The AwkEng Quits His Day Job (And Starts a New Venture!)

Hi all,

My last day at Amazon was March 19th, 2021. I'm leaving to start a new venture.

After spending close to two year and a half years at Amazon, including working for two as a technical program manager, I can confidently say that most project management tools are terrible and I want to fix that.

Deep down, I don't think of myself as a program manager. When you peel back the layers, I still think of myself as an engineer, maker, product developer, entrepreneur, and problem solver. Technical program management just happened to be the thing that was necessary at the time to help my teams make stuff.

At the core, I think most project management tools fail because they get caught up in documenting a plan, i.e. who's doing what and when. In fast paced, ambiguous environments, most plans are out of date the day they're printed.

It's everything else outside those plan documentation tools though, that a project manager does to keep a team humming, and that's where I want to focus.

The closest analogy to what I want to do is probably Turbo Tax. Turbo Tax didn't eliminate CPAs or Tax Professionals, (and I don't think I'll fully eliminate project managers), but it did make it so more and more people could do their own taxes.

Likewise, I want more and more teams to have smooth running projects.

I have a lot more to share, but not for today. In the mean time, I'm incredibly excited to really dig into this problem space.

Yes, you can totally help!

Of course I need help. There's a lot to do.

  • Are you on a small hardware team? Would you like to join the wait list to become a beta tester? Let me know!

  • Are you a project manager or de facto project manager and willing to participate in a 30 min interview? Let me know!

  • I'm looking for founding team members. If you're several years out of school and hungry for a career opportunity as a Chief Technology Officer or Chief Experience Officer, (or know someone who is!) let me know!

best regards!
aka THE Awkward Engineer

p.s. I love quotes about planning. Here are a few:

"Failing to plan is planning to fail."

"Plans are worthless, but planning is priceless."

"No plan survives contact with the enemy."

"Any plan is better than no plan."

And my all time favorite from Mike Tyson, "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth".

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