Forrest Blount

Bootstrapping in the Boston Metro

Less Money, Less Problems?

I sat down four weeks ago to get back into blogging and I’m just now managing to wrap this up. I know there’s no way around sounding naive and inexperienced when I say it, but I haven’t worked this hard in years.

It feels wonderful.

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I’m setting out on a new adventure today, hijacking this blog and taking it with me. Up to this point I’ve been writing about the perils and pitfalls of hiring as I researched and built a new tool to help match potential employees and employers based on a “culture profile.” This was all brought to an end roughly five months ago when Google’s acquisition of ITA Software closed. Instead of jumping ship post acquisition, I decided to stay on and see what life in Google was really like and whether I would be swept up in a froth of technology and innovation.

After 5 months, it was safe to say that my situation wasn’t… well, frothy enough.

I’d been working for ITA Software for nearly 5 years, ITA Software by Google for nearly 5 months, had a flexible schedule, great co-workers, autonomy in my work, etc, etc– by almost every metric I could think of, my life had improved so dramatically over the last 5 years that I should be ecstatic. But I wasn’t.

What did I want? What would it take to be excited about my work? I read this article and decided to follow the exercise. Here’s what matters to me:

  • Learning. I absolutely love learning new things and figuring out new approaches to problems. I need to have a job that involves learning new things regularly and not just rehashing the same process/skills time and time again.
  • Dynamic projects. One of the best parts of my time at ITA was the shear number of roles I got to play.
  • Reach. Work that matters. To lots of people. Work that will change people’s lives for the better.

With this knowledge in hand I started exploring my options. In April, I made a checklist of all the reasons Hire Measure wasn’t ready for my full time commitment and Co-Founders were at the top. Looking at startups to join, I was a looking for a team I could see myself working with for years and an idea with big potential. When I was put in touch with the team at Acceptional I got excited, and it’s not hard to see why: 

Team: The team behind Acceptional is first rate. Whatever happens with the business, this is a team that I will learn from, grow with and I’m confident we’ll achieve great things together.

Mission: Acceptional wants to level the playing field for college admissions. Today you can spend $1-5k on counselors, advisors and test prep to get you child through the admissions process. Many of those who can afford to are comfortable spending this money, because they view college as an investment so an additional $5k (when compared to $200k+ over 4 years of tuition) is a no brainer. For everyone who doesn’t have an additional $5k sitting around or aren’t sure about their college prospects (and certainly aren’t ready to think about $200k in tuition over four years), good news – We’re building the tools that will take you through this process as quickly, easily and most importantly, affordably as possible.

Four weeks in I can safely say that while the inverse of the common saying “More money, more problems” isn’t true, I can say I have more energy, focus, confidence (and yes more work too) than I have in years. I feel rejuvenated. I feel younger. I feel like I should have done this a long time ago.

Check out our current site at Acceptional.com– I’d love to hear your thoughts on the site. We’re right around the corner from admissions season so every bit counts.

 

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