A Fond Farewell to Quick Left

Earlier this morning my CEO Ingrid let the Quick Left team know that this week will be my last with the company. Next week I'll be joining Simpler, a new Boulder company that will launch a SaaS product for the automotive industry. While I'm incredibly excited to share more detail about Simpler I'll wait until next week; this week I'll be busy enjoying my last few days at Quick Left and giving thanks to the great people that I've worked with the last two and a half years.

I'm very proud to say that Quick Left and I have grown significantly since I originally signed on as an apprentice in the fall of 2011. In that time the Quick Left team has more than doubled in size, moved into a beautiful office, established an international presence, added Sprintly as a product, and expanded into Portland and San Francisco. It hasn't been rainbows and unicorns the entire way but we've managed to do a lot of things well together.

In the meantime I learned a ton about code, stepped up my volunteer efforts in the startup community, created a reality in which my wife is retired in her thirties, learned something new about leadership and management on a daily basis, and advanced from Apprentice to Managing Director in the span of less than eight months. I made a ton of mistakes along the way but always had the support of my work family, the greatest example of brainpower and give-a-shit that I've ever been around.

There's still plenty more room for the company and I to grow together. Ingrid continues to be the best boss I've ever worked for and the team only got stronger after our recent merger with Sprintly. Quick Left is just getting warmed up. If you think I'm crazy to be leaving, you may be right. Then again, people thought I was crazy when I signed on with Quick Left as an apprentice at the age of 35. It's fair to say that it worked out.

To my Quick Left family past and present: don't be a stranger. And thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

What Civic Hacking Is All About

In case you missed it I'm co-organizing the Boulder Civic Hackfest coming up 6/1 & 6/2 as part of the National Day of Civic Hacking. Some people have asked me whether they belong at such an event because they don't code. The short answer: yes, you belong.

Not sure what civic hacking is?

Take a peek at this short video about civic hacking:

You belong if

  • You are not sure how you belong but want to be involved.
  • You are a citizen with thoughts on how technology can solve civic problems with open data. We need ideas for problems to solve!
  • You are an open data provider or other subject matter expert.
  • You are a developer evangelist for an API or service that developers may be interested in integrating into an application.
  • You are a developer who wants to hack on an open source project to make the world a better place.
  • You are a designer who wants to hack on an open source project to make the world a better place.

Register now

I'd love to see at the event - register for the Boulder Civic Hackfest here.

Thanks to Quick Left, dojo4, Adventure, and Rally Software for making this happen!

Giving Back: the Boulder Civic Hackfest

I'm very proud to be a member of a company and community that gives me the opportunity to collaborate with a competitor, a startup in alpha, and a soon-to-be-public-technology-company. Quick Left is teaming up with dojo4, Adventure, and Rally Software to organize the Boulder Civic Hackfest 6/1 and 6/2. Let's give back to the community together, shall we?

The Boulder Civic Hackfest is being organized in conjunction with the National Day of Civic Hacking, an effort taking place in cities all across the country. We'll be bringing together citizens, software developers, and entrepreneurs to build open source software in a short weekend of fun and fulfillment.

We welcome all comers. If you have a problem you think we can solve or if you think you can help solve problems with open data and technology, we want you there:

  • Subject matter experts: people working for the civic good, open data providers, data scientists, etc.
  • Designers: don't leave this in the hands of developers!
  • Developers: don't worry if you don't have experience working with open data - if you can code (or are learning) we'll see you there!

We're throwing this shindig at HUB Boulder, home to people who are looking to make change happen. That's us, at least for the weekend.

Please register so that we can ensure that we've got space, wi-fi, and nourishment ready for you!

Brainpower and Give-a-Shit

I've been surrounding myself with smart, caring people for most of my life. It wasn't a conscious effort at first, but after meeting a few people with that rare combination of brainpower and give-a-shit, I now go out of my way to do more of it. I recommend that you do too.

There's something really special about working with somebody with lots of brainpower and give-a-shit rolled into a single package. Feeling like no challenge is too large is a powerful thing. Feeling like you can talk openly about problems that you see so that they can be fixed is equally powerful.

I've already been a part of Quick Left and the MBA program at Babson College, where the concentration of people with ridiculous amounts of brainpower and give-a-shit is through the roof.

Sometimes I feel guilty about how lucky I am to be in this position, to be excited about the work that I do. When I think about it in detail, as I do now in writing this, I remind myself that I had a hand in creating my luck. I want more of it.

Think about doing it for yourself if you aren't already. Anything is possible when you surround yourself with people who have brainpower and give-a-shit.