Re: autonomy vs dollars as a worklife theme

From: Strata Rose Chalup (
Date: Thu Feb 22 2001 - 08:27:59 PST

Jeff Bone wrote:

> Something to be said for that. Entrepreneurship is a similar but different
> kind of work-avoidance habit.

True enough! I've generally interleaved entrepreneurship with part-time
consulting. Seen a few business plans go by the wayside, alas. My
move to Santa Cruz in 1995 was to start a company with some folks out
there. After I did the move, the other two founders started arguing
over who was going to have the title "President". They both had decent
claims to be "the one"-- the old veteran who would be the one talking
to the industry he'd been working with for years, and the less-old
veteran who was the numbers and financials whiz. I said "bah humbug"
and just enjoyed the great apt I'd found out there.

Then there was the "Internet Racing" company I came into advise a
few times, under the smokescreen of an existing client whose CTO
was the potential founder. That one was ahead of its time (1993!),
but who knows, he should dredge it up again, it would have a good
chance now. The Mbone wouldn't have been amused, but there are
alternate "broadcasting" models on the net now.

The B2B ISP, back in 1994 or 1995, before there was a threecronym
for it. I've still got the biz plan for that one kicking around.

I think the deciding factor in the last two was that in those days I
was still living paycheck to paycheck, or within a few weeks of it,
and other folks who were interested were much more independent. I
tended to give things a month or so, and if they didn't seem to be
jelling, I said "well, gotta go earn rent money before it runs out,
see ya". It's now been ages and ages since I've done anything
entrepreneurial (joining a startup doesn't count unless you're a

My big kick in the workplace is building something and
turning the key on it, knowing it will run smoothly to its limits.
I don't enjoy running it afterwards, I don't enjoy marketing it
or leveraging it, I don't get into the "blah blah Ginger blah power
blah shape industry blah Ginger" thing. I just really like
building stuff-- most specifically, designing/architecting a
product or service, then building a team to implement it.
Get me doing all blue-sky work without real design, or puttering
around without a clear "this is what we want, make it happen" mission,
and I go nuts.

I think that consulting is the only profession where you
get to come in, build something big and cool, turn the key on it,
hand the key to the employees, and ride off into the sunset with
a tip of the hat and a hearty "hi-ho laptop!". :-) No scrambling
for budget, no endless rounds of political BS over whether to build
the thing or not, no watching your department get sliced-n-diced
by other departments-- by the time they make the decision to bring
you in, it's a green light go situation! And you leave while
everyone still has that nice glow.

By this time I think you can guess which choice I made. The client was
disappointed, but is working on an extension with his CFO. :-)


Strata Rose Chalup [KF6NBZ]                      strata "@"
VirtualNet Consulting                  
 ** Project Management & Architecture for ISP/ASP Systems Integration **

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