Personal update: on leaving Talkdesk
I clearly remember the first time me and Tiago flew to the US to participate in a startup competition that would put Talkdesk on the map. It was such an intense journey: programming in the plane, preparing the pitch, waking up at 5am tired and jet lagged but full of adrenaline. After a year of intense preparation, almost without even realising, we were in Silicon Valley among the world’s hungriest tech entrepreneurs. Back home in Portugal it became difficult to explain to our friends, family and everyone else what we were trying to do. At that point we officially became entrepreneurs.
Now, almost five years later I am officially stepping down from the daily operations of the company.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”—Neale Donald Walsch
The journey at Talkdesk was amazing. We built a company from zero to 150 employees, raising more than $24M, earning customers that make us proud every single day and challenges that made me grow tremendously. It also allowed me to meet very interesting people and make amazing friends.
I have invested all my energy and inspiration in this company. I lived and breathed Talkdesk every day and night, even during weekends and holidays. Working until very late at night followed by waking up early in the morning was not uncommon, but I always found the energy to go on inspired by the fantastic team we have. They made it so that my hopes and aspirations for the company came to life, and I want to thank them for being the most amazing team ever. Special thanks to Tiago for being my partner, and to my engineering brothers Raoul, Tiago Sousa and Nizar. I will miss you all and I am deeply proud of everything we have accomplished together.
I’d also like to thank our investors, and everyone that during this journey went out of their way to support me.
Whereas this may come as a surprise, I guess it would never be the perfect time for such a change. Talkdesk has grown strong and organized, with a structured team in charge right now that allows me to invest my energy doing something else. The project is far from being over, with a lot of good years to come, but I believe Talkdesk is at this point in a good place that lets me pursue other long running interests.
I’ll be taking some time to pick up on some of the stuff I left off when I started this journey: I’d like to write more often and find time to read. I miss a good vacation (as I’m not sure I know what that is anymore), and I want to spend more time with friends and family. I want to learn more, study and work with different people. I want to travel the world and work abroad in different projects.
Why did I became an entrepreneur?
Looking back, I don’t think I ever wanted to live by the society’s standards of a “good career” and life path. My life has been a mix of me being a “good girl” and embrace unexpected challenges from time to time.
During my Master’s in Telecommunications and Networks Engineering, due to a health problem I was forced to spend one week in the intensive care unit with my body connected to pretty much every life support machine you can imagine. My parents were told my chance of survival was 50/50. I had the clear notion that living or not was my choice, I just had to support the pain, which I did. It was one of the most profound life changing experiences as it forced me to reassess my life rules and priorities. I told myself I would spend more time with the people I cared about and make my own path, not living the life others would expect me to live.
One year later, while finishing my Master’s thesis I was once again pushing those rules, working like crazy. Then one day, when leaving work, I was ran over by a car. I guess that was a second wake up call.
When presented with promising job offers, mainly from big, well known companies, nothing seemed appealing. In such a company I would be doing something someone else could do and I was not going to have a big impact. I decided not to take any job offer as I didn’t have much to lose.
This is how I became an entrepreneur: coding, learning, exploring new ideas, launching stuff, solving problems. Took me a year before founding Talkdesk and embracing this adventure.
Not living by other people’s standards was one of the best decisions I have ever made. And now it’s time to start again.
Wish you all an amazing 2016!