For years I've searched out descriptions of life in a software startups to see how "the other half lives". As many of you know, my entire professional career (going on 8 years) has been at Microsoft. More specifically I've worked in Microsoft Office, Microsoft Windows Server and Microsoft Windows Core. Those groups are probably the very anti-thesis of "software startup".
However, tonight, sitting here right now, I think I've finally had a taste of a phenomenon I've seen discussed by those that release their first "something" from their startup.
You see, right before you ship that "something" you've been pouring your heart and soul into, you are working at a frenzied pace. It is a race against the clock to get your work done before "time is up" and that that "something" goes out the door. If you did your homework right that frenzy is just a huge push to make sure everything works the way you know it does.
That's what all of today was for me. A big push to make sure that Windows Vista and Office 2007 could be purchased and installed from the Internet smoothly.
But it isn't the frenzied push that was a unique experience for me. What I'm actually talking about is the strange floating feeling that occurs after you push the button and that "something" is made available live. It is what I imagine stepping out into space feels like. Suddenly you are out there in the vacuum weightless waiting for the feedback from your users... waiting for what happens next.
Tonight, at approximately 9 PM PST (midnight eastern time) we pushed the button in Windows Marketplace and the Windows Vista and Office 2007 were out there live. In the next couple hours we'll start seeing the data come back in informing us how well these products are selling electronically. But, until then, we are all just hanging out waiting weightlessly.
This is so freakin' cool.