Monday, March 07, 2005

yes...yard dart

The great thing about yard darts (prior to being outlawed of course) is that as a kid you would muster everything in your being to hurl these metal, pointy spears into the air- usually with no inkling of where this flying projectile may land, or how far it would go.

This seemed to fit my career trajectory up until March of last year. I tried the consultant thing and the big company thing - only to find out that these were lousy tosses of my yard dart. I learned a lot along the way, no doubt.

In March of 2004, I came into contact with Jason S. Goldberg, former Clinton White House aide, T-Mobile Director- a guy who dropped everything to hatch an idea that he had. Sure, the fact that he and I had several meetings on location at Ignition Partners offices (Jobster's early backers) surely helped matters. He had a great powerpoint deck & a hell of a pitch that spoke to me on several levels. BUT, at the time he was a one man show- no other employees, no real company formed at the time. That said, there were many reasons why my cushy and promising career at Microsoft was the place to stay. Nevermind that my wife and I had a 3 month old newborn!

I remember distinctly what Jason said to me that sealed the deal. He told me a story about the Oklahoma City bombing, that horribly tragic event that very abruptly erased the popular American view that terrorism only happens outside our borders. Jason was the top aide to Clinton's Chief of Staff, who was traveling outside the country. Jason found himself, at a very young age, running the Administrations response to the tragedy, including the coordination of the President's visit to the site. Can you imagine?

His point in telling me this story was to say that he had reached the pinnacle of his professional career while in his early & mid twenties. His realization was that very few things he could do going forward would come close to the challenges of that experience. In what I would soon learn is "classic Jason" style, he vowed not to let that fact stop him from trying. Jobster is a company he has been building ever since. I guess I am not sure anymore that his pinnacle is truly behind him.

For the first time in my career, I feel like I have truly hurled my yard dart into the stratosphere with some sense of purpose- joining Jobster, an emerging Internet services company in Seattle. The great thing is that although I know not exactly where this will land, the experience itself will more than make up for the ambiguity of it all.