Those were the days, my friend; I thought they'd never end
Those were heady days. The company had substance—a product that, put to good and widespread use, could have made a real difference in the way businesses operate. The tragic flaw was that using it effectively required companies and individuals to commit to using it diligently. And diligence is not a widely or consistently practiced virtue in Corporate America anymore.
I got in on the ground floor and wore many hats there. I helped craft the initial business plan and investor pitch. I prototyped the initial user interface. I was the first—and for a while the only—tech writer. I designed the company’s logo. I designed and wrote the marketing materials. I bought the artwork to decorate the offices (the investors commanded us to spend, and I spent). I designed the Web site—at least a couple of iterations of it—and managed it. I built the intranet site.
And I lapped up the Kool-Aid, exercising my stock options because I was certain the company would go public the next quarter. The next quarter. The next quarter.
The next quarter never came. My shares are worth bupkus.
But I learned a lot, worked with some great folks (and some others), and had a lot of fun.
Now the doors are closed; the artwork and furnishings are dispersed. The website is still live because the hosting provider was paid, but soon that will vanish, too.