Saturday, June 16, 2007

How to get there

I remain inspired by the backstory of Lucasfilm. Not so much George Lucas, but the story of the dreamers (the graphics group, the games group) who built a digital revolution with Lucas' funding. What I'm trying to do is quite different, and yet, there are some similarities. I probably have much more in common with those programmers than with George. But then, I'm not quite like them either. This is my path, not one that's been forged before. There is a part of me ready to just go off in my own direction.

Rocket and I, considering our options, realize that one choice, say to move back to Mountain City, where she can continue to work (or for that matter, moving anywhere that isn't motivated by my having landed a t-t job) would be tantamount to my shirking off a career in academia (at least for the next 3-5 years). That's a choice, though, not circumstance. We've got a family. I don't want to keep moving every year or two. So, the next move is one we anticipate to stick with for that 3-5 year term.

For some of you, that might seem a ridiculously short period of time. But know this: I've never lived anywhere in my life for 5 years at a run! In 39 years, I have moved (best I can count) 25 times. Just when the garden gets good, I up and transplant.

I'm feeling that perhaps if an appropriate post doesn't present itself to me this season, I may just be ready to give up that option for a few years. So, while I'm dreaming... what do we want and what do we need? See, it strikes me that most of what we need is a simple little thing called money. The question is, how much?

Let's say I want three years of funding for my projects. Three years of salary and expenses for me, and enough to hire on the team I'll need to help transform my ideas into something tangible. I think that's realistic.

I want Rocket to have choices in her career. That means we need to live somewhere she can work in her chosen field, ideally with a short commute (or the ability to telecommute). I want us to have enough money to buy a house again, with a big enough yard for playing with the boys, a tree-swing, and a garden.

The amount of money is somewhat dependent upon where we live, and what the housing market looks like. I'll need to figure how many I'll need on that team, and what sorts of salaries they might expect. I'll have to calculate some reasonable expectations for expenses: computer equipment, office space, supplies, travel. I'll need to work myself into an understanding of the machinations of a start-up business (health insurance, retirement benefits, stock options?).

Once I've got a sense, down on paper, we're ready to dream, and turn those dreams into plans. Where do we want to live? Once I know how much we'll need, I simply have to figure out how to obtain it; then find a house, and an office, and start pulling together that team. It sounds so simple when I lay it out. I kind of like it.

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