Sunday, June 12, 2011

The sucky thing about being a CTO (or C*O)

Your voice is representative of your company as you are in charge of the ship.

This is one reasons I left Kansas and my stewardship of a small company.

So, you can't write about religion in a controversial way. You can't be a atheist/agnostic in the mid-west and expect to have customers. You can't talk about the richness of human sexuality and represent a company in the mid-west. You can't raise money while wearing a death-metal t-shirt. You definitely can't wear pink and be happy at the same time.

Small business C*O have to conform to their environment. This is why I think liberal cities have much more successful entrepreneurial environments. If there is a strong gay presence, then I guarantee you can get away with a lot more things than in a conservative city. The attitude to fight for who you are is the same thing you need to build a company, so I think the correlation stands.

There are things that I want to fight for; I want to fight for gay rights, freedom, women's rights, and other noble things. The engineer in me wants the world to be better. It's in my blood as an American to fight. The problem is fundamentally, I'm not willing to let other people suffer for my fight. Maybe I'm a pussy? No, I think it is sensible. There is no point in recruiting people that don't share your fight.

The fundamental problem of the C*O is that the professional (market norm) and personal (social norm) roles in life are conflated due to PR, secret nature, and stupid human politics.

My favourite and all-time hero is George Carlin. You can not be like George Carlin and be a C*O (in the mid-west). If your company has a global foot-print, then you have to be careful. You have to be neutral.

Neutral is boring.

Neutral is death.

I want to live, so that means I have to experience life. Last Wednesday, I crashed #MozParty to spend time with a old friend. Today, I'm going to goth like bar that I've never been into to listen to music I've never listened too before.

So, I'm having a lot of fun in Seattle. I'm happy, and I can be my plucky self and share it with you. I like that.

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