Life was good. I was getting close to finishing my Computer Science degree at the University of Ottawa, I had a interesting job, it seemed like everything was just fine. Or was it?
My old job was a Webmaster position for the university. It was great and I learned a lot. I worked on HTML5 hotness and tried to improve the web experience with progressive enhancements for everyone using the university templates. The various faculties/departments/services are strongly encouraged to use the the templates as a base to provide a common look and feel for users. The central web team is responsible for managing development. As you probably guessed, I worked for that central team.
I had a great time working there, but the institutional structure/bureaucracy was starting to eat away at me. This is best explained with an example. IE6 makes every web developer tremble when mentioned. I don't know how many hours I spent at that job coding IE6 only fixes. Having access to usage metrics, I found out that less than 1% of traffic was using IE6. Of that 1%, %40 was from on campus (probably all computer labs). So less than 0.6% of all traffic (to any webpage using the templates) from off campus was IE6.
Armed with that data, and every web developers hate for IE6, I decided to try and push to have IE6 dropped from the list of officially supported web browsers. After many meetings, internal mailing list emails, more meetings, presentations, more emails, I eventually lost hope. I had been pushing to drop support for months. This bureaucracy that impedes iteration, was the primary reason I decided to leave. (Since I left, they dropped IE6 support officially.)
Having made up my mind, it was time to look at this "startup thing" I had read and heard so much about. That's where my startup story begins.