Looking back on how far we've come

Two videos have really made me smile today. One is an exceptional insight into the private company retreats of NeXT, the company Steve Jobs spun up after his less-than-deal exit from Apple. And another is something from a little closer to home.

One of the standout moments for me with the NeXT footage is something that Justin Bariso writes about in a great post on Inc. Namely how Jobs pauses to appreciate how far his company has come in its first 90 days. In Steve’s own words:

“I find myself making lists of things we don’t know, and then I remember that our company’s 90 days old. And I look back to all the things we do know. And it’s really phenomenal how far we’ve come in 90 days.”

It’s something that every startup certainly feels. I look at Corilla as we are barely a month into our journey as part of the NUMA Sprint Accelerator. Just a couple of Australians in France building an open source startup. Whatever that is. I’m not even going to do a screenshot of our Asana instance – it’s barely tamed and beautifully brutal. A daily reminder of how much we have to do (or, to be fair, how much we get to do – I don’t wake up a single day without feeling excited to have this kind of lucky pressure).

But then I also look back on how much we have done. And how much we have learned. Those lessons range from our domain expertise and core skills right through our general development as founders, soft skills, and awesomely broad topics from investment to product deployment to devops to all the rest. We love it. And I love this video.

Closer to home

The example of Jobs reminiscing on his product development reminded me of not just Corilla but PressGang CCMS. As I assume most reading this blog would know, this was the project we worked on at Red Hat. It certainly speaks to our personalities as much as projects, but we were (and still are) relentless in pursuing a greater understand of the challenges of technical writing and the wider documentation space. As this “brief” eight minute introduction video by Matt Casperson shows.

Matt’s work on Pressgang was a definitely big turning point in his own career, and that great little team has all spun out in awesome directions. Including me, here in Paris, typing now. So meta.

It’s really a good feeling to see this kind of open source content persist over time, and I feel a lot of excitement in thinking what it will be like in six months to look back on what we are building now. Although I suspect our videos will be a little shorter, and a lot more… yellow!