Out on my own, considering opportunities, Crowd Fusion, and blogging again

I tweeted this a while back and updated my LinkedIn multiple times since then, but for the most part it’s been something that people keep discovering as they chat with me and they’re all surprised by it: I’m no longer with Ceros (formerly Crowd Fusion). The parting was amicable, and I’m still a huge fan of Ceros (and thanks to stock options for my 5 years of service to the company, I own a nice little chunk of Ceros that I’m hopeful will someday return to me in a much larger chunk of money).

Since I left, I’ve been doing some consulting and talking to various companies about possibly coming to work with them. It’s amazing how much things have changed since last time I was on the market. A simple tweet and LinkedIn update and suddenly I had multiple conversations happening with very little traditional “job search” effort on my part. I suppose it’s also a testament to the varied bit of experiences that I’ve accrued over the past 5 years. It’s flattering, but it’s also difficult to know what’s the right road to take for myself professionally and for my family. I was pleased to see this the other day that I’ve been trying to apply to my current set of options:

There has also been an opportunity to turn Crowd Fusion, the Platform and CMS that we built for years to power large at-scale brands like TMZ, The Daily, MySpace, Tecca, and multiple Telepictures properties, into a new business. As a going away gift, the Ceros team gave me a license to Crowd Fusion to use as a I see fit going forward. I set up a little offshoot placeholder page here on my blog as the temporary home of Sample The Web Labs (which I’m thinking of renaming) but for all intents and purposes could potentially become a little consultancy shop to help people build cool online products with Crowd Fusion. I’d like to take some of the profits from that consultancy shop and funnel it into a business account of funds that I can use as an incubator to begin working in earnest on prototyping a few product ideas I’ve had in mind for some time now. Of course, to begin doing that I’d need to land my first client.

In order to make that even more plausible, I’d like to open source Crowd Fusion in earnest (in the past we open sourced the core of the platform in a closed beta after TechCrunch 50, but we didn’t have the time or resources to properly support an open source project as our paying clients took off). Right now, Ceros is no longer focused on the CMS business and are using an advanced & more focused version of the platform to power their amazing product, and my early discussions with them seem positive towards this initiