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My next adventure — Zilladog

November 22, 2010

You never know where or when you’re going to make a business connection that clicks.  At a party a few months ago we were talking about “widgets”: great ideas that need technical execution to take off.  And I mentioned that after several months of quasi-retirement I was looking for a couple of widgets rather than go back to working as an employee.  And our hostess mentioned that she had such a widget.  Fast forward a couple of months, throw in some brainstorming sessions and a lot of meetings with far too much coffee, and one intense 24-hour trip to San Diego, and here I am, putting together the final details on joining Zilladog as partner and CTO.

For those of you who haven’t heard of Zilladog, it’s safe email and more for kids.  The target is elementary and middle-school kids whose parents are concerned about the spam and ads that kids on a free email account like Gmail or Hotmail could be exposed to.  It’s a great concept and even with minimal marketing has a lot of subscribers.  My job is to figure out how we can efficiently update the site, prioritize the new features, build a development plan and roll out several new releases in the next year.  I can’t announce too much about the plans yet but you’re going to be hearing more shortly.

It’s great working on this, mainly because it’s small enough to get up tp speed quickly, yet challenging enough to keep my brain fully engaged.  In the past year, I’ve spent a lot of time doing volunteer work.  And while it’s rewarding and time-consuming, the things that I was doing really didn’t challenge my mind.  I’m an engineer and engineering projects get my mind working.  Startups are a lot of fun as long as you have the resources to continue to put food on the table while you’re waiting for them to take off.  And they’re also a lot of fun when you have some experience to help you decide what to do.  And what the heck, I haven’t worked on something this small in 20 years.  So it’s back to my roots!

Wish me luck!

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