18 Months ago, I left a transitional role with Proficient/LivePerson to head up the development team at WeTheCitizens. In that time, we scaled the Wildfire platform from running a single gubernatorial campaign to a true SaaS platform that successfully ran for Rudy Giuliani and scales well to holding many national customers concurrently. It’s been quite a ride, filled with all of the highs and lows you could imagine. One of my fondest yet most stressful memories is working until 2 AM on a customer launch, waking up at 5 AM to catch a plane, and spending the morning calling back and forth to Atlanta as our production servers bounced up and down as the team in Atlanta discovered critical issues and bounced the server to apply fixes. Probably 5 minutes before we started training individual users, the system was stable enough to stay up, and the training and launch went great, thanks to an awesome technical team. I’ve worked with some of the best folks a startup could ask for, and I think we’ve accomplished a lot to be proud of. I’ve had great opportunities to expand my involvement in the Atlanta startup community, and met many more incredible people.
With these expanding horizons, came a conflict. There are a number of things I’d like to pursue, but trying to do to much “on the side” while serving in a startup VP role AND pursuing an MBA only comes at the expense of the MBA or the startup. Testing the waters of any new venture while already in such a role is difficult at best. It’s been a great chapter at WeTheCitizens, and I it’s an opportune time to move on to new things – the team there is poised to thrive without even missing a beat. I’d like to explore some opportunities to co-found a new company. I have a few ideas of my own I’d like to explore, build, and see if they get traction. I’d love to take more of the load of Skribit development of of Calvin. I’d love to explore leadership roles in some other local, fast-growing, young companies. In leaving WeTheCitizens, I was trying to walk a fine line of finding a role that provided interesting work and long-term potential without conflicting with these other interests.
I found all of that and more in a contract position with Premiere Global (fondly locally known as Ptek), where I’ll be starting on Monday. The project is important and interesting (I’ll share as much as I can, when I can – strategic projects at public companies can be a bit more sensitive than startup progress), we’ll be building a high-quality development team (solid Java resumes/referrals welcome), and we’ll be building a massively scalable system. There’s potential for a longer-term position, but the contract nature of the position also affords a more natural boundary between day-job and other interests. I’ve decided not to take any MBA classes this summer, freeing up some more time. I’ll have time to pursue a number of different projects that have eluded me recently. Six months from now, I’ll be in a far better position to decide what my next big step is. Expect this blog to get a bit schizophrenic. The role with Premiere is a good bit of hands-on development, so I’ll be sharing some nuggets that will help Java people. I’ll be a bit more public and promotional with some of my other projects, which will be fun. I think I’ll be just as busy, but with a much more diverse array of tasks on my plate.