A lot happened to me in 2013. I moved out of the Toy Room and up 280 where I secured a place of my own in one of the most expensive cities in the country, joined and contributed greatly to two companies and started a few projects of my own.
But first, a brief overview of 2012. I sold everything I owned, donated the rest, and drove over five-thousand miles across the country to California.. I did some consulting. Eventually, in 2013, I moved out of the Toy Room and into San Francisco. Adios Mountain View; hello San Francisco!
Early in 2013, I joined the hot startup: Buffer. I worked on the API for developers and the front-end (the stuff you see when using the app). I helped shave down the API response times dramatically and built a slew of cool features and enhancements, too.
I joined Orange Harp and helped found the company. I was basically a founder without the title. Not clarifying that factor was a mistake. Setting myself up for 24 hour days, no life and, legally, a move I would not repeat. I built the iOS app from the ground up, the web app, api, and made a majority of the technical decisions. There were a few pivots and many 24 hour days. In-fact, I worked nearly 24x7 for 3 weeks straight towards the end. It was bad for my health to try and work like this, and ultimately lead to me leaving. I learned that I wanted a balance between work and play to nurture my passion.
Side note: The people who tell you that there is no work life balance, don't thoroughly enjoy life.
In August, I went to Hawaii for the first time ever, and it was absolutely amazing. I managed to do the entire 7-day trip for under $1,000 (not including all food, but some). If you haven't visited Hawaii, I highly suggest it. The beaches are paradisal, the weather is great, and it feels like you're in Jurassic Park (minus the dinosaurs). I'll be going back in 2014 (any takers?).
I restarted my company, Rockadoo, for consulting on various projects. We've done a handful of iOS and Web apps for clients across the country and we're looking to do a whole lot more in 2014.
Compared to 2012, 2013 was a very interesting year. Moving to the a place that tops New York City for cost of living was no easy feat just leaving college, selling everything, and driving coast to coast.
There was sticker shock with the cost of living on my own in fog city. Since leaving RIT in Rochester, New York I have not been able to build any retirement plans, but getting a roommate might make this easier.
What I look forward to accomplishing in 2014
I want to hire a full time employee to help grow the business in 2014. In order to grow, I want to expand from a one man show with some contractors to having employees working full time on generating leads, building products, and solving problems.
I think it will be fun to be a match maker, do client negotiations, deals, and management so that developers, designers, writers, and artists can focus on what they enjoy the most. I thoroughly enjoy talking to and meeting new people, and I love helping them solve problems.
When I was younger, I was what they call a "professional video game player." It sounds crazy, I know, but it basically means I got paid to play video games. In my case, it was Counter Strike. I had a lot of fun doing this. I want to get back into it in 2014 at some capacity. There's potential to make a few extra bucks by playing video games. It's pretty easy to stream playing video games or writing code, so why not?
Spend less, save more.
Having a car in San Francisco is very expensive. I hardly ever drive it around in the city and the main reason I have one is to drive to hockey in San Jose. There's a train that goes down there, and perhaps I can leave my car (for free) in Mountain View so the process would be Caltrain -> Mountain View -> Car -> San Jose. It'll likely add some time to my commute, but it'll save me some money and I can work on the train (or sleep).
Oh and I did make a New Years resolution: to write more. You'll be hearing from me again.
Here's to a more interesting year, cheers!