Learning How to Pivot...Again


Matt Williams is a current student in the development track for the Startup Institute Boston Spring 13’ class.

I am a technologist.

I am a student.

I am an evangelist.

As I progress through life I learn as I go. But learning by life experience can only take you so far. A burst of education at various intervals is a great thing to do if you have the opportunity. And that’s where I am now. Today I am a student in the Startup Institute.

How did I get here? What made me think that now was the time. When I heard about the program I knew I had to follow it. I knew it was something I had to do to make my next pivot.

Not everyone has to make a pivot in their lives. But for me, changing things up has been important. If I had stayed in the role of Systems Administrator I wouldn’t have seen the world. If I had stayed in the role of Technical Writer or Analyst I wouldn’t have learned about peeling the onion. If I were still in the role of Product Manager I wouldn’t have learned by teaching. If I stayed at Microsoft, I wouldn’t have seen how a small company functions.

Every step of my career has been another learning experience and now in the Startup Institute I am learning a bit more intensively. Every day here involves finding out something new, either about startups or about myself.

Today I learned about techniques for fleshing out a product in the early stages, documenting pain points and figuring out what needs to be solved. In recent days I have learned from founders of startups new and old all over Boston, finding out why they started and what they learned along the way. And of course, being in the Developer track, I am learning about Ruby and Ruby on Rails.

Every day is a chance to learn something new, and the Boston Startup Institute simply intensifies that process. What is my next pivot going to look like? I have no idea, but Startup Institute is helping me learn how to get there. Follow me on Twitter (@technovangelist) to see how I do it.