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Sometimes, you just need someone to slap you 12 years ago

Recently, I've had some mild success. I had a website appear in Time Magazine's top 50 of 2013, I learned enough Objective C to successfully ship a couple of iPhone Apps for a couple startups in town (still being tested internally), and I landed in what will be the highest profile technology project in my town (which isn't saying too much, but is cool). None of this is going to make me rich, none of this makes me deliriously happy, but coming off running a failed startup, it feels better than failing.

It also has people talking, a little bit at least. Getting freelance work has gotten tremendously easier, so much so that my roommate has quit his full time job to join me freelancing full-time. This has inevitably started the conversation - "Should we start a service company? Not a company that builds products and takes on projects to pay the bills, but a full on, innovation-centric service company". We could probably grow pretty quickly, get some cool people behind us, and make a living work for each other. What's more, in this conservative southern town, when you bring up the possibility of building a service company, there's no end to the support you'll get. It's the only thing people understand, and they'll get behind you immediately.

So I've spent the last week talking to people about the possibility of starting a service company and what it would look like, and got a ton of support, which of course feels great. Finally I got to the last person I wanted to talk to, the person I knew would give it to me straight. And he fucking lost it.

"What happened to all those conversations about creating real lifetime value for yourself, for others, being an innovator, being a creator! Aren't you already bored with this project work shit?"

And he was right. I am bored. I can barely start working on my client's work every morning, because there is so much bullshit involved. And the thing is, bullshit is fine when YOU'RE the person who can potentially benefit in the long term from the bullshit or when it's for something you really care about. But when it's not? It's terrible. I don't regret a single second of bullshit I put up with running my The City Swig, and I don't regret failing. It's the only thing I've ever done in my life that made me truly happy, even though a lot of the time it sucked. Only a handful of people in the world understand that, and you need to trust them.

I'm not starting a service company. I'm starting the startup I've been working on. More on that next time. Thank you for slapping me in the face buddy, I needed that.