Saying No

About two weeks ago I got a surprisingly email in my inbox. An old friend of mine is about to launch a new startup and he asked me to become the CTO of their new company. My first reaction was: Wow!

Since this first email we have talked each other (a colleague of him was involved too) quite a few times. They have a good idea, an already working prototype of the product they want to create and enough money to be alive for a while if things don’t go as expected. I have thinking a lot about the pros and cons of joining them on their new adventure and I have finally made a decision: I am not joining them.

As I have already written at the beginning of the post, their new project has a bunch of attractive things: from a pure technology perspective their product will require some of the newest technologies in order to solve their problem; I would say it is a “fun” problem from a techical perspective. From a business perspective they already have quite a few good ideas, I am just curious on how they finally will set the main target audience of the product. So, I guess, your next question will be, why aren’t you joining them? I have a really short and concise answer: my family.

Creating a new startup is a really hard and time consuming task, even with the above-described attenuating. Tons of effort are required to get everything in the right place: finding new clients, traveling, developing the product, hiring people, compose a new team and so on. All of this stuff is really interesting, and, don’t take me wrong , I am a pretty hard worker and love my job (all of those who already know me could corroborate that), but, right now, my top priority is to spend as much time as possible with my wife and my son (we are planning to increase the family in the near future (hopefully :)), and I think all this stuff isn’t too much compatible with becoming a CTO of a new startup at this moment. Of course, all of this is just my personal opinions based on my own experiences (and my friends’).

I don’t know if I am making the right decision, but I am being consistent with my priorities. I have been completely transparent with them, and I think they have understood my final choice; it has been a considered decision.

Besides my personal reasons, to be honest, I am not sure if I would be able to successfully achieve all the things a CTO is supposed to undertake. I am just a mere technical guy who tries to learn as much as possible of all the people around him, and that, every single day, realize that he has no real idea of how computers work :).

I’m not entirely convinced I have expressed myself correctly because of the language (this is one of the main reasons I switched the blog’s language, just to force me and try to improve my skills) but I wanted to write it down and share with all of you. I like to hear about this kind of stories: the reasons why people start a new company, decline a good job offer or cross the whole world looking for new challenges.

I am sure my friends are going to succeed on their new adventure. I would wish them luck, but I’m completely sure they don’t need it.