The concept was to create an environment that allowed Publishers to utilize IM as a delivery mechanism in the same way as SMTP and SMS. I went about creating a prototype using Jabber, Java and MySQL. The first few months were solitary and enabled some of the best personal growth I have ever had. I read and read and read some more. I gained deep experience in agile concepts including TDD, design patterns, automation and many other areas that would bear significant fruit down the road. The risk was astronomical and the whole thing seemed like it might fail a half-dozen times. I highly encourage you to try it at least once :-)
Eventually, I convinced Royal and then Mike to come on-board and we got rolling - ending in an acquisition by Microsoft. Looking back, there are things I wish we'd done differently, but overall, we created a business with solid technology. So solid that we made it through the technical due diligence process Microsoft puts acquisition targets through - no easy task.
While Mike and I are currently at Microsoft, Royal has moved on to a new gig. Fingers crossed that we all have Messagecast type success in our future endeavors.