Monday, August 15, 2011

What's next?

May was an extraordinary month for me.  The process of building AOL's open source strategy in 2011 had been fantastically inspiring.

On Monday, 5/16, on the way to lunch, I concluded that the only way to build the five products I had imagined over the past week would be to start a company. And, in the few steps between the car and the restaurant, I concluded "I am going to start a company."

Friday of that same week, taking a break from work at Graydon Manor during AOL's 2011 Monster Help Day, I facebooked:
  • Favorite quote of the day: "I thought you'd given up on that." -- "I don't give up on anything."
  • Lessons learned: I can do my job anywhere.
  • Lessons learned: You don't have to plan ahead. You can help anytime, anywhere, if you ask, and you listen.
  • Lessons learned: It's ok to make mistakes.
  • Lessons learned: Use the right tool.
  • Lessons learned: everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Work with your strengths.
  • Lessons learned: Working as a team, we do great things, and help the world.
  • Lessons learned: When helping others, we help ourselves. Aka, what goes around, comes around.
  • Favorite quote: are you using Kanban or agile? Kanban. Is that better than agile? I think it depends on the team?
  • Quote of the day: "We start a project; we finish a project!"
  • Lesson learned (2004): "I joined AOL to work with a wide array of people, learn from them, and grow as a person."
  • Lesson learned (2009): "I joined AOL to learn about leadership."
  • Lesson learned (2010): "I joined AOL to learn about working with large teams."
  • Lesson learned (2011): "I joined AOL to learn about leading teams effectively; helping them to realize their potential."
  • Lesson learned: You don't have to do all the work; you don't have to finish the job yourself. Just making a problem clear (e.g., making a big pile of leaves) can be enough to encourage others to work together to solve the problem for you.
  • Lesson learned (2011): I joined AOL to learn how to start, and run, my own company.
By the end of May, I had documented eleven product ideas that I was excited to pursue.  Today, the count stands at fourteen.

In June, I had reaffirmed my commitment to AOL and was poised to continue the effort to take our open source strategy to the next level.  But, the Universe works in mysterious ways, and on 7/20, it was clear that my final observation from 5/20 would be tested sooner than I had imagined.

Stay tuned for what's next!


What's next: