Monday, 5 November 2007

7 Stages of Security Man - Part 6 - Direction

Luring me to Spain was not difficult. Barcelona was sunny in January, Basingstoke was wet and miserable. The MD was a passionate and intelligent Frenchman whose energy and pure drive to succeed would have had me join him in an exercise to sell ice to eskimos. Kinamik as a company is small and friendly, with various highlights (most of whom will be reading this, so to avoid pampering their egos I won't mention them by name). The salary to join was less than I'd had in the UK, but this was a minor inconvenience when weighed up against the cost of living in Barcelona and the kudos of being a company director at the age of 30. Director of Product Management that is.

I had always promised myself I would achieve this, and it is remarkable how little it seemed in hindsight. However had I NOT achieved it, I would have been quite disappointed in myself. I guess this is what people mean by life affirming? Whatever the case, it certainly didn't mean as much to anyone else. After all you can set up your own company tomorrow and be Vice President and CEO of Global Operations, but this was a personal thing, an achievement which meant something to me.

Work was hard. I spent long days in the office, often 12 hours or more, just to try and turn a small piece of software into a going concern. After about 3 months of this, things started to happen. More investment, interest from a large application server company, more employees. It was great, and it felt like we were achieving something very hard - to start a successful tech company from Spain.

Plans were afoot to expand into the UK, with me at the helm, and into the US, which we deemed absolutely necessary for survival. Things were looking brighter than ever. Then 6 months in, I received a devastating blow, a death in my immediate family back at home left me knocked for six. Despite the support of some fantastic people I felt the pull back home permanently stronger than ever. So after 8 short and exciting months I sadly packed my bags and returned home. No-one was more disappointed than I to be going. I am still in regular contact with the great people there.

The only thing which softened the blow for me was the position I now hold with Ingrian Networks. I had worked with Ingrian at each of the stages mentioned so far, we resold at the reseller, distributed at the distributor, competed at Vormetric, partnered at Kinamik, and finally they thought they'd grab me to see how I fare...

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