Moving on to the next phase of my professional life. of midnight tonight, I am a free agent for the first time in a long time. I am leaving Ignition and beginning to plan the next phase of my professional life. It has been a while coming.

I’ve been associated with Ignition for 13+ years — the longest involvement I’ve ever had with a company. The early days were exciting, I was fully engaged. But in 2005, some personal issues caused me to step aside for a while. I eventually was able to recommit time to Ignition, but I never really had the same connection after returning. I found myself frustrated with the venture model, uninspired about the nature of the work, and too often thinking that I was on the wrong side of the table — my empathy was with sweat equity, not financial equity.

And so I’ve made no new investments the last couple years, I’m not part of the latest fund, I’m not currently on a board seat. I’ve effectively voted with my feet, I don’t really want to be involved with the venture business anymore. So effective now, I am completely out of Ignition, I am not involved with management of Ignition or the funds at all. I still have an investor’s interest in the funds, but I am just another LP now. It’s an amicable separation, I wish my remaining friends at Ignition all the best, I will still help them out when asked, as I will my friends at portfolio companies.

Going forward, I am not going to be sitting in the park feeding pigeons. I am as excited about technology as I’ve ever been. I am working hard on retraining myself to be a modern developer, becoming conversant with all the current technologies and tools. I am very excited about the coming wave of ever cheaper devices and the Internet of Things (terrible name tho). It still feels like early days in the digital revolution. I am meeting folks, talking about ideas, prototyping little things, learning open source, brainstorming, etc. I have 25 devices and sensors spread all over my desk. I’m working with some other folks on all this and having a blast. We may form a company. We may do angel investing. We may do something else. At some point I, and we, will be ready to talk about what we are doing next.

For now tho, I am enjoying the freedom of a completely blank slate, and the chance to really dig in to technology. And the opportunity to do more of the things that I enjoy — working with great people, betting on the long technology waves, and figuring out the thin edge of the wedge for new technologies and new products.

9 thoughts to “Moving on to the next phase of my professional life.”

  1. As usual, I do not understand much of what you say, not because I am ignorant, but because it is all widgets and who-bits to me. But i know if it feels right, and when you sit at your desk working and thinking it gets your blood flowing, then, this new “Life of Things” is just right for you for now. Love

  2. John, congrats on your passion for re-engaging on the building side. I am learning iPhone development in conjunction with Rob Dickerson. Having fun (and banging my head on the wall). Love to hear more about what you are doing either privately or publicly!


  3. Congratulations John.
    I am sure your family enjoys having you around. How is everyone? Now that are 3 adult children all have returned to the Bay Area, we spend most of our time there. We also are in Seattle because of family. Keep my hand in education. Ever consider teaching just let me know!

  4. thanks everyone. mary i am a terrible teacher but appreciate the vote of confidence! paul, objective-c/ios makes me just barf. the amount of scaffolding and wrapping to just do simple things. cries out for a better tool. are you ever down in SLU neighborhood?

  5. Enjoy the transition period John. I’m also between things and enjoying it quite a bit!

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