Home Journal The Box

The Box

by John

I’ve kept a box in my office for the last few years. On it is marked, “In Emergency, Open Box and Start Company”. I keep it there because I’ve been working for a startup and cashflow has been bumpy. Also I was (until recently) contractually prevented from starting something else – but that’s another story.

I’ve had the phone call more than a few times; “…we’re sorry we can’t make payroll this month”. Much of the last six months have been like this. They usually come through in the end but this happened often enough, that I started the box.

The box began life as an escape capsule; a collection of books, business cards and notes. Everything I might need to kickstart a new business. So every time I had the call and had to scramble around to pay the mortgage, I slept a little better knowing it was there.

Over time though, the box became more than just a safety net. It became a repository of interesting thoughts and possibilities: sketches, notebooks and scribbled Post-It notes. It has grown full of ideas, much of them exploring new kinds of temporal software.

So, it’s time for a change. I’m opening the box. After six years of running technology for a VC-backed, cloud-first, fully-remote company, I’m taking all of that experience and putting it into something new. Last week I rebooted my old studio, Phi Digital. We design, build and manage modern web applications on AWS. We’re bootstrapping so please let me know if that’s something you need! We’ll also be building out our own digital products and services. There’s a lot of interesting ideas in the box and I look forward to sharing them with you!

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