A Web Entrepreneur’s Journey

I stand on the edge as it pulls me in.

I am young, naive and inexperienced. I am in the midst of internal struggle ignoring an external global revolution. Why do I continue to stand on the sidelines as technologists re-craft the world around me? Why am I not making a difference?

I am not intimidated, I am inspired. Failure is not real. I have bared witness to the downfall of virtual giants, yet all I can see is the perpetual light of a successful few. The light drives me.

All my life, I have known that I want to start an tech company. My desire is more appropriately described as an obsession rather than a dream. Its a truth that has not yet come into fruition. It’s a thought that is always hijacking my mind. Indirectly, even in ways I don’t fully understand, it controls me. It drives me. It drives me in the sense that I am a passenger, only able to influence my life’s path, not direct it.

I watch with child-like curiosity as the web simultaneously incubates mankind’s best, worst and most pure outlets. Its art, its beautiful, it frightening, It is as close to communicating directly mind to mind as humans have ever come. Physical Appearance, Age, Location, Religion, Ethnicity, all suddenly are irrelevant.

Upon this alien stage I prepare myself for my mission.

I think I know what I am doing. I confidently plan and study. I read the tech news. I watch the tech movies. I read the tech books to grow the tech state of mind. I run full speed as I study the blinding successes of tech leaders until one day, I realize that I know more about them than I do about the politicians that govern me. Still, I go on.

I teach myself how to code. I realize I taught myself bad habits and reteach myself what I thought I knew. I make scarifies to my body, friends and family. But eventually, after many years, I make breakthroughs.

I now have the skills, but do I have the self discipline? Mentally, am I in the right place? My ambitions are paradoxical. I am nagged by the inherit human flaw of greed yet my intentions and heart are virtuous and charitable.

One day it hits me. I have a legitimate chance. I am a small part of an enormous virtual world that supports me. A world that infallibly continues to shine. Can I harness this power? Do I even understand this power? Does anyone understand the power? We the members of this online world, bond because we are unsure. It is virtual but it is as natural as human faults.

So here I am, ready to take the plunge. Will this be like the half cooked websites that I have built before? Will my brainchild go viral? Will I create the Internet’s second killer app? What if I can’t scale? Will I even need to scale? I look over my plan for the thousandth time.

I know along with everyone else that everything I know is a fleeting perspective. A moment of genius that is quickly falling away.

I look over the edge. I see the familiar lights of the tech titans before me.

Yet this time something is different. The lights aren’t in focus. My perspective is skewed. I realize that like a giant mirror, the leaders I have idolized aren’t the source of the light, they are merely a reflection of something much brighter.

I step back and look again. There is no edge, no plunge, no fall. The secret has been within me all along. I dove in head first long ago.

The light isn’t a destination, its an action. Any action. What I want most in my life is not to have created something world changing, it is to be CREATING something, anything at all. I am doing, and I realize for the first time that I am already more fulfilled in my life than I ever could have imagined.

Obviously, I am trying out something new for this post. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Great post :) Good luck in your journey, so far it looks great!

    Greetings from Mendoza, Argentina :)

  • Blake McBride

    Good stuff Danny boy!!! It’s great reading your experiences and passion for this thing called life. Keep doin your thing bro

    • Hope all is well for you too man. It sounds like you have been building some huge forward momentum. Its great to watch via facebook!

  • Great post Danny! For the most part I’ve read and watched many of your Whiteboard Friday videos while you were over at SEOmoz.org, sot his post is quite a shift from what I’ve read of yours. I am a strong believer that life will give you what you’re willing to fight for. Happy to see your book is now on the shelf, and good luck to you and your tech venture!

  • Such insight from one so young. And then I remember that three years ago you were even three years younger when you started at SEOmoz (how’s that for stating the obvious?) How is it that I at 54 years of age, nod my head and mutter to myself, “…yes Danny, exactly…” at point after point. You have substance, humility and thought provoking comments now at this almost impossibly young age. Imagine what you’ll be able to contribute over 30 more years! I plan to be around so maybe we can grab a beer a few times in between , I would love to watch your progress!

    Tom

    • I appreciate it Tom :-) I like to think I will only get more knowledge from here on out.

      Time will tell!

    • And let me know about that beer!

  • This was an Interesting article and I am looking forward to reading the book. Good to hear that you are enjoying your life.

    • Let me know what you think of the book! I love feedback.

  • I love it when I find someone who is living the life of realizing that, this is all but a shape shifting creation that only we can make the rules for our own happiness. My focus in life is to have good food, good shelter and good love. We all want something in life but we tend to want to compete for it, as competition means yours one day someone else s the next. So I live in the creation process and I work on that every day. Perfect in my own way. Not comparing myself to others. The limits that were created since childhood are being recreated with unlimited potential and I smile every morning knowing I know nothing but how I feel. Thank you for your inspiration.

    • It sounds like you and I are on a very similar page. Do you have a blog? If not, why not?

  • Mark Rudholm

    “All you need is ignorance and confidence and the success is sure.” –Mark Twain

  • Hey Danny,

    Great post. This one really resonated with me; I feel like we’re looking for similar things in life, although you may be slightly further down the path to finding them. Keep up the great work, it’s inspiring to read about your adventures and thoughts.

    • If I am further ahead, it means you can learn from my mistakes :-) Best of luck!

  • Danny!

    Great to see where you are at I have had my head down with my own path that I am now looking back at where some class mates are and it is truly inspiring to see!!! Call me when you get a moment I would love to catch up and get your advice on the start up I am building http://www.cityvoice.com

    425 577 2764 (I couldn’t give up the local number)

  • Good luck in your journey Danny. I hope that you go well off by the vertical limits!

  • Great post Danny! For the most part I’ve read and watched many of your Whiteboard Friday videos while you were over at SEOmoz, so this post is quite a shift from what I’ve read of yours. I am a strong believer that life will give you what you’re willing to fight for. Happy to see your book is now on the shelf, and good luck to you and your tech venture!

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