On joining Box
I left Yahoo a year and half ago in search of new challenges. I left to chase the dream of startup life with some friends while consulting to pay my bills. I had a lot of fun doing both, starting a new company completely from scratch and getting to work with some awesome companies as a consultant. The original plan was for me to do that for three months while we sought funding and then join the startup full time.
As so many startup founders know, the path to success consists of unexpected twists and turns, and rarely does anything go the way you plan. And so 18 months after I planned on consulting for 3 months, I was still consulting. The funding hadn’t materialized. It was time to for some soul searching.
Truth be told, though I had fun consulting, it left me feeling unfulfilled. I’ve always enjoyed working on products and never enjoyed hypothetical benchmarking or problem solving. I’ve always loved learning something really cool while working on a product and then sharing that information with the world. That’s what I enjoyed most about working at Yahoo, and I knew that was something I wanted again.
Also, I’ve discovered that my writing and speaking is incredibly important to me. These are more than just adjunct things I do from time to time, they are a vital driving force in my life. I love learning and I love teaching what I’ve learned to others.
Through a series of random interactions, I came to have a conversation with Sam Schillace at Box. If his name looks familiar, it’s because he was part of the team that created Writely (ultimately sold to Google and went on to become Google Docs). We had a really good initial conversation and then several followups.
As so often happens, once you know and like someone at a company, you start to consider working there. I did my due diligence and, after chatting a bit more with Sam, decided that Box would be a good fit.
There were a lot of things that attracted me to Box. First, it’s a small but not tiny company. Before Yahoo, I worked at several companies around this size and always felt that to be my sweet spot. I like working in a place where I can get to know everyone and have a big impact. Second, the company is growing like crazy, so there is a lot of interesting work to do.
But most of all, I’m excited about helping to define and grow a culture of front-end engineering excellence at Box. I’ll be working internally to make Box a hub of great front-end engineering practices and will continue to write and give talks (both related directly to Box and not).
I’m looking forward to this next step in my career and in working with a great group of engineers to make an already kickass product even better. In the short term, I may be a bit quieter than usual as I try to get up to speed at work, but long term you can still expect me to share my thoughts on a regular basis.
For now, I’ve got work to do.
Disclaimer: Any viewpoints and opinions expressed in this article are those of Nicholas C. Zakas and do not, in any way, reflect those of my employer, my colleagues, Wrox Publishing, O'Reilly Publishing, or anyone else. I speak only for myself, not for them.
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