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Startup Journey Log #6: All Is Lost

Here’s a quick refresher on my progress with coming up with my next great startup idea:

So it’s time to come clean with you. I got a day job.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably thinking I’m a sellout. A poser. A wannabe entrepreneur. A one-hit wonder.

Nah, you’re way too nice to think that. That’s just what I’m thinking of myself. But I think it’s important to share with you some of my feelings because people don’t talk about this stuff very often. And you should also know that I am completely aware that I know my feelings of self-doubt are unjustified.

You see, they would be totally justified if taking a day job meant I was giving up entirely. I am not. My job does not define me. What I do to pay the bills is not who I am. And I completely believe that I’ve got another startup in me. It just didn’t arrive in time before my one year sabbatical in Paris ended.

And that’s okay with me. Inspiration doesn’t work on your schedule. It comes when it’s ready to come.

That’s NOT to say that I have given up trying. Inspiration will never come to me if I’m not looking for it. I keep working. I keep trying. I keep asking questions. I keep learning. I keep writing. I keep trying.

For those of you who have been following along with me over the last year, you might be interested in how I came to this decision. As you know, I had an idea for an investment vehicle which then pivoted into an idea of money management for millennials. I still think both ideas are good ideas. But now I am sure that I’m not the right person to do either one.

I wrote a money management book to test out an MVP of my idea. I sent it out to some trusted friends and readers of this blog. The feedback was universal. There were okay ideas, but nothing to write home about. And these are from my family and friends. I knew I didn’t have a home run. I cut my losses there and decided to move on.

Now I’ve joined a European Enterprise IT Ops company called Automic. They built a mega-cron job scheduling system that works across operating systems. Big companies use it to automate things like customer registration and onboarding. I think I can have a big impact by incorporating concepts like Machine Learning into what they do.

The job will also let me ruminate further on my next startup idea without worrying about paying bills. As Patrick McGinnis suggests, I can invest just 10% of my free time in startups and startup ideas. And I promise I will keep you updated in this journey log as I go along. For now, it’s back to the whiteboard.

 

Lucas Carlson

About the Author

Lucas Carlson

Lucas Carlson is an executive, author and entrepreneur. He helps founders discover opportunities for growth, both for their companies and for themselves. He was the CEO and founder of AppFog, a popular startup acquired in 2013 after signing up over 100,000 developers and raising nearly $10M in venture funding from top angels and VCs.

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