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>When does a freelance technical writer say, "Enough; time to go"? I'm
>truly baffled. I've never walked out on a project before. I've walked
>out on employers because they were jerks, and I feel little guilt
>about it because the employers will continue, with or without me, but
>a project with a startup company is different; I could be the one who
>kills the project and the company's success. Is it "kill or be killed"
>in this case? I just don't know. I've tried reasoning, only to be
>stonewalled each time. I can't work the 20-hour days any more, nor
>can I live on air -- and that's assuming the project winds up soon,
>which may be too optimistic. When do I know I've reached the cutoff
I too was part of a SW startup co. and commuted [from San Diego where
I live to Berkeley] several times a month for over five years! I was
*heavily* invested emotionally in the project. I helped design it, a
full-fledged, powerful, flexible 4GL RDBMS-based clinical patient
record system for physicians [office visits], from scratch, working
with my friend the founder, programmer, chief guiding genius & general
reason for its [product & co.] existence. The program was [maybe still is]
an achievement, doing more than any other in its class, really geared
to users' [physicians'] needs. We sold a few thousand copies at under
$700 apiece to single users, more for multi/networked users. Still that
was not enough to call it a success financially. We all took half-pay [or
less] and suffered for the vision possibilities ... the dream of success!
As time wore on, things got worse. No one would buy us outright. No one
would fund us enough to make a quantum leap possible. And all of us
were getting deeply discouraged... To shorten years of agony into one
sigh of relief, I was given the opportunity to bail & I did. I have my sanity
back, have written off the years of effort as a painful lesson learned
about relying on others [& learning about their deficiencies].
You really SHOULD assess your own resources & willingness.
Yes, we're all endowed with an infinite reservoir of creative intelligence,
BUT that doesn't mean it makes sense to waste effort, time & hence
missed opportunities when closer scrutiny may reveal it's time to
reorder priorities ... like make self-reliance & self-maintenance your
I'd say love your self & your needs first & foremost, THEN see what,
if any, of the other rationally delineated scenarios make good sense
to pursue. I won't say I'm fulfilled, but I am independent and can make
choices better based on what serves me, my needs, my life, my family.
Putting the company first for years was a BIG mistake I won't ever make
again. It's worse than a gamble, it's a distortion and hence a true
misperception of reality.
Al Rubottom /\ alrub -at- inetworld -dot- net
tel: 619.292.9998 /\ fax: 619.541.2260
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