Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Life by Sam Huleatt

2011 Thoughts

2010 was a challenging year for me personally and I took a fair amount of time off from blogging. I’m hoping to get back into the groove of writing this year.

Initially I thought I’d write a lengthy retrospective about my year, but who wants to dwell in the past? So I’m going do a quick catch-up for those who may think me AWOL and then get into some of what has me excited going forward. If you have specific questions feel free to ask in the comments, or email me, and  I will gladly answer.

2010 saw me transition out of Workstreamer, a company I started 4+ years ago. Workstreamer is going strong under new leadership. Ben and I sold the company during the late summer. It’s hard to let go of your baby.

Since leaving Workstreamer I started two projects. The first, Eat.ly, was started with three friends (now all  employed at Foursquare). Eat.ly was recently acquired by Foodspotting. The second project was one that truly excited me and I had hoped to work on going forward. The concept was most closely related to what BranchOut and Identified are up to: essentially bringing Linkedin to Facebook. Sadly, the project had to be abandoned for personal reasons. However, I am positive we were in a really ripe space that will see a breakout this year. People need jobs and Facebook is where the people are.

Over the summer and fall I consulted for two companies that I expect to make noise soon: Red Rover and Bundle.  Consulting was fun, but it was also difficult to not be the person making the really tough calls. I need ownership in projects I am involved in.

Most recently I’ve spent several months focused on researching trends and teaching myself some code.

Also, I am really excited to now be formally involved with my good friends at Rocketfuel, where I’ll be serving as an in-house entrepreneur of sorts, helping incubate an as of yet undetermined startup. Zvi will also be involved :)

So what has me excited for the year ahead?

First on a personal level I feel pretty happy; I have a ton to be thankful for and I have learned some difficult lessons over the past year that have left me stronger and hungrier than before.

I also am starting to get excited about startups again. At several points last year I questioned whether I wanted to stay in startups or move back into finance. Partially this was because I experienced some tough on-the-ground lessons. Partially it’s because I’m not as certain as I have been previously about where the big opportunities lie. Toward the end of 2009 I knew that Facebook, Location and Gamification were where it would be at.  Recently I have been less sure. For example something about Twitter still makes me think it isn’t as exciting as expected.  Other services like Quora and Foursquare have me really jazzed. Mobile is going bananas. I think ‘timing’ [example, example] will be a meme. Follow on rounds and talent shortages have me a bit worried and I think 2011 will be a challenging year for many for those two reasons. I’m excited that startups are going mainstream — kind of hard to explain what I mean specifically — but articles like this are the general idea.

So we’ll see what happens, but I’m ready to get building again.

Anyway, here’s to a fantastic 2011 and a resurgence in blogging.

It feels good to be back!

Sam

**links to come

  • Tienwong

    Stick with it Sammy! This is the BEST time to do what you are doing. Happy New Year. Let's talk soon!

  • http://leveragingideas.com/ Sam Huleatt

    Thanks Tien!

    Look forward to catching up soon! Hope you had a great Holiday.

  • http://twitter.com/JustinCambria JustinCambria

    I hope you do indeed write more, I always like your thoughts and will be interested to see how your coding journey unfolds. Are you doing this because you feel it is difficult as a person with primarily a business (read: non dev/design/engineer) to reach your goals in the internet world? I always wonder this myself & wonder whether I should learn some code if I want to swim in this pond.

  • http://leveragingideas.com/ Sam Huleatt

    Hey Justin – thanks for the comment. I haven't put too much time behind it yet, but I'm doing it because I so many other non-techy friends have said it's helped them relate to their engineering teams. Knowledge is poer I guess.

  • http://multiroomdigitalmusicsystems.com Michael

    Good luck to you in the coming year Sam. Don't give up and keep your head held high.

  • http://leveragingideas.com/ Sam Huleatt

    Michael – that means a lot.

  • http://careers.b2bcfo.com Andrew

    Good luck and stick with it. I love reading your blog.

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