Something New

September 21, 2010   

I told my Letterly subscribers first: A few weeks ago, I left AnyClip to pursue something new and exciting. The story of how I came to Co-Found AnyClip and why I decided to leave it is a long one, but mostly it revolves around one man: Aaron Cohen. Aaron is one of the Internet's Epic Entrepreneurs, and has been a leader in the NY early stage scene since really the dawn of the commercial Internet. Ultimately, I decided to "do" AnyClip for the opportunity to work with and learn from Aaron, and in a major way my decision to leave started when Aaron's CEO role with the company drew to a close.

Aaron, thanks for a great 16 month partnership. It was too short, but I learned a ton from you and feel lucky to have worked so closely with you.

To the rest of the AnyClip team who carries on, thank you. You guys inspired me and taught me a lot. In the future, people will search through films, and that future will be due to your hard work and ingenuity. Godspeed.

As for me -- you know me -- I'm already working on the next "new new" thing.

And while I'm sad to leave AnyClip before the company realizes its full potential, I'm extraordinarily excited to be in control of my destiny again. I learned a lot from AnyClip. Most important, I learned a lot about myself. As David S. Rose told me two plus years ago -- I'm an entrepreneur. It's my DNA and I shouldn't fight it.

Unfortunately, I had to fight the contraints of being an employee rather than owner too much with AnyClip. As I wrote about in the Spring, AnyClip, as corporate entity, wasn't something we co-founded -- just the modern incarnation of it was. With this said, I was never really satisfied with my position in the cap table. It felt too much like I was working for other people, and building value for them instead of me or my team. As time went on, and the fruits of my labor began to add significant value to the enterprise, that juxtaposition became more and more accentuated. I was burning the midnight oil -- but not to my benefit.

Nonetheless, I always managed to balance that feeling with the idea that my equity position was justified, and justified because it's what I signed up for... I signed up to take an existing company with a mature cap table, and restart it to be something new and magnificent as a co-founder-yet-still-employee. I had what I negotiated, and when I negotiated it I considered the chance to work with Aaron a part of my comp package. And that's why his departure struck me deeply.

And so a few weeks ago, I left.

Being onto something new again makes me excited beyond belief. No doubt, I'm an entrepreneur. I don't think about fantasy sports or stock prices. I should think more about politics and public policy, but I don't. I think about the future, and I think about the roads and bridges and time-machines that will get us there. I start sentences with, "In the future, people will..." and then try to find the team and the path to filling in the blank.

In the future, people will do a lot of things, and I can't wait to start building one of those things.

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