I haven’t had a chance to talk much about my new job at Churn Labs yet, mainly because I’m having too much fun building things in the lab. The past 2 months have been really awesome here at the lab. I’ve really found my home with the people I’m working with and the projects I’m working on.
For the longest time I’ve wanted to just free myself from monetary obligations to focus on building cool things. Yeah I would spends my nights on side projects, but the places I’ve worked in the past few years have been super demanding. Sometimes I just had to travel too much; other times the deadlines were unrealistic. I think that Churn Labs answers a few needs that the entrepreneurial engineer deeply desires:
First, we want that opportunity to learn new things. We want to jump on every cool subject out there and just play. “Don’t have a data problem where I work? Who cares, i want to use MapReduce and Hadoop anyways” or “I know I don’t really need computer vision to do this, but I want to anyways!” or “Gee, I’m sure this would perform way better using a graph database”. The lab is constructed to be a lab; to explore things differently, and that often means allowing us to experiment with different things we’ve never worked on before.
Second, we want to work with smart people. I’ve always judged a good engineer by his humility and desire to work with smarter folks. We all know that we thrive in those environments that allow us to interact with smarter people than ourselves. In that regard, I’ve been super jazzed with the guys I’ve been working with here at the lab.
Third, we want to work on a successful product. In addition to our passions for engineering, we are still humans (although some of our non-geek friends may disagree), and we want our work to pay off in the end. I’ve seen some great teams that have great engineering power, but they lack a compelling product. Or they lack the right leadership to steer them in the right direction. With the lab, we are building many products, and our stellar leadership is connected everywhere to get the right feedback and make the right connections to help elevate the value and success of the products we work on. This point is actually very important. This point is what makes a team truly successful. Churn Labs, its founders and leaders speak for themselves. This week I met some pretty significant pillars of the tech industry. I could not have imagined that I would be sitting across the table and talking with people who have left a permanent impression on the technical landscape of the world in so many ways.
It is said that successful startups have three components: great teams, great products, and great entrepreneurs. I consider myself lucky to be at a place where I believe all have converged.