Nearly 8 months ago I met with a few software engineers working from some rented desks in San Francisco. They were the OUYA engineering team. We talked, they took me through their interview process. I also had a meeting with Julie Uhrman, after which I went from being a believer that it could happen to a believer that it would happen and there was a place on the team for me and I could help make it happen.
Two months later hundreds of developers got their development kits. Three months after that tens of thousands of kickstarter backers started getting their units. We’re now three months on and, on Tuesday, we’ll start seeing #OUYAs in physical stores.
It’s been a fascinating time. There have been tough decisions to make, and there have been tough times to work through, but it has been one of the most rewarding projects I’ve worked on in a long time.
No-one should ever think being part of a start-up is an easy ride, there will always be people who make you feel like you’re heading down the wrong path, and there’ll be people who’ll think you personally are the company and can’t disassociate your personal opinions as an individual from those of the company no matter how many times you state it’s your personal opinion. I’ve fallen foul of that on more than one occasion, and all it usually does is make you want to walk away from a community and not post again, which benefits nobody.
So where from here; Who knows. I joined OUYA to deliver some specific pieces of functionality, and ended up being involved in a lot more. There’s a lot still to be delivered, but the company has grown immensely since I joined and now has a whole bunch of talented technical people, and a decent amount of VC funding behind it.
I guess now it’s over to the public to see if they like what’s been created enough to put their hand in their pocket and buy the consoles and games on it, and hope that in the months and years to come those who believed in the idea and backed it on Kickstarter get some pleasure from knowing they did the right thing and that they were right when they thought the idea might be something big.
If you want the TL&DR; If you get opportunity to be involved in projects like this then I’d say take them. It’ll be hard work, it’ll sometimes feel like it’s not worth it, but in the end you’ll be better for it.