And then what…

“And then what?” According to my grandma that was one of my most loved phrases as a child. I loved stories and when my storyteller would nod off at bedtime I would blurt out “And then what?!” to bring my mom or dad and the story back to life. (I now can sympathise with the sleepy storyteller as my daughter does the same thing to me!)

This restlessness and curiosity is still a part of me as I’ve jumped from chapter to chapter in my own life’s story. I married my best friend Amy so we could write our Story together. I caught the startup bug which landed us in San Francisco and eventually at Xamarin. This series of “And then whats?” has landed me and my family (Mazie and Jones are now part of the story) in London where we are having the adventure of a lifetime. Then, something unexpected happened and I found myself again asking… and now what? Microsoft acquired Xamarin.

Being acquired by Microsoft was very exciting, don’t get me wrong. It’s what we had all worked for, and I think the outcome overall was fantastic. But, another chapter closed and those familiar introspective questions popped up. This isn’t to suggest that I won’t have a long, happy chapter at Microsoft, but I felt anxious to discover what my next chapter would hold. From a work perspective, this past year has allowed me to do a lot of speaking throughout Europe around emerging technology and Mobile+. From a personal perspective, I’ve enjoyed exploring lots of new things such as blockchain, investing, dabbling in code, traveling Europe, and consuming countless podcasts and audiobooks in between.

As I reflected on these different pursuits, both in and outside of work, I’ve realised that the common thread in and what I’ve enjoyed most about my “dabbling” are the stories. Whether it is the narrative of a great investment idea, or the revolutionary tale of blockchain as “the next internet”, the stories excite me. It occurred to me that if stories are what I love, then that’s what I should focus on. I came up with some ideas to work on my storytelling, and since a story is no good without an audience I decided to focus on digital marketing.

This led me to the Udacity Digital Marketing Nanodegree. I’m just getting started, but it’s forced me to start noticing and creating great content, and I’m looking forward to growing an audience through upcoming projects. My story is far from over, and we’ll see where this digital marketing chapter takes me, but my hope is to uncover stories that make the world better, and tell those stories in such a way that others are motivated to join with me in telling them. That way, together, we can create an amazing answer to the question… and then what?