Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

18 Dec 2008, 6:38 a.m.

Gig-Hunting & Travel

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2008 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

My luck has turned. Last year around this time, my job search sputtered. Now, I've been consistently impressing possible bosses -- and, more excitingly, possible partners for cofound-y relationships. I have four strong leads in New York City alone.

What's different? I have a master's in tech management, a year of experience with the title Project Manager, a stronger network, and more confidence.

On a macro scale, my timing coincides with a terrible economic slowdown, but that means the competitive field will clear and good labor will be cheap. There will always be money for good ideas, whether from angels or customers. Even in New York City, hit hard by the Wall Street crunch, I'm finding lots of entrepreneurs excited because their nimble operations will be able to undercut lumbering giants.

I find the NYC tech scene surprisingly lively, given that so many presentations and launches one sees are just dumb boil-the-ocean ad crap. Still, innovative work is happening elsewhere in stronger hacking ecosystems. I'd gone on my Portland/Seattle trip assuming that I'd have an easier time finding a startup job there than in New York, but the strength of my connections here are leading me to opportunities that I couldn't have found in one whirlwind week in the Northwest.

More worrisome to me is my week-to-week timing. I'd been meaning to visit Boston and San Francisco in December to grow opportunities there, but jet lag and New York appointments have kept me in New York till the end of this week, and people's availability declines so precipitously in the second half of December that it's not worth it to go before January. Bleh.

Still, now is the time for me to plan big chunks of travel, so I can block out those weeks and plan potential work around them. So I'm going to try to avoid making any commitments here till I can visit San Francisco and Boston in January. Predictions I put down now so I can be embarrassed when I have to correct them: I expect the startup opportunities I discover there will include more revolutionary/elegant technology, more social benefit, and a longer time to profitability.

People who live in the Bay Area and Boston metro area: What are good weeks in January for me to visit you?


18 Dec 2008, 7:46 a.m.

Bonus comment link: at least I'm not at the Neolithic job fair.

18 Dec 2008, 10:55 a.m.

This is incredibly good news to hear. Yay!

Ooh, ooh, visit! Best week for me is the week of the 12th. Week of the 5th is fine too, but a little busier. I'm hoping to not be on the continent the week of the 17th... ( - I really, really want to go). If you come and I'm in town, I'll clear my schedule for you.

I don't think I actually have weekends in January much, but hey, you should come to FUDCON. :)

18 Dec 2008, 16:38 p.m.

I'm also glad to hear your job search is going well.

Apropos something mentioned in passing in the entry you linked to, which I didn't see first time around: I still have your copy of Gift of Fear. I'm not sure I'm ever going to get around to reading it. Do you want it back?

18 Dec 2008, 23:18 p.m.

Zack: Sure! I'll take the Gavin de Becker back when I visit.

19 Dec 2008, 12:20 p.m.

The only bad weekend for us is the weekend of Jan. 11 as my mom is coming to visit. Besides that we are pretty much free. However, the closer to Feb., the more likely that we may become super busy overnight - at least for a few weeks. We'll probably also be a little busy the first weekend of January.

22 Dec 2008, 2:14 a.m.

As I define myself solely as a reflection of others, know that any week that is good for you is good for me. Name a time and place and I will share tea with you. =)