Do I Miss The Tech Stuff?18 Jul 2008
While chatting via email with Shelley, one of my favorite bloggers, she asked first about the business and then about me...
"Do you ever miss the tech stuff?"
Well, um, yes, er, sometimes, oh, maybe... I do miss being an expert. I was very good at managing networks, and was very good explaining and using my expertise with others. I understand maybe 30% (at best) of the restaurant business, and defer most of the time to Frauke's experience and the experience of those in our team.
I don't miss the conflicting expectations of those who design, sell and market tech applications and those who implement them. I spent a lot of my time playing HAL in 2001 ("I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that"), or at least explaining that things were a lot more difficult to implement than they seemed.
I do find the social aspects of helping to run a business much more fulfilling than anything I did in tech. Not that selling hamburgers is a social ideal (but then, neither was selling journals, banking systems, cars, or a dating service, like my various tech employers). But working with and getting to know 70 employees, and maybe helping some of them work out their problems or achieve more of their potential, whether by moving up with us or moving out to something better, that's extremely gratifying.
But you can't say that I'm completely out of tech. I do get to enter a lot of data in Excel. :-)