So 2010 is starting out pretty much the same way 2008 started out for me. I’m looking for a new opportunity.

In 2008, I was laid off from Yahoo after spending two and a half years managing international marketing for Yahoo Mail, Search, and their big global brand campaigns. As many of you know, my layoff was well documented. My wife and I spent a lot of time soul searching and figuring out what to do next. With a little money in the bank, we decided that it was as good a time as any to try to do what I’ve always wanted to do…be my own boss.

I’ve spent the past two years giving a go at the startup thing. It started in the summer of 2008 with Neighborsville, a way for neighbors to easily find and share information about what’s going on in their neighborhood. My co-founder and I launched the site in a few neighborhoods around Silicon Valley and tried our best to grow it from there. Unfortunately, we were never really able to get it off the ground.

In late 2008, we shifted our focus to Koombea. Koombea was a development shop started by my co-founder in Barranquilla, Colombia. We needed money and figured the best way to do it was to take the developers we had working on Neighborsville and refocus them on client work. Our target market was startups. We started with three developers plus the two of us and two clients. At first, our clients were mostly seed stage or founder funded startups. Over time, we built that company from the five of us working on small sites to 12 developers, two designers, and the two of us working with both seed stage startups and bigger, more established companies. Along the way, we launched Hi, I’m, a personal profile page that won the 2009 Rails Rumble.

My role at Koombea was business development, marketing, startup consulting, and developing and managing our internal products…pretty much anything not related to writing code. The best part of my job was meeting and working with startups helping them understand concepts like Agile development, customer development, social technologies, and helping them develop their product, marketing, and business strategies. I’ve been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with a ton of great entrepreneurs and startups along the way and have gotten to know some great entrepreneurs, VCs, advisors, startup people, and other really smart folks around Silicon Valley, the US, and the rest of the world. It was an amazing education about innovation, creativity, and execution, and I’m incredibly proud of the what we accomplished in such a short period of time.

At the end of 2009, our development business was going pretty well, but my partner and I had different ideas about how we wanted to proceed moving forward and at the end of the day, we decided that it was a good time for us to take separate directions. While I loved working with the entrepreneurs who hired us to help them get their startups off the ground, I want to spend more time working on creating businesses and products and less time on sales and services. As a result, we split our businesses up, with my partner taking control of Koombea and me…well, that story isn’t yet written.

2010 is my opportunity to write the next chapter in my career. I’m focusing my search on startups, but there are a bunch of great companies that aren’t really startups that I’d be interested in working with as well. I’m going to be looking primarily in Silicon Valley and my hometown of San Diego, but we’re ready for a new adventure wherever it may lead us. To everyone I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working with over the past few years, thank you. You’ve all been inspirational and have taught me a lot about what I love to do. I’m looking forward to continuing those relationships and hopefully being able to continue sharing a bit of what I’ve learned along the way.

I’m excited to see what comes next.

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