Changing Course

Yesterday was my last official day at Teqlo, I am now 1) focusing on other interests, 2) spending time with family, and 3) devoting myself to clean technology. Well, #1 and 2 for sure… I am just throwing #3 in because it’s so damn trendy.

Teqlo is a fantastic concept and a potentially very disruptive business but it became clear that it needs more time in the oven in order to further develop and, more importantly, package the service. Spending 6+ more months in development before re-entering the market is not what I want to be doing, and as the single most expensive employee in the company it really doesn’t make much sense to be paying me when 2 additional engineers would do the company far more in the way of value creation.

User co-created applications, mashups (or composite apps, whatever turns you on), and services driven app platforms are a passionate collection of topics for me, they have been for years. My enthusiasm is not diminished at all, in fact I think the experience over the last 8 months has been fantastic in that I can clearly see the potential, the limitations, and the land mines on this path in a way that I never would have been able to as a casual well informed observer… I’ve been a partisan.

All throughout my Teqlo experience I have had large enterprise IT people calling and tire kicking as well as laying out their own plans. This is a much more receptive market than I would have originally anticipated, as is the ISP/MSP segment of the industry that sees mashups as a "missing link" to connect their service bus infrastructures with user requirements. Refocusing on what I know best, enterprise software or in the very least "traditional" enterprise and large SMB, might not be a bad choice. Will consider all options.

There is one specific topic that I am devoting increased attention to, which is turning RSS/Atom feeds into a mechanism for moving data into applications as oppposed to simply a pub/sub mechanism for blogs. I absolutely love the notion of turning the web into a great big database that pipes data around as feeds which can then be subscribed to, manipulated, and pumped into applications.

So where do I go from here? I have no idea and that feels great. There are a couple of projects I am already working on, but at the moment I am very much enjoying whitespace thinking, something I haven’t been able to do in a while. I’m also looking forward to re-engaging with my Irregulars group, which I will admit has not been getting as much attention as I should have been giving it.

There are some great events coming up in the weeks and months ahead, I will certainly be looking forward to immersing myself in them without the burden of pushing forward an agenda.

View Jeff Nolan's profile on LinkedIn

37 thoughts on Changing Course

  1. Jeff,

    Far too few people would’ve made the same decision in your shoes. Putting the good of Teqlo ahead of the good of your checking account deserves big props.

    “Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with what happens to him”…Aldous Huxley

  2. Thanks Jason. While I would like to take the credit, the fact is that once the flywheel starts spinning there are consequences that aren’t always well planned out! :)

  3. Jeff, Good Luck! You’re always looking far in to the future so I’m not surprised. It must feel wonderful to have a clean slate in front of you.

    All the best!

  4. Jeff, unless I’m mistaken, it seems that you have changed jobs as much as I have in the last year. My excuse/problem is that I’m always working on a startup. Anyway, best wishes to you.

  5. Jeff:

    This was a noble decision and I thank you for all your past and future help in shaping Teqlo into something really special. You are an exceptional person.

    All the very best,

    Peter Rip

  6. Hey Jeff – come play with me and Niel in Boulder this summer. I’m sure we can cook something interesting up.

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  12. Jeff,

    That’s pure gallantry, Jeff. I just made a post in my blog.

    Good luck in whatever you do !

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  14. I’m impressed how you have positioned yourself to be the hero in this. A startup pays you a lot of money and after 8 months you realize it might take another 6 months to get to market so you bail? Wouldn’t a true entrepreneur forgo (or at least defer) salary and use the cash to hire the two engineers to build the business (ie, your most-likely generous equity package)? If you are not incented by equity and do not have a commitment beyond 8-14 months, then you probably should stay away from startups.

    With that being said, thank you for sharing your insights into the mashup market.

  15. I don’t know if the kissing up to John Nolan is deserved. Wouldn’t a true entrepreneur take more equity and no salary if he believed in the venture. Also doesn’t this cut and run strategy leave the company in a world of hurt as far as raising capital.
    To be praise worthy someone needs to do something special not something as simple as leaving a company high and dry.

  16. Entrepreneur / John,
    Can you share your last career decision so I can critique it? Did you post it to your blogs in full view of the world?

  17. Thanks for sharing this with us, I look forward to hearing your perspective(s) on our panel on Enterprise 2.0 at Software 2007. And best of luck for the future, wherever you will land I am sure that you’ll do something interesting.

  18. Great and candid stuff, Jeff. And we still need to lock down that date to talk — now more than ever !

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  20. Great decision Jeff – can’t have been easy.

    Well done, good luck and if I can help in any way, please don’t hesitate.

  21. Jeff: Great decision. I think if you let it cook for sometime , big enterprises are headed in this direction. Being one of the guys bugging you to bring it to large enterprises and seeing where it needs to go I think this space just needs time- Let us catch up when you have time

  22. Whoa. Just saw this via Om Malik. Must have missed the update from your blog in my feedreader. Best of luck with new stuff.

  23. Jeff: Wise decision. Let it cook for some time more and as enterpirses are headed here soon this space will come on its own. Let us catch up when you have time

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  25. Jeff,
    You’ve made the right decision…Please let me know if i can help or if you want to bounce some ideas around. Best of luck!


  26. Taking the helm of a valley startup in the Web 2.n space is not for the feint hearted – and, world’s apart from a position in corporate VC. Hang your bets behind better due diligence next time as this kind of news hurts more than one person. Judging by the blog feedback you already have people rooting for your success. Good luck!

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  28. Jeff,

    6 months is hardly a time for which a CEO is not ready to wait, despite the fact that you are telling that Teqlo is upto something. It just shows you hardly have any confidence in the company.


  29. John,
    To suggest that I just don’t like working with engineers would be a more accurate reason.

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