Eight years ago today, about this time, I was heading to the ETC in Baltimore to meet Jess for the just the third time, but this time as an employee. I had no idea what I was doing or what it would mark the start of.

But despite being terrified, we started filling a whiteboard with “what is Allovue?” She had already been at it a year and was finally ready to start building the product. I’m not really sure if she was supposed to be mostly telling me her vision or if I was meant to participate.

As I recall, I just jumped in, excited, and by the time Ted (our soon to be CTO) came in, Jess and I had just about covered the two whiteboard walls. Then Ted and I started working on a data model while Jess took a call about some award she was about to receive.

Jess will often pull out a Moleskine from the (now quite short, relatively speaking) time before I joined Allovue to show me how my new idea was just her old idea. I still sometimes mention that whiteboard.

As I headed to the airport that night, I still didn’t really know what my job was or fully understand how anything start up worked. But I knew I was still excited and thinking about Allovue, which is how I had felt every time I talked to Jess and why I knew I needed the job.

I’ll tell the embarrassing story of what happened next in two years, on my tenth Alloversary.