And Yet...

by Peter Saint-Andre


A few technology cycles ago, way back in 1999, I joined a small company in Denver called Webb Interactive Services. Little did I know that 14+ years later, through twists and turns too numerous to recount, I'd still be with that same company. In short, after meeting Jeremie Miller in my first week on the job, I got involved with an open-source project called Jabber, which spawned a company that was eventually purchased by Cisco in 2008 as well as my involvement with technology standardization at the IETF.

It's been a great experience.

And yet increasingly I've felt the desire to work at a smaller, more human scale again: interacting directly with customers, innovating in a tight-knit team, living a greater sense of purpose and meaning in my daily work activities. I've also realized that I want to integrate more of the things I've done throughout my career: everything from instructional design and client consulting to product development and technology evangelism. I'd like to contribute to a smart, creative team that is committed to deeply constructive collaboration, honesty, respect, and compassion. I want to keep working on technologies I'm passionate about, such as XMPP and other distributed approaches to communication and collaboration that are yet to be invented. I'd love to put into practice the thinking I've done for years about human values, voluntary interactions, and organizational structures (influenced by Dee Hock, Abraham Maslow, and my philosophical research on great thinkers like Aristotle and Epicurus). Oh, and ideally the company I work for would be completely bootstrapped and thus free to act without the strings that are inevitably attached by angel investors and venture capitalists.

At this point you must think I'm dreaming, or even delusional. That kind of work environment just isn't possible, is it?

Actually, it is, if you're fortunate enough to receive a job offer from &yet.

Adam Brault, who started &yet and has guided it ever since, likes to say that he chooses people instead of filling positions (which kind of sounds like filling an order at a fast-food restaurant, eh?). But I'm an analytical person, so naturally I wanted to understand exactly what kind of value I'd be creating on the &yet team. Here's what I came up with:

And Adam said that's exactly what he's looking for!

So after all this time at Webb/Jabber/Cisco I find myself saying goodbye to the team I've worked with for almost 15 years, and saying hello to the team I hope to work with for the next 15 years.

I can't wait to get started. :-)

Peter Saint-Andre > Journal