Everything Happens for the Best
Last week, I came through this sentence during a conceptual conversation with an advisor to Datumize. He is firmly determined to develop only those ideas or projects that are compelling to his neurons, old enough to have the experience and knowledge, and much wiser than most advisors to introduce options and thoughts instead of imposing dogmatic viewpoints.
At a certain point of the conversation, he mentioned that “everything happens for the best” (“lo que sucede, conviene” in Spanish). I’ve been researching a little bit on this sentence, and it seems that this concept pops up in many sources, including but not limited to, Buddhism (versus Karma concept), a homonymous song from Billie Holiday, and even football coach Vicente del Bosque.
This sentence has been on my mind throughout the whole weekend as I have been double checking how it worked on the various entrepreneur scenarios that I have personally lived. You can look at this issue from multiple angles, but in this post I will focus on a personal event that changed my life and, by the way, led to the birth of Datumize.
Shit happens. That is a fact of life. I moved away from a well-paid job into a new and exciting one to manage a technical team between Barcelona and San Francisco. A few weeks after joining the new company I felt extremely depressed because I found out that the amazing product company was, in reality, doing a lot of customized stuff as consulting projects. Definitely, the interview process was dishonest. Besides that, the management of the company was promoting to create a product, but effectively pushing towards the opposite direction, perpetuating the ad-hoc consulting business. I tried my best to change things and, at the end, decided to bet everything on a risky move - influence the board to fire the CEO.
But crude reality prevails. The afternoon before my wife was celebrating her 40th anniversary, HR called me in to formally announce that I was fired, instead of the CEO. What a shock! My wife and I will always remember that bitter event associated to a celebration that was supposed to be pleasant. After dealing with all the paperwork and legal stuff, I found myself confused about what to do next, on the personal and professional level.
I felt frustrated and angry, because deep inside my mind I did know I was right as for the reason I had presented. Yet, I miserably failed in the execution due to politics and other issues beyond my control. Only later on, I realized the whole amount of undercurrent pressure and learned the hard way by considering the collateral damage. During that period of frustration I made my mind not to join a corporate again, at that time being, and look for greener pastures as a freelance. At the beginning, basically, it meant doing stuff for free for the previous customers.
However, there was one customer that threw down a challenge to me - a really tough one about the lost data in critical application. I worked 6 months on the idea, first conceptually, and then coding a primitive software to solve the issue. To make the long story short, getting to sign the first contract with that client was not easy. But at the end, June of 2014 was marked by the birth of Datumize based on the idea implemented in that primitive software.
A frustration on not realizing the true potential of a promising project led to a completely different one - Datumize, almost by chance if you will (and hard work too). Everything happens for the best.
Note: the CEO I was trying to get rid of was eventually fired four months after I left. That was irrelevant at that point, but it pleased my ego.