Ten Years Ago

July 14, 2011

I was asked to speak to the Trade Me Commercial team off-site this morning. There are now 35 people in this team – more than in the entire company in 2004, when the commercial team was MOD.

So, please excuse the reminiscent mood…

Ten years ago this week I left New Zealand to live in London.

I had recently sold my startup to Trade Me in return for stock. Trade Me was valued at about $1m in that deal. Shortly after that shareholders were asked to provide loans to keep the company afloat while we waited for the recently introduced success fees to start to cover costs.

I had mixed feelings about leaving. I’d spent a pretty full-on couple of years at Trade Me and was pretty proud of what I’d helped to create. But I was a little jaded too and ready for something new.

I was also just married.

I had organised a sponsored work permit to get into the UK, and can only imagine how that must have looked to the person processing our visa applications.

We had no idea…

We were up for an adventure, but within a couple of months we’d be struggling to find new work post 9/11 and wondering what the hell we’d gotten ourselves into. Partly in an effort to deal with the stress of that situation, I started running.

As it turned out Trade Me and impending parenthood would eventually entice us back, but we returned having fallen in love with London and with a new perspective courtesy of travel to some amazing parts of the world.

It seems like yesterday, until I think about everything that has happened between then and now at which point it seems like half a lifetime ago.