2014

2014, like 2013, is a year that contained huge swaths of stuff I’d much rather never think about again.

I’m not going to go into it here, for reasons that I wish were obvious to most folks, but it’s been made clear to me over and over again that they’re not. Regardless, even as vague as that is, that’s all I’m gonna write about it. Professionally-speaking, the first half of 2014 can go fuck itself over and over again until the end of time.

IMG_8175Personally, where it’s possible to separate the two, 2014 was awesome. The kids are great. 2014’s driving characteristic, honestly, is “lack of sleep”, but aside from that, we’ve got two of the greatest kids I could ask for. They get along great, they’re funny, they’re constantly learning and growing, they’re generally really positive and happy, and if K slept through the night, we’d be in a really great place. Ei-Nyung’s mom has also helped us a TON this year, and we’d be much, much worse off without her help at critical times.

This was a year where we spent a huge amount of time at the Piedmont pool. Since I was unemployed, I started swimming a bit, and I brought J&K to the pool as well. J went from hating it to loving it in the span of a day or two, and K has zero fear of the water, which is both awesome and terrifying. That’s been one thing that’s been a really clear distinction between the two kids – J had tended to be inherently cautious, while K is just like blaaaaaaah!  And for the record, both approaches are great, and valuable, and it’s really interesting to see how differently they both approach things.

We did a good amount this year. Had a great trip to Maui, went to El Sargento, made some new friends, spent a lot of time with old ones – never enough, really, but our lives are all different than they were, and given what they are now I’ll take what I can get and appreciate it. I *deeply* love the friends that I have, and whether I see them one day a year, or they come IMG_5620over for dinner a few times a month, or we grab lunch every few weeks, it’s great to have such a bunch of caring, generous, and god-damned brilliant people I can call my friends. I’m really, really lucky in that regard, and I never, ever take it for granted.

The latter half of 2014 turned around when Ei-Nyung suggested we do a startup together. I wouldn’t have ever expected that before, but this year it made perfect sense, and thus Wonderspark was born. It’s been a really satisfying, really interesting experience so far, because even though this is my 2nd startup, this phase of it is stuff I didn’t have to do with the previous one. So it’s been a really good learning experience. I think the one key takeaway is that your message can never be simple or clear enough, and when you’ve got it down to the least it can possibly be, you’re still an order of magnitude off. Every time the message gets simpler, it gets better.

We’ve now spent a good deal of time talking to investors, and it’s clear that in this environment, raising money is going to be an uphill battle. That’s fine – it’s what we expected, and we’re fortunate enough to be able to crank away at this for a good long while without needing to go find other jobs. The disappointing thing is that we can’t just bootstrap and hire other people at this point, but well, it is what it is. Either we’ll find some folks who are interested in working with us for equity, or we’ll find some way to get a product out with what we have. Either can work.

I had a bunch of resolutions last year. With any of the “lose X pounds,” I failed miserably. I did get a public speaking gig this year, which was one of my bigger ambitions. I gave a talk at the Lean Startup Conference, which you can find here. “Um” is the thing I’ve gotta fix the most, I guess. 😀 Maybe in 2016, GDC. If you watch it, and have any other feeIMG_8080dback, a comment would be greatly appreciated.

Went to a lot of trackdays, and found that the real cost of these is (for me) in brakes and tires. Ha. Gotta get some trackday-specific wheels & tires at some point. I’m thinking I might try it by just switching to Yokohama Advan Neova AD08r’s on the stock rims, trying that, and then if that works, getting a set of dedicated wheels. During the summer, when it’s guaranteed to be dry. Learned a ton, though, and had a lot of fun with friends. Not much to complain about there.

The last of my resolutions for the year, though, were that by the end of the year, I’d control my own destiny. It’s weird, and it cost a lot in many, many ways, but that is something I was able to accomplish in 2014. And it’s the reason 2015 is gonna be fucking awesome.

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