Today, sadly, is my last day at Red Nova Labs.
I was not asked to leave, unless they somehow brainwashed me into leaving on my own. (Those schemers!) Nope, I am returning to the only thing I ever really knew how to do before I came to Red Nova Labs: be a sportswriter.
Before I get to the farewell addition of the Sweet Linkage, I would like to tell the story of how I got this gig and how grateful I am to the good folks at Red Nova Labs for giving me a chance. Somewhere, I think there’s a lesson in here.
I came to Red Nova Labs two years ago not really knowing what I was going to do; and our CEO Dan Miller and CMO Carrie Royce brought me on not really knowing what they were going to do with me. A brilliant business decision, huh?
I met with Carrie and Dan in the spring of 2010 after an introduction from a mutual acquaintance. I thought I was coming to talk about some part-time work. At the time, I was planning a move to Kansas City and had enrolled in grad school to become a journalism teacher and basketball coach – a plan that I quickly scrapped.
First, I met Carrie, and she says that she sat there thinking: “This guy would be miserable here, and I have NO idea what I would do with him.”
Then, I met Dan, and we did what I know best: we talked sports.
At the end of the “interview” – it really wasn’t much of an interview; we might as well have been bellied up to a bar – Dan told me, if I wanted it, I had full-time job waiting for me at Red Nova Labs. They needed good people here, he said, and somehow, I had convinced him I was good people. That sounded like a pretty good deal to me, so about a month later I started.
Carrie, again, had no idea what she was going to do with me. In many ways, that worked out great. My role has evolved in two years. It started as a blank sheet. Today, it is filled with a lot of responsibilities that I would have never imagined I was capable of handling, such as party planner! (Venture Fridays, I will miss you.) Watching this company evolve and grow and growing with it at the same time, I now have a much better idea of how to make it in this big ol’ world.
There were successes and failures. That’s the startup life, I would learn. I brought some good ideas, some silly ones (like the Sweet Linkage and this), and with the help of my superiors, I always found a way to contribute – at least, I’d like to think so. And Carrie was wrong; I didn't hate it here.
My momma always tells me that everything happens for a reason. A couple days ago I talked to a mentor of mine who told me he was happy I was going back to sports writing.
“You should have never left, you dummy,” he said. “You’re a sportswriter, C.J.!”
I think he’s wrong, and Momma was right. Yes, I am a sportswriter, but there’s a lot more to me now thanks to this place, and hopefully I gave them something in return.
Now, for one final time, on to that sweet, sweet linkage…
- Carrie asked a group of us last Friday how much we thought Digg sold for last week. Millions, right? Nope. $500,000! Ouch.
- Google Fiber is almost here. Props to Goggle for this commercial pimping Fiber and KC.
- Want to get smart? Then get off your butt and walk around from time to time. This story makes sense, as whenever I’m having a hard time writing, I go for a walk and have the story (or at least the lead) written in my head by the time I get back to my desk.
- I typically avoid political links, but this is a pretty awesome read on the vetting process for vice presidents. If I had any interest (or the smarts) to enter politics, I think I might just be lame enough to make the cut for Veep.
- Two sports links… If you like writing and you like basketball, you should read this Q&A with Jack McCallum. I’ve read the excerpt of McCallum’s new book on the Dream Team in Sports Illustrated, and it’s awesome. Read this Q&A; then buy the book. And compliments of my coworker from another area code, an info graphic that is right up my alley.
- From the brilliant Nadine Long: Shell asks the internet for help on their ad campaign...never ask the internet for help on your ad campaign.
- Another link compliments of nerdy Nadine (I say nerdy in a totally loving way.): 17 famous literary characters almost named something else.
- More for nerds, from Bobby.
- Obviously, Christopher Nolan made a mistake. Pee-wee Herman was meant to play Batman.
- This video is pretty funny, but I can’t get over the fact that they’re continuously driving in circles.
- What would a conversation be like with you now and you 20 years ago? Watch the video below. (If I did this, I imagine 27-year-old me and 7-year-old me would talk hoops. Yes, I haven’t changed much. I guess I like alcohol more now.)
- Anything biting today?.... Eh, ya know, just a SHARK!
- Now remember kids, if you run on the dock or at the pool, this could be you.
That’s it folks. Thanks to Jodi, Bobby, Chris and Nadine for the links. And thanks, Red Nova Labs, for two-plus years of employing me for my words. I’ll miss this place.