So Long, 2021

The year 2021 ends tomorrow. Like many, I started the year with great hope as vaccines were around the corner. I never expected them to be a miracle cure that would make the pandemic go poof, but I hoped that people would get them in quantities that would put it in check. To say I am disappointed at the abject ignorance of many is a vast understatement.

I am not quite as physically fit as I was at the start of the year. Professionally, I’m pretty much on par. I’m lucky to be gainfully employed, but it hasn’t been an exceptionally fulfilling year. I’ve continued working on my MBA, which I will finish in 2022. I enjoy working with most of my co-workers and was happy to see many of them face to face this year. I am happy for many of my long-term co-workers who have moved on to their next opportunities, but am also sad that they will not be there when we can all start gathering regularly.

The latter half of the year saw a lot of travel for me, including a trip to South America to meet with our offshore team. There, I found not an outsourcing firm but one that looks and feels a lot like the one I worked at for 15 years, driven by a mission to use their talents to benefit their home and provide opportunities for people there. It was refreshing.

Five years ago, I left the government services space to get a different view of the tech industry. That view has shown me that there is far too much sales and marketing tech, with a lot more being developed unnecessarily. It has corroded the effectiveness of the online experience, made the internet far less interesting, and made it difficult to keep up with people whom I consider friends but I’ve only really known online. The internet is now a TV station where 45 minutes of every hour are commercials interspersed with 5-minute blocks of a show.

As Joe Morrison posted, there are companies who do it right, but they are increasingly the exception in an industry that strip-mines talent and innovation and leaves users with real problems to deal with the toxic runoff.

As 2022 begins, my primary question is “What do you want to do about it?” I’ve had two years of introspection (like everyone else). The reality is that there will never be 0% risk, even if the pandemic starts to wane. It will always be there. The time for waiting it out is over. It is time to orient to my own mission and use it as razor to evaluate everything going forward.

I’ll see you out there.