January 17, 2002 to December 28, 2021.
7,280 days. 174,720 hours. 20 days shy of 20 years. Poignantly poetic.
Set aside time for sleep and weekends and that puts me at a minimum of 70,240 hours of living, breathing, thinking, doing, planning, hyperventilating, frustrating, exhilarating about one thing - keeping Entigence healthy.
After the acquisition, Tarun and I were left with dissolving the shell of the company. Yesterday, we said our final adieu to her.
Starting a company took all of 15 minutes on a snowy January morning in 2002. Tarun came up with the name, we went to the state and federal regulatory websites, filled out a couple of forms, created docs by sourcing info from the internet, clicked a few buttons, and we were off to the races with our first client.
In the ensuing decades, our presence spread to several states. We started a company in India. We hired and let go of people. We created a software as a service. We worked out of our study, moved into the heart of DC, moved back closer to home, rebranded twice, traveled extensively, did retreats at fabulous locations, and curated an excellent list of clients.
Somewhere on this journey, we became an octopus.
Hundreds of the suction cups latched on to a myriad of federal and state agencies, vendors, domains, cloud providers, airlines, credit cards, payroll and 401K providers, employees, benefit plans, emails, shared drives, devices, and untold number of recurring subscriptions.
When it came time to terminating our presence, we had to pull out each of these suction cups and carefully transition a select inventory to Deloitte. The daily must-do list was constantly modified to accommodate many “oh-no-that” moments.
Then there are dozens of sites where the recovery email is the one that is going away. Kill me!!
We had to call to terminate certain accounts, which led to the revelation that customer support with real people, not chatbots, is comically nonexistent or woefully understaffed. The average wait to speak to a person was 45 minutes. Callbacks are great until a vendor calls you back while you are talking to another and propels you into stroke territory.
Starting in September, I steadily dwindled my to-do list. I tackled one or two suction cups at a time. Today, I managed the last one.
I have a sneaking feeling that next year after our corporate presence has disappeared into ether, I will discover a cup or two latched on something I didn’t remotely remember. This country makes it incredibly easy to start a business and awfully hard to shut it down. The assumption is you’ll keep going forever because capitalism is the never ending pursuit of the profit motive, right?
To be honest, this octopus mama is glad to give it a rest.
Based on Entigence’s history, I look forward to the next 4,214,400 seconds of living, breathing, thinking, doing, planning, hyperventilating, frustrating, exhilarating about things I haven’t even thought of yet.
But first, I am going to get this shirt to commemorate my time with the company.
Image Source: Amazon.com