Me, a Year Later

Coming up next: How Selfish it is to Start an Article Title with ‘Me’

Almost exactly a year ago I left London, and more importantly, the company I had built there with two colleagues-turned-friends. I promised them to be back in September, October at the latest.

I moved from my small room near Liverpool Street Station into an one-bedroom apartment in Amsterdam near Dam Square. I started part-time studying English literature and linguistics, joined a student association, got college friends. Next to that I went back to work nearly full-time on the company I started when I was 15.

A year has passed. Last month I went with my study association to Manchester, and started noticing all the stuff I had fallen in love with that I had missed since moving to Amsterdam: the chains I started depending on (Caffè Nero, M&S), the people, the shapes and colours of the street signs.

The company I left turned from a team of 4 into a VC-funded 10-person operation. The guy that took my place as CTO now manages a team of multiple developers, instead of doing everything himself like I did (I single-handedly simultaneously created two web apps, a mobile app, and an API platform, making every day since then feel more unproductive than ever). That could have been me. People tend to ask why I left a startup that was popular, gaining investor attention, and built on the foundation of one of the greatest teams of people I have had the pleasure to work with so far.

The short answer is that, as a 19-years old kid, I was looking for as many challenges I could find. London started feeling like a safe place, which I didn’t like, I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. Away from that steady salary that was exactly the same every month.

Right now I’m in a plane just about to fly over the coast of southern England. The perfect moment for reflection. Did I get my adventure, my moments of discomfort? Hell yeah. I’m not even sure when I’ll be able to pay rent this month. (If my landlord would for some strange coincidence happen to read this: anytime now, I promise!) Regrets? Nope. I’ve earned so many new experiences, got to meet so many cool new people, and I get to work every day to solve a new set of challenges.

That being said, it’s been a year in Amsterdam, so it might slowly be time to go somewhere else sometime soon…

Tomorrow I’m going to the office of my old company, to check in with my friends that I haven’t seen for quite a while, and hopefully learn some lessons from hearing the stories about their past year.

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