Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Laid Off

Yesterday i got laid off from Slacker, the first time in my career that i've been thrown off the ship rather than kept around to help it sink with dignity. It also marks the first time since college that both my wife and i are not employed.

I can't claim that i'll miss the job much-- i've been struggling for months to make something interesting out of what had basically become pointless data munging. But unlike all of my previous jobs, Slacker was the first place where i was interested in the product from a consumer standpoint. My G2 is really the first portable music device i've owned that makes any sense to me. Digital convergence might spell the end of Slacker as a hardware company, but i hope the service survives in some form, if only because it makes the long runs a bit less boring.

Whatever i do next, i hope it's more in the realm of building stuff. I never quite figured out how to turn measuring into creating. It's the same problem i've had with managing people i guess, in that no matter how hard i work i don't get any feeling of accomplishment. It's unlikely that i'll be working in music, and i'll miss that, though there were also times when i felt mildly soulless when attempting to make quantitative judgements about musical preferences. As i keep saying, so many of my own musical discoveries are made by accident that i'm skeptical of the entire business of automated recommendation. Or maybe i just want to believe that we're harder to figure out than some people think we are.

I'm supposed to be going through some sort of anger, denial, acceptance process after being laid off, but to be honest i'm pretty OK with it (or maybe i'm just in a prolonged denial phase). We are not in any sort of financial danger, and it's not proving to be the blow to my ego that i always feared it might be. It's not that i don't care, but rather that i don't really treat my job as an aspect of my self-worth anymore.


cat said...

That's crazy :( Sorry to hear this but I hope you find something new and awesome around the corner. :)

J said...

As they say, as one door closes another opens.

You've got too much skill not to find something interesting...though it might not be as fast as usual due to the worldwide situation at the moment.

The world is changing faster than ever, but I have this feeling that you are too.

I'll be sniffing around our company for you...