So, the first decade of the new century/millennium is finally coming to a close. And it’s none too soon for this author. There have been some positive moments, plenty of new lessons learned, old lessons reinforced, but in the end I think it’s safe to say this decade has ended on a much lower note than it began.
To recap some points I mentioned on Twitter using the #10yearsago hashtag: 10 years ago, I had sold my first technology business, was preparing for the successor company to go public, was wearing more of the venture investor cap investing in several promising start-ups, raising capital for a new start-up I co-founded, was traveling heavily and entering a period of semi-retirement with plenty of toys and money falling from trees. Now I’m just suffering a horrible hangover from the aftermath of all the “irrational exuberance” of the late 90′s. But what a decade it had been. The naughts were not so kind to me. I don’t hold anyone or anything at fault for this, though close-to-home terrorism mashed up with a renaissance of xenophobic, narrow-minded politics certainly didn’t vibe with me. Add some business failures (no fault of the businesses themselves but more of the common threads that seemed to string them all together; that is a subject for another blog post entirely or perhaps a book/memoir) to the mix and I’m glad to see it end. However, it’s always been my M.O. to persevere and never have any regrets. As my mother always tells me, “Sean, never, ever lose your edge.” I think my edge substantially dulled during the naughts. It’s time to get the sharpener out, folks.
There were lots of positives that happened during the decade that I would be remiss to omit. I kind of went into hiding during the last decade. Twitter, in many ways, brought me back into the mainstream. Even though he doesn’t know it yet, Ed Schipul is someone partially responsible for that. I thought Twitter was a ridiculous waste of time at first. Somewhere about February 2008, I decided to hop online (a couple of months after I launched this blog) and give it another go. One of the very first people I looked up from my prior technology days (Ed was one of my earlier customers of my technology company in the 90′s) was Ed. I read through his tweets and decided what the hell. So I created an account and followed him. He followed me back and tweeted something about our distant past, which garnered many followers. From there I searched for other colleagues and friends from the past and struck up many conversations. I had all but hung up my hat as a technology entrepreneur, but here I was reemerging into the Houston technology scene once again. It was therapeutic, to be sure. I have made tons and tons of friends in real life through the virtual connections forged through Twitter, Facebook, Brightkite and other social media platforms. I was pretty much the first person to dive into the social media bandwagon among my existing real life friends and served as the catalyst to get them all on board as well, strengthening ties with them in the process. As much as I would love to list all the new friends I’ve made, it would be too exhaustive a list as there are too many to mention. You know who you are. I adore each and every one of you and only hope to know each of you better as the teens unfold.
I will eventually write a series of blog posts/memoirs about my various misgivings and learning experiences of the last 10 years; they could fill a book books. For now, however, I want to simply bid the naughts adieu. I am very hopeful about the twenty-teens and what they will bring. I am reassembling the fragments of my life and forging ahead full steam ahead. I won’t bore you with my new decade resolutions here, but I have many I believe will result in a better human being. I can only hope I’ll enjoy a similar level of success and positive impact on others as I did 10 years ago. Actually, screw that sentiment. I am going to amp it up 100 times this time around.
2010, bring it on!