I’ve spent my last two weeks at Microsoft wondering how I was going to write this blog post.
Microsoft recruited me off of Hacker News two years ago. In the Summer of 2010 I was still brushing off the ashes of my first failed startup when I wrote a blog post about some of the challenges the .NET community faces with respect to adoption among startups, which subsequently got a ton of attention on Hacker News and inside of Microsoft.
Ultimately, this was the start of an amazing two year journey at Microsoft as a Startup Developer Evangelist. I relocated from San Diego to Los Angeles and built a new life, met scores of wonderful people, worked with some of the absolute best startups on the planet, and honed my skills as a technologist and software entrepreneur exponentially further than they were when I attempted my last startup.
I love my job; I love my team; I love the developers / startups / accelerators / investors I’ve worked with; and I learned reams of applicable real-world stuff from people far more experienced than I. However, it’s time for me to do something different.
Today, August 10th 2012 is my final day with Microsoft. It’s been a life-changing experience and I have few regrets about what I’ve been able to accomplish with my time here.
It’s not easy to leave something when you (1) kick ass at it and (2) love doing it, and few people ever make that leap. But I’m going to, because I don’t give a single iota of shit over the risk of failing at something new. I’m much more afraid of getting comfortable and never trying anything dangerous at all. You only live once.
Starting on Monday I am assuming my new role as the Founder of MarkedUp, a new startup company which will provide Windows 8 and WinRT developers with analytics and insights on how they can make their applications better.
I couldn’t be more excited to pursue something new and to have a chance to do something I’ve wanted to do since I graduated: build a company that ships products made by developers for developers.
I love the .NET ecosystem and our team at MarkedUp is committed to delivering tools and services these developers will absolutely love. We have the right tools, the right people (more on that), and the right expertise to deliver a kick-ass experience which will help WinRT developers build better apps faster.
We’re based in Santa Monica and we will be hiring additional developers soon. If you’re interested in hearing more about what we’re working on email us at email@example.com.
The past two weeks have been humbling for me. I spoke individually to all of my co-workers and the startups I worked with closely about my future plans for MarkedUp, and the outpouring of support and genuine excitement for us has been beyond my wildest expectations. I couldn’t be more fortunate to have met and worked with such terrific people.
While I’m sad to no longer be on the same team as my amazing co-workers and manager, I am absolutely thrilled to be pursuing my own startup and betting on the success of Windows 8 independently.
I’m going to work my ass off to build a company developers love and stands the test of time.
Money, exits, and glory do not mean jack shit to me if they aren’t the byproduct of delivering exceptional value to customers and building a team that is absolutely in love with its own work. This is what I am now setting out to do – wish us luck!