Almost two years ago I was wrapped up in a cocoon of my job, my life, and no friends. My best friends for life, John Derry and Tom Hedges had moved away and passed away respectively. I had taken my past and buried it deep in the back yard, metaphorically. All my notes from the Painter days were on the shelf.
Why I Do Dat?
When I was CEO and main developer for Painter, I was on a roller coaster of positive emotions, of hard work, of constant reassurance from my friends. But when the Metacreations board decided to sell off the software, my baby, and I was chosen to do the deed, I accepted the hard task because I knew if anyone else did it all would be lost. This meant closing down the software division, really everything I had built. The people I knew and worked with, all of whom I valued deeply, needed a kind hand to shepherd them through the layoff process and moving on. Again, if someone else were to do it, it might have ended up far worse.
And in the process I was sure nobody would understand the sacrifice, yet some clearly did, which humbled me. So, as I went to consult for Corel for the final 18 months of my work on Painter, I wrapped myself up and closed myself off, and wound up insulated. Even from my friends.
And, as a CEO, I also found that many friends were really not friends, but really fair-weather friends. I have mentioned in my blog many who were not, but still, this realization is a hard fall to take.
So I put my past in boxes and stored them literally on the shelf. Which left me broken.
I can imagine many of us having to do things we don't want to do. Perhaps we do them because they are the lesser of two evils: Hobson's choice. Like going to the dentist or letting a cavity get worse. When it is our choice, we must accept the responsibility. We must own it. When, however, it is someone else's choice, we can more easily be scarred by the process.
So about two years ago a kind friend started me on a path towards reconciling with my past. Because, in this case, the hard problem is me.
In conversation, I talked about my past and the crazy things that have happened to me. And slowly, I became unwrapped, and un-cocooned. Eventually I started this blog and have done my best to embrace my past so I could move forwards.
And you have seen some interesting posts along the way that talk about ideas, creativity, hard problems, intense development, and even the things we throw away. I have also been hoping that my way of looking at things will be of use to you, so I have given you thoughts on three-dimensional thinking, alternate reality, disruptive technology, and even shared with you my memories of Steve Jobs.
Most of these blog posts are decorated with stories from my past, part of the process of embracing it. Part of the healing process. My posts on Painter and the Fractal Design era are my present to the Painter users and the Fractal Design and Metacreations folk, who I must ask to forgive me.
Life is always moving forwards whether we want it to or not. At Apple, I have been moving my development chops forward at an astonishing rate. But I can't really talk about it, except to say that there might be a few patents with my name on them that can point you in the directions that I have gone.
So my job with this blog is to move the rest of me forwards. To continue to develop myself since the future waits for no one; rust never sleeps. I hope for you, gentle reader, to be entertained, to enjoy me revealing interesting topics, all so you can see a few things from my relativistic observation point.
I apologize here and now that you also have to put up with so much stuff that litters my past. It's just part of my therapy.
Some day I hope to figure out who I am. In the meanwhile, I think I understand the ramifications of my past and it has helped me.
But do remember that this blog only reveals one side of me: the part I can talk about. So that may be why it is so heavily strewn with recollection.
Still, I must continue to move forwards.
To be responsive to my users, I think now would be a good time to ask for comments on what I should post about. What do you love? What do you hate? What would you like to see? Do you value my point of view? Are my posts on creativity interesting?
Please add a comment on this, dear reader, and help me move forwards.
The relativistic observer,