“We thought you might do something with orchestras.” I'd pictured many responses my parents might have when I told them I was opening a bookstore, but not this. I'd been so worried about their reaction to me abandoning my career, I never thought they'd perhaps been expecting it for a while. Even if the details were off, the general idea wasn't. After programming for nearly twenty years, we all knew it was time for me to move on.
During my time at the dot-com behemoth, I was taught a crucial business principle. Data isn't just important — it drives every decision. You don't touch a line of code, launch a product, or respond to a customer without numbers providing direction. This made perfect sense to me; more to the point, it made the company very successful
Let’s say you’re going to start a business. It’s typical to do so in your own city, enjoying the advantages that come with being part of a community. Sometimes, though, you have to venture outside the area for your idea to work. Among all the added challenges, there’s a difficult new question: Where will you go?
Getting a haircut is not normally a stressful experience for me. I’ve gotten it cut in the same style for a long time now, and I have no problem getting through the usual small talk. But this past March, after quitting my software job, things were not the same. When the stylist asked where I worked, I had no idea what to say.
I was eighteen years old, six hundred miles from home, and sick to my stomach. My first few days at college had been discomforting and disagreeable; I'd had no practice being so completely on my own. With classes about to start, I headed to main campus to purchase supplies. First stop: the campus bookstore.