Today is my last day at Uber

Risk isn’t risk unless there’s a real chance that things might not work out the way you hoped.

Today I submitted my resignation to Uber.

Today is my last day.

I joined Uber nearly exactly a year ago to the day with the charge to “nurture, expand, and champion on behalf of the Uber Developer Platform ecosystem”. It was a role that I felt uniquely suited for, and one that I was incredibly hopeful about. With my peculiar mix of skills and slant towards the future, my approach was strategic and opportunistic. I leaned heavily into the rise of bots and conversational software to promote Uber’s many API-driven integrations into platforms like Messenger and Alexa, and raised the visibility of our partners’ use of our API through the Uber Developers publication and speaking at a number of well attended events around the world, among other things.

2016 was a year of challenges, setbacks, and personal growth

I spent a lot of time confronting the person that I am, and learned to appreciate my capabilities while also looking critically at my deficiencies (of which there are many!). Through this process, I believe I’ve found clarity about the person that I want to become, and have a greater sense for the kinds of opportunities that I should pursue.

Being in a tough and competitive environment like Uber has forced me to grow up, grow stronger, and grow tougher. As Adam Rogal says, the best way to get better at chess is to play against better chess players, and Uber has some of the best chess players around (figuratively, though possibly literally as well).

Entering 2017, I’m hopeful—even with all the shit going on in the world and with the American political climate. There’s no shortage of good work to be done, and so what’s next for me is to take a beat and reflect on the next, best, most satisfying and most impactful thing I can do with my life.

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Head of West Coast Biz Dev @ Republic. Inventor of the hashtag. Product therapist. Previously: Google, Uber, On Deck, YC W’18.

Chris Messina is the inventor of the hashtag, #1 Product Hunter, and an ever-curious product designer and technologist.