Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Yours truly just received word that I've been selected for a regional "cool" award for starting a new and innovative business. Awards dinner, local/regional recognition, and a couple grand in cold hard cash. Pretty cool!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Nearly two weeks down as boss. I'm really enjoying having a fuller staff (and especially knowing that I just may add another one or two employees before the end of the year). It feels so good to be creating jobs, and seeing my employees motivated and inspired by the work.

I'm getting more settled into delegating tasks, and welcoming the benefits and delights of bringing out the talents of others. I've been marinated in administrivia for what seems like the past year, getting ready for these two contracts. And now, they are upon me.

There's still a transition going on. But I'm getting back into the research more and more, which is such a delight! I realize, as I train and explain, that there is a reason I'm in charge.

I didn't go about it the traditional way. I seemed patently incapable of landing a tenure-track faculty post. Yet, today, I've got my grad students and post-docs. I've got cutting edge, challenging, and extraordinarily rewarding research. And I've got what looks to be two to three years of stability.

What an absolute joy to be here!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Very Real

Yesterday, along with welcoming my new crew, I received the draft contract for my big two-year second-stage contract. Seeing it all in writing makes it very real indeed. Day two down. I think I'm getting to like this.

I hadn't written about it before, but my meeting last week with the agency technical lead on my little contract went well. Well enough that, though it's quite a challenge that's been laid down, I think there's a real chance we could turn that into a second-stage contract as well, which would mean another 2-1/2 years on that project as well. Only time will tell. But I'm willing to give it my best effort.

Only two firms were chosen for the first stage, which means (while it's not guaranteed that a second part will be funded) the chances after recieving a first stage award are very good. They only initiate a project if they expect to fund at least one effort to second stage.

And more possible projects keep presenting themselves. As my friend B* recently commented on this blog, "success with current R&D funding makes it more likely" to gain future funding. Sounds good to me.

Survived Day One as Boss

Yesterday, I welcomed my two new full-time employees. The office was full: with five employees of the firm that started with me in a little room by myself, about three and half years ago. Now my office is more than ten times the space, and I have four employees: two part-time; and now two full-time. It's a fine line to walk between being a friend, and a mentor, and a boss.

One day down: still training and settling. The challenge begins over the next few days, weeks, and months. I'm confident, and excited.