Feeling Nostalgic… And The Next Five Years

I’m feeling nostalgic today, my last day at MarkMonitor. My good friend Blake Hayward and I founded CollectiveTrust five years ago. MarkMonitor acquired “us” about three years ago. That chapter closes today.

Looking back, it’s easy to break down my career into five-year chunks. The first five years I spent in grad school, discovering programming, and getting started as a consultant. The next five years I focused on tabbed browsing and NetCaptor. The last five years have been spent on anti-phishing technologies (and more recently R&D stuff) at CollectiveTrust/MarkMonitor.

It’s hard not to wonder what’s in store for the next five years. They say you overestimate what you can accomplish in one year and underestimate what you can accomplish in five years. At least I know how the next five years will start. I’m taking a few days off this Easter week before starting Monday at AT&T Interactive/YellowPages.com on the Search and Data Services Team. I’m excited for a number of reasons… but mainly because it looks like I’ll be working with a very strong team made up of *really* smart and experienced people. Most of my work has been independent or as team leader so I’m looking forward to learning how much a strong team can accomplish.

What about the next five years for our family? Deo volente, our youngest, Claire (5), will be the age our oldest, Lauren (10) is now. Luke will be 13 and probably eating us out of house and home. Lauren will be 15 and I’ll be training as a ninja to scare away the boys. And Nancy and I will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. Wow!

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Volunteer Pumpkin

I’m a composting geek. We compost all of our non-meat table scraps, coffee grounds, and some yard waste and then dig it into our garden soil each year as a natural fertilizer. It’s always fun to see what “volunteers” pop up from that compost. After Halloween we composted our jack-o-lanterns, and this year our favorite volunteer is a pumpkin vine, complete with one little pumpkin.

I wish coffee plants would volunteer. Hmmm.

Zappos.com – Click-to-Foot in 20 Hours

I wear flip flops 365 days a year and my Reefs need replacing after 18 months of near-constant use. I ordered some Tevas from Zappos.com yesterday at 2 PM. I paid for two day shipping, but because I missed the “1 PM ship the same day cutoff”, I didn’t expect to see them until Thursday.

Guess whose doorbell just rang? UPS just dropped off my new flips less than 20 hours after I ordered them. That’s ridiculous! Do they always ship this fast? I may never buy shoes in a store again, especially because most stores don’t carry my size 14/15 anyway.

New Business Idea – Closest X Via Text Message

Stitches This one hit me even before Mark Cuban’s post (3 Business Ideas).

Stiles’ family vacations generally aren’t complete without at least one visit to an emergency room or urgent care facility. In the last couple of years we’ve needed them for ear infections, strep throat, bad bee stings, and the latest, six stitches over my right eye from a surfing accident.

I want to send a text message to a service that automatically knows where I am based on the GPS location of my cell phone. To find the closest ER, I would text “ER” to the service, and it would send back directions to the closest ER.

I’d also use it to find Peet’s, Starbucks, gas stations, etc. Wouldn’t that be slick?