Jul 20, 2007

Last day at Google

The response to my last post has been fantastic. I've had a ton of really nice email and an abundance of comments. Thanks to everyone who wrote in and just a few quick follow-ups to provide a bit more clarity:

  • Where are you *really* going? I see you Twittering a lot, you're going to Twitter aren't you? No. I'm really going to take about 6 weeks off before I dive into the next thing. I've been approached about a few exec/CEO type positions at some smaller companies and I have a lot to think about. If I were betting on me (?), I would say odds are good that I'm going to start my own company in the fall/winter and will pick up on some great discussions I've had with VCs and angels in September. You never know though, there might be something awesome that might be a perfect fit.
  • Did you leave Google yet? I work here and I saw you lurking in a hallway, should I call Security? My last day is today. In fact, I'm planning to go to my favorite cafe (Charlie's) tomorrow at Noon on the main campus. If you are reading this blog, and are a Google employee and want to have lunch together one last time - let's meet up there, that would be fun. Please don't call Security, yet.
  • I have an idea and would like to buy you breakfast/lunch/coffee/dinner/iPhone, when is good for you? That's awesome. I love eating things but let's do it in September - I need a break.
  • My idea is awesome, you're an idiot for not listening to it now! Yes, I probably am.
  • Now that you're leaving Google, how can I get my business proposal in from of the right person? As I told the folks at the Dealmaker Media "Partnering with Gorillas" session the other night, the front door is always a good approach.
  • What will you miss about Google? The friends, the food, and the fun secret projects. Not always in that order.
  • I want to add you to my address book, how should I keep in touch? I like using LinkedIn for business contacts and here is my profile page. Otherwise, if you are just looking to hear about what's next. This blog is always a good way to go.
  • Did I see that you did an interview for the Wall Street Journal recently? Yes, as a matter a fact I did. Thanks for asking.

Clearly I'm just sandbagging now so I'll move on.

By the way, I'm going to have to work on being more salacious and print worthy. No splashy Valleywag tidbit on my exit, no Techcrunch blurb? Do I have to say something horrible about Nick Denton or Mike Arrington to get coverage in this town? Here you go, Arrington carouses with tarts and Denton... actually I hear mostly good things about him... wait I can do this... he's a cad and enjoys expensive clothes! I think I blew it. I think the last thing was actually a compliment. I think I know where nice guys finish anyway. I'll keep working on it and I'll see you on the other side of this Google thing.

Jul 19, 2007

`Lucky' returns to Bay Area grocery stores

I never switched to calling the old Lucky's stores Albertson's so I am a fan of this development. Very glad they didn't go all the way back to renaming them Alpha-Beta.

Jul 13, 2007

WSJ: Q&A: Blogger.com Engineers Discuss the Evolution of Blogging - WSJ.com

Case and I aren't engineers but we play them in the Wall Street Journal.

Jul 11, 2007

My time at Google, by the numbers

I joined Google as part of the Blogger acquisition in February 2003. There were only six of us on the Pyra Labs team and we were Google's first acquisition*. Google was only about 600 employees strong. There were times when we felt like royalty and other times when we felt like guinea pigs but all-in-all it has been an amazing ride. I'm very grateful that after joining that I was not only able to contribute on Blogger but to start-up my own product (Google Reader) which by most accounts is now the #1 web-based feed reader. When I wanted to get back to business development I found a great home on a fantastic team and even got to work on products I know and love like Picasa, Reader and Blogger.

I've been working with Blogger for a long time. In October 2000, I tracked down the co-founders Ev and Meg. Having become a Blogger user and fan in mid-2000, I asked if they were making any money and if they could use any help. The answers were "No and Yes." Even though I was an unpaid consultant and friend of the company at the time I devoted myself to what I believed would become huge. I'm glad I was right and even more glad that they accepted my help.

Despite the fun I've had at Google and the weird looks I'm going to get from people for turning down the free Google food, massages, excellent benefits and the like - I feel I've got that entrepreneurial/start-up bug deep within me and I can't help but think about the next thing. I'm going to take a little time off while I think about what is next (hopefully while surfing and riding my bike in Santa Cruz) but I've decided to leave Google. I have a few ideas but if you have a better one - let me know. Below is a quick infographic of some stats I've compiled on the things I've worked or transpired during my time here. To all of my co-workers reading this, you still work at an amazing company and I thank you for your friendship, also I'll be stopping by for lunch. ;)

* Google acquired the assets of Deja.com before our acquisition, but not with live humans.

Google by the numbers graphic

Jul 3, 2007

On vacation at the lake

On vacation at the lake
Originally uploaded by jasonshellen
Happy Fourth of July (or Third for my old pal Clint G). See you next week.