( please click on this musical interlude before reading post below - dmc)
you know what they say -- the more things change, the more Ziggy looks the same. actually, i guess they don't really say that.
but i've always admired David Bowie's desire & ability to re-invent himself -- from glam rock in the late 60s/early 70s, to funky soul r&b in the later 70's, to pop superstar in the 80's and beyond.. including some work in film as well. very few other artists (Madonna?, Miles Davis?) can stay both relevant & interesting while dramatically changing styles & growing older.
So i've had a little Space Oddity on my mind as i've decided recently to step down from a full-time VP role at SimplyHired.com, and become an advisor to the company. The timing might seem a bit strange -- lately we've achieved some notable recognition, closed a significant round of funding, and lined up a very strategic media partner. A lot of folks would look at the situation and say WTF dave?!? you just spent a year-and-a-half busting your ass to make Simply Hired a 'Web 2.0' poster child (whatever that means), and now that you've finally arrived you're taking off? are you clueless?
well, it's a label i've certainly earned before. i've turned down jobs at Microsoft & Intel in the early 90's, overlooked great opportunities at Netscape & Yahoo in the late 90's, and barely managed to survive the dot-com depression by parachuting into PayPal in 2001 not long before they went public (my first day on the job was supposed to be 9/11... yikes). i bought GOOG at $85, but sold at $180 (when they were only slightly ridiculously overvalued). i'm usually way off on predicting other trends too: i sold my condo in SF in 2003 and became a renter, meanwhile i'm still waiting for bay area real estate prices to "tank" after they've gone up 3 straight years in a row. still i like to think i'm not wrong, just early... um yeah. perhaps a better objective assessment of me would be "often wrong, never in doubt". just point me towards the next windmill, tally ho...
so be it -- i've never been a stranger to risk or contrarian thinking. i'm sure i could be making a mistake leaving the [relative] stability of a funded startup with the wind at its back -- but in fact i'm hoping SimplyHired's future success (and my other angel investments) will help fund my next bout of startup insanity. regardless i'm a free spirit again, and it's time to take a look around to see what else is happening in Act II of the Internet Revolution. don't know whether i'm going to join something or start my own thing, but there's definitely a lot of brave new ideas floating around (and yes, i realize that includes a lot of silly / crappy new ideas getting funded too, but the rising tide of irrational VC exuberance floats many boats).
in the meantime i'm taking a few months off to relax & recharge the batteries, and reconnect with several new & old acquaintances to see what they're up to. should also be a good opportunity to spend some time with the wife & kid (we celebrated our 10th anniversary this month, and Dante's 1st birthday yesterday), do a little extra work for a few non-profits i support (Unitus, Full Circle Fund, SDForum), and read some books i've had sitting on the shelf way too long. maybe even play a bit more Ultimate if the knee holds up.
on Monday i'm headed off to Tokyo with Saya & Dante to visit the in-laws for a few weeks, and enjoy a lot of sushi & miso soup. look forward to catching up with everyone when i get back in middle / late May. watchout Ziggy... here i come!