Sitting in our weekly engineering all hands meeting today, I was thinking about a conversation I had a few months ago with a friend who is a lawyer.
For a long time, I ran our engineering all hands meetings. And going back farther than that, we had an all hands meeting, really just a standup, every day. And all of them were more or less engineering meetings because we’re a pretty engineering-driven company.
Now I don’t run engineering all hands and I don’t do any of the planning work that makes a 50-plus person meeting go smoothly every week. I usually don’t even participate actively except to write encouraging comments or super awesome puns in the text chat channel.
And that feels like a big change. It’s a necessary one for our company to grow and it’s a good change in most ways, but also it’s just a little bit bittersweet for me.
The conversation this made me think of started with my friend asking me how I make time to keep doing the things I liked to do when Daily was small.
His law firm is large enough that he feels like he has to spend most of his time these days bringing in new clients and managing other lawyers. He doesn’t get to do much law himself and he misses it.
I think that’s something that most tech company founders can probably identify with. I told my friend that I’ve learned kind of inconsistently and a little bit painfully that my job is to fire myself from successive jobs as quickly as possible.
As a company, we want to grow. And I try to facilitate that growth in lots of ways, including by focusing on things that I am uniquely suited to do at this particular moment in the company’s life. And also, and equally importantly, by not being 📍 a bottleneck, holding onto things that other people will do better than I can.
The job of being a startup founder, if you’re lucky, is in large measure handing over work you love doing to other people, and then doing it again as your company continues to grow.
Today’s music is “Paco” from the beautiful 2021 solo piano album, “Transformer” by Cornelius Claudio Kreusch.