Bye Bye Acquia — What’s next for Mr. Singh?

I didn’t make any big announcement about it, because I’m not the big announcement type. More the slip out the back, change your number and grow a mustache type. Anyway, I finally left my job at Acquia after 8 years (5 months ago).

I watched an uncertain startup with products no one was buying and VC money burning up turn into a global powerhouse. A lot of things changed. My life changed pretty dramatically a few times.

I moved across the world twice, I became a father, I became a single dad. Friends came and went, relationships changed, the world changed, Donald Trump is a thing… it’s been a wild journey.

My work was anything but static. I started out as a long-haired engineer, hacking away in my sweaty home office in New Delhi. I became an Agile optimist, evangelist, a skeptic, then a realist. I learned I was a good teacher. I became a public speaker and spoke to crowds in dozens of cities around the world. I made hundreds of friends and a few enemies online (but eventually enemies also became friends). It was a life changing experience.

Then I moved to India and learned about business. I wrote business plans, I cold called, I pressed slacks and trousers, I got on planes, off planes, into hotels, into cabs, autos, trains, cafes, meeting rooms, bars. Some deals closed, many didn’t. I hired, I fired and counseled, I made shit up, it worked most of the time. I built a really kick ass team, they love me to bits and hate me a bit too — depends on the day. That’s being a boss I discovered.

Now, I’m just a father, a brother, a friend, and a son. I’m trying to make sense of what the next 50 years has in store.

What about the last 5 months? Well, my intention was to stay away from work. I wanted to learn — to pick up all the things I wanted to do and never had the time and space to pursue. I had a list, I had plans, I told people, I made goals… Turns out I’m not as self-disciplined, smart and hardworking as I thought. No, Jacob U did not provide the concrete results I was hoping for, but I have managed to accomplish a few things:

  • Made a simple robot
  • Taking singing lessons regularly — with the amazing Lucia
  • Picked up a little more jazz guitar
  • Learned how to make mobile apps in ReactJS
  • Got pretty solid at rock climbing
  • Learned one Django Rheinhart solo
  • Learned how to swing a golf club
  • Learned a bit of drawing and cartooning
  • Learned to cook a bunch of new stuff

But more than that, I’ve focused hard on Fatherhood, Fitness and Friends (in that order). It’s been great to put first things first without compromise. I didn’t make enough money in corporate land to avoid having a job forever, but I know when I go back to work, I’m going to be better at balance than I have been.

Speaking of, I am starting to look around for my next gig. I’m not sure if that’s a full time thing or a part time one, but here’s what I’m looking for in case anyone has some awesome opportunity or connections to share:

  1. Purpose: It’s gotta be something that even on the bad days when I’m pissed at a coworker, pessimistic about our chances, frustrated at a vendor, etc.. I still want to go to work and be my best self because I really, really give a shit about what we’re trying to do.
  2. Customer facing: I’ve realized I’m a capable leader and a good engineer / engineering manager, but I’m much better at sales, product strategy, marketing, etc.
  3. Not just operational: I’m lousy at maintaining things. Really, I don’t like keeping spreadsheets up to date, managing budgets, utilization spreadsheets, etc. I can do it, any leader needs to, but it isn’t what my job should be about.
  4. In Delhi: Zoya (my daughter) is here, so I’m here. End of story.
  5. Early stage or “intrapreneurial”: I want to be a big part of something and I don’t want to fit into a huge machine.

That’s about it for me. If you know of anything, or you want to shoot your network an email, here’s a quick blurb about me. Much appreciated!

Jacob is a 15+ year veteran of the digital space. He has succeeded in both technical and sales roles as an entrepreneur, consultant, contributor, and director in both the US and India. He’s a strong communicator and is relentlessly honest and transparent. Right now, he’s looking for opportunities with VCs or to help an early stage startups grow in a product, engineering management or sales role. You can find him at and

Jacob Singh
CTO in residence at Sequoia Capital. Independent product and Engineering Coach Mediocre guitarist, singer, rock climber, point guard and baker Dedicated dad. American in New Delhi.
New Delhi