September 4th, 2002 • 3 min read #Journal #Meta

These days, it is difficult for to to explain to people who I am or what it is that I do. I am involved in multiple activities that are wildly divergent. I have a Bachelor's degree from Rice where I explored Computer Science and Managerial Studies. I worked for a series of software companies in Austin, Texas, including one that I was helping to startup. In February 2002, I was laid off for the second time in my short career. I was enjoying my work and my colleagues; even though we all knew it was coming, the timing was weird. Regardless, it became the catalyst for an exciting change. Surprisingly, it didn't take that long for me to be offered a position with yet another software company.

However, in what was probably the boldest and scariest move of my life, I turned it and its extremely attractive, almost-six-figure salary down. In an economy that is hostile to software engineers, where better educated and more experienced programmers than myself are festering on unemployment lines for months or years, I know that this might seem to border on lunacy... so much so that I never really told anybody what I was doing or deciding for fear they would discourage me. To this day, I only drop hints and purposely blur my activities because I don't believe anyone will understand my rationale, my motives, or my vision. In fact, I have a long way to go to develop both the literal and emotional vocabulary I need to describe what I'm only feeling is right.

This web space will document this new phase of my life. For the first time, I am publicly presenting what has been brewing in my mind. I think when I get going... when I start rambling to my friends about these things... I probably seem like a nutcase with a briefcase filled with chicken-scratched half baked ideas. So now, I suddenly have a tremendous opportunity for me to put my actions where my words are. To pay the bills, I make a comparatively meager living as a professional intermediary for a non-profit organization in Austin, Texas.
My primary responsibility is to act as go-between for educators, the high-tech industry, learners, and government. I am a facillitator, but I also manage large projects and programs that involve multiple organizations (some very small, and some very large).

The intangible benefits from this job are overwhelmingly valuable: 1. I have the opportunity to prove I can manage and organize projects. 2. My job is about making connections. I am being paid to build my personal network with the right mix of individuals from all levels of organizations I will be involved with as I continue working on the Project. 3. The job is immensely rewarding. I'm also working very secretly on a technology startup. (actually 3 startups- but that's really just a technicality related to taxes, intellectual property issues, and growth plans).
Finally, I am working on a Project which I hope will lead to the eventual fruition of my vision. At best, I hope this experiment,, will present the story of a vision coming to life. At worst, it will document a painful decline of a madman. Either way, it should be entertaining, no? It was like taking a plunge in a cold pool- I just had to jump and not hesitate.

The opportunity cost for my decision not to be a programmer this year was obviously high, and it will be a hefty challenge to see if I fully realize the return on my investment... That requires me never to look back; the full focus of my effort must be on the here and now.

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