What's next for Matt? #1
The first in a series of updates about what's next for Matt professionally.
This was originally shared via email with a small group of friends & advisors on 10/1/2022.
I'm in discovery mode. For what exactly, I'm not sure. I'm rolling off a contract gig in mid-October and plan to shut down Invisible Network (in its current form) at the end of the year. I'll have a clean slate to run hard at the next thing after that, which is why I'm starting to explore now. I'm currently coming up with ideas, customer groups to interview about pain points, people & potential co-founders to work with, etc. I'm open to starting a new venture, a fun side project, partnering up with the right people on an existing idea, contracting as an IC dev (I'm very picky), or something else. Most important is that I'm *excited* about whatever the next thing is.
What must be true of my next thing: If it's a business venture, it needs to 1) hit people where it hurts, 2) have a sustainable model, and 3) have a team that I'm a part of. If it's a side project, it 1) needs to be FUN, 2) is not expected to make money, 3) is built with tech I'm excited about working with, and 4) solves a problem (ideally that I have myself).
I'm focusing first on problems I have personally, and customer groups that I'm a part of (e.g. engineering leaders, busy people, bicyclists). This approach has served me well in the past, but I recognize that I'm privileged for many reasons. In that regard, I'm open to problems I don't personally have, even if it means I don't understand the use case or user persona that deeply. I'd love to be doing mission-driven work.
Idea validation: I've got a running list of ideas going. No slam dunks yet, but the most notable ones are below:
Automated Invisible Network v2. Open questions: business model & sustainability.
Waitlist app (AKA Short notice) for impromptu calls when a meeting gets canceled or you have unexpected availability.
Work accomplishment log, used by and tied to individual workers throughout their career. The model that individuals use & pay for a service, where they own the data and how it's used (read: that's not ad-supported), is really interesting to me. If this model is viable, it could be applied to other areas & use cases.
Focus view for reading job descriptions. I know curation is the next frontier after aggregation, and believe tools that allow people to more quickly get the information they need will be important both now and in the future. This could be a simple browser extension.
Which roles to hire: Think StrengthsFinder, but you answer questions about your organization and it spits out roles you may need to hire (e.g. CTO, Dir of Eng, etc.)
Good bike parking: A map to help find good bike parking, based on user-submitted data. This would purely be a fun project.
Areas I'd like to continue exploring include:
Business processes that are run out of spreadsheets
Systematizing squishy people & process stuff
Ways to stay connected in a post-covid remote world
I know I'm still in the early stages, but I'm jazzed to be in discovery mode again.
I'd love to hear what you think - if anything jumps out at you, or you've got ideas, questions, concerns, etc.