I've mentioned a few times that I've been working on Something Big, and it's time for me to expose myself a little more publicly. It has bearing on the types of things I'll be writing about, so I think it's time to fill in the loyal Kirk's Rants readership.
As most of you know by now, I moved to the UK five and a half years ago after starting my career in Silicon Valley working for pure-technology startups, specializing in the database and web application infrastructure space. When I moved here, I looked at quite a few early-stage technology startups, but ultimately decided to sell out and work in the financial services area. I did this for a few reasons: London at the time wasn't particularly conducive to working in a pure technology startup; financial services were where the Cash Money was at; and I wanted a chance to build a Next Stage for my career. At the time, I felt that working in financial services, given the concentration of financial technology jobs in London, was the right next step for my career.
Over the last few years, I've run the gamut of financial services firms: I started out in charge of the risk management and analytics software for a hedge fund management group; I was in charge of Front Office Technology architecture for a medium-sized derivatives trading group; I worked as a grunt contractor for a Very Big American Bank.
Am I glad I've done it? Most certainly. I've worked with a great group of people, made great friends, and learned a massive amount about how the financial industry actually works. I think it was the right choice for me five and a half years ago. But it's not the right choice for me now.
Since my 6-months at Big Bank B came to an end on Friday, I've taken the Leap of Faith and have co-founded a technology startup. I've joined the circle from Hard Core Startup Geek to Financial Services Sell-Out back to Hard Core Startup Geek.
I can't say precisely what we're doing at this stage, except to say that along the way I've seen a lot of inefficiencies in the way that financial services firms develop software, and I think that we as an industry can do better. I think that financial services are too important to the global economy, and software engineering is too important to modern financial services, to accept the status quo: not only can we do better, but we must do better. Most importantly, I believe that what we as a startup are doing will help.
I'm joined by two exceptional co-founders, and have a network of other technology startups in London that didn't exist a few years ago. As I've written before, London is now a phenomenal location for a technology startup, and what we're doing we couldn't do anywhere else in the world. If you've been on the fence, take the plunge. London is now a fantastic place to do a startup, and this is a fantastic time to do it.
In short, watch this space.
P.S. Maybe I was too entrepreneurial after all.