A year off
A little over a year ago, I decided to step down as CEO of MongoDB.
I am now ramping up my work life again – though not to anywhere near the intensity of being CEO – and I thought this would be a good time to share an update on my last year.
My professional activities have been limited in the last year. I have been on the board of Cray and I have advised a few startups, mostly informally helping friends starting companies.
While my professional life has been less active, I have had much more time for family and friends. I helped my older daughter plan her Bat Mitzvah. I went through a ski instructor certification program with my son (15 years old) – he passed and I did not (close, I passed most skills and need a one day retest). I signed up to be a room parent for my younger daughter’s class. I have 21,000 miles with United in the first 8 months of this year, down from 114,000 in the first 6 months of last year. My wife and I had a weekend away together for the first time in a long time. It was great.
Lots of other stuff going on. I’ve been learning to play bridge. The more I learn the more I realize I don’t know. I am hooked. My younger daughter and my son are both learning too. I have joined a gym and I am actually exercising.
All very normal. I like it. Maybe other people could have done all of this while being CEO of a fast-growing company. I know I wasn’t able to.
Less work and more time is not a panacea. I am still distracted by my phone. Some of the obsessive energy that went into work now goes into learning bridge or solving math problems. I still aspire to go to sleep earlier, eat less, and be more in the moment.
I have been doing less work, but I am ready to ramp up that part of my life a bit. I’m starting a job as an Executive in Residence at Battery Ventures. I’m excited to help Battery identify promising companies and help great entrepreneurs build companies. I think the role will let me continue to have high quality time for family, friends, bridge and skiing. Some use this type of role as a springboard to start a company or join a startup. Not me. I hope to use my role at Battery as a platform to contribute to interesting startups while maintaining a balanced life.
I am looking forward to this next year. Might even start blogging again 🙂