Single-tasking.

Leave a comment
Essays

Single-tasking: I’ve been terrible at it my whole life. Put another way, I’ve been a fantastic — or, at least, relentless — multi-tasker. When I was young, my mother was my math teacher for a year (and my father my chemistry teacher, in fact). During that year, and in years before, I spent the entire math class literally on my feet. I would hunch over to do problems, took notes in my head, and I only sat down to take tests, because she threatened detention. I couldn’t sit still. I was always restless. Growing up, I wanted to be an actor, or a diplomat, or a teacher, or a pharmaceutical chemist, or a psychiatrist, or a novelist. It would change every day. Right, we all did. Only difference, perhaps: well into my twenties, that was still me.

Over the course of my career in innovation and technology, I’ve done a lot of running around, following my nose from experiment to project to business and back again. I’ve learned that I am extremely passionate about the type of work I do, particularly when it’s mission-driven, and that I am unafraid to take risk, only because I have confidence that I’ll be picked up when I fall. In 10 years of work, I’ve found 10 things worth doing, and grown from them all. But it’s time to change. And I’d like to briefly explain why.

When I met Craig, (with forever thanks to Jessica, Ben, Max, Casey, and Zach), I was busy reading Kant’s transcendental idealism at Stanford, sourcing private equity deals in South Africa, failing at growing tomatoes in my yard, experimenting with Ruby libraries, and prototyping with friends. Since I agreed to jump on the Collaborative Fund train, I have been in a process of siloing and culling, siloing and culling. And it has been utterly life-giving. It is fashionable for cultural critics to describe my generation as having a penchant for going “gig to gig”. We are likely to hold a job for only 3 years, an average number that has been steadily declining as optimizing, and optimizing, and constantly optimizing has become the norm for a career trajectory. But what of the value of doing one thing, and learning to do it well? How does a young person learn a trade, and hone it through the stillness and monotony of time? Who will develop an expertise, if we are all jacks of all trades, and masters of none?

So. I’m happy to say that I’m doing something that I want to do for a long time. (Of course, I’m doing who-knows-how-many things *within* Collaborative Fund, but.) My brilliant partners and our incredible investors have made it a fantastic place to call home, and I can’t imagine doing much else. The past few years have already been extraordinary. But I’m really excited for this, and the adventures we have ahead of us. Here’s to single-tasking, for once.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s