Business, Commentary

My First Day as a Free Agent

03.23.12 | Permalink | Comments Off on My First Day as a Free Agent
Tinkering in the workshop is one of the best jobs you can have.

Even though my transition was known well in advance and heavily orchestrated, it’s still a little weird to be “unaffiliated” or a “free agent.” The freedom is intoxicating and terrifying all at once.

My daily routine remains the same from a personal standpoint, but a chunk of what I was doing is missing and that’s always interesting to feel and observe. Yesterday I advanced things with, Oddyssea, and with several other opportunities.

Yet the most satisfying thing was taking my daughter to school, picking her up from school, and going to her class art show at a local business in the early evening. These are things I haven’t gotten a chance to do that frequently and it was nice.

The other satisfying thing was having the luxury of taking a dog walk in the company not only of the dog, but also of my spouse. Something that never happens on weekdays. We even managed lunch together (spouse and I, not dog ;-).)

I managed to get a couple of hours in the shop too working on product prototypes. Struggling with a particularly nasty gearing issue that is taking more time and thought than anticipated. But that’s OK, it’s challenging in a good way. And is something I don’t normally get to experience. Hands on work with a finished product is such a delight.

I’m also in the final stages of completing a light fixture for the store in the “steampunk” look & feel. Right now it’s taped 7 ways to Sunday, but when it’s presentable and installed, I’ll snap a photo of it.

This arrangement could be addictive; off to another day of freedom!

Business, Technology & Science

Farewell Juniper

03.22.12 | Permalink | Comments Off on Farewell Juniper
Farewell Wave from a Whale Tail

Yesterday was my last day as a member of the Juniper Networks team. After 4 years toiling to bring software to the networking industry, I leave feeling proud of what was accomplished, yet still unsatisfied in reaching the ultimate potential of software defined networks, apis, and network applications. The networking industry transition from purpose-built hardware-based systems towards general purpose compute, programmable network elements is still in its infancy.

When I arrived at Juniper, the lack of software knowledge was shocking. Even (especially?) in the team I was tapped to lead which was 100% software based products – though most were packaged with standard x86 rack mounted servers. The product portfolio consisted of about a dozen point products with overlaps and gaps in features and functions. There was no real notion of programmability, apis, or platforms.

Now as I leave, there are 3 established software platforms, 2 well defined api sets, 2 software development kits, a developer program, nearly 1,000 third-party software developers engaged, and revenue from the software product set increased more than 10-fold. The team did a fantastic job and I’m very proud of their accomplishments and humbled that I could provide leadership during this period.

The job isn’t complete by any means, but it is time to move from startup mode to a steady state mode with a leader who excels in that environment. Thus I decided in December of last year to help with that transition and get that new leader up to speed. Selfishly, I’m hoping that the team builds upon its success and momentum so I can say “I was part of that.”

There are many good people at Juniper and I will miss working with them. It’s a great company with its best days ahead if it takes advantage of the full range of products, systems and software.

I’ll be focusing on (pronounced “review”) – the best way to establish, manage, and promote your online personal brand and our retail project, Oddyssea. As always, I remain open to other opportunities and business relationships – feel free to contact me if you have one you think might be interesting.

Farewell Juniper!

Business, Coastal Stuff, Oddyssea

A View of the Explore Room

03.20.12 | Permalink | Comments Off on A View of the Explore Room
Explore room of the Oddyssea shop in Half Moon Bay, California

You can see both the floors and the final color of the “explore” room in our forthcoming shop Oddyssea. Working on one wall left to finish in the “create” room, which will take a couple of weeks to nail down. Starting on the lighting today (I’ll do the easy bit, the storage room ;-))

We picked the colors to reflect the coastal/ocean feeling in front which is oriented on the west side aka the ocean side of the store. The colors in back reflect the hill feeling as it is oriented on the east or hill side of the store. The new colors along with the refinished floors make the physical space feel very different from where things started.

The todo list is still long. There is still a bit of plumbing infrastructure to deal with. The whole technology infrastructure yet to be put in place. Lighting is now down to implementation in the explore room and storage room. The create room has the concept, but the materials have not yet been acquired. If everything goes to plan, we will be moving from improvement of the physical space to product/project focus in April.

Business, Commentary

Allianz Update

03.19.12 | Permalink | Comments Off on Allianz Update
Gracie's wound is healing nicely now. No thanks to Allianz and their unwillingness to honor their travel insurance policies.

I’ve now sent a letter off to the Allianz disputes committee reminding them that the agreement we had was to cover my trip in the case of an unavoidable requirement to cancel (which the attack on Gracie most certainly qualifies for.) Nothing good ever comes from a committee… My expectation is that they will tow the company line and decline to honor their product promise and commitments. That is why I’m now teeing up a social media campaign and am in the process of engaging a red-meat eating litigator to take on this case.

An aside, as an insurance company, you’d think that Allianz would be better able to manage the risk/reward equation. Their deceptive practices and inability to honor their policy will end up costing them a minimum of 1,000 times more than just paying the claim. It’s going to be a hard lesson – but sometimes that’s the only way to wake a company or person up. It’s their choice.

Meanwhile, the best news is that Gracie is nearly completely recovered physically from her attack. She’s got quite a scar, but that seems to be the only thing leftover from the incident. I’m very happy she’s back to being her normal happy doggie self.

Business, Coastal Stuff, Oddyssea

Painting in Progress

03.17.12 | Permalink | Comments Off on Painting in Progress
Create room with it's color in place

It’s been a bit since I posted a progress update on Oddyssea. We’re getting toward the end of the improvement of the physical space with painting happening now. The back room aka the “create” room is nearly completed with the roof rafter area finished and the color going on the walls.

There is one wall that consists of planks we haven’t quite decided what to do with yet. The ideas are: a) paint it the same color as the rest of the walls in that room b) make it a mosaic using the different colors from all over the shop painting each plank a different color c) sanding down the planks to bare wood and staining each one a different wood based hue mosaic d) covering the wall with a material like a galvanized barn metal or fabric or e) painting a mural with trees and wild life. We will need to decide this soon…

The front room aka the “explore” room is ready for painting and will go fast once started. A significantly smaller surface area to cover and easier angles etc to deal with. So we’re looking forward to that.

Once the painting is completed, we’ll move to lighting, technical infrastructure, and fixtures. Then we start building out the inventory and moving toward a “soft opening.” It would be great to be able to do that in May, but we’re planning for June at this point knowing the lead time on a number of the products we intend to stock. Once we get a little experience with the store, we will then host a grand opening of some sort in the June/July timeframe.

Exciting times! Things are progressing and well. Stay tuned.

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