Archive for September 26th, 2011

I’m Selling The Thoughts Media Network, Moving to the USA, and I Got a Job Working for HTC. Any Questions?

Monday, September 26th, 2011

I’ve been writing and re-writing this post in my head over the past couple of months, and that headline was the best I could come up with. It’s not easy to encapsulate one of the most significant changes in my life in a single sentence. Now let’s unpack that bombshell I’ve just dropped…

The HTC Job

I’ve been working with HTC, the mobile phone and tablet maker, since August 1st of this year. Being a long-time fan of Microsoft’s efforts in the mobile space – and largely tying my career to those efforts, for better or worse – I’ve watched HTC grow from being a nameless, brandless, tiny Taiwanese ODM making Palm-sized PCs/Pocket PCs to the mobile powerhouse they are today. I’ve always had tremendous admiration for HTC as a company and loved their products, so when someone I knew from Microsoft got a job with HTC in late 2010, I reached out and we started talking. The rest, as they say, is history. I believe HTC is uniquely positioned to do some amazing things in the mobile space over the next few years and I’m excited to be a part of it!

Thoughts Media is currently a vendor for HTC USA, and come October 1st, I’ll be a full-time employee. I have an H1B work visa, and after closing the sale of my house this weekend (phew!), I’ll be moving in the near future to the Bellevue, Washington area with my wife and two year old son, and starting my new career. To add a little extra stress into my life, we’re also building a new house and will be in temporary lodging until it’s finished. Oh, did I mention this is the first corporate job I’ve held in 13 years? This is the single biggest career transition I’ve ever gone through.

What am I doing for HTC? I’m a part of their social team – the team that focuses on HTC customers via Facebook, Twitter, and other communities. My title is Senior Manager of HTC Communities. I’m creating something special for them that, when the time is right, you’ll hear about in a very big way. The job couldn’t be more well-suited to my skill-set if I had created it myself. I’m massively excited about the opportunities I’ll have at HTC, and my admiration for them as a company has only grown since I’ve been on the inside. A big shout-out to my awesome team at HTC for making a slightly bewildered Canuck feel right at home.

Effective October 1st, I’ll be retiring from the Microsoft MVP program. This ends a 14 consecutive year run that has been profoundly rewarding on both a professional and personal level. I became a Windows CE MVP when I was 22 years old; I’ve been an MVP for more of my adult life than not, so it was a big decision to remove my name from being renewed for the next year. I have some amazing memories and made some great friends being a part of the program, and I’m forever grateful to Microsoft for allowing me to be a part of it.

You may have noticed my recent posts about HTC on Windows Phone Thoughts or Android Thoughts have contained zero commentary – just the facts. It’s been difficult to try and keep the two worlds separate, which leads me to…

Selling the Thoughts Media Network

Months before I started seriously talking to HTC, I was exploring the sale of my Web sites. I’ve said no to several offers over the years, but it’s now time to sell. I’ve loved running these sites since launching my first one (Pocket PC Thoughts) an incredible 11 years ago, but I’ve felt for a couple of years now that I needed a career change. When you stop acquiring new skills at a job, and you feel like you’ve gotten all the experience out of it that you can, it’s time to look for something different.

I say this with no sense of exaggeration: it has been one of the great joys in my life working with the amazing volunteers who keep things humming across all six of my sites, and I’m forever indebted to them – and to you, our awesome community – for giving me the ability to do this for so long. I’ll have a more eloquent farewell message when I finally sign off for good, but this was easily one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. Leaving my creation – our creation – in the hands of someone else is no small thing.

The logical question is “Who’s buying the Web sites?”. Right now I’m looking for a buyer for all six sites in the network – I’m in talks with several people/companies, but nothing has been finalized yet. If you’re interested in taking over a network that has been finely tuned like a racing car, staffed with amazing volunteers that are ready and willing to work with a new owner, please contact me directly.

Serious inquiries only please, but the selling price of the network might be less than you think. Let’s just say I’m a motivated seller because it’s time for me to move on and jump in with both feet at HTC. I’ll be accepting offers over the next seven days, then making my decision, so if you’re interested please let me know. The ideal buyer is someone who has a passion for technology, community, and an entrepreneurial spirit for making things grow. Oh, and being a little brash and opinionated can’t hurt!

Comments? Questions? Thoughts? Let me hear them…

(this post is duplicated over at Windows Phone Thoughts if you’d like to comment there)