Call me crazy. I just quit my job.

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!

48 thoughts on “Call me crazy. I just quit my job.”

  1. 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 ! πŸ™‚

    • @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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.


  4. 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! πŸ™‚

  5. 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.


Leave a Comment