Crossing the Rubicon

October 19, 2009 · 1 min read

In 49 BC, Julius Caesar—not yet emperor—was in command of an army in Gaul, preparing to march on Rome and seize power. At the time, part of the border between Gaul and Italy proper was a river known as the Rubicon. To protect the Republic, Roman law prohibited any army from entering Italy; by crossing the Rubicon, Caesar was making war inevitable. It is said that as he crossed, he declared: Alea iacta est! "The die is cast!" To this day, "crossing the Rubicon" refers to committing oneself irrevocably to a bold and risky course of action.

I am now crossing my own personal Rubicon. In the next few weeks I am quitting my job at Pelago and moving to the Bay Area. In the next few months I will be doing my own startup.

In making this leap, I am leaving behind a secure, comfortable life. I'm changing a lot of things at once. I'm taking on a bigger challenge than I've ever known, and more personal risk. At times I've asked myself, "What am I doing?" But I know this is exactly what I want to do. Starting my own company has been my primary goal in life since high school. All of my career has been a training ground or springboard towards this end.

If I succeed, it will be the most rewarding thing I have ever done. If I fail—at least I will own the failure. In any case, it will be the adventure of a lifetime.

Alea iacta est!

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These days I do most of my writing at The Roots of Progress. If you liked this essay, check out my other work there.


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