So What Now?

As it has become apparent from the Anideo website, and if you’ve met me in person in the last week, I’m no longer a part of that enterprise. It was a bit of a surprise and there’s a few adminstration issues to resolve, but the end result is that I’m solo again.

I’m currently in the UK and being away from Singapore is giving me a chance to work out what I want to do next. I managed to squeeze two speaking arrangements and innumerable coffees into three days last week and I have been given a lot of guidance as well as some welcome personal support. I also read Derek Siver’s book, again, which contained a lot of food for thought in terms of living a life and running a business. I recommend it.

A job? Consulting? A startup?

I like small companies. Less administrivia. Faster moving. Greater flexibility. More ability to be yourself and make an impact. No Lotus Notes.

Part of me is keen to achieve some stability in the immediate aftermath of a year and a half of doing ‘my own stuff’. Stability doesn’t necessarily mean “employment” but it does mean “work” but I’m open to all opportunities.

In the short term I’ll keep exercising my product design and UX muscles by helping out local startups on relatively short contracting jobs.

In the medium term I’m looking at everything with an open mind.

I’m intrigued by joining an agency to do work that can have immediate impact on a large number of people and access to clients at a scale a solo freelancer could not hope to attract.

I also entertain the idea of running my own ‘boutique’ UX/web consultancy and potentially take on someone so I can share the knowledge I have and in return learn from teaching.

It was also suggested that I could take on a ‘contract’ lead product/tech role at an angel-stage startup. Helping more business-minded founders by ramping up a tech and design team, whilst also being very hands on, over a 6—9 month period.

Finally there is the option of joining a funded/growth-stage startup as a senior employee and helping put Singapore on the map by helping lead a company and making it exceptional.

Which of these is the best option? I don’t know, it’ll be down to individual chemistry on some level, but I know I’m not going to be rushing any decisions.

What I’m not doing

I’m not going to be focussing on ‘my own startup’. In the last year I’ve helped build two ideas that I thought could be sustaining businesses on their own: Gameplan (no traction) and Denso (just starting, but no longer part of it).

As of now my huge ideas.txt file contains a lot of early stage concepts and I only have the skills to execute on a couple of them as an individual. Some of them might make interesting side-projects or self teaching tools, but for now I don’t have a significant ‘passion’ idea I think is killer, so it is time to put my expertise to use helping other people.

I’ve also realised, this is OK. I don’t need to be at the helm of my own product business with a limited runway. I’m not going to try and force it. At some points in your life it’s right to be in a skill-using/growth stage and let someone else worry about the money!

Extra-curricular Activities

I’m putting together a couple of things along the lines of RedDotRubyConf: a design-based conference in late January as well as some UX workshops sooner to try and ‘level up’ the community in an area that is still a weak point in our ecosystem. (I will try not to use the word ‘ecosystem’ again, promise)

I’ll also be running RedDotRubyConf again next year.

So keep an ear out for those events: you should follow me on twitter here. If you need someone to help with your product, design or technology perhaps you’d like to have a coffee? Email me.


2011