Back during the dot-com days — or, as about half of my new co-workers call it, “when I was in High School” — I thought I’d be a product manager at a technology company. I worked at a great little start-up where I was given tons of freedom to do cool things for our clients, with technology we were just beginning to evolve. My job was to be a project manager, and I figured out how to customize and deploy our product for our clients; but I admired the people who pointed our product in the next direction even more.
Now, this was a great job: it paid way too well (enough to support my roommates as they started a company, actually); there was an unending supply of French Deluxe Vanilla to put in my tea; a laptop of my very own; meeting someone who’s still one of my best friends; and the right to say “I’m working at a dot-com” itself. Good stuff. But nothing’s an unalloyed blessing, and, in this case, I had to hear one song over and over again. Over and over so many times that I can still sing it in my head, even though I wish I’d forgotten every single word. I wish I could’ve told it bye bye bye.
Worst of all, it was just the first measure played almost nonstop. Not that there was a fan in the office — we were into different stuff — it was that we were pitching their label; I had to do research and customization of their product, which meant tons of trips to their Web site; and, like good netizens of the era, they had an awesome flash intro. Bye bye! it played every time I visited. I guess I should’ve known I’d end up bolting to join my roommates at their company.
And that was the last time that I had a real job that I thought of as a career. Not to knock a job, but who doesn’t want to be the master of their own universe at 24? I found myself doing my own start-ups, not that that’s not a career path, but, with a start-up the there is already there, as it were. It’s just that you have to make it big. Although I made some awesome things, it turned out that there was too little there of the there that was there. Or something. The metaphor starts breaking down here. Sorry. Hey, I’m a blogger, I’m allowed to write myself into a corner!
Anyway, the point is, I got a job. I was tired of eating only what I could kill, and I wanted to join a pack and bring down some larger beasts. Okay, that metaphor didn’t go anywhere either. But the whole looking-for-a-job-thing did, and now I’m at a really great company having a great time being a Product Manager.
It’s kind of enthralling, actually — when I left my Web design company, all the cool stuff I was working on had to do with content management systems. Now, eight years later, I’ve found myself working on… content management systems. Which appear to still be an area ripe for innovation. I’ve missed a lot but, in a number of ways, I haven’t missed all that much.
Anyway, I get to work with some great content, and with great people. And I love where I am. This is my space (yes, I am one of those annoying people who sits on an exercise ball; worse, I’m converting my cow-orkers to it:
Yeah, I love it at Atomic. So much that this will be very nearly my only blog entry ever on on it. Although, if you’re lucky, I’ll finish one of the 7 or 8 half-written pieces I have on Product Management.
Anyway, for the four or five consistent readers I have, who’ve heard me mention “a new job” for a while… that’s what it is! Oh, and for the two or three readers I have who work in the biz, you can come work with me if you want to!
And, as for my new cow-orkers: I’ll see you at the office! And at happy hour. And, maybe, at a cool restaurant. But not on Facebook. Because that just seems like a bad idea. Like I said, I really, really like this job!