CTO Podcast
CTO Podcast
Why It’s Okay Not to Finish with Evan Phoenix
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Why It’s Okay Not to Finish with Evan Phoenix

Have you ever found yourself working on a side project because you thought you had to and not because you wanted to? Our guest for this episode of CTO Studio has and he also found out why it’s okay not to finish that side project. Evan Phoenix is the lead engineer on the private Terraform enterprise  at Hashi Corp, and the Director of Ruby Central. He’s also been a CEO of a start up and regularly finds time to try out side gigs of his own. Today he tells us how he carves out the time for fun engineering projects and why sometimes it’s okay not to finish those side projects. You’ll hear from Evan on those topics and more on today’s CTO Studio. In this episode, you’ll hear: Is it okay to do something even if you think you are not the right person for the job? Why everything we do doesn't have to become a business. What is the "for market" challenge? Why does he prefer Go over Rust and C++? How to put the fun back in your side projects. And so much more!   We start off by talking about Evan's scariest childhood movie and how we met at a Ruby conference and became friends. Then we segue into talking about his current role at Hashi Corp: he is the lead engineer on the private Terraform enterprise. He came to that position via his previous start up, Vectra. Vectra eventually became a logging SaaS and Evan and his team worked to build it for 8 or 9 months before their financial runway was depleted. At that point, Evan had to figure out what to do next.  After struggling with the decision, Evan realized he didn't like being a CEO and so they decided to close Vectra. Along the way, he and his team had been talking to Hashi Corp about what they were doing. When Vectra closed Hashi Corp invited them to come over and work there. For Evan it was the best case scenario. He didn't like being a CEO, but he liked working on interesting problems and have some say in what he worked on. Hashi Corp is the perfect place that allows him to do both. I was curious when he first thought of being the founder of his own company, and why that interested him. Evan explains he wanted what he thinks every founder thinks they are getting when they start their own company: control to do whatever they want to do. They make all the decisions. If they don't want to do something then they don't do it, and vice versa. But the reality changes when the business involves more than just you or you and another person. If you take on investors you no longer have complete control. In Evan's case his family and friends invested in his business so not your typical investors, but he was still aware of risking other people's money. And that awareness changed and altered his own risk tolerance. So now he gets to enjoy his work at Hashi Corp and have fun projects on the side. He says he start a new project every couple of weeks and he does it for him. We go on to talk about engineering simply for the sake of enjoyment, before we discuss his time at Living Social and Splice. We also talk about how he manages his time as a family man with a wife and two daughters: when does he work on his personal projects? He tries to be kind to himself and he works on them when he has the time. In the past, he would've beaten himself up for not getting more done on something, but now he doesn't. Instead, he talks to his wife and tells her he wants to work on something. She tells him she wants to do her own thing and then they do their own thing in the evenings. On the weekends his daughters still have nap times so when they nap he works on his projects. But sometimes he uses those two hours to watch a TV show or do something - and he is now kind to himself about it and just does what he wants. If he wants to work on his project then he does; if he wants to watch Netflix then he does. We then ta See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

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CTO Podcast
CTO Podcast
CTO Podcast explores the worlds of Chief Technical officers as they manage the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of technologists in the C-suite. Hosted by Etienne de Bruin, founder of 7CTOs and author of CTO Excellence in 100 Days: Becoming the leader your company deserves.