Fired by a startup at age 24. What now?

This Tuesday, an executive of my employer stood in our bland conference room and told everyone to go home. He cried briefly while wearing an awkward black sweater. We’d run out of money. The board no longer believed in our team, and our previous investors hung us out to dry in Chandler’s increasingly oppressive heat. We are part of the 90% of startups that fail.

Photos of autonomous vehicle production on my former employer's factory floor.

The meeting was short on detail. What would happen to customers who possess our expensive, sometimes dangerous “self-driving” vehicles? No comment from those tasked with shepherding us into unemployment.

Youth lends me a privilege in the group of newly lost sheep. Time allows humans to accrue mortgages and dependents. Neither of which is your friend when you have no income. As of today, I have no lease (for car or apartment), no partner, no pet, no pre-existing health complications, and no student debt.

Waking up today, I realize that I don’t have to be anyone, anywhere, or focused on anything. Not only is the work gone, but so are the slight variations of my behavior in “work settings.” The mask is no more.

For the first time in my life, I wrote all the variations of who I could be immediately given my financial situation: farmer, writer, marketer, stoner, beach bum, ski bum, student, entrepreneur, or hostel resident. Each day could be a jumping-off point. Pragmatism doesn’t have to dictate my decision-making.

I’m still figuring out what to do. More than 48 hours to think should lend some perspective. Being someone’s employee isn’t a priority. Maybe I’ll never be employed again. I guess I’ll write every day about a random subject from a detached version of my own experience. It’ll reflect on a variety of topics and areas of interest.

I acknowledge that the above content is detached from the harshness of adult, complex lives being thrown into chaos.

My thoughts are with them. The demands that technology companies place on global resources need to be addressed. Human employees deserve better working conditions in almost every industry.



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