Life is Good

I received an email recently from my friend Stephen Dulaney reminding it was time for my annual post here on flowdelic. Stephen noticed that my previous two postings were made in March 2006 and March 2005. So to keep my one-post-per-year streak alive, just under the wire, here’s a quick update.

The biggest news is that I left my job as Chief Technologist at frog design in June 2006. I left to help start up a new company, LargeSmall Systems, with another friend, Matt Cohen. We are not quite ready to publicly disclose the nature of our business or product, but it has been a great ride so far. We’ve assembled a terrific team and together we are building some really cool technology. It’s been hard work, and a lot of fun at the same time. I’ll write more about this new venture in the future.

Leaving a comfortable position at frog for the relative uncertainty of a not-quite-yet-funded hatchling startup last year was a tough decision to make. Having gone through a boom and bust during my eight years at frog, the digital technology team I founded in 1998 was doing better than ever. We were doing great work and some strategic bets we had placed earlier were starting to pay off. Yet, I had the opportunity to do something new and exciting with this start-up. I was fortunate to be able to leave frog at the top of my game, so to speak, with my department growing and with strong leadership in place behind me to keep things rolling. For me, it was a textbook case of how to leave your job on good terms.

It’s been great to watch from sidelines, since I left, and see my old team continue to crank out great work and to establish themselves as leaders in some hot emerging technology areas. One example: a frog project I played a key role in early on, the Alltel Celltop, was recently awarded Best of Show at the CTIA Wireless industry conference. Another: the new Hawaiian Airlines website is gorgeous, highly-functional, and technologically sleek and elegant. I am bursting with pride.

While I would be enjoying a bit more glory about now had I stayed at frog, I don’t have any regrets. The last nine months have been intensive training for me in the starting, funding and growing of a company. For the first time in my life I am fully focused on creating a single product. It’s been an awesome experience and the future only looks brighter.

There have been some benefits to my personal life too. For one, my commute is now just under a mile. And while at frog I was a platinum-level frequent flyer, now I am closer to home and have been able to do things like coach my daughter’s soccer team — something I never would have been able to do with my previous travel schedule. I’m still working as hard as ever, yet I’ve also been able to spend more time with my family. And that has been priceless.

More to come…