Dec 062010
 

More than six years ago, I graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Computer Science and took a job at IBM. Today is my last day. So where am I going next? Good question…

When I was twelve years old, I came home from school one day and decided I wanted to create a video game. I found an application on our home computer called QBASIC and discovered that I could use it to program my game. After a few hours of looking at the built-in help file and scouring the list of commands, I had my first program. Over the next few years, I had an insatiable desire to create. I programmed everything from a 3D basketball shoot-out game to a utility that allowed you to copy large files using multiple floppy disks. I even created my own version of Microsoft Windows (minus the actual operating system) complete with a start menu, control panel, built-in screensavers, and the ability to install other applications.

At this point you should be picturing a little Indian boy with nerdy glasses and a fuzzy mustache. Yes – there was something that kept me glued to that computer. It wasn’t simply the satisfaction of being able to program; it was the opportunity to figure things out and turn ideas into reality. And somehow, over the years, I’ve lost touch with that.

Now don’t get me wrong: These past 6 years of working at IBM were extremely valuable. Working at a large company provided me with a tremendous amount of experience in terms of collaborating with a variety of teams and delivering complex software. I worked on a number of interesting projects and I am very proud of what I accomplished there. I also continue to have an enormous amount of respect and admiration for IBM as a company. That said, I always knew that I was not doing what I really wanted to be doing. I didn’t feel like I was exercising my full potential. And I constantly felt like I was waiting for something big to happen.

So back to the original question. Where am I going next? The answer is nowhere. I am going to start my own software company.

I can’t tell you exactly what my company is going to do because I don’t know yet. Like that 12-year-old kid, I just need to figure it out. Instead of geeky little games and utilities, though, I’m going to search for a real problem and solve it. Don’t expect the next Google or Facebook, or anything remotely close. I just want to create software that has a positive effect on peoples’ lives.

As you can imagine, the decision to leave my job was difficult. I must thank my wife, Varsha, for two reasons: 1) Being incredible in general, 2) Being incredibly supportive. The night before I announced my decision to leave IBM, I asked her if what I am doing is crazy. Her response:

“Yes, but it’s the crazy people who change the world.”

So here I am with the opportunity of a lifetime. To get back to what I love doing. To take control of my own destiny. And to change the world – even if only in some small and immeasurable way.

Wish me luck!

  49 Responses to “Call me crazy. I just quit my job.”

  1. New blog post: Call me crazy. I just quit my job. http://bit.ly/elGQzp

    This comment was originally posted onTwitter

  2. Best of luck to you!

  3. Congratulations! Nothing but win: RT @anilchawla: New blog post: Call me crazy. I just quit my job. http://bit.ly/elGQzp

    This comment was originally posted onTwitter

  4. Good luck Anil…. really admire the courage you have to take that step where we all get stuck at. I am sure whatever you do it will work out well ! Happy coding ! :)

    • @Payal – I appreciate it! I’m glad I ran into you earlier this morning. I apologize because I was in a rush, but we should definitely get together sometime.

  5. Woohoo! Good luck.

  6. Awesome! Good luck to you with your company. I wish I can do that!

  7. Congrats! RT @anilchawla: New blog post: Call me crazy. I just quit my job. http://bit.ly/elGQzp

    This comment was originally posted onTwitter

  8. Congratulations and good luck !

  9. Congrats and good luck! Rooting for you. RT @anilchawla: New blog-Call me crazy. I just quit my job. http://bit.ly/elGQzp

    This comment was originally posted onTwitter

  10. BEst of luck, man! I can’t wait to see what comes of this. Be sure to swing on the by the Argyle offices, you’re always welcome :)

  11. Congrats! Go build something great. RT @anilchawla New blog post: Call me crazy. I just quit my job. http://bit.ly/elGQzp

    This comment was originally posted onTwitter

  12. SO proud of my geek! :-) RT @anilchawla: New blog post: Call me crazy. I just quit my job. http://bit.ly/elGQzp

    This comment was originally posted onTwitter

  13. Go be extraordinary! RT @anilchawla: New blog post: Call me crazy. I just quit my job. http://bit.ly/elGQzp

    This comment was originally posted onTwitter

  14. That is fantastic! Good luck! RT @anilchawla: New blog post: Call me crazy. I just quit my job. http://bit.ly/elGQzp

    This comment was originally posted onTwitter

  15. Good luck!

    Make smart, data driven choices and you’ll be just fine.

  16. “@anilchawla: New blog post: Call me crazy. I just quit my job. http://bit.ly/elGQzp”

    This comment was originally posted onTwitter

  17. Congrats!!! And Varsha has sage knowledge: “Yes, but it’s the crazy people who change the world.” <-love it.

  18. Way to go Anil!!! so proud of you. Life is too short not to go crazy :) Keep us updated on your next move

  19. Best of luck in your new venture! Maybe we’ve started a crazy trend here in Raleigh, eh?

  20. Call me crazy. I just quit my job. http://t.co/fmMvZ6M via @anilchawla

    This comment was originally posted onTwitter

  21. Congrats! RT @anilchawla New blog post: Call me crazy. I just quit my job. http://bit.ly/elGQzp

    This comment was originally posted onTwitter

  22. Congrats Anil, takes a lot of courage to step into the unknown. Good Luck in the future, no matter what, the experience will make you a better person in the long run.

  23. Goodluck brother in law, go for it…awesome

  24. @rtchawla Yes, I did. Details here: http://bit.ly/elGQzp

    This comment was originally posted onTwitter

  25. Good Luck Anil! I look forward to reading updates in your blog.

  26. Damn!! Its a BIG decision, but I hope you become the next Mr. Gates!!

    God Bless, bro!!

  27. Good Luck Anil!
    Be Happy, Be great!

  28. Anil & Varsha–

    Wow, that’s a big step. It’s great to see someone actually taking it.

    Anil, it’s very cool to hear that you want to pursue what you care about. It’s a process, for sure, to find “it,” but when you do, there’s no going back. And Varsha, it’s awesome that you’re supporting Anil! That’s special.

    I recommend Linchpin by Seth Godin, if you haven’t read it yet.

    Dipika

  29. Good for you! Like Marcie, your wife’s quote stuck out at me. I’m all about changing the world, making a difference. Go be that difference, Man. You CAN do it! Best wishes to you both! :)

  30. BIG Props & many congrats to @anilchawala for taking a HUGE leap & to his wife for supporting it.: http://ow.ly/3m1dc

    This comment was originally posted onTwitter

  31. BIG Props & many congrats to @anilchawla for taking a HUGE leap & to his wife for supporting it.: http://ow.ly/3m1ip

    This comment was originally posted onTwitter

  32. Good Luck, and props for having the guts and drive to follow your dream!

  33. That’s great. I solute you for having the courage to live the life you want. And you’re very fortunate (as you know) for having a supportive spouse. There’s no doing something this big without that. Hooray!

    • @Christine @Lisa Absolutely. Varsha is not only supporting *me* but she really is taking the journey with me. She has been my advisor for many years and I will be depending on her even more as I move ahead.

  34. Life #Hustle > Corporate Work RT @anilchawla: New blog post: Call me crazy. I just quit my job. http://bit.ly/elGQzp

    This comment was originally posted onTwitter

  35. Wow. That’s awesome!
    Follow your Passion!

  36. I’m crazy too b/c I did the same.
    I kinda think Billy Joel understands me http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jo9t5XK0FhA

  37. I think your blog needs some fresh posts. Writing manually takes a lot
    of time, but there is tool for this boring task, search for;
    Ssundee advices unlimited content for any blog

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