Ted Roden
My Fancy Hands business card, circa 2012.

According to our payroll software, today is my 9th anniversary at Fancy Hands. Nine years of being proud, scared, motivated, ashamed, exhausted, ambivalent, and excited about this company that I created.

In that time I became a mess of an alcoholic and then sobered up — almost four years so far! I ran a (half) marathon and then gave up running entirely. Built glorious apps. Built bug-ridden 2 star apps. Been sued, celebrated, interviewed, imitated, and forgotten. I almost ran the company into the ground multiple times, but I didn’t. Almost secured glorious exits for the company, but I didn’t.

Our users have accomplished tons with our help. We’ve helped make days easier, plan life events, and launch companies. We may not have sold many records, but everyone who bought one went out and started a company.

Most of our vendors have been bought, sold, or closed. Many of our investors changed their names, left the business, moved to different firms, or just changed their numbers. But I didn’t.

The finest minds from the big tech companies took their exit money to launch competitors and shuttered them. A whole cottage industry of Fancy Hands like businesses sprouted up using “Hands” in the name.

At some point during all of this, I brought on Josh Boltuch to be the CEO instead of me. He’s done a remarkable job in that role for the last five years, but the time has come and he’s decided to step away from that role and move with his wife to London. I’m stepping back into the CEO role.

The changing of employee titles at a company you don’t work doesn’t affect you in any way. The story of a company not failing, but also not exploding into a spectacular financial windfall isn’t interesting. But when whole careers are made from writing the words “hustle” and “grind” onto a napkin and posting it onto Instagram, it’s instructive to remember what those words actually mean. The “grind” is not sexy, it’s exhausting. If “hustle” leads to mountains of money, I can’t see them from here. The important thing is to keep moving. Stay alive and keep moving.

I’m feeling much like I did when I quit my day job to work on Fancy Hands full time. I’ve got a lot of plans and no excuses.

My number hasn’t changed. My email address is the same. I’m still here.

You should check out Fancy Hands if you haven’t already.



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