One year in Minneapolis

It’s been exactly one year since I moved to Minneapolis, and a lot has happened. In chronological order:

  • Joined CoCo
  • Co-founded Break the Bubble
  • Co-founded OMG Transit
  • Presented at MinneDemo
  • Did a sprint triathlon
  • Went to the White House
  • Found my dream job
  • Quit my dream job
  • Gave an Ignite talk
  • Moved twice
  • Registered two businesses
  • Met the Co-founder of Reddit
  • Competed in a Crossfit competition with Marijke
  • Started Go Do
  • Started freelancing
  • Made more new friends than I can count
  • Attended more events than I can count

And what have I learned?

  • That Minneapolis is a really nice place. Sure, it’s cold in the winter, but the people are friendly and I feel like I’m part of a growing tech community. Plus, it’s flat so people bike everywhere.
  • It’s OK to make mistakes. Whether you like it or not, sometimes you’re going to make the wrong decision, say the wrong thing or make a bad joke. That’s OK. In those situations, the best thing to do is to recognize that you’ve made a mistake, correct it (i.e apologize) and move on. Life is too short to NOT make mistakes.
  • The best things in life happen because of who you know, not how smart you are. (So talk to everybody!)

Here’s to another great year!

How Matt Decuir Stays Productive

Thanks to Tom Johnson of Stubble Magazine, the “best and only magazine in Minneapolis” for the beautiful photoshop work.

Featured in Pollen

A local, crowd-sourced, web publication!

OMG Transit wins Beta.MN

Beta.MN is like a startup science fair. At the inaugural event in the Twin Cities, OMG Transit won the award for Best Startup! How cool is that?

Here are the Beta.MN Startup Interviews

On Stage with Alexis Ohanion

The co-founder of Reddit!

Why you should quit your job

Here’s the video of my Ignite Talk

“Why you should quit your job” survey results

In preparation for my Ignite talk on “Why you should quit your job,” I posted a survey and asked the internet for feedback.

More than 100 people responded, most of whom work in tech. The results were super compelling.

43% said their current job wasn’t the right fit

Overall, what do people like about their jobs?

  • 1) A casual work environment*
  • 2) Their coworkers*
  • 3) Interesting work

Overall, what do people dislike about their jobs?

  • 1) Stress*
  • 2) Office politics*
  • 3) No opportunities for growth

*Unanimously liked or disliked, excluded from following lists

What do people love about their jobs? (Includes only people who said yes, current job is the right fit)

  • 1) Interesting work
  • 2) Daily responsibilities
  • 3) Your title

What do people hate about their jobs? (Includes only people who said no, current job not the right fit)

  • 1) No opportunities for growth
  • 2) Not making a difference
  • 3) Unreasonable expectations
  • ***Note that money was not at the top of the list. Salary ranked 10th out of 18

61% would quit their jobs if money were no object

What would they do first after quitting? (free form answers, manually categorized)

  • 1) Travel
  • 2) Dick around (i.e. sleep in, watch TV, relax, decompress, etc…)
  • 3) Start a business
  • Best answer: “Go on an epic bender of staying up late, drinking too much scotch, sleeping in too late, and snuggling my cat. A week later, I’d get back to business, learning new things and focusing on launching my own business.”

What’s stopping them from quitting?

  • 1) Money
  • 2) House/car payments/crippling debt
  • 3) Health Insurance (tie)
  • 3) A family to support (tie)

39% would NOT quit if money were no object

  • The majority absolutely loved their jobs
  • A small minority were afraid of getting bored

Other tidbits

  • Two people independently said they would hike the Pacific Crest Trail after quitting their jobs
  • “Own boss. Like”
  • “40 hours a week is stupid and inefficient”
  • “I would like free beer”
  • “Life is short. You’re either a person who talks and dreams of doing stuff…or someone who does stuff. Quitting your job is not the end of the world. If you’re young, you’ll be able to recover. So, quit your job already!”

Summary

The game is changing. People are increasingly unhappy doing work that’s not challenging with no opportunities for growth. Money is not the biggest motivator. Happiness, challenges, flexibility and autonomy are much more important.

If I were your boss, I’d ask about your personal goals, what you want to work on, and what’s getting in your way. I’d do my best to remove the barriers and let you do your thing — work on what you want to work on — and see what happens. You’d work on your own terms — set your own hours, get in, get your shit done, and get out.

I believe there’s more to life than work. But that’s just like, my opinion, man.

Links

  • To take the survey, click here.
  • To review the full survey results, click here.
  • To watch a live stream of my talk, go here on Thursday, November 21st. My talk is 18 out of 20, and I’ll go on sometime between 9-9:30pm CST.
  • For the full program and list of speakers, click here.

The Right Fit

Yesterday, I put in my two weeks notice at work. It wasn’t a good fit.

The decision was a little terrifying, but I know there are other options out there.

Within hours, a friend offered to refer me for a couple different positions, which was encouraging.

But I’m a little hesitant. I won’t blindly accept the first thing that comes along. I’m absolutely 100% looking for the right fit.

I know how I work best, what my priorities are outside of work, and refuse to compromise on what’s most important.

Here’s to finding the right fit.

Email

I hate email.

The more you send, the more you get back. When you clear out your inbox, more comes. It’s awful.

And those essays that some people send? The worst

Years ago, Steve Torchinsky offered some valuable advice:

“Don’t send long emails. Nobody reads those. It’s better to talk for 5 minutes in person instead”

Truer words were never spoken

Comfort

Disclaimer: I wrote this while sitting in an air conditioned room on a 90 degree day. I’d been watching inspirational travel videos, which got me thinking a lot about comfort.

Seattle, Europe and Minneapolis

Before I left Seattle a year ago, I was comfortable. I lived in a nice place, had a great job, knew the area well and was close to family and friends. My daily life wasn’t very challenging. It was too easy to get by without really thinking much. I was too comfortable. I yearned for the new, the interesting, the challenging.

In traveling through Europe, I was uncomfortable. I was living out of a backpack, I didn’t know the area, the language, the culture, or anybody, really. I was out of my comfort zone. And in getting out of my comfort zone, I figured out how to expedite the process of getting comfortable in a new place. After a few days in a new city, I’ve got a pretty good grasp of how to get around. Some semblance of comfort. But while I was traveling, I yearned for the familiar, the comfortable, the boring.

Today, I’m quite comfortable in Minneapolis. I’ve been here for 4 months, I live in a nice place, I’ve got a great job lined up, I know the area pretty well, and have a growing network of friends. I’m on my way to being too comfortable again. I see that yearning on the horizon.

Comfort is relative

Watching Where the Hell is Matt? 2012 is truly inspiring. For the uninitiated, Matt Harding is known for dancing badly all over the world.

Watching his video made a million thoughts fly through my brain:

That looks like so much fun

I could do that

Matt must be a yes man

Wouldn’t it be cool to visit Iraq? 

It makes me want to travel again. But in my experience, everything is relative. Sure, traveling right now sounds awesome, but how long until you yearn for the familiar, the comfortable, the boring?

Which begs the question: What’s the right amount of comfort?