After being in the interactive industry for 12 years, I became wear, tired and uninspired.
So when I was headhunted to lead a Creative Team in a well funded FinTech company, I jumped at the opportunity to start anew.
I got in as a VP of Creative Services and life was good...
No headaches associated with being an employer, the hiring and firing, no pressure of making sales as an entrepreneur, but still got paid doing what I love to do.
I get to lead a talented team of young UX/UI designers and together we developed many impressive projects for the Fintech clients from many parts of the world.
Well, things were great... until it weren't...
The politics were real...
I got to see how people in different positions maneuvered their moves, character assassination, story crafting just for the soundbites and news-worthiness with zero substance, unethical people taking advantage of opportunities, corporate vultures swooping in, questionable management, mindless spending, and on and on.
Millions were spent on prepping up the company just to look good to investors without any real concern of business fundamentals like fulfilling on promises made to clients and partners and making a profit.
At this point, both the co-founders were already out-maneuvered and unable to do anything meaningful at all.
When the IPO failed, the house of cards came tumbling down (it has since became insolvent).
Many people were fired - and that included me.
My position required me to serve my extended notice (while the lowers levels were demanded to leave immediately).
New management got in and started realizing that they needed me around after all. So they offered me an SVP promotion and more stocks to stay.
As a temporary measure, I said yes. I was laughing at the stocks offer on the inside as I knew that tens of thousands stock options were worth nothing if there was no exit - and none was in sight any longer.
When all the additional rounds of bridging funds dried up again and again, the company became a shell. I was again fired with close to 4 months of owed salary!
I was pissed for a while, of course. I couldn't believe how bad the management were, how they gambled the entire future of the company and all its employees in an IPO that was riding on fumes.
How such a well funded company has zero business fundamentals of not focusing on making sales and creating positive cashflow rather than burning all the millions away in uncontrolled spending.
That's the tech start-up entrepreneurship reality...
And how I have grown to appreciate basic business fundamentals, positive cashflow, sales processes, fulfillment on promises, good employee welfare, caring management and sound marketing strategies.