Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hard to be humble

Busy busy. I'm losing interest in waiting for bad news. It begins to seem that bad news would be a grain of salt in a glass of iced tea. Who'd notice?

I attended part of [ARIC 2009] earlier in the week. Interesting how much of the work of attending a conference takes place outside the events of the conference. The sessions I did attend (and the conversations I had incidental to them) furthered my belief that nobody is doing what I am.

Monday, I had a nice sit down at the conference with the agency project lead of my ongoing effort. I got the distinct impression that she's on my team, so to speak. She validated from her standpoint that the technology I'm developing is unique. She confessed that all of the other proposals were pretty much the same. I asked about the decision to fund two firms at the second stage rather than just one; she confirmed my suspicion that it was motivated by an interest to fund my R&D, which they deem quite promising and potentially transformative, but also to hedge their bets by supporting the current state of the art in the field. Perfectly reasonable. Now, I just have to deliver.

Then, on my way back, I got an email on my phone at the airport, notifying me that the evaluation process had been completed on one my other outstanding proposals, for a new stage one effort I've called [Compression]. Finally, I get some closure. The email directed me to visit their website and log on to check the status. Aaarrgh! I didn't think logging into a secure website on my phone (even if I could) would be advisable, so it had to wait until I got home four hours later. I logged onto the site, followed the path noted, and read the word in the status column: selected.

Um... what? I was speechless. All I could do was call my wife's name, and point to the screen. That's a second project, loosely related to the first (buliding on one of the incidental byproducts, in an entirely novel direction). I had thought it a long shot. But I was encouraged by the topic author to propose something after we talked on the phone for 10 or 15 minutes. Again, the first stage of funding is for a proof-of-concept. If that succeeds, there's another two year contract waiting for full-blown R&D.

But I still haven't made any new hires, though now I might consider hiring four rather than three. I'll likely be starting this second effort concurrently with the first, on my own, before I bring anyone else on board. Wow!

In other news, we had the building inspection today. No surprises. Everything is looking up.


Lilian said...

WOW! Just WOW! Congratulations and... full steam ahead!!

What Now? said...

What good news -- congratulations!