Apologies to Aretha Franklin for twisting her song “Chain of Fools”, but I can’t think about the last couple of months without hearing the chorus as “Change, Change, Change, Chain of Fools…”.
It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to get to this site and do any writing. After a summer of daily baseball games for my son (I put 10,000 miles on the car this summer) and an amazing vacation on a horse ranch outside of Laramie, WY – my wife and I both decided to start new jobs on the same day. Not like we actually planned it that way, but it made a very exciting Labor Day for the whole family. The sum of it resulted in me having to do what product people do … ruthlessly prioritize my time. And so here we are, months of not writing.
I left the Bullseye in August after an amazing 4 years. While it didn’t turn out to be the right place for me moving forward, it was an amazing learning experience. Trying to implement change at the scale of a company the size of Target was a challenge that has reset my definition of “hard” for the rest of my life. I’m really proud of the work my team did and I met some amazingly smart people so I have nothing but positive things to say about Target and the product efforts going on there. With that said, David Hussman‘s words when we first met – “Dude, you must feel like a stranger in a strange land.” always felt true. Eventually, I decided it was time to go “home” and find a new opportunity back at a traditional software company. Thus, the “change, change, change”.
So, fast forward one month into my new gig and I couldn’t be happier. I really do feel like I’m back home and I’m definitely drinking from the firehouse these days. Since I’m still learning the company, the market, our customers, our technology, etc, it’s really easy to feel a little stupid. After all, as the head of Product, aren’t I supposed to be the one who can answer those questions? I have to keep reminding myself, that yes, eventually that has to become true, right now my job is to learn as much as I can.
So, instead of focusing on what I don’t know, I’m instead really excited by the fact that I’ll never have a clearer perspective on our business and our market as I do now. I’m asking all the “Why” questions now because I really don’t have any bias or assumptions that inevitably come into play over time. I call this “Weaponizing my Ignorance” and I’m loving the quantity of learning I’m experiencing every day.
So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m back and I’m looking forward to getting back to writing here on a more regular basis.