Wow, that was an incredible year! Find a few things. Focus on them. Make some changes. You can do it.
Travel in 2013
- Paris, France (twice – once to visit family and see the French Open, and once to Euro Disney)
- Inverness, Scotland (twice)
- Zurich, Switzerland (speaking)
- Dallas, USA
- Dubai, UAE
- New York City, USA
- Auckenlich, Scotland
- Pitlochry, Scotland
- Sutherland County, Scotland
Best Books I Read
Ultimately, I didn’t read quite as many books as I wanted to (goal of 24 last year), but I did manage to read a few. Here are some of the best. Non-cyclists won’t care about the cycling books.
- The Dark Tower (Books 1-3)
- Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage
- Strange Stones: Dispatches from East to West (best book of the year)
- Seven Years in Tibet
- Christians and Politics: Uneasy Partners
- The Great Train Robbery (re-read)
- The Story of the Tour de France Volume 1
- Lanced: The Shaming of Lance Armstrong
- The Rider
- The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France
Books I Hated
- The Museum of Innocence
- Cloud Atlas (loved the movie though)
Highlights of the Year
- Attending the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (again)
- Spending Thanksgiving in a 18th century Scottish estate (again)
- Three cycling events: Tour of the Borders, Caledonian Etape, and Lafuga trip to Tuscany
- Attending the French Open
- Success at work – Administrate doubled its revenue in 2013
This became my main hobby in 2013, despite the concern I’d not stick with it. I bought my first road bike in January, not really knowing what to expect, with a goal of riding the Caledonian Etape (81 miles), and trying to stick with it, mainly for health reasons.
I ended up riding and finishing the Tour of the Borders, which was one of the worst (best) events I could imagine, in the worst possible weather conditions I’ll probably ever ride in again. I finished.
Went on to ride a 50 mile sportive in Aviemore, attempted a 110 mile sportive from Glasgow to Edinburgh (DNF – destroyed tire), attempted a 100 mile Glasgow sportive (couldn’t make it due to rental car issues), and booked a three day cycling trip in Tuscany.
Overall for the year, I rode more than 1,800 miles and climbed more than 104,000 feet of elevation. Pretty happy about that.
One of the big goals I had last year was to speak more. It’s something I really enjoy, it helps us recruit top notch developers, and I love hearing from other speakers at conferences, so for me, it’s a win-win-win. Two things I love to discuss are teamwork and great products, and I developed two talks around these topics which I gave several times around Europe. I also began to speak more and more (mostly locally) on why I believe Scotland is an incredible place to run a startup.
I spoke in Edinburgh four times (Lean Agile Scotland, Scotch on the Rocks, Turing Festival, and University of Edinburgh), London once (Digital Shoreditch), Zurich (FrontEndConf), and I was invited to speak in Poland, but just couldn’t make it due to some unfortunate scheduling issues. I’m hoping I can make that conference this coming year instead. I was really happy with the opportunities I received, and hope to continue the trend in 2014.
In some ways we had a very challenging year at work, but almost every challenge ultimately paved the way for a really rewarding and successful year of growth. We wrote more about the success our team had on our company blog, and I was really proud of everyone pulling together to achieve our second year in a row of doubling in size.
We added a “real” niece this year, and a “fake” niece to our collection of “fake nephews” in our third family. And for Christmas this year, my family came over to Edinburgh to spend a few days which meant we all got to be together, explore the city and surrounding towns, and The Wife and I didn’t have to fly home for a manic tour of the States. That was a huge relief.
2014 should be interesting, like every year. I’ve got some goals, but they’re mostly progressions of what I’m already focused on: work, cycling, speaking, and travel. Stay tuned!