Sunday, August 07, 2005

Am I working now?

It was always an easy question to answer when I worked for someone else; I was never in any doubt whatsoever about whether what I was doing at a given moment in time was 'working'.

Now that I work for myself in a startup, that question is often much harder to answer. There are aspects of the work I do between 9 and 5 that are so much fun they shouldn't be called work and I can on occasion be found doing the accounts at 11pm (or, memorably hacking around with Knoppix doing some disaster recovery for a client scared of losing everything at 1.30am) when I should be winding down. It's hard to say whether it's work - I'm certainly free to be doing something else at that moment in time (and no-one - not even Duncan would think any the less of me).

What business can learn from open source

This dilemma is (for me) the crux of the point Paul Graham is making in his latest article What business can learn from open source. I feel that it's summed up perfectly in what I'm doing right this moment. I'm sat in my living room in shorts typing a blog entry on a Sunday morning with a cup of coffee beside me. There are all kinds of good business reasons for having this blog, but am I working at the moment? I'm not sure - and that's what makes what we're doing so powerful.

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