I quit Fractalio early this month. Its been 1 year and 10 months since I joined. It has been a great experience, a lot of learning and a company that set a stream to my career.
For long in my previous start-up where I focused and worked primary as a Web Developer, Web did not make sense to me. I had a constant feeling that Web Dev was not my cup of tea. While I still joined Fractalio as a Web Developer initially, my stream of work changed. I became writing wrappers for system operations. It was fun, but more than that, helped me realize what I like about technology.
It is every engineering graduate's dream to become a engineer, but how many end up being actually one ?
Fractalio was a place that actually made me an engineer.
There was a lot of learning, loads of fun, the first product shipping, the customer requirement debate, work at Tagachguppe, the fun lunch walks, the snake fear at Tagachguppe. Life has changed and transformed . The foremost important thing that Fractalio taught was, if the internet is not working, doesn't mean that, you cannot find a solution, read the man pages. I have started to love the man pages now, than ever before.
All this huge transformation , too much learning was not my expectation, but they were what a great team produces.
But I still had to make a tuf call to quit the company today. This blog I will list a few things that could have been done better.
1. Product Marketing :
While storage is not a domain that can sell fast, I have been having a constant debate with the founders that we were too slow in marketing the product. The typical problem that we faced was, "Is the product ready to be marketed and shipped ?" and My argument was always, Lets go out and talk, the product will get better eventually. I am not sure if that was right or wrong, but I for some reason, felt that was a better move to have made
2.Team Meetings : This was a big fuss for me. I have the habit of wandering off while reading/searching for something.You click on a link and it just goes on, and in the end we just end up to have achieved nothing for the day. I was facing this issue constantly. While I have been stressing a everyday stand-up, so that we can track our progress, the founders had a different thought. Their view was, self responsibility. While I accept Self Responsibility is really what we should be moving towards, when we work as a team, we should also make constant efforts to make sure that the team is also on the same page. Spending 5 min a day, asking what were we working on, would have possibly streamlined a lot of issues, at-least for me.
3. A Proper to-do manager : For a long time, we were constantly missing a proper to-do manager to sync up our things. While GitHub issues worked very well, it has always been more of a developer stuff and not a work manager. Very recently , did we adopt to BaseCamp and I have to say, my experience with BaseCamp so far has been amazing.
4. License of the Product : I have personally not raised this issue with the founders, but I have been waiting for a long time for them to figure out a license for the product that we were building. After all the claim was that, we have an open source product.
5.A clear Roadmap : For a long time, I have constantly not seen a roadmap that has been established. Well possibly it was, but I never knew of it. The typical model of development that has always worked is mentioning, which version of the product has what features, but there was this constant over-lapping of writing new features and going back on a few features. I personally find it a mess to handle.
6.Lack of constant tech debates : A tech is never awesome, without constant tech debates or meet-ups. While it is not possible for us to do it every week, at-least a meet-up every month, with anything that we have been learning so far or things that we have experimented on and all the interesting learning experiences, would have made an impact in the team. A team just focused on building the product and not pushing ourselves into other things, is just not growing faster.
7. A lack of social presence : While this is debatable, having a social presence gives you an extra hand in reaching out to people.
8.Appearance at Conferences and Meetup's : This has again been a constant stress that I was putting in. It is very important for us to be visible at the tech meetup's and conferences. This is not product marketing, but it helps us access where we stand in front of everybody. It has a positive impact to be made on the product and also help us get a lot of contacts. While, I would never mind, just going and listening to talks, the founders has always had this tough of, if we go to a conference, we should possibly be a speaker or we should be giving away something.
These were not the primary reasons for me to quit, there were also a lot of internal and personal reason that made me quit.
For good or bad, it has happened. I have a few days left before I start my next adventure. Life needs you to handle a few personal things too. Its time for me to spend sometime with my parents and handle a few household things.
I will very soon start my next adventure, and am quite excited about it. I also would take this opportunity to give my best wishes for the employees and the company, and would be excited to see what you do next. Kudos to all of you, and thank you for being a part of my life. Stay in touch.