Year in Review: 2022 🎉
An eventful year
Year in Review
2022 was a pretty big year for our family. Here, I'll reflect on some of the bigger moments.
In the summer, we made the decision to wind down my startup of the last 5 years, Tandem. The decision itself was straightforward, since we ran out of funding and couldn't make payroll, but of course it raised plenty of second-guessing about the decisions we made and didn't make over the past few years. On the whole, I would describe the journey this way: we made a bet on how remote teams would want to communicate (quick sync conversations), and the market didn't move towards that solution. We're also quite early in the transformation of the workplace, so I don't think that's the end of the story.
They say1 failure is the greatest teacher, and through this process, I've been reflecting on my strengths and weaknesses as an entrepreneur and leader and trying to do my next one a bit differently. I'm grateful for the support from all of our teammates, investors, and community - I think this is one of the things that makes the Valley so special.1 - from Yoda: "The greatest teacher, failure is"
At the end of the summer, everything changed with the birth of our second daughter, Zoe. She's now four months old and a delight to be around. The first few months were definitely a haze of short naps and diapers, and just like that, she's now rolling around and chattering.
As our friends with larger families had warned us, the transition from one to two children was pretty drastic - I find we only have a few short hours in the evening to do the dishes and have some downtime. Still, it brings so much joy to see Zoe and Elizabeth interact and I hope they'll be best friends for a very long time.
As I look ahead to 2023, I'm filled with optimism for my work.
The past few months of exploration have been challenging - the lack of sleep, lack of structure, and constant distractions of newborn life have made sustained progress difficult. I haven't fallen in love with any of the projects I've done to date, but I've learned a bit about myself from each of them.
From Daybird, my notes + tasks + calendar app, I've learned how difficult it is to build a general-purpose productivity platform. That there is a massive glut of note-taking apps, but also a general confusion about what to do with notes and "personal databases". I've also built an app that I've used nearly every day for the past 4 months and mirrors the way that I think, and that's pretty cool. I don't think the story is over for Daybird, as it's open-source and I'll continue poking at it. It also powers some adjacent products like InsightLoop.
From Polyglot, my multi-language testing platform, I've learned about some of the challenges monetizing developer tools. I've also learned that while I like writing tests, writing a test framework in the absence of a product is a challenge for me - it's a bit too removed from real-world problems.
From my work on DataSiv I learned a lot more about the cold sales process and about the problems facing RevOps, Customer Success, and Finance teams at mid-market saas companies.
I have a few ideas going forward that I've been working on around data infrastructure - this time around I've been talking to potential users first, and it's starting to take shape. I hope to continue exercising my validation muscles as I transition into a prototyping phase.
In May, we took a magical trip to England, where we drove all around the countryside with our family and my in-laws. I think road-tripping through other countries is my favorite way to explore, as it feels like we can travel at our own pace and truly get a sense of place. Plus, in most places outside of the US, things are a lot closer together.
The economic downturn had a pretty big impact on us this year, both in its effect on asset prices across the board as well as how it impacted Tandem. It's been 14 years since the 2008 recession (did you know they call it the Great Recession?), basically since the start of my entire working career.
I also discovered this year that I love when people eat food that I make. Perhaps it taps into some deep ancestral value system that I never knew I had.
Look for a blog article about 2023... in 2023!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!