Leaving Singapore

I’ve been struck by a multitude of feelings in the last few months. Joy at finding out I’m going to be a father, concern about providing for twins on a startup founder’s salary, the worry of fundraising and the everyday frustration & adrenaline of startups during their early stages.

So it is with heavy heart that I’m decamping from Singapore. The fact of the matter is I’m having twins, returning to a land where we have family support and socialized healthcare means I can keep doing the job at ImpulseFlyer that I have committed myself to, albeit remotely for the next few months.

Startup life isn’t easy, even when it appears you’re moving in the right direction. Adding distance between myself and the rest of the team isn’t ideal, but we’ve always worked in a flexible style. This is just a more extreme version, but no different to the first couple of months Steven & I worked independantly on ImpulseFlyer. I’ll miss the day-to-day banter and good humor, but the Campfire chat room will have to do.

But this is just the mechanics of my latest venture, Singapore has been more to me than that. It’s the place I went from hearing about this ‘Rails’ thing, to working alongside some of the most talented people I’ll ever meet, to running a conference for 250. I’ve worked longer in Asia than I did in London, my work & career (such as it is) is as much a product of Singapore as the UK.

It’s the place I learned all the lessons that come from small companies, both good and bad. Singapore has given me a perspective of the world that only leaving the comfort of your home country can do. I appreciate the amazing stuff from both my birth and adopted cities, and have become better at rolling with the stuff in both places that isn’t so great.

It’s a place that let me meet people from all over the world and admire the work that people are doing to make Singapore a vibrant, entrepreneurial, creative hub in the coming years.

I think I’ve mostly got round and seen people in the last month or so, if I haven’t said goodbye in person it’s more about my schedule than anything else.

So now, to the UK, for now. I make no promises about where I’ll be post-babies, the plan is to return, but six months is a long time as a new parent and in a startup. And my world will be very different in 2013.

In fact I hope it will be. The future seems exciting.


2012