As of 1st of January 2019, I am taking action on the decision to accelerate the progress towards my vision of creating a positive impact upon the world through the world of startups by leaving Amazon after working 2 years and 4 months as a Software Engineer.
I have to start by saying: “Thank you, Amazon“. I came to Amazon to learn how can you manage a startup after it grows so big and you have offered me not only a few answers and perspectives on this, but also a home full of smart and incredible people. I had high hopes before joining the company, but I would never imagine that I would learn and change so much.
Why is this decision hard?
Amazon gave me the opportunity to enrich my perspective in multiple areas of my life. I can go as far as to say that, although I liked the person that I was 2 year ago, I don’t recognise that variant anymore. I am an improved version that came after I discerned what concepts would help me from the smart people that I met each day, traveling in multiple countries, speaking with people from multiple types of cultures and social classes. Sometimes I did not want to go to vacation as I was learning so much while being around these people, the opportunity cost of leaving them was not worth it enough to go travel to new places, which is one of my passions.
Do you really need to leave Amazon?
Although it helped me so much and is the company that I relate with the most, I am willing to let go to the top 2 biggest company in the world and all of the benefits that come with it, especially in my field of Software Engineering, in order to pursue my dreams.
Staying at Amazon will help me grow each day, but with the knowledge and updated plan that I have now, I can accelerate my progress if I spend the daily extra 8 hours of mental energy and effort towards my vision instead of Amazon, where only 20-30% of the activities are drastically getting me closer to my vision. In my plan, 100% of my actions are moving the needle in relationship with my vision, and I have the tools to make sure that it will move it in the right direction.
I am learning each and every single new day and I will certainly learn forever in this company, but until when? I need to draw a line and take a leap of faith in what I want to do with the knowledge that I have now.
Staying at Amazon means that I will like it more and more here, I will get promoted again and again, change teams in different cities that I would like to live around the world and maybe create a legacy here. But my real hunger and fire is to create my own company that will positively impact the world, and by staying at Amazon I’m just deferring that action and it will make it really hard for me to say “goodbye” to Amazon after all of the great potential progress made inside the company.
On top of all of that, include the possibility of a family, which will mean that a strong decision like this will put multiple people at risk of losing everything, not just myself.
I recently turned 24 years and the greatest moment for me to take this leap of faith is as soon as possible, that moment is now. If I lose absolutely everything that I have, I will be the only one affected, and I am willing to take that risk.
Do you have a backup plan?
I am lucky enough to be in the top domain of our times, and if this doesn’t work out, I can always come back at Amazon or a different big company or help other startups. I will have even more experience than I have in this moment, since I am dedicating my full time towards the world of startups and improving my engineering skills by building products while being on top of the newest technologies in order to see what they bring to the table.
This basically means that even if I succeed with my startup or fail, the outcome will be better than staying, as I will have stronger and more diverse knowledge with a thicker skin developed by the failures that I will feel first hand instead of having a huge corporation in my back where a loss of a few millions of dollars is nothing.
But the backup plan is not even in discussions for me, I am making the decision to leave the company that other people would do anything to enter so that I can give all I have to create an impact in the world.
Do I have what it takes?
I believe everyone that lives in a free country has everything they need to succeed in our times. I gained an incredible perspective during my time at Amazon and by traveling to 3 different continents, which adds indefinitely more value since the last time I tried to make a startup from the age of 18 to 20 years old. Despite this, I am willing to accept that I still don’t know, and probably will never know everything or have the “best” mentality, perspective or decision making process, but because I see this ongoing process as an asymptote, I am committed to challenge and improve it every time I am using it and get as close as I can to the “best” decision making process and mindset, because that will not only help me, but also the people that I will touch in my journey and trough my products.
What are the chances?
I have 0.0000000001% chances to succeed (the number just represents an infinitesimal number, is too small to actually calculate it), but if I stay at Amazon or another big company without ever making this step of creating the startup, the chances to succeed are 0. So even if the chances are almost non-existent, they are still bigger than 0, and I am willing to risk everything I have, including the company that I worked so hard to get in and the lifestyle that I created in Madrid, to take that chance.
What are the next steps?
The first months I will dedicate most of my time to research and take in consideration most of the possible angles from which I can create value in the world. After around 3 months, I should have the ideas and action plan narrowed down and focused on what I want to pursue.
While I am doing this, I can be anywhere that I want. For the first month I will live in Madrid and then travel across Europe to combine the perspective that a travel sabbatical brings with checking out the startup scene in every city and country. It is also important to me to see what lifestyle and perspective every city brings, as this will also help me decide in the future where in this world I may like to live long term, or if I even want to settle somewhere or just move to different cities every few years. So far, Madrid is the city where I would live long term from where I have been traveling so far, but I still have many other cultures to explore.
After I decide on a specific idea, I will go after investments and for a team of crazy people that believe that they can make a difference in the world.
I am also open to help other already-created startups from an engineering and business side, as this will not only help them, but also my experience level in the startup world.
Basically, the next 6-24 months will be a combination of what makes me feel alive the most: creating a startup and travel around the world with a specific purpose in mind.
The first step of leaving behind the incredible world of Amazon and start heading towards my vision, as seen in the picture above, has already been taken.
The tipping point
It may sound like I’m a typical “dreamer” by having this vision, but my vision is what bought me all of these achievements so far. So while people in general are busy labelling and generalising the generations or behaviours of others, I’m busy making the decisions that will take me closer to the vision that I have since I was just a kid, and I hope, that one day, this article will be read and seen as the tipping point of the impact that I will have on the world.
Note: everything that I write about Amazon is my own opinion and does not represent any official Amazon communication.