Has the Internet changed your job? If not, why not?

If the Internet has not changed your job – please let me know.  I want to invest tn the startup that find a way to get you involved in the Internet.  No joke. If your industry does not know how to use the Internet for profit, I really want to know about it.

I think there is a huge untapped Market that we just are not thinking about.

Because they are not like us.

We love startups

With all of the frenzy of #SXSW I didn’t ever share this video with you. Love what we are doing with and for startups.  Love that Rackspace trusts me with stuff like this – because it is really important stuff.

Having Dave McClure on the same video is just golden – anyone that knows us both knows we share a lot of the same fucking quirks.  Like using bad language inappropriately 🙂

I’ve Been Busy!

Lately my time has been consumed by a new project.- building43.com.  I’ve been building it with an amazing team of friends – some I’ve not even actually met yet.  That’s the power of the Internet!

building43logo I’ve even got a post on the new site.  But it isn’t my site.  It belongs to the community that builds it.  You can join that community.  Learn how here.

It’s been a blast working on the site.  This is something completely fresh – from the graphics to the design.  The content and the idea behind the site – all new.

My employer, Rackspace, is backing the site.  It is an interesting challenge.  It has been from the day we decided to hire Robert Scoble and Rocky Barbanica.  Interesting because the idea is so unique that it is hard to describe.  A site that has no revenue model.  No marketing message.  It exists to help people use the new Internet to improve their own websites.  Particularly businesses.  If we help a business increase sales 10-15%, perhaps they will hire another employee.  Perhaps the increase in their sales means on of their vendors needs to hire more help.

Perhaps we can help the struggling economy one helpful post at a time.  Who knows?  Since it’s not been done in this way before – nobody knows.  But we have sure busted ass trying to find out!

I encourage you to go look at building43.  I am very proud of what the team has built.  I am proud to have my name associated with it.  And I am very, very happy that Robert and Rocky are with us on this project.  On paper, they work for me – but in actuality, we all work for the same purpose.  We all have a burning desire to build something truly meaningful – something truly helpful.

Let me know what you think!


And the Winner Is… Me! (and Mosso)

I have just accepted a position as Director of Software Development for Mosso.

Mosso is based in San Antonio, and is part of Rackspace.

So, why did I choose Mosso?  From the web site:

We started Mosso because we knew there were web developers who wanted a reliable platform for their applications and email–without being the ones responsible for all the technology.

Basically, Mosso does, on a much larger scale, what I have been doing as a consultant for the last few years – stripping as much of the technology details as possible out of the lives of people that have an idea and/or dream – they want to build the idea, not manage the server, or the databases.  They want to be able to focus on building what they envision.  I’ve helped people focus on that – Mosso lets thousands of people do the same.

That’s what Mosso does.  And more.  And in very cool ways.

Mosso also passed all of my test points:

  • I need to build teams.
  • I need to work with smart people.
  • I need a voice.
  • I need responsibility, accountability, AND authority.
  • I need the security of a larger company with the atmosphere of a startup.
  • I needed a company that is nimble – it can quickly adjust to change, and new ideas.
  • My work must have value to me, and to others.
  • The impact has to have a large footprint.  I like building big!

So, how did Mosso do on this list?  Extremely well.  I will not be building one team – but several teams.  I have met some of the smartest people – all in one company in downtown San Antonio.

My position is a senior one – I will eventually have a large team – and many of them I will need to hire.  That is important work that is important to the company, and to my new coworkers.  I’ll be allowed to run my teams and do my job – I’ll be helping grow/invent/implement some very cool technology.

The work environment is amazing – we have real humans at Mosso 24/7.  We have developers on call 24/7.  We work 24/7 (so you don’t have to!).  Developers build their own schedules for covering “on call” – they don’t need a “manager” – they are managing quite well right now :)  So I will focus on improving our processes and hiring more talented people (call me if you are interested – 210-845-4440).

