get it right, it was hard but we launched a great site. Got great coverage on TechCrunch, TheNextWeb, ReadWriteWeb and others. Then again, I formulated two options: either find more investors, form a team and go full throttle with Spectives, or try to sell it. I eventually sold it to Sanoma where I started working in the innovation team. It seemed the rational thing to do. However, running a startup within a large company proved to be difficult. Especially because it was not invented there. We pulled the plug in 2010.
I did some wonderful things at Sanoma. From concepting, developing and running a video site and a Dutch Twitter aggregator to running the largest Dutch Q&A site. But after three and a half years, it was time to do something new. Again I formulated two choices, either choose for a new function within Sanoma and continue my career in a large media company or join a startup. This time I did not choose for the rational and secure thing to do. I followed my feeling, my intuition.
Next week, I will join a team of 6 very talented people. The product is awesome, the ambition sky high and a top notch VC is backing us.
I’m petrified and I can’t wait.
Here I go.