The Start of What's Next

Today is the start of What's Next Two years and a few months after the acquisition of MessageCast, the company I started in my living room, I've begun transitioning my responsibilities to a peer at Microsoft. The change is bittersweet; I am looking forward to tackling new projects but at the same time find it hard to let go of an idea I had in 2001. The assembled team was one of the strongest I have ever built. We faced a number of tough technical and organizational challenges. I learned many things along the way, one of which is that to be successful at Microsoft, all paths lead to Redmond. Working from a satellite campus like SVC, the opportunities pale in comparison. Once I've finished transitioning my responsibilities I'll be starting the next chapter. A little frightening, but overall, working on What's Next is as exciting as it gets.

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Yosemite Bears

We spent the weekend in Yosemite and the dry winter is having an impact on the resident bear population -- the bears are already running low on food so they are getting more aggressive about seeking out human food.

 I've run into the occasional black bear but this year reached a new level with the rollout of boxes monitoring bears that have been outfitted with radio collars. The device pictured below detects the presence of a collared bear and immediately communicates with the Park Rangers on duty (kind of a BearWatch HQ).


There was also a rockslide at 4am on Friday (6/8) evening at Curry Village, luckily no injuries were reported. I was not able to find any links on the web about the slide




Ouch! It's My Birthday

I officially turned 40 last Saturday - I woke up feeling wiser, if not older :-)

My wife organized a get-together for some close friends at Nola's in Palo Alto. It was a great mix of friends from childhood, college, startups, etc. It is hard to believe that fully one-third of my life is over.

A few photos:

Congrats to Bill and Kelley on their recent engagement!

The party organizer


The original iPrint crew

Five Things You Don't Know About Me

Mike Smith has tagged me, so in keeping the meme alive, here are "Five Things You Don't Know About Me"

1. Won the parade - I was born in Cincinnati, OH. When I was 7 we had a 4th of July parade in Pleasant Run Farms (between the corn fields or something). The Reds were probably the best team in baseball (Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Sparky Anderson, Davey Perez, etc). My mom contacted the Reds PR people, got a bunch of team paraphenalia and helped me transform my bike into a two-wheel version of the Big Red Machine. During the parade, I was asked to come to the front and lead. I found out at the end that I had won the best design - the prize was gift certificates to White Castle. I distinctly remember feeling on top of the world.

2. Closet junk food addict - As a pretty active person, I try to eat appropriately. Low fat, plenty of carbs and protein. We have very little junk food at my house. I have a weakness though - I can't control myself around junk food. Sometimes I feel like I am living in the Larry Groce masterpiece. One of my sisters has a closet at her house that is literally like being in a candy store. On more than one occasion, I have gorged myself, gone on a major sugar high and crashed so low that I have to nap on the couch. If there is a new hire in my building, I search him/her out because they usually have several boxes of Krispy Kremes on their first day. Once at an SF Giants game, I bought a box of 5 Krispy Kremes and *ate them all*. Urrrpp

3. Love almost any kind of music - I listen to a ton of music, from a wide variety of genres. Thanks to a borrowed subwofer, I can drive people crazy, even if they are five offices away. I listen to cheesy emo, alternative, metal, rock, pop, soul and R&B - rap is notably absent. Freely admitting that I'm dating myself, my Number One is still The Only Band That Matters (and yes, I think almost everything after London Calling was crap)

4. First car - OK, I'll just come out and admit it. My first car was a Ford Pinto. There, I said it.

5. Life goal - While I was in grad school, I taught several undergrad classes (all related to technology). Upon graduation, I made a mental note to remember how much I enjoyed it and vowed to someday get my PhD and become a professor. The stars haven't aligned properly just yet but hopefully someday they will (Note to the Maestro - irrational exuberance did have something going for it there)

Royal Farros, John Furrier, Scott Johnson, Niall Kennedy and Brad Feld, tag - you're it!

Post-vacation Payback!

You think I would have learned by now - fresh off a week vacation (the first one in a while) and I fire up my email. Gee, only 1012 unread messages If I plow straight through, I should be caught up by Friday or so...