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Michiel Sikkes
Michiel Sikkes

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Personal struggles as CTO and how vlogging is helping me

Two weeks ago, I did the scariest thing I’ve ever done as software developer and CTO at Firmhouse. I’m relative introverted, and the thing I did was at the opposite side of what I’m normally comfortable with.

I love to work at home, spend my time on Basecamp and Slack chat. And past me tried to avoid as much meetings and calls as I could. So the thing I started was totally opposite as what I’ve been doing the past years:

I started a vlog.

Monday, two weeks ago. I bought a simple “vlogging camera” the weekend before and just “started doing it”. I knew I would be very uncomfortable on the camera, just talking into nothing. For that reason, I wanted to try it twice as hard. I want vlogging to be come a second nature.

Why do I want to build a vlog?

There are two reasons: business and personal.

Business: We’re at a pretty limbo state in our company. We have customers, and our sales pipeline is relatively good. We’re shipping features and helping our customers the best as we can!

However, we’re missing the “content marketing” efforts that we need to make the next stage in our companies growth for sales and for hiring new people I fully believe in genuine content creation directly from the founding team to the world to grow our presence. In terms of marketing vision, I’m a great fan of Gary Vaynerchuk on this topic.

Personal: there’s one thing that had been burning me down on several moments in the past year. This because we’re in this state in the company that I need to do a lot of non-dev and non-CTO stuff. Sometimes, I just couldn’t find the motivation.

After recording my first vlog this changed. The video was uncomfortable, the production quality is “bad”, and it took me three hours to edit.

But boy that creative release of energy! It was like being high on sometime I had never done before: I LOVED IT.

The fun I had with recording subsequent videos, and sharing my videos internally with the team: the energy increase is just great.

I think I found my newfound passion. Moreover, everyone at Firmhouse loved the initiative and had great feedback. In fact, it inspired my CEO and co-founder Bob to also start recording daily videos. His style and content is different, and he has a far better camera ;-). But the fact that my initiative unleashed even more energy for other people was great to see.

So that’s my story. As developers tend to be relatively introverted and we’re used to communicating via code and text: I can highly recommend stepping out of your zone and start creating personal content like a vlog.

I genuinely hope that you can get the same high energy boost as I did.

If you have any comments or things to say about this story, I would love to hear them! Please post them! I very much appreciate it. Even if it’s just a “great job!” or a thumbs up!

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