Wednesday, September 26, 2012

That Tingly Sensation..

I'm pretty open about my nerdiness, hell, I take pride in it. I'll admit that being a systems analyst/product manager isn't the sexiest job out there (damn nuclear submarine captains ruining it for the rest of us), but on the eve of launching a product I feel like a rock star about to go on stage. Some of my fans will love what I'll launch, some will hate it and there's always the chance that I'll fall off the stage and make a complete fool out of myself.

Over the last ten years or so that I found myself in a place to launch something, I think I've had my fair share of those epic wins/fails. In my sophomore year in college, a friend recruited me to build a Stock Market Simulation system for a new conference that the Student Union was launching at school. So, take my basic programming skills, an open-source chatting program that I retrofitted to 'act' as a functional stock market terminal, a 100 or so eager conference participants and a bucketload of good luck and you have yourself one of those epic-win launches. My epic fail? That same conference the following year, I got greedy, had grand plans for many more features, didn't spend enough time with my team testing the system, the result? We were down for the first four hours of the first day of the conference: ah yes, the granddaddio of epic fails.

Today as I slaved at the office working on a major product feature that I am launching tomorrow, it struck me how this feeling never gets old or dull. It's definitely more intimidating that the number of my 'fans' this time around is an order (or two?) of magnitude(s) larger.

Oh boy, wouldn't that be a picturesque fail?
*clears throat*


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