Filling in the gaps
So the first question I would get when running into people over the past year is "why did you stop blogging?" Which is pretty natural, as it seemed pretty abrupt when I put down the Notebook last April. I figure since I'm now blogging again, I should probably get it out there as to why I decided to take a break.
Well, there were lots of little reasons, but the honest truth is that I got legally separated from my wife early last year, and pretty much didn't want to blog about it, and didn't feel like avoiding the subject, so I finally decided to just close up shop instead. There you have it. It was a good decision at the time, but I have to say I definitely missed it in many ways. Anyways, a year or so later and it looks like my wife and I are not getting back together, and I finally moved out of the little yellow house last month and into an apartment complex next door to my wife and little boy (which is great). This is the reality of things it seems, so I'm moving on, and hey, back to blogging as well. So there you are, all caught up.
As for my professional life, my time at Yahoo! wasn't super productive - I had a lot of ideas, but zero ability to get them implemented, either by myself or by working through the system. Eventually I just checked out mentally, which showed in my presence there, my work and you know things like my patience during meetings, and my boss Christian Lindholm eventually had to "eliminate my position" as mobile strategist last October. And I don't blame him, though Christian left a few months after, which tells you quite a bit about a lot of things at Y!. By the way, for the record, Jerry Yang is going to be a kick-ass CEO and is definitely going to get Y! back on track - anyone who's sat down and talked with him knows how much he gets it. This isn't a guy that's unaware of the problems facing Yahoo! nor short of ideas on how to get things moving again. My advice to Yahoo! is to get back to its roots as a Fast Follower: Throughout their 10 years, they've always been good at seeing what the Internet trends were and getting on board very quickly - think email, groups, IM, etc. etc. Trying to "innovate" its way out of their current situation is just a bad idea - try as they might, they are NOT GOOGLE. But they don't need to be. Yahoo! as a whole knows what's popular out there, and what works and what doesn't work, and they have a large base of users who would be quite happy to have Yahoo! provide the same service as any one of these startups out there so they don't have to deal with yet another log in, etc. Y! needs to get back to their roots of turning around useful web apps quickly. That to me should be Yahoo!'s mission: "To be the most useful website in the world." Isn't that much cleaner than the corporate crud that's currently on the mission page? I think it is, and I also think that Y! can do it as well.
Whew, that felt good to get out of my system. :-)
So since I left Y!, I've been trying to figure out what I wanted to focus on. It's hard to get ideas back in scale again once I was in the habit of looking at everything from a Yahoo! perspective. When you're thinking about what you're going to do to launch services across 12 different countries, you're in one mind set, and when you're thinking about how to bootstrap your startup, you have to be in a whole different place. It took me a few months to warp my brain back in shape and figure out a target, which was Mowser, my new company. I had to develop it myself, so it took ANOTHER few months to get off my ass and start writing code, and finally after delaying and delaying, I launched at Mobile Monday in April. So far, so good... I'll write another detailed post about this stuff, but that's what I'm doing now on a daily basis. it's not my sideline, or my hobby, Mowser is how I'm trying to pay the bills (so far, not many of them, but that will change I hope). I have to tell you, I haven't been happier - though I may need to get a contract soon to help make ends meet - having my own gig is the best thing in the world. My office is my living room, my schedule is usually 2 p.m. until 5 a.m. and my fate is my own. It's a very nice feeling... well, all but the being insanely broke part. That sort of sucks, but the rest rocks.
Okay, so there you have it - now on to new stuff. :-)