13 September 2013

Proving Something New

After AppFog was acquired by CenturyLink I needed to take some time off. In part this was due to the rather relentless pace that we maintained at AppFog but there were also some major life events (like moving out of The Mission) to be dealt with.

But inevitably time passed and I started trying to figure out what was next for me.

As with all my job decisions, I again sought out the counsel of a number of valued advisors. We talked about potentially becoming a full time advisor for start-ups. We talked about staying in the start-up world as an operator. There was discussion about going back into agencies - and about joining a more traditional enterprise technology company. 

Based on these discussions I decided that I needed a new job that offered me:
  1. a steady stream of meaty problems to solve,
  2. an employer that wanted me to solve these problems,
  3. co-workers who would inspire, push and teach me,
  4. a working environment that was fun, supportive, challenging and engaging,
  5. a chance to create material success.
Based upon these criteria I thought, "well I guess I'm staying in the start-up world!" 
And that felt fine to me.

But as I talked to entrepreneur after entrepreneur and investor after investor I came to a realization that has changed my plans and directly resulted in my job decision.

I've already proven I can help create successful start-ups. I've done four and seen four wins. I've proven myself.

And as a result, it's time for me to prove something new.
It's time to prove something more.

And now two brief divergences that will make sense later....

1 - I often describe my upbringing as being "raised on a New England communist kibbutz." While it was (of course) more complicated, this is good shorthand for the cause/values/ideals orientation of the way I grew up. I was raised to believe that greed was not good and that a well-lived life was less about all the good stuff you bought and more about all the good things you did for others. 

2 - I beta tested the Netscape browser starting with V0.5; I interviewed with Netscape for full time jobs twice (the first time being told by my employer - a partner with and investor in Netscape - that I couldn't take the job; the second time declining the opportunity); I wrote the Developer newsletter 'Off the 'Net' for Netscape's site for years (and my girlfriend wrote 'What's New' and 'What's Cool' for the site as well).

And in the midst of talking to entrepreneurs and interviewing with agencies and attempting to communicate with confused recruiters - an opportunity appeared that changed everything for me. This opportunity would give me the chance to do something that was more than just making money for investors - it would be a return to the 90s dreams of changing the world. This opportunity would give me a chance to prove I could use my powers for good. 

The opportunity ticked all the boxes.

And as a result, today I am incredibly excited to be joining Mozilla as a Principal in the Strategy team.

Mozilla is one of the most important organizations in Technology today. This was true 12 months ago - and now with the release of Firefox OS and with the revelations about (the lack of) security and privacy on the Internet it's even more true.

I'm joining an incredible team made up of people who are going to push me and teach me - who are going to excite me and delight me. 

I can't wait to see what the future brings!

Oh... and if y'all have ideas about what we should be doing at Mozilla you know who to ring!


At 8:52 AM, Blogger Todd Sampson said...

Congrats! Mozilla is so lucky to have you. Can't wait to see all of the amazing things you do in the new gig.

At 9:35 AM, Blogger Noah's Ark said...

Congratulations, and I agree with Todd's comments. And so, Congratulations Mozilla for retaining Chris.

At 10:42 AM, Blogger Tim Rosenblatt said...

Psyched to see what comes out of this. You're an insanely smart guy, and Moz is lucky to have grabbed you while they had the chance.

At 2:51 PM, Blogger Robin Willis said...

The alternative path just got a little clearer. Or something like that. Bravo maestro.


Post a Comment

<< Home