Last night I had a dream in which I was running through the hallways of a school on the first day of school. I kept looking at my class schedule on my mobile phone and finding I'd double or triple or quadruple booked myself for classes every hour of the day. Why had I signed up for such a nonsensical class schedule? Every class I sat in on, my professor's loaded me up with assignments, all of which sounded quite formidable.
This was a new variant on a dream I used to have quite often, that iconic dream in which it's the last day of the quarter, you're running to a series of final exams, and you realize with a stomach-dropping panic that you haven't studied any of the subjects at all, not once the entire quarter. It's a dream that tends to pop up when you're feeling unprepared for something in real life, and thankfully it's been a long time since I've had it.
[Incidentally, I find it amazing how many people share that dream, and it says something fascinating about how our nightmares are shaped and drawn from our real world experiences. What does it mean that some people have nightmares about their teeth falling out or walking around naked while others, like myself, always end up in that school hallway, with no idea where our locker is, where the classroom is, or how it was possible we'd signed up for a course and been so reckless and negligent as to not crack open the textbook once the entire quarter?]
This dream last night came with a different feeling, one of excitement and an impatience to get traction, or the feeling of forward progress. As soon as I woke up and the physical universe poured in and usurped my consciousness, it all made sense. I was starting a new job today.
At Amazon, Jeff Bezos used to say it was still Day One all the time, across all seven years I was there. I don't know if he still says it, but in many parts of their business I'm sure he still believe it (I think on some parts of their business they're on Day Two, but it's not quite as catchy, is it?). Today was literally Day One for me at Flipboard, where I joined as the head of product.
It feels like early on Day One for Flipboard, and that's so much of what excites me. It reminds me of joining Amazon in 1997, when Amazon was a domestic online bookseller, just before it began to extend its mission to other product lines and other parts of the world. Flipboard has done so much already, and yet most of its potential still lies in the future, and I'm sure that's how so many at Amazon still feel even today. Perhaps it's a function of being in the technology industry, where it always feels like Day One in the world at large, everything set at a level best thought of as "the worst this will ever be from this day forward."
What Flipboard wants to do in many areas matches a lot of my personal interests, a lot of projects brewing in the back of my head are ones that are already being worked on at Flipboard or that would fit in with their larger mission, and so the decision ultimately was an easy one.
It did feel like the first day of school today. The first day at a very gifted school, with lots of exceedingly bright and friendly people, and really nifty school supplies (the retina display on this Macbook Pro, I mean I can't even...). It's an honor to be one of their classmates.