Rainy Days and Mondays

Sounds like a song title.  But neither rainy days nor Mondays get me down now-a-days. In fact, just the opposite. Now that I don’t need to get up before the crack of dawn, get in my car, and drive two hours to get from Discovery Bay to work in Silicon Valley but rather can work from home looking out at the water and my ducks, with a nice fire going in the fireplace, I really like rainy days and Mondays. Cold, rainy days give me justification for having the toasty fireplace going all day. And Mondays I’m refreshed after having taken a little break from work (although my husband does think I’m basically glued to my computer even on weekends). And now-a-days I’m focused on a different kind of rain.

In January it rained. Referring to both the weather and the work. Good for the pocketbook but not good for my fledgling Duck Pond Software and my newly proclaimed entrepreneurial vision of the new company of the 2000s. In other words, I spent almost full time contracting back to my prior company Model N.  I did most of it working from home, so it wasn’t like I gave in totally to the corporate structure. And it was fun. But still .  .  .

The first half of January was more typical for me – part-time Model N work (split between getting my briefings ready to present at Rainmaker, the Model N user conference to be held in February in Phoenix, and on designing a new Rebates module) and part-time moving Duck Pond Software ahead with potential partnerships and customers. Then mid January I got a call from three Model N managers all excited and panicky because of a potential hot new customer deal and marketing arrangement if they could get their software integrated with SalesForce.com tout de suite. This meant an immediate full-time diversion in order to get a live demo up and running in a couple of weeks. The CEO wanted to make an announcement at Rainmaker about a Model N/SalesForce partnership. It was, to our CEO, one of the biggest announcements Model N had ever made. Besides diverting me, they said they’d assign Freeman full-time. That’s what made it fun.

Freeman and I have worked together for about 15 years through four companies. I hired him initially right out of college. He proved himself quickly, becoming the software architect at Azerity. He’s a brilliant and creative engineer but at the same time practical, down-to-earth and loads of fun. He was probably the first engineer who worked for me who was the age of my daughter. But rather than making me feel old, his wit and liveliness always kept our work fresh and fun. Plus he lives and works in San Diego (Model N’s one remote software engineer besides the offshore team in India) so my working from home wouldn’t be a problem on this project at all since he would be working from his home too.  
Long story short, we spent two hectic weeks but delivered the demo, got kudos from everyone, and the CEO had the joint announcement for Rainmaker. And the January paycheck was also very sweet.   But in the end, it’s just a paycheck received while building on another entrepreneur’s dream versus building momentum towards my own dream.

It was the last hurrah for Freeman and I working together which made it a bitter-sweet success. Freeman joined a start-up locally in San Diego at the end of our project. He’s going for the entrepreneur dream getting in as the third member of a team not even officially a company yet. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if we work together again some day. .  That’s the cool thing about the new companies of the 2000s. It’s like the website LinkedIn and other networking sites that are springing up.  People in this century want to be building their own dreams, not working for big corporations where there’s a single entrepreneur who’s the only one who ever makes it big.  We all want it our own way

We want to make our own rain.

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