Friday, January 4, 2013

Achievements and Failures 2012

Achievements


  • 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.


Failures


  • 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.

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