What’s next?

I joined Google for three main reasons:

  1. To prove I could. They rejected me when I was a college senior, so I got a lot of personal satisfaction from just getting an offer.
  2. To learn what “good programming” was.  A startup isn’t the best place to learn how to write readable, maintainable code.  Google was superb for this: I learned so much about how you should program.
  3. To get promoted.  A personal goal of mine, which I finally accomplished last year.

However, once I got promoted, there was nothing left that was really driving me.  I began looking around for alternatives.

I thought it might be interesting for people to see my process here: I think of myself as pretty successful, but when you drill down I actually fail ~99% of the time, I just try a lot of crap.  For instance, this process of finding something else to do began early this year, when I:

  • March:
    • Considered becoming a general contractor. Dissuaded by Andrew (for now).
  • April:
    • Talked to a friend about founding a startup, but haven’t gotten a MVP together (yet).
    • Released a side project (which I was hoping would make me a bazillion dollars: it did not).
    • Applied for a transfer to Google Ventures (interviewed with every member of the team and didn’t hear back).
  • June:
    • Applied to a “startup within Google” program (rejected).
    • Talked to a manager in Google that I knew was good, who had no headcount.
    • Emailed TravisCI about job (rejected pre-interview, although I took forever to get back to them, so I’m going to blame it on that).
    • Emailed GitHub, they emailed me back, I lost track of things and never follow up.  Whoops.
    • Applied to Compass (tech-focused real estate company in NYC), didn’t hear anything.
    • Got an email inviting me to WhiteTruffle, which looked interesting. None of the jobs I was matched with were right, though.

Keep in mind that, at this point, I have been job searching (casually, but still) for a couple of months with 0% success rate. Then July rolled around.

  • July
    • Saw the AVC article on Flip, realized that tied in very well with my real estate interests*, applied through AngelList. I didn’t hear anything from them for a while, which made me sad.  It turns out that they tried to contact me through AngelList, but I never got the message and they ended up tracking down my blog and finding my email and contacting me directly.  Cool!  Met with one of the founders for coffee.
    • Compass emailed me back! Turned out the recruiter was on vacation.  Came back and set up a call.
    • AngelList contacted me about their A-List program for top candidates and I opted in.  I got 16 requests in the first 24 hours, very awesomely tailored to my interests.  Interesting requests continued to trickle in over the next week, until I got overwhelmed and asked them to take me off.
    • AngelList asked me if I wanted to apply to AngelList itself (very flattering). I was pretty impressed by the experience so far so I agreed to talk to them.

On July 12, I had intro calls with Morty, Waverly Labs, Compass, and AngelList. Then Google Ventures emailed me: after three months, they were actually making a decision! And then I got an email from Flip: they wanted to make an offer!  It was a big day.

I decided that, with offers from Flip and Google Ventures I was excited about, I’d cancel the rest of my job search.  I was having a hard time deciding between the two, so I made a pros and cons list:

Staying at Google:

  • Pros:
    • Lunch/breakfast with Andrew
    • Money
    • Friends
    • Known evil
    • Short commute
    • Prestige
    • Pasta every day
    • Scurvy less likely
    • Boxing classes
  • Cons:
    • Corporate
    • Decisions take forever
    • People are slackers (certainly not everyone, but some)
    • Doesn’t matter what I do
    • MTV is always #1
    • Travel!
    • Port Authority building is depressing

Working at Flip:

  • Pros:
    • Tons of stock.
    • Awesome office that makes me happy.
    • Cool work
    • Can take Domino every day
  • Cons
    • Unknown evil
    • So much less money
    • What if I suck?
    • Unknown stability
    • Coworkers might suck
    • Founders might be asses
    • I might get scurvy

Through this process, I realized that I should probably be eating more fruits and vegetables.  But aside from that, looking down the list, I’m mostly staying at Google because I’m afraid of the unknown.  Considered that way, I’d rather do something I’m passionate about, even if it’s risky. So, I’ve given my notice and will be starting at Flip this fall. I’m so excited!

Although I will miss having pasta for lunch every day.


* After seeing the house, I got super into real estate and ended up getting licensed as a NY State real estate agent.

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