Month 1

Chaos, Thy Name is The Firm

Hey there,

Welcome to where I write about my journey from a stable Big Tech Software Engineering job at BigTechCo to the wild and volatile world of Venture Capital at The Firm.

In the first month, things started to unravel further.

Coming from BigTechCo, I’d gotten used to process, structure, and clear communication channels.

At The Firm everything was free form, we were generally flat (besides partners), and business critical information and decisions were happening across email, multiple Slack Workspaces, WhatsApp, Google Chat, text messages, and dynamic in person conversations.

I was constantly inundated with information (”This company was doing X, this founder was burning out, this LP only wants to invest in feral founders …”), and I was drowning 🌊😵.

All my coworkers seemed to be fanatically doing so much work. I’d get emails at 6am and after midnight from the same people. It was like they didn’t need to sleep and had no other obligations. Everyone seemed so zealous as they fervently described how their work was changing the world and all the things they got done that day.

I quickly found myself falling into the trap of comparing my productivity to the rest of the team. I felt like I had to operate at Lightspeed to keep up with the Khoslas. As the only engineer, the absence of an engineering culture meant no one to turn to for guidance. I was all alone, staring into the abyss 😨 .

My family started expressing concern as I shed outside of work commitments and engagements. When I wasn’t working, I was too tired to do much of anything else besides basic life upkeep (laundry, making the bed, heating frozen meals, some sleep). My health started to degrade.

In retrospect, attempting to move “faster” in a sea of loosely connected systems was a terrible idea. More throughput wasn’t the actual problem here, I needed to shift my paradigm altogether. As the first Maker on a team full of Managers, I needed to learn to be more judicious with my time and focus on high leverage work instead of chasing the cornucopia of accomplishments that my peers were touting.

Sadly, it took me several painful weeks to come to this realization. I found myself nostalgically missing the predictable doldrums of BigTechCo. This was what I wanted?

Until next time!

Signing off and signing zero checks,

SWEdonym

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