I quit my job Friday.
I’ve been working at Jobster for nearly 3 years. I was hoping to make it 4, at least when I started out. I was under the delusion that I had gotten into an academic work cycle, with 4 years as the ideal milestone to make sure all systems were go and all motivations were in place. I made it 4 years at Avogadro/Openwave before deciding my time was up. This time I didn’t last 3.
There are plenty of reasons why I decided to end my tenure at Jobster, some of which I will reserve for a later date when my perspective is tempered by time. Certainly, my recent eye issues haven’t helped. And the resignations of Patrick and Ray this past week, with whom I started at Jobster back in July ‘04, weren’t exactly motivating me to stay on board. In the end, I think I lost track of exactly what problem we were trying to solve. I was pretty sure I understood it when I started: we were building an enterprise-quality application to help employers find better prospects with less effort. And I thought we were doing a pretty good job of that, at least for awhile.
The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.
The theory was that great companies all had a hedgehog; they were very good at one thing. Over time, I think we lost track of that ideal, at least in the way I understood it. These days, Jobster does a lot of things. It still sells an enterprise sourcing app to big employers like Starbucks and Nike. But it also is a job search engine, a career site for small companies, a social networking site for jobseekers, and a free job board. I may have missed a few things. I don’t think anyone could claim that Jobster is really good at any one of these things. At least not today.
I’m sure there’s a new hedgehog in place that encompasses all of this functionality, and I’m sure there’s a strong plan in place to execute on it. But I think I got hung up on what I thought Jobster tried to be in the first place, not what it evolved in to. I fully admit I’m at fault for not keeping up-to-date on our changing vision. I think I got lost in the features.
That said, I’m pretty proud of what I accomplished during that time. Patrick, Ray, and I laid a foundation for the product that I think will remain for some time. I contributed to all aspects of the product, from build scripts to architectural design. I learned a ton during this time, both about the recruiting industry and about web application development. I made a lot of new friends, and I was able to work with many old ones.
But it’s time to move on.
In a subsequent post, I’ll talk about what opportunities I’m considering now. I’ve done enough ranting for tonight.