Hey, everyone is entitled to be wrong…
Having a job “on the Internet” can be particularly difficult because the source of distractions far outweighs the sources of inspiration and information, even when you have the work ethic not to follow the trails to inefficiency. About a year ago I made fun of the social networking that dragged down the path of making every contact a personal friend. I stand by the notion that I know a lot of people but I know I truly have very few people I consider to be my friends. What I was wrong about, and what I think I’ve fixed over the year, is realizing that the social networking on the Internet is a way to be accounted for and connected to those first adopters and influencers that seem to be in on all the new stuff that I may not know or have the resources (or interest) to explore on my own.
I also throttled down quite a bit on my social calendar, in favor of starting a family and spending more laptopless hours with my new wife. This was a hard decision to make at the time, being a workaholic, but in hindsight it was the right one because it pruned out a lot of distractions and set me back on my mission.
Perhaps the most giant mistake I had made, and the biggest source of distraction, has been participation in the nearly endless debates trying to defend or carry on conversations with people for whom I have less respect than the homeless thugs that ask me for change while I’m feeding the parking meter in front of my office. Somehow I never quite picked up on the lack of conversations that started with or involved some of the most successful people in this business. Chalk that one up to the social crack of interaction. Earlier today a few people asked me for comment about some threads and I hacked my way back into my Google junk account to take a look (in the hindsight it’s probably good I forgot that password) and I scrolled through the threads. Same people, same problems, same issues, not an inch of progress. The old Vlad would have replied with some smartass comment or an opinion, the new Vlad closed the window, went home, hung out with wife and son and still managed to ship some code and contracts out by the end of the day.
What is the mission?
The point is that the mission of your enterprise is what you define and how you define it. Every minute of the day you have a choice of sticking to that mission and seeing it through or letting doubt, uncertainty, insecurity get the best of you and send you in a further spiral of not getting your job done.
IT is not a gig for perfectionists, that is something that I took way too long to figure out. As often as things change, as rapidly as you have to respond to the market demand and technology going arcane before your very eyes, you cannot afford to let yourself be taken down the road of endless debate with the village idiot. You have to look forward, make sometimes difficult decisions, hope for the best and work hard to fix things when you’ve made a mistake.
This is something I’ve had written on my monitor since July of 2007, and over the next few days it will become apparent why. It’s just that sometimes it’s easier said than done.