Friday, January 04, 2008

Looking back 2007: My life . My company . My future

Time seems to pass faster ever since I graduated from university, which was some seven or eight years ago. Many of my peers are having the same sentiments, and I actually had my own explanation for this phenomena. Although time remains consistent as ever, the post-university phase of our lifes had somehow lacked prominent milestones. Most of the people, after a few years of work, began to lead a monotonous lifestyle of work-sleep-and looking forward to weekend. Life had become an auto-pilot journey while time crept away without anybody noticing. Another reason could be the feeling of under-achievement. As the best part of our life kept ticking away, the possibility of achieving what we wanna achieve in life become slimmer. Instead of the “I wanna earn my first million bucks before 30” wish that you have when you are 20 years old, you slowly find yourself need to compromise to more realistic expectations. And as time passed, when people find that even the more realistic expectations are hard to achieve, the notion of time passing much faster than before will come in.

My life

There isn’t much changes in my life for 2007. It’s the first full year of my life as a blogger, and I also started a chinese blog which does not have much readership. I had grown accustom to the lifestyle of an entrepreneur, as it was already my third year in entrepreneurship. Life as an entrepreneur can have the freedom that many working class craved for, but at the same time it can be very lonely. While many of my ex-colleagues are envious of the kind of freedom I am enjoying, I am also quietly reminiscing the times when I could just hop over to the pantry have a coffee and chat with other colleagues. As time goes by, I had gradually shed away most of my programmer’s ego and become more like a businessman. I noticed that I see things differently than before, and my perceptions of a lot of things had also changed.

I had read a lot to both deepen and widen my knowledge. I believe, whether you are an entrepreneur or not, one should always look to improve himself. As an entrepreneur, I had more control over my time and thus I always tried to allocate some slots for learning new knowledge. For the past year, I had been reading up on topics like company law & contracts, marketing, philosophy, strategy, and a whole lots of chinese novels. This is in addition to my usual dose of technical readings in programming and computer science.

I had participated in several volunteering events and am looking forward to more participation in 2008. And of course, like many others, I was addicted to facebook for quite a while.

My company

My company remained as a one-man-operation. The annual revenue for 2007 is better than the sum of first two year, but that’s not something to brag about since my first year (2005) revenue was pathetic. Towards the end of 2007, my focus shifted from the local market to the international ones. I had just signed a distributor agreement with a foreign firm, and is looking towards signing more of this to push my product to different overseas.

I started year 2007 with a few ad-hoc projects that pay rather well, though I always want the main focus of the company to sell its own product rather than doing ad-hoc projects. Towards the second half of the year, I was doing much less development work. More time was spent in planning, marketing, sales and negotiations of collaborations. And I do notice that I become more willing to spend, from both personal and company aspects, which is probably a good sign.

My future

My future is still uncertain. The only thing that changed is that I am getting used to this uncertainty. The financial stress is lesser as I had been drawing a reasonably comfortable director fee since the beginning of 2007, but the expectations are only getting heavier, especially when I saw my peers advancing in their own respective careers.

I have many plans for 2008 but I will not list them down in this blog. I know I will be leading a very different life compared to most people. Its afterall my own choice, and no matter how difficult it is I will continue to embrace it.

Labels: ,