Blog Post

      Being the Dumbest Person on the Internet or, The Challenge of the Bigger Pond


      There was a time where I was really good at my job. There were aspects of it that I struggled with, like I imagine everyone struggles at their job in some fashion or another, but for the most part I handled the heaviest issues and worked through some of the more complex programs that my team had with relative success. Since I started my own company I've been pretty awful at my job. There's aspects of it that I've been really good at, like developing the code; but then there's been most everything else.

      In college I studied mathematics, and my tech career has been largely focused on solving technical issues and building technical things. Everyday at work I would show up and tackle a case queue or a project list that was assigned to me. I didn't have to think outside of my role much; and in fact, people outside of my role were seen primarily as work creators... that is, a source of disturbance from the daily work routine. Nowhere in there was I ever seriously trained on, or did I take seriously, any role that wasn't mine.

      One of the biggest challenges that I've faced over the course of creating a business has been tackling all of those other roles. From writing contracts, handling payroll, managing customer outreach and meetings, to architecting, building, testing and deploying the code, it's all mine now, and that lack of serious training is an ever-present hurdle. I have made some fundamentally terrible decisions based off questions in new fields that I didn't even know I should be asking.

      The truth is that I love what I do now. Getting to dictate my days is a privilege that most of us don't get, and it's been something that I've been allowed to do for the better part of two years now, but it comes with a cost that I never would have suspected. I foresaw the technical challenges of learning to build something that I'd never built before, but I wasn't prepared for the amount of time I would have to spend in fields and spaces that I wasn't comfortable being uncomfortable in. I can sit in a space of not knowing what I'm doing technically, and comfortably learn and develop my skills until I do know what I'm doing. But being faced with that same challenge in fields that I'd never focused on comes with a new level of discomfort. I went from being one of the most knowledgeable people in the room to being the dumbest man in every internet forum that I found. Slowly, ever so slowly, I'm becoming good at my job again... but it's been a long road.


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