When last we left our hero, he was trying to emulate a good British stiff upper lip, and halfway managing it, but let's get real: losing the CommYou project hurt like hell. While I'm really excited to see all of these ideas I've been talking about for years being put into practice, I had kind of been hoping to be the one to make the splash there. It's a blow to the ego to realize that, while I am very good at startups, I'm not very good at the entrepreneur-CEO role.
The adjustment took about three weeks, from the point at which I realized that Google Wave had washed CommYou out to sea (yes, yes -- get used to the bad metaphors), before really coming to terms with it. There have been two main things that have eased the transition:
- Google aren't stupid: they know that, if Wave is really going to succeed, they can't just build a tool -- they need to incite a whole new infrastructure. Part of giving that any credibility is fostering not just open protocols, but reference implementations of those protocols that aren't under Google's thumb. So I've wound up diving into that end of things. In particular, there is a small group of folks who are pretty serious about seeing this not only happen, but happen right. Most are pretty clear about the weaknesses in Google's initial implementation, but understand the potential in the idea. I think most of us tacitly agree that the objective here is to foster competition, and that means making a real stab at beating Google at their own game.
It's pretty chaotic right now -- among other things, everyone prefers different server implementation languages -- but I believe we'll gradually pull it together. So CommYou or something like it may yet be back eventually, in somewhat different form.
- I no longer have an excuse to spend a day a week on CommYou, though: my business plan is shattered. This means I'm now working fulltime again. The silver lining in *that*, of course, is an immediate 25% boost to my salary, which doesn't suck. Indeed, the effective boost is more than that -- I've been paying a huge amount of money to run the CommYou server, which I'm about to claw back. So the total rise in my take-home is probably more like a third.
There *was* a sense of being adrift, and not knowing what to do next, which isn't a sensation I enjoy: that was the source of much of the crankiness. But remember what I said above, about the universe keeping things lively? Well, we'll talk about that in the next couple of entries...