Over the weekend, I installed a ceiling fan in my bedroom.
Now, you might not think this is such a big deal, but keep in mind that I've had absolutely no experience dealing with anything electrical whatsoever. I think it runs in the genes, though, because my grandfather could do almost anything with electricity. He used to have this little bulb with two wires on the end of it that he would use to test to see of the sockets he installed were working.
Of course, it would have been easier and probably safer to have an experienced professional do this for me, but I just had to take a crack at it myself. My "flashlight helper" was betting that I'd "smash and break" something...most likely me.
Once I think I have some understanding of how a system works, I can generally take a very methodical approach to dissecting it and problem solving. This one included turning on all the lights and appliances to map my circuit breakers and figure out which switch controlled which outlet. I went to Home Depot to get the fans and also pick up some rubber handled pliers and a wire stripper.
What I realized yesterday and what I've been thinking about since my last review here at USV is that this is the kind of challenge I'm really meant for... taking something new to me apart, figuring out how it works, and taking a crack at building it up.
When I first joined here, it was pitched to me as a two year position, but to be honest, I largely ignored that. I sort of figured that I'll just make myself so totally indespensible that there's no way anyone would want to get rid of me. Then, after a while, seeing the tech landscape evolving, meeting smart entreprenuers who tackle tough problems, and seeing the business world get changed by the power of the consumer, I've had this growing urge to want to join the fray.
But really, who doesn't? (And who isn't?) I guess what I'm saying is that I'm slowing realizing that this isn't a new thing for me... that this need to be in the middle of the building process goes back to when I used to sit on my bedroom floor and build sprawling LEGO towns.
So what does that mean for me next? Well, first off, I'm a big believer in the idea that you don't go anywhere unless you get the job at hand done first. So, I'll still be nose to the grindstone here at USV working on all the great deals we're looking at now. (We're closing on two this week... news to come...) But as I look at these deals, I'll also be looking to try and understand where it is that I think, should the opportunity arise, where I could have the most positive impact by working more closely with a company.
So, as I write here, don't be surprised if I start doing a lot of self assessement, thinking about my future, etc. I certainly welcome any conversation from people in a similar boat and I've been talking to a lot of very experienced mentors and peers lately about the subject.