Sharing insights and lessons about my experience building a self-funded startup.
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Embarcadero at sunrise on my first day at GitHub. Credit:

Last week I left GitHub.

I stepped away from job security (whatever that means nowadays), exceptional colleagues, and the thrill of working for an admired brand within the developer community — all for an uncertain future of working for myself, building startups.

I was earning a six figure salary plus stock and bonuses, and had received multiple promotions in the last two years.

I levelled up rapidly within the Support organization at GitHub — moving from an individual contributor (Support Engineer) in 2016 to a Manager role in 2018, and finally a Director position at the start of 2020.

Why leave?

I didn’t leave GitHub because I disliked the work or the company. …

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Photo by Ryan Graybill on Unsplash

I learned a couple things last week.

After my first week of openly talking about my journey to become a solo founder, I had hundreds of people follow me on Twitter and over 100 000 views of my tweets in two days. I thought it would be good to reflect on some key things I learned in the last 7 days.

Stories are powerful

Sharing your story in a way that others can relate to, makes it much more likely the story will be read and shared with others.

I wrote about starting a new journey, the risks involved, and why I left the comfort and security of a well paid job. So many people responded. Many told me how they could relate, and had experienced similar thoughts or feelings in their own journey. …

Reading has the power to alter your perceptions, shape your thoughts and forever change your direction in life.

As a founder, it’s by far the simplest way to learn from the mistakes of others, be inspired by other’s successes and then go on to refactor or remix ideas to create ‘new’ thoughts and ideas. In effect, it allow us to stand upon the shoulders of of those who have come before us.

“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” — Isaac Newton

Take Elon Musk for example: an entrepreneur, billionaire and startup founder who has an insatiable hunger for knowledge. Ask any of his staff or friends and family about how he is able learn so much and understand such complex and wide reaching concepts such as rocket science, economics and manufacturing, and they will tell you that he loves to read. In fact, he attributes much of his success to his ability to consume and then apply what he has read. …

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