Greg Chang: The Plunge
Note: If you want to follow my exploits as they happen, then follow me on Twitter (@changg) for real-time updates on the startup through the hashtag #theplunge.
My cofounder, friend, and roommate Sameer bursts out in laughter as I get up from my chair and let out a nervous yell. I pace out of our home office into my bedroom that’s separated only by a pair of pocket doors that have been propped open for the past week, rush back out the other door that leads into the hallway, and then nervously shuffle back into our home office through a third door in a small, frenetic circle. The two of us have been friends for nearly ten years and I don’t know if he’s ever seen me this nervous. In fact, until we started this company, I didn’t really get nervous anymore period. Admittedly, yes, moments before a big presentation I would get a rush of adrenaline and my heart rate would elevate slightly. But over the years, I had trained myself to embrace those sensations and convinced myself that emotions were really counterproductive. Instead of focusing on the moment, I had learned to hone in on the tasks that would make or break my success.
But since starting forMD, those years of training and discipline evaporated and I had to train myself all over again. I remember the first phone meeting I had with a potential investor. We got the meeting through a very warm introduction and as such the firm seemed pretty interested. But leading up to the call something seemed very different. The experience was almost surreal. I leafed through pages of PowerPoint slides obsessing about every single word, rehearsing my talking points sitting in front of my computer muttering like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man. When we got on the call I took the lead and was so nervous that one of my cofounders had to write on a blank piece of printer paper, telling me to slow down and calm down. (more…)
Friday, Aug. 10 is a date that I can’t wait for. But it also scares the living you-know-what out of me. Recently, I told my supervisors that I’ll be leaving my job as a health care administrator at one of the country’s top medical centers. But I’m not leaving to take a promotion at a similar institution or a gig at a consultancy. Instead, I’ll be working full-time with some amazing people in a pre-revenue, pre-funding technology startup that I co-founded called forMD. For those for whom the phrases “pre-revenue” and “pre-funding” don’t make it painfully obvious, my immediate future will be characterized by ramen, cold pizza, sleepless nights, and single-ply toilet paper. To most it sounds like a foolishly self-inflicted plight, but to me, it sounds downright romantic. And I’m going to have more fun that I’ve ever had doing it.