In the past 6 months, I would say I have had a fairly large shift in a core opinion of mine regarding how I want to spend my time both today and in the future. I say this with some conviction, but knowing that my opinions will change, as they are opinions after all.
My transition in perspective is that “working at some big company x” is no longer a) that impressive to me or b) something I really want to do. I put an emphasis on “big” to imply slow. Not all big companies are slow. Not all slow companies are large.
But the point is that I am not interested in being part of a machine. I am not interested in selling my time for hours. I am not a salary-slave and I never want to be.
It takes courage for me to say that, and a bit of ignorance, and perhaps over-confidence. I think that 95% of the world, given full information, would work at a big technology company tomorrow that pays them a salary that puts them in the top .1% of the world economy. I think it would be foolish for many of us to say no.
But I am foolish. I think I can do better. Better than the $? Not necessarily…More, I am focused on the *better* impact.
Let me further analyze why I feel this way.
First allow me to define this more. I will just go out and say it. I, and many many passionate, driven college students, have been enamored by the “dream tech job.” To work at that POWERFUL social media company, or the big search engine, or the 10,000 person etc.
We cold email. We apply. We study for interviews. We interview. We go to our awesome internship summer camp. We are placed on a small team, within a big company, and are told we can have a massive impact on x. We get swag. We go through training. We get gear. We get a mentor. We work on a small feature that has a huge impact on a small part of the company. And we affect a subset of users that may or may not matter.
Is that a pessimistic view? Probably.
Have I had bad experiences where I have worked?
Honestly not at all. I have loved my past experiences to date, working at both “big-ish” companies (Uber) and really small ones. This it not me being bitter about the past.
Instead, this is me analyzing future choices.
My biggest priority, simply put, is to do. I love doing. Not watching. Not politicking. Not pretending. Not being someone I am not.
I get distracted by external benefits, etc.
The point, though, is that I have always gotten most excited over the doing. The driving the growth, the talking to users, the shipping the product. I find putting myself in extremely unique positions, at early early stages of ideas, conceptions, etc. is what I find to be most exciting.
I can only find that at the doing stage… not the fine-tuning and optimizing stage. Not deep in the machine.
I want to build the robots not cater to them!
Also published on Medium.