Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Goals for 2013

  • Continue growing Rabid - I've got some targets in mind for this, I think we should see some pretty strong growth but I'm not absolutely sure what that will look like. It's also going to be the time that some of our hires are in more varied roles than we have so far, some of which I have less knowledge of how to hire for. 
  • Have at least one 20% time project properly see the light of day. Really want to get one of the 20% time projects out into the wild and generating revenue. Doesn't need to be a huge amount, just enough prove that we can develop end to end products in our own right.
  • Read 80 books - Less than I set myself last year but probably closer to a good number to balance reading and working.
  • Get IMDB top 250 movies remaining under 25 - I'm making good progress through this list, but starting to get to the point where churn in the list is making it difficult to finish. At some point I'll have to watch everything that remains in one big run to stop more stuff popping up. Probably still a year off that though.
  • Visit at least 1 new country - This will be here every year from now on.
  • Take some circus classes - They look ridiculously fun and like an interesting change of pace. Probably be suitable as my random extra-curricular for some of the year.
  • Be Less Sick - I've lost far too much time in the last year to various relatively minor illnesses. Avoiding that will free up quite a bit of time that I can put to better use.
  • Generally Improve Fitness - Follows from the previous point. In general my fitness level needs to increase. By the end of the year I shouldn't end up completely exhausted by a pickup game of soccer.
  • Grow attendance at Railscamp NZ - Sales are going well. We should have a bigger turnout this year. I shall be disappointed if we don't.
  • Speak at a larger event than I have previously spoken at. This means something with more than 300 people in attendance. I suspect this goal will require travelling.
  • Hire some female developers - I'm disappointed in our failure to achieve this so far, but I'm sure we will eventually.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Achievements and Failures 2012


  • Rabid - At the beginning of the year I was intending to do a mix of working on product startups and consulting again to follow on from what seemed like a good base of that kind of work in the previous year. Instead March found a number of opportunities sliding into place to start growing Rabid as a slightly more traditional consulting company with an eye towards releasing products in the longer term. 
  • Employing people and Building a culture - Employing people turns out to be far more terrifying than a realised, particularly for the first few people where each person is a huge increase in fixed outgoings each month. We have the beginnings an excellent team at Rabid which will be the seed that allows an amazing culture to blossom.
  • 75 books read - I good mixture of classic fiction, reputable business books, interesting non-fiction  and trashy fun reads. Some of the highlights included: finally getting around to reading a bunch of very good sci-fi like Vonnegut and Haldeman, thinking fast and slow, and the essential Drucker.
  • Study - I enrolled in a couple of post grad papers in February before I ended up with Rabid requiring large quantities of time and energy. I managed to make it through them with decent marks but it added a lot of stress that I probably didn't need.
  • Mostly maintained a steady but manageable stream of work - We only had one piece of work that ended up running to overtime for a few days this year. While I'd prefer to manage projects well enough for there to be no overtime I do think it's a pretty good result in comparison to what the norm seems to be elsewhere.
  • 3 new countries visited  - Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. I like both the weather and the affordability of South-East Asia and could easily spend extended periods of time here. 
  • Improv - I did a decent amount of improv training and some public performance. I think it was hugely helpful both in improving my presentation ability but also with helping create safe spaces for risk free innovation. One of the first things you do in any Improv group is learn to fail happily  in front of each other. I suspect that will also be key for developing an appropriate culture of innovation at Rabid.


  • Illness - I was sick far too much this year. Mostly relatively minor but recurring issues, with one hospital stay towards the end of the year. It made the year significantly more stressful than it needed to me. A lot of my goals for the coming year relate to avoiding a repeat performance.
  • Speaking - I only did a little speaking this year. Mostly on the topic of negotiation tactics. I intended to do more but it was never quite high enough up the priority list.
  • Writing - I failed at blogging regularly and didn't complete nanowrimo for the first time since 2007. Admittedly I did have a reasonable amount of morphine in my system at the time when I should have been finishing it.
  • 59 movies remaining on the IMDB list - I said I'd get this down to under 50 but I underestimated the amount of movement towards the end of the list. I suspect I'll probably have to watch another 90 movies to actually have the list properly conquered.