New employees get their choice of computers.  You want a Windows desktop? – no problem.  One monitor, or two?  You want a 17” MacBook Pro (I Do!) – that’s cool as well.  One monitor, or two?  It’s really up to you.  Since we are building computing for the cloud, the systems we personally choose don’t really matter (except for where you feel most productive!).

Like any startup, you have a lot to do – your job description might as well read, “Succeed”.  I like that.  But we’re also backed by Rackspace – a very strong company (and a very cool company to work at in their own right – they’ve won a lot of awards for being a cool place to work).

I first met the Mosso crew when I invited Robert Scoble to come to San Antonio – I was just introduced to a couple of them – I didn’t get a chance to talk to them.  But a few weeks later I looked into what they were doing.  I became a customer.  I was (and am even more so now) impressed.  Those blog posts started a conversation that eventually led to here.  It was not planned.

But I am very pleased to be in an exciting position at Mosso – and am very happy to be part of the Rackspace family.  I am a Racker, and already proud of it 🙂

I won’t be able to talk much about what I am doing for a while.  But once I can, I’ll be sure to share my experience with you.

But as I learn more about Mosso, and what my teams look like – I’ll share that with you. 

Because I wouldn’t go to work for a company that didn’t excite me   And challenge me.

This one does.

Lightning Does Strike Twice

It has been about four years since I first decided to step into the consulting lifestyle.  In that time one of my “children” has completed High School, and then his first year of college.  Next year my daughter will finish High School as well.

It has been an amazing four years for me – I have been able to spend time with my kids as required – but mostly I have been able to spend an inordinate amount of time learning.  Ten years ago I learned by reading books – today I learn more by surfing the Internet – it is still reading, but it is so much faster, and so much more available (and “find-able!”.

One of the things my time in consulting has taught me is that I miss people.  I miss the challenge of building teams – not just hiring people, but building functional groups that work well together to build more than any single persons could have done.

So, taking stock of my life, as I am often wanton to do, I asked myself, “What is next”?  In a year I will have two kids in college, and perhaps neither of them left at home.

It was time for me to answer the question, “What does Rob want?”.

So I looked back in my life experiences and tried to zero in on what made me the most happy – what did I love to do so much that I could do it for the rest of my life?  Raising children certainly tops my list – but I can’t raise them forever – in fact, I am already being outsourced in that position – by my children themselves.

Raising children is like building good teams – the end goal is that eventually they won’t need depend on you anymore.

I decided I needed to go back to work with people – preferably young, energetic people, and certainly people smarter than I am.  I have always been lucky in surrounding myself with people smarter than I am (and please – PAUL! – no comments that this should be easy – it isn’t).

This realization came over a several month period – I didn’t wake up one day having come to this “epiphany”.

I missed building teams.  I need to work with smart people.  I MUST work for a company that understands that I am a unique person – I am opinionated, passionate, determined, outspoken, opinionated, and outspoken.  And I am sorry if I repeated myself.  And I am sorry if I repeated myself.

I need a company that doesn’t exist outside of startups – I needed security, because I will have two kids in college.  It must be nimble.  It must be willing to listen, and learn – even as it teaches.  But I also needed the excitement that keeps me engaged.  I need to constantly invent.  I need to work with smart people that will make me smarter.  I needed to be someplace that allows me to make a difference every day.  I needed to build something that affects a lot of people, because after helping build WiFi – it takes a big project to be a “big deal”.

And most of all – I need to be able to help.  My work must have value – to me, and to the people I work with.  And to the customers – who I never shy away from or refuse a conversation with.

In the next day or two I hope to share with you the company that is all of that, and more.  How much more is something I expect to find out soon – and something I hope to grow over time.

But don’t worry – I won’t change my blogging style/habits.  I wouldn’t work for a company that thought they could control my freedom of expression outside the office.

The list of companies I wouldn’t work for is rather large.  So I’ll save you that and instead share with you in the next couple days who I would work for – and I will tell you exactly why I made that choice.