Damon Cortesi's blog

Musings of an entrepreneur.

Life Reboot

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Well it’s been far too long since I’ve posted here, so I thought I should let my vast world of blog subscribers know what I’m up to (Hi, Mom).

Living in Germany put a lot of different things in focus for me, as did the last time I spent an extended amount of time in a foreign place and ended up moving to Seattle. No, I’m not moving to Germany, although I did definitely consider it.

I’ve been a professional security consultant for over six years now. While I’ve loved doing that and all the great experiences I’ve had (awesome people, doing work for top companies), I’ve always felt something was missing. I’ve always felt that there was a little more I could contribute. Ever since three months into doing this job, I’ve wanted to change how some things are done. At the heart of everything I do is a little voice that’s always trying figure out the best and most efficient ways to get things done. A little voice that asks me how and why something works that led me to disassemble numerous watches as a child. This same voice (perhaps not of reason) convinced me that I should leave my job in July when I returned from Germany and pursue some of those things in life that I feel I can make better. I usually don’t post much about my professional life since this is a personal blog, but this time my personal life is very heavily affected as I will be trying to go into business for myself.

For numerous reasons this was not an easy decision to make, but I feel the time in my life has come when I need to make this change or risk wondering for too long what I’m doing with my life. One of the other reasons is simply having more control of my life, with the ability to make decisions on my personal and business goals and desires. This constantly makes me think of one person - my father. He still to this day talks of how he would never work for anybody but himself - the freedom it allows, both to be ornery and independent, is something that can’t be matched. I’ve always admired him and for very long as a child felt that I should somehow follow in his footsteps. I always felt an unexplainable bit of guilt at not carrying on his profession, but I feel that by going out on my own I am somehow fulfilling that desire to proudly carry on in his footsteps.

The effects of this decision can already be felt. On a bit of a whim, I attended Gnomedex 8.0 this weekend - a local Seattle Tech conference. Though only partially related to my professional life, I was often frustrated by a lack of a good means to provide feedback to speakers at conferences. I’m sorry, but filling out a paper form and mailing it in after the fact does not cut it in this day and age. Thus was born an all-nighter on Thursday preparing Rate My Talk, a new service allowing for instant speaker feedback through the use of a Twitter bot. In what I feel was I surprisingly successful beta launch, I pimped my service at Gnomedex to provide to useful feedback for Gnomedex speakers. Though I am far from a marketing person, people seemed to like it and though there’s still a lot of work to be done, the choice and capacity to do that is something I would very likely not be able to do were I not newly self-employed.

And that’s where I am. A little life reboot to keep things interesting. Now, excuse me while I decide what interesting thing I want to work on this afternoon. :)