I’ve noticed a cycle in my workflow that runs back a long time, probably into high school, runs throughout college, has stuck with me to this day. See, I seem to be a creature of phases, of renewal and curiousity and exploration. I seek out new challenges, take the road not even noticed, make things harder for myself. I can’t explain it. It’s just how I operate. I don’t slow down. I jump sideways. I phase shift.
And whenever I’ve found myself within the boundaries of some kind of institution, be it school, be it a job, be it just about anything that slows me down, chemicals and ideas within me start reacting, my energy changes, I reorient to address what’s in front of me. Sometimes, change ensues.
And so it’s been that for the last nine months I’ve had a full time gig at Flock — stumbling a whole lot, learning all kinds of great stuff, meeting and working with tremendously insightful individuals, traveling the world, falling in love, working long nights and sleeping less than I did in college; I’ve been in constant motion, bouncing along in the cockpit, weathering turbulent times both within and without our stuttering startup. I’ve struggled to find my footing, landing some successes that I’m really proud of, other times disappointing my colleagues and myself with my output (or lack thereof). I’m human, hey, and I’ve still got so much — so much — to learn. But throughout, ya know, it’s been a thoroughly enthralling experience.
Ok, to get to it already: as of April 1, I’ll be a free agent. This is wholly my choice and at my own discretion. Indeed, I initiated it. And the good folks at Flock are supporting me in this decision. In fact, they’re going to be my first “client” as I return to the land of independent consulting (which is what I was doing when I first moved out to San Francisco).
So the motivation? Well, first off, I thrive in small teams — where collaboration includes everyone, from top to bottom. This is how things started out at Flock, but due to the crazy demands of building a browser, just isn’t as feasible any more as we’ve grown to take on new and more diverse talent. Second, I want to focus more on the ambassadorial part of the position I’ve held at Flock (Barcamp, coworking, Mashpit, WineCamp, Microformats and all the rest). And to do that, I need more independence and the ability to flow between projects — to grow into some sort of an open source “editor at large”. Third, the timing is right. With Flock having just completed its move to Flock World HQ II and a number of internal reshufflings, I figure it’s time to exit stage left while things are really just getting off the ground and Flock’s internal culture is being formed. The past nine months have been getting us down the runway, and now that we’ve taken to flight, the next nine will determine what Flock is going to look like. And really, I’m going to be most effective out in the field, liasoning between projects and doing focused design work on the browser. So it’s all good — we’ve discussed this and it really does make sense.
So this bit about sublimating… here’s what convinced me that this is the right thing for me right now: the cycle that I go through with jobs and structure and so on is like the ice â†’ vapor sublimation process. I started out at Flock as vapor, all energy, busting with ideas and ready to take on the world. Over time, I learned the ropes, slowed down a bit, condensed into water: amorphous and flowing, moving from one thing to the next. And now, as has happened with previous projects, I’ve turned to an idle form of ice, ready to sublimate into a new form of volatility, ready to take on the next challenges, to surface the next horizon, my next big thing.