the next chapter

What a wild ride. 

The last 50 days have been a complete whirlwind. The story of Oso Technologies is still being written, both figuratively as some other stake holders decided about the future of the IP, and literally as I have a working draft of a post about the history of the company sitting on the cloud at the moment. Regardless, I stepped down from the day to day operations of the business on the 17th of October. My "retirement" as CEO had been a long time coming in the months and days leading up to the 1 7th, but that's a story for another time. 

On October 19th I sat down in a Starbucks in Champaign, IL with my wife to discuss our future. We weren't sure where we wanted to live, what Lisa wanted to do for her next job, or what I wanted to work on. So, like the engineers that we are, we made an ordered list of things to look for during my job hunt. After leaving Starbucks I knew I wanted a job with at least two of the following three components. 

  1. Startup company OR large company with good product reputation 
  2. Company located in a good entrepreneurship ecosystem (Silicon Valley, Boston, New York City) OR an international opportunity 
  3. Chance to continue working on physical hardware 

It's admittedly a fairly broad set of criteria. Number one was there because I wanted to either stay in the startup world or move on to a large company like Apple or Google where they ship world class products. Number two was on the list because I knew that I'd probably want to start another business someday and it made sense to put roots down in a place with a great ecosystem already in place. If that wasn't possible I'd pursue opportunities overseas. My wife and I agreed that since we are still young we'd be up for trying out another country for a little while if it came up. Finally, I wanted to stay connected to the world of physical products. It's a no-brainer as a mechanical engineer, but a harder fit as someone that wants to work in rapidly growing companies. We set a deadline of February 28th for my search since my wife's job was stable enough to support us for the time being and our lease would last until then. 

The next day I sent out a flurry of emails to around 20 people that I had gotten to know around the country while I ran my last company. I was humbled by the number of gracious, helpful responses that I received to those emails. I was introduced to a number of fantastic people and started lining up conversations with a few different interesting companies. 

One of those conversations was with the CEO of Formlabs. After a short talk we agreed that the next step would be an in person interview with the team. I had my first phone call on the 24th, I was on a plane flying to Boston on the 28th and I got a job offer on the 30th. Needless to say, I was incredibly surprised that the process had moved so quickly. I was more surprised by the fact that I was seriously considering the offer. My February deadline was still months away, but the project that I'd be working on was such an incredible opportunity that I couldn't pass it up. 

I accepted the offer and my wife put in her two weeks notice at her job in Illinois. We packed up all of our stuff, handed our boxes off to some movers, and drove across the country to start our next chapter. We've been here in Cambridge for the past three weeks now and so far things have been pretty incredible. I already knew I loved the city after living here this past summer, and the job has been everything I wanted and more. 

It feels like my whole life has changed in the past 50 days, and in a lot of ways that is true. I'm incredibly thankful for my new opportunities, my amazingly supportive spouse, and a world class professional network that helped me find a job in less than a week. 

I obviously won't be blogging as regularly as I was when I started this up, but I hope to share some of the lessons that I'm learning in my new position here as they become more public. I've also got to finish off that history of Oso at some point. I guess there's always more to do. 

*An earlier version of this post omitted the name of the company for which I work.