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Brad Fitzpatrick

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Golden Handcuffs removed [Jun. 25th, 2007|04:32 pm]
Brad Fitzpatrick
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With little (actually no) fanfare, I passed my 2 year mark at SixApart, releasing all my Golden Handcuffs stock from the LJ acquistion, and I didn't even notice. Our CFO off-handedly mentioned me having all my stock and I was like, "no, that's in 6 months..." But it turns out I'm forgetful and my handcuffs unlocked at two years, not three.

Anyway, I now have all my stock, although I can't do anything with it because we're a private company. But at least it's mine now, though, I don't have to pay for it, I already paid then-minimal taxes on it, and if it's ever worth something, the profit is taxed as capital gains, not income. Pretty much the best case scenario. Remind me to send a box of chocolates to my lawyers.

So now what?

I hadn't really been thinking about "next steps" before because I was relatively happy and I was committed to sticking around long enough to get my stock.

Obviously it's in my best interests to stick around and do what I can to make SixApart as successful as possible, as that'd make my stock worth potentially more, but lately I'm growing bored with lack of stress, risk, speed, and human interaction (I'm not really in a group here). Plus I'm not convinced I couldn't be just as helpful to SixApart outside of SixApart.

I have some new stuff I want to do and am getting really excited about, but it'd be too boring/slow for me to do entirely myself, so the current question is if I try to get resources inside SixApart to do it, or go elsewhere and do it. Or do something else entirely.

In the short term, I'm going to see what's possible here, but this boredom can't go on much longer before I snap. I need to be in a team of excited, fast-moving people stressing the fuck out (in a fun way) on challenging and important problems. I miss that.

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[User Picture]From: beckyzoole
2007-06-25 11:34 pm (UTC)
I need to be in a team of excited, fast-moving people stressing the fuck out (in a fun way) on challenging and important problems.

You could always join the Abuse Prevention Team!
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[User Picture]From: brad
2007-06-25 11:36 pm (UTC)
"in a fun way"
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[User Picture]From: olliejeff
2007-06-25 11:37 pm (UTC)
What was the name of the mock company we used for that AP Economics project???

Maybe you can use our business plan, start that up and we can get back the point we lost for playing the porn music :)
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[User Picture]From: burr86
2007-06-25 11:37 pm (UTC)
Sounds like you miss the project management type roles in particular -- even if it's not the formalized "let's write a spec" etc. Taking a huge project, breaking it down, splitting it up amongst several people, making sure things get done, doing a giant chunk of it yourself, that kind of thing.

Though I think part of the problem is just that we have so few people to work on any one "project" -- it's hard to build a team when everyone's so specialized/overworked/whatever. So, um, we're hiring? *g*
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[User Picture]From: mart
2007-06-26 04:56 pm (UTC)

"Project Management without the Management".

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[User Picture]From: octal
2007-06-25 11:44 pm (UTC)
Sounds like your long-term happiness would be maximized by either starting a new thing on your own (then maybe bringing others into it), or finding another project to do.
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[User Picture]From: adamkills
2007-06-25 11:47 pm (UTC)
You can always jump on the growing CDN bandwagon.

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[User Picture]From: scosol
2007-06-26 07:01 am (UTC)
who do you work for?
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From: altamira16
2007-06-26 12:07 am (UTC)
I am soooo glad I did not buy the Permanent Account. :D
(I think you ran the show pretty well.)
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From: (Anonymous)
2007-06-26 12:22 am (UTC)

Open Source

Its right under your nose: Start a company that develops and supports your open source projects in some way. Make your tools easier, add the long-requested features, support companies with guaranteed response times, etc. Or some variation that lets you work full-time on these things.

Your "weekend" hacking has produced some of the most amazing open source tools. Take it even further.
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[User Picture]From: loganb
2007-06-26 12:32 am (UTC)
We just went through the share holders agreement at my new gig this morning with a signing session to follow soon. Private companies certainly suck in that respect; our agreement was basically, "Give us money to buy shares you won't control for up to 3 years and can't transfer and may have to return to the company if you leave." As far as agreements for startups go it actually isn't that bad, but it's no AAPL or GOOG.
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[User Picture]From: jproulx
2007-06-26 01:21 am (UTC)
Does the new exciting stuff concern Six Apart in any way?
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[User Picture]From: brad
2007-06-26 04:47 am (UTC)
You're asking about non-competes, I'd guess. Yes, I have a non-compete thing in my contract but,

a) they're basically non-enforceable in California anyway,

b) people are already starting to do what I want to do anyway... I just think I could do it pretty well, and pretty quickly,

c) SixApart would benefit from me doing it, and their relationship with me, as their products would work well with it, so it'd be in their best interest to let me do it, and support it, even if I'm doing it outside of SixApart.

d) it'd be beneficial for SixApart to maintain a positive relationship with me anyway, for other reasons, but they don't seem the sue-happy type anyway.

etc, etc, etc.
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[User Picture]From: ydna
2007-06-26 01:38 am (UTC)
Another option, not specifically mentioned: pitch an idea for the company (which will probably be a little bit over the edge) and offer to hire it out to some mercenaries, CIA style. Most of your ideas seem to follow the fast and low-frills path and seem to enjoy a relatively high level of success. Might be fun. Soon you'll be back to sitting on a couch in shorts/drawers with a few other nuts hacking code and ideas. Or possibly taking over a small country in the tropics manufacturing hookers and pimpin' blow.
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[User Picture]From: funjon
2007-06-26 01:55 am (UTC)
Come work with me.

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[User Picture]From: brad
2007-06-26 06:18 am (UTC)
I just read a wonderfully great rant (friends only) about why one would not want to work for Tivo. :)
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From: (Anonymous)
2007-06-26 03:22 am (UTC)

Build a team

Grab Mr. Bunner, he gets pretty psyched about working on challenging and important problems!
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[User Picture]From: adamthebastard
2007-06-26 04:26 am (UTC)
You could continue to maintain and enhance the projects developed and released under the Danga banner. You could offer integration services as well as bounty style feature requests. Advances in these projects benefit 6A while providing a hacking ground that you enjoy (at least that's the impression I get). This may not be financially viable though.

You could try getting into some of the already established sites:
If you're into the high seas of the Internet realm you could help out all those torrent trackers who crumble under their daily load.

They guys over at Digg could sure use a hand with their comment system which gets slower and less intuitive every time they fix it.
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[User Picture]From: dormando
2007-06-26 04:31 am (UTC)
Hard to start something without the boring business aspect... Need someone to manage money. Manage legal. Manage HR. Deal with people. Deal with customers.

The #2 on my list right now is private contract work, but that'd just drive me insane anyway? Jeremy/Eric/Peter/etc seem to do well :P A contracting LLC doesn't seem to have many of those business-y downsides.

Blah, rambling. At Gaia I used to be in a team of motivated people building shit on a four-eight day cycle. Been working alone for a while now. Been thinking some of the same shit perhaps.
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