Congrats to team LIFX.
Earlier this week I was pleased to see LIFX enter a new phase and partner with a top tier firm like Sequoia and then announce they’ve joined the Works with Nest as one of the launch partners - both great validations of LIFX as an emerging IoT company.
Whilst it’s disappointing not to be involved in this phase (I left in Jan ‘14) I’m happy with the role I played from launch and excited to see where the guys will take it next.
People often ask me what happened, and why I left, but the simple fact was Phil and I started to get on each others nerves and neither of us are the type to suffer through the company of someone we no longer enjoy the company of.
He was always the real star of the company, originator of the idea, and CEO and my role was more focused on business development, marketing and supporting the CEO as a 2IC.
If a relationship deteriorates you tend to get the blame for everything and if a CEO you’re working with no longer wants your support and there’s animosity building it becomes really distracting, and draining for all involved. For me, after a lot of thought, it made sense to stand aside and put personal interests aside in the best interests of the company and so I resigned, although truth be told, I was worried I’d be pushed out somehow.
That’s the diplomatic version. We could both spend hours telling you each other all our faults and gripes, and although it’s a cliche, the simple truths are startups are hard, relationships are hard and the two together are even harder. My time was up, and it was time to step aside and start again.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time at LIFX, learned a lot, and the experience was invaluable and it’s great to see a the talented team recognised for the hard work and success to date. Wider than that it’s exciting to see innovation born in Australia really strut it’s stuff on the world stage and it’ll be exciting to see how far the company can go.
Of course, full disclosure, I remain a shareholder and so do have a vested interest in seeing the company do well, but more than that, I’d like to see other Melbourne / Australian hardware startups follow the path as I’m sure many will.
For me, the past few months have been figuring out next steps and working with a few other hardware startups, and 8 days ago Jules and I welcomed the safe arrival of our first son, Toby John Birt. He’s by far the best project I’ve ever had any involvement with, and we couldn’t be happier. As to what the future holds, well, who knows, but am sure will be back with another product in the not too distant future.