Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Birth and Rebirth

Its now been 4 weeks, one hour and about 51 minutes since my son was born.  Its also been about  6 months since I finished my PhD and about 6 1/2 years since I had a 'real' job.  Perhaps its time to get on with things and sort out what I'm really going to be doing with myself.  Here's an update on what I've been up to, opinions on my next steps would be welcome...

Having grown somewhat disillusioned with the academic world, I've spent the time since graduation working completely outside of it.  Working with my father and his partner I learned how to use the Google App Engine while building a website/database for their company TrueIDapps.  I've also been involved with the development of a semantic web based startup that is now going by the name FreeForm Information.  Sadly I have not done any work in the domain of bioinformatics for a long time now.

While my post-grad projects have provided some knowledge of fun new techniques (I love the Cloud like everyone else now) and I am beginning to get a glimmer of an understanding of the process of starting and running a business, I have as yet to make a single penny on either project.  Now, faced with the screaming, squirming reality of responsibility I am feeling the pressure to make some decisions about how I should be spending my - now much more limited - work time.

Do I :

  1. Continue to try to keep myself involved with both FreeForm and TrueIDapps - in the hope that one of them will eventually pan out?
  2. Focus my attention on TrueIDapps because I have two other fulltime coworkers versus one part-time partner, because it always feels good to support the family business and because it seems that it is close to making money?
  3. Focus my attention on FreeForm because I find the project more interesting, more relevant to my past experience and more inline with the work I would be trying to do if I managed to find a real job?
  4. Drop both projects and figure out a path towards a real* job?
  5. Commit to being Dr. Daddy, buy some baby formula and get Dr. Mommy back to work ?
I have the benefit of my wife's savings and great family support so I could certainly last for a while before I hit the financial danger point but..  the pressure is mounting. 

Your insights are most welcome!

*real job = a job with a salary, paid vacation, an office, - and a boss who tells you what to do.
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2 comments:

morin.ryan said...

Congrats on the baby boy Ben. I assumed he must have arrived by now but I know what it is like to constantly be asked "is the baby here yet" so I didn't want to further subject you to that.

Cheers,

Ryan

Morgan Langille said...

Touch choices and unfortunately you are the only one that can really decide what is best. However, it is nice to be able to have a "real" job so that there is a constant supply of money. Side projects can be dabbled in during evenings and weekends. Also, the demands of having a child doesn't seem to let up much so your time is always limited. I'm sure you will figure out something!!