Side-Project: Part 1 - Intro

Side-Project: Part 1 - Intro

For the past few years, I've dreamed about leading my own project, organization, or even a company. I want the ownership, I want the creativity, I want to work on something really cool and share it with the world. But, I'm definitely not your prototypical founder:

  • Throughout my first two years in college, I thought my future was in sports. I couldn't even imagine having a job at a "real" company.
  • I spent ~9 months as a computer science major, but I didn't have the interest to keep up, so I switched to Industrial Engineering (100% the right move for me).
  • I didn't know what Silicon Valley was until the HBO show premiered in 2014. I remember sitting in my college apartment, mixing the humor with awe that there's this whole world that I knew nothing about. I had heard the term before, but it meant nothing to me until then.

It's daunting to start something from nothing, and it's easy to just forget about it and flow with whatever happens naturally. But, I've taken leaps before. In college, I worked my way up to become President of our Engineering Council. So far in my career, I've pushed through skepticism to take projects from the seed of an idea all the way through design, co-worker buy-in, execution, and launch; powering my teams with new capabilities. Even all the way back to high school, I essentially ran email campaigns to try to get recruited by college baseball coaches. I've put in the work before, and I know that I'm at my best when I have ownership and passion (with encouraging people along the way).

Sitting at home during global shutdowns has just accelerated these ideas and my desire to lead my own thing outside of day-to-day work. In this series, I'll work through my progress to find and (hopefully) build side-project during a crazy crazy time in the world. Inspired by Gimlet's Startup Podcast, this is Side-Project.

P.S. If anyone has helpful resources, books, blogs, videos, etc. please send them my way!

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Michael Silberling
Michael Silberling