My year in review — 2018

In 2018 I was busy taking part in an adventure, in 2019 I’ll be hustling to reach my goals.

Hi everyone! 👩‍💻
I hope you had a fantastic time this holiday season 🎉! The new year is already here and as I am also closing another chapter of my career, I thought it was time to write another Year in review.

While last year’s post was focused on my achievements, this time I’d like to look at the future and take some time to explain some of my recent career choices (spoiler alert, I just left the project I was involved in for the past year!).


2018

Last January I was just starting a new adventure, joining the blockchain-based project Streamr post-ICO after having worked with Golem for a few months. Initially, I was supposed to be on board for 6 months to help the Head of Communications set the coms/marketing foundations and build the team but eventually stayed for the entire year.

And this was definitely a memorable experience! 
Not only did I reach my objectives but along the way I:

  • Launched Streamr’s first product in NYC during one of the major blockchain events,
  • Set the community fund run & managed by and for the community,
  • Organised events & represented the project across 6 different countries where I’ve met many new inspiring friends.

I had a fantastic time with the team and loved working with them all, however, toward the end of the year I also felt that my mission was accomplished and it was time for me to focus again on what I really wanted to do.

2018 in a few figures

💪 1 product launch
🤝 4 hirings
✈️ 7 countries visited
🥂 Too many networking events to count
🙋 ‍2 award nominations
📚 2 online courses completed


2019

In my year in review blog post last year, I mentioned being interested in getting into VC. Since then I’ve met with many VCs, read books and blogs, listened to podcasts and even completed 2 online courses on early-stage investment.

Shifting career is a difficult exercise and as I explained in my previous post, I knew it would be a long-term process. When I started learning about the VC landscape back in summer 2017, it was a good time to meet with people and share thoughts but it wasn’t the best moment for recruitment. Once I've made my mind and realised it was the direction I wanted to follow, September was already here and everyone I’ve met was busy between a crazy lineup of events and closing the year.

I now have an additional baggage and believe I managed to get away from the VR/AR label I was stuck with. Not only have I been deeply involved in the blockchain space, but I have also been quite exposed to the latest ML/AI developments and grew massively my network.

So here I am back to job hunting and ready to hustle to get into VC and use my 8 years of experience working with early-stage startups in emerging technologies to do more to support entrepreneurs.

It’s just been a few days since I am a full-time job hunter and even if I have quite a long todo list for the coming weeks, I already feel I want to do more including mentoring, public speaking, panel moderating, and help initiatives I support.

Here is an overview of what I want to achieve this year.

CAREER

  • Get my feet into VC.
    How? Hustle, being bold, hustle, and did I mentioned hustle?
  • Give back and support early-stage entrepreneurs.
    I’m looking to be involved in initiatives I love offering my help with mentoring, public speaking, promotion and more.
  • Attend more diverse networking events.
    I already attended many events last year but with a focus on blockchain and women in tech. This year I want to meet people with different backgrounds and interests as well as other technologies which means attending to events organised by initiatives outside of my current network and taking place in areas I don’t usually go to.
  • Complete at least one online course.
    I love learning and researching new topics, besides reading blog and articles daily, I usually complete an online course every year via free platforms such as Coursera, edX, Saylor academy…
    If you are interested in learning new skills, check out https://www.mooc-list.com.
  • Give a shout-out to people and initiatives that deserve it
    Because Twitter's likes are too subtle, I feel I should be more vocal when it comes to promoting the work of others. Some might have noticed I already started doing this in the past days.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

  • Listen to podcasts weekly.
    For a long time I wasn’t a fan of podcasts, still, if I don’t do something while listening, I start thinking and lose track of the sound. Now I listen to podcasts while exercising at home or cooking. Among my favourite podcasts are:
    - 20minVC by Harry Stebbings
    - The Pitch by Josh Muccio
    - Seedcamp’s This much I know
    - The Boost VC podcast
    - a16z podcast
  • Exercise daily.
    It has now been 4 years since I am partially working remotely, quite often from home, which means that if I don’t have a strict schedule that includes exercising, taking regular breaks and switching from standing desk to sitting desk, I can end up sitting on my chair looking at my computer from 10hrs non-stop… so not ideal. Also, according to my previous point, if I exercise daily I should be able to listen to podcasts almost daily too.
  • Continue to learn the guitar.
    As per my 2 previous points, playing a bit of the guitar and learning slowly on my own several times a week, also help me to break the day and get a new perspective on what I do.
  • Read not only business/educational books.
    Yes reading more books is part of everyone’s todo list for 2019 and for sure I would like to read more additionally to all the articles and blog posts I read online every day. I have a few books on investment in my reading list and am currently reading the must-read Venture Deals by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson as well as The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins on evolution. After I finish reading both, I plan to also take time for fictional books which also teach many lessons. 
    Any book suggestions? What are you reading atm?
  • Don’t feel bad about taking time off or playing video games.
    For this point, I still have work to do as I often feel I should do more but need to also remember that sometimes less is more.
  • Regularly keep in touch with people I’ve met over the past years and continue to meet new people.
    Attending lots of events and travelling the world to meet new people is amazing but doesn’t mean you are building a meaningful relationship unless you keep in touch regularly. I have to admit the past year has been quite hectic and I might have lost track of time but the new year is a fantastic time to catch up with friends.

Want to catch up and fill me out on what you are working on? Drop me a line on Twitter or via email and I'll be more than happy to chat over the phone, grab a virtual or irl coffee anytime!

  • Organise weekends outside of London.
    Taking breaks is important and leaving my day to day environment to explore other places is a great way to open my mind and breathe. Last year I went to Bristol, Cambridge, Lisbon and Canary Islands for non-work related purpose and would like to do at least as many short breaks in 2019.
  • Get out of my comfort zone.
    … or accept to be bored which is definitely not an option! 😉

Ok so I have some ambitions for the coming year but how did I do in the past year compared to my previous goals? 🤔

Well, last year my plans were fairly succinct but I still managed to miss a few points while I exceeded my expectations for others.

✅ Career 
- Join a new project in blockchain 
- While keeping in mind my long-term objectives.

✅ Learning 
- Develop my technical skills — for sure I learned a lot this year about blockchain and ML technologies. On my free time, I was involved in hackathons and have been following some programming courses even if I haven't built any project on my own this year. 
- Learn to play a musical instrument — and still learning step by step.

✅ Events
- Be involved in a few hackathons — checked! As a mentor, supporter and judge. 
- Be part of more events in the UK but also in Europe.

😕 Give back
- Help project and become a more active mentor. This is definitely the point I missed this year. Between the day to day work and regular travels, I haven't helped as many projects as I wanted and certainly not on a regular basis. I indeed did quite a few intros and followed up with founders but would like this year to be more proactive and take part in mentorship programmes.


What are your plans for 2019?

Be sure to connect on Twitter Amandine FLACHS or LinkedIn anytime and tell me what you're up to this year!