After seven years at 24SevenOffice there are new challenges that awaits me. Where and what these challenges are I will let time show me. First of all I want to see and learn more of the world. I am writing this in, surprise surprise, Kashan in Iran. Most of the visitors to this blog come from America and Iran might be a surprising place to choose I guess most wonder. In fact the western viewpoint and most messages from the media about Iran is so far from the truth as possible. The country has a varied landscape, beatuiful old cities and most of all; very friendly and open people. There are poor people and in many ways a developing country but the society as a whole functions good and I have yet to see any crimes or faced any problems as a tourist (except some harmless fake police and young annoying teenagers seeing the rare tourist).
When I started in 24SevenOffice at the age of ninteen back in 2000 we were four guys who tried to build a basic web-based crm and invoicing system for small businesses. Since then the strategy, product suite and company has grown into one of the two most advanced and comprehensive web-based erp-solution's in the world. The company was listed on Oslo Stock Exchange last year and now has over fifty employees. Building a CRM-system and being one of the first products to use Ajax has been very interesting and I have enjoyed the years at 24SevenOffice. But seven years is a long time and I do not see myself as a programmer in ten og twenty years. I also prefer to work in a smaller company with more influence over the strategy.
I am confident in 24SevenOffice's success in the future. I am nowhere near the sell-button in my stock portfolio. But I should say that my cravings to see the world and finding new challenges is not the only reasons why I am no longer with 24SevenOffice. Lack of international focus (specially US), choosing to build advanced and complex product modules instead of opting for easy and simple solutions, and little willingness to build cross-platform solutions were issues me and 24SevenOffice's management disagreed on. Advanced is good but additional features should come in later versions and be less visible. 37Signals and Google may lack many features but it is the simple interface and workflow that makes them succesfull.
My plans for the future is to travel for at least six months, hopefully a year. As mentioned I am now in Iran. I flew out to Istanbul three weeks ago and spent two days there. Then by train to Tehran. I met two cool italian guys and we toured around the country: Yazd, Kerman, Bandar-Abbas, Minab, Qeshm Island, Shiraz, Esfehan. I am now in Kashan and will head north again to Terhan for snowboarding in Dizin. Snowboarding in Iran you might ask yourself. Yes, there are many high mountains here. Dizin is at 3000m and has fantastic powder snow. And it is cheap. For example the bus I took from Esfehan to Kashan took 3,5 hours and cost 1,5 dollar. And no I was not sitting next to a chicken. The buses here are modern Volvo's and you get a small snack on the journey.
The rest of my very flexible travel itinerary is like this: Dubai, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, China, Japan, Filliphines, Australia, Argentina, Brazil.
I will create a travel blog later. Internet is painfully slow here so I will wait until I go to Dubai so I can upload some photos.