That I’m writing this post from the departures lounge at Salt Lake City airport as I wait for a flight home that will conclude a two week business trip signifies great changes in my personal and professional life.. The trip had nothing to do with motorcycles (other than an enjoyable Sunday at Miller Motorsports Park).
Yes, Virginia, I’m back in the software business. Having departed the industry in disgust only two years ago, this surprises me.. Well, sort of. I tell myself that this is just another one of those interesting chapters in my life (a Dime Store Novel according to Charles Cathcart) where the planets align in a certain way and things greater than I move me down unexpected paths. This isn’t the first time I’ve had the rug cosmically pulled out from under my feet and to be honest, I’ve developed a certain acceptance of all things weird and beyond my control. However, a call from an old business partner in early May caught me completely off guard as I hadn’t heard from him in about six years and our parting wasn’t entirely um,.. friendly. What was even more bizarre was the context of Chris’ call - “Was I interested in speaking to the CEO of an interesting company about an opportunity to go back into the space that I was working in back in the late 90’s?”. Well, not even a little bit, when you get down to it – I had long ago closed the door on a business initiative that ended in tears and I now had the loudbike e-store and shop running at a pretty good pace. But something made me suggest to Chris that I’d give the CEO a few minutes of my time if he wanted to call me and chat about the opportunity. I figured it was just my morbid sense of humor.
But on the Friday of the DOCC Mosport weekend, Jim Phillips – the CEO of Digital Gateway - got me on my cel phone just after Bar and I finished setting up our pit - and after a two hour discussion, I found myself impressed and surprisingly interested in continuing a dialogue with him. In true Dime Store Novel fashion, two days later I had a burst vertebra, broken elbow and absolutely no idea what was going to happen next. To be honest, I’d been seriously assessing my next move with loudbike during the preceding 60 days and knew that I’d probably have to change the business model if I had any hope of preserving my passion and recovering some of my personal life. I knew something was amiss in late April when Neville dropped his 999R of at the shop for me to hang onto and have some fun with for a week or two. I only rode it once – and even then, just to run an errand. Clearly, the business of building hot-rod Ducatis was beating down on my enthusiasm for riding and working on my own stuff.
And when you get down to it, motorcycling (building, riding, racing and track days) has been an important part of my life and a big part of my AA recovery for the past 13 years - and rather than enhancing my motorcycling experience, the loudbike business was in conflict with it almost from the beginning. I think the messy divorce with Guy Martin late last year really took the shine off things, but it was obvious even last August at Grattan and Mt. Tremblant that I was going to have to find some sort of creative way to protect that sacred ground that the racetrack represents to me. So, while I waited for the bones to heal, I found myself pondering my options (and the meaning of life, etc). It wasn’t very long before it became very obvious that I had to choose between my passion and my business.
And here I am.
Content: 1987 Ducati 750 F1, loudbike, Steve Munro