There comes a time in your life when you need to make a decision between following expectations or breaking with tradition. For different people this happens at different times. There are plenty of stories of young folk going on walkabout, trying to find themselves. Great stories like Into the Wild are so popular they get sucked into Hollywood, because people are fascinated by young folk who break with Tradition. Heck, the whole punk movement was a response to this question. I’m not saying that things only happen at extremes, but the extremes certainly make the most noise.
Some people, however, are slower than others. For them, it’s called a midlife crisis. They buy a crazy new car to publicly espouse their virility, or they find a new lover for the same purpose. Other’s quit their job to follow their dream, or perhaps “turn their life around”. Or some, like Kevin Spacey’s character in American Beauty quit their job to turn their life around by finding a lover. Now that is hard-core.
Finally, there are those who refuse to even think about the concept of breaking from tradition. I can understand why. Even people making obviously positive change are still change agents, and frequently considered deviant. By countering tradition you face public ridicule, even from those you love. Certainly, differing from the norm is a hard step to make, which is why I think the majority of people will not consider it.
So where do I fall in all this mess? I’ve always danced on the fences of tradition, working in various startups. I have done this both inside large companies like my work building RealArcade at RealNetworks, as well as losing the salary in return for the shares when I helped start Smilebox. But I’ve never gone and done it on my own. So, as I hit my 40th birthday and it was time for my own midlife crisis, I left Smilebox to cofound a new company. This blog will be about me, striving to achieve my full potential while fighting the gravity like pull of tradition.
Off I go, on my new adventure. I hope we all enjoy the ride.