Jonathan ES Lin
Life · Tech · Faith


Jun 28, 2017

I’m tired of toeing the line. I’m tired of compromise. I’m tired of legalistic teaching.

I’m tired of being a pawn in a corporation. I’m tired of dragging my feet to work. I’m tired of working in an “offshore” company, waiting on white folks to tell me what to do. I don't want to do Java.

I’m tired of waiting for change.

I had the last straw, and now I’m out. Out of my church, out of my workplace. Within two days I was out of it all.

I decided to cut everything in my life that I was unhappy with. I’ve had enough of living someone else’s desire for me. Yes, mum, enough is enough.

I studied in the US, and now I have to live like a stereotypical Asian? Cookie-cutter career all the way up the ladder to who-knows-where?

I was “big” in high school. “Most likely to succeed”, my school magazine said. I know of many high school friends who are successful at their own ventures. I am just a nobody slogging for the corporation.

There’s that recent article that basically says: “High school valedictorians work in safe jobs and don’t achieve anything great.” I saw my trajectory and knew I was going to be another statistic.

What’s next? I’m going to be working full-time on PageDash for the next few months, and launch as soon as possible. The plan is to be profitable within 1-2 years and then work on something more ambitious, hopefully with a nimble and like-minded team. Is PageDash going to change the world? Maybe, in a minute way. And that is good enough for me. (DHH explains it better here).

VCs can stay away because I hate everything that has to do with that startup culture around VCs, quick growth, growth hacking, etc. I’m here to build a software business. It may take years. It may go revenue-less or negative for some time. I don’t care. I want control, and the last thing I want is a VC barking down my neck telling me to double down on growth in the short-term. Also, I don't need a co-founder yet.

It’s a whole paradigm shift. The greatest enemy is myself. Losing a salary can be the scariest thing ever. That security is gone. I've had serious doubts multiple times a day. As Reid Hoffman says in Masters of Scale, grit is more important than ever.

That’s why it’s important to ship fast. It’s a great challenge coming from an engineer background. The engineer wants everything done right with perfect code and perfect technology. The entrepreneur simply wants to rush to market and prove his assumptions in the shortest time frame possible. So, this is also one of my biggest challenges.

Anyway, good luck to me :) I’ll need lots of it.