This year my New Year's resolution is to be bold and what better way to do that than to start the year off by leaving the solid paycheck, benefits and comfort of a job at Aol. Today is my last day as an Aol employee as I have decided to move on to pursue some of my own entrepreneurial endeavors. It has been just over 3 years since I joined Aol to help bring some "Web 2.0 & social media" perspective and expertise to the Aol team. In Internet years that is about 10 years. My first task was to join the product development team responsible for the myAOL triple threat including a personalized homepage, a feed reader with bookmarking and an innovate recommendation engine. We then went on to launch it in 28+ countries before it turned one. More recently with the launch of AIM Lifestream I saw about 18 months of planning and strategy come to fruition which included work on AIM buddyupdates and the acquisition of SocialThing. I have racked up a lot of airline miles bouncing between DC and the West Coast. It has been a good run and a great learning experience working in a large organization and I have met so many great people along the way. I am proud of our accomplishments at Aol. As anyone who has ever worked at a large company can attest, it is not easy to launch a product in a big organization and I did it a few times in just three years.
What will I be doing?
Well to be totally frank, I am going to be hustling my butt off! As many of you know I started covering technology on Somewhat Frank back in 2005 within a week or so of the launch of TechCrunch. Early on I helped contribute by writing for them and watching as they became an established media company. In my own right, before joining AOL, I launched TECH cocktail to help amplify the local technology signal (and have fun doing it) with Eric Olson in 2006. We've enjoyed seeing it grow into a very well known brand with events in Boston, Boulder, Chicago, DC and more. Now I intend to grow TECH cocktail with more events as well as a regular flow of content. If you are an expert in finance, funding, marketing, PR, engineering, design, law, etc and would like to contribute some business tips to TECH cocktail please reach out - we would love to have you share your knowledge for other startups to learn from on TECH cocktail. Look forward to seeing more from TECH cocktail in the months to come.
In addition to TECH cocktail, I have co-founded Shiny Heart Ventures, a startup focused on building products that remind us of the joys of life. Our first product was Thankfulfor, a social gratitude journal which launched in September and has been growing into a strong community. This past week we also launched Shiny Maine Lobster to help bring a family business online for fresh lobster direct to you by mail as I previously explained. We are never at a loss of ideas and will be launching additional products in the coming months so stay tuned - I am excited about it!
I look forward to 2010 as an exciting year of opportunity. I look forward to growing these businesses as well as speaking about them with regularity at industry events. So if you are looking for speakers for an event please let me know. I want to thank Aol for the opportunity to work for them and bring products to millions of people globally. I am so proud of our accomplishments and look forward to Aol doing it's own start-up thing in 2010.