After two (and a bit) great years, I’ve decided to throw my virtual hat into the ring (is that the right euphemism? I don’t usually get them right), and am leaving Sling Media. It was an excellent run and experience there, and I know the company is going to continue to build great products long into the future. I still recall the day Blake called me up, and insisted we go for a lunch. When he showed me his TiVo being placeshifted to his laptop (with “duh-doo!” full sound effects and everything) I knew there was no way I’d turn down the opportunity to be involved with the exciting venture.
In my time at the company I’ve learned a lot and been exposed to quite a few new experiences. I joined Sling Media initially as its VP of Product Management, and had the opportunity to work with an all-star engineering team to bring the Slingbox from prototype (something Blake and his brother Jason Macgyvered up in their homes) to a market-ready product. The biggest challenge of course was making the PC software (we call it a SlingPlayer) as easy to use as possible. As you know, the Slingbox was incredibly well received by both press and consumers, which was a great “reward” for all of us. My next challenge was working with the team to help design and build the SlingPlayer Mobile software, taking all the rich PC experiences and bringing them to a 2-inch screen. Again, I think the company knocked it out of the park with the finished product.
In my second role at the company (as VP of Market Development), I was thrust into the lion’s den, responsible for customer interaction at the SlingCommunity user discussion forums, as well as working with bloggers, press and media. Some called me the “Slingvangelist” and a role that could probably be a nightmare for some was a very fun and rewarding experience for me. I like to think that I learned how to be both thin- and thick-skinned all at the same time – where you take everything personally, but then don’t let it stop you from doing the right thing when you need to.
In the roles above, I feel I learned and accomplished a tremendous amount. But I’m also one of those people who needs to keep learning and facing new challenges. So it’s with extremely mixed emotions that I have decided to move on to seek out those new challenges. I am leaving on great terms with Sling Media, and know they are going to continue to lead the industry in digital media convergence and placeshifting technologies.
I am not exactly sure where I’ll end up next, I’m going to spend much of this month (and possibly next) looking around for what I most want to pursue. I have a few opportunities to consider (and in a bizarre coincidence, they are all exciting already), but in the meantime I’ll do a little consulting (still paying the San Francisco rent), and you can expect to see a lot more activity here on the blog!