I used to say I was "retired". But Debbie won't let me say that anymore. After leaving Microsoft in 2002 I continued to dabble in some web development projects, then got involved in angel investing in web service companies in the Seattle area. A friend and I started talking about building a company of our own (data-cloud.com). We were just getting started when the opportunity came up to work at Blue Dot in May 2006.
So, everything else got put on hold, and I was back at work full time helping launch and refine a new social bookmarking web site. It has been, and continues to be, a really interesting experience. We went through some boom (raising $1.5M) and bust (laying off four employees, with four others leaving over the next three months). After hiring a new CEO, I was able to scale back to part-time, and think about picking up my original project where I left off.
Along the way, I came up with an idea for a narrower product niche; while sharing some attributes with data-cloud, pageforest.com is much more targeted at the "hobbyist" web development community. We're building something I've repeatedly wanted myself - and I don't see anyone else addressing it at the moment.
The final kick in the pants came when I found a really great partner to work with. Zach Zelinski, a friend of the family, just graduated from the University of Arizona and had not decided on a full time position yet. We discussed my plans and he agreed to join me in designing and marketing pageforest.com.
I also hired web designer, Sung Park, to do site and widget design for us. Things have been progressing pretty well over the last couple months; we're anxious to get the site up and running. In the mean time, you can sign up for our newsletter at pageforest.com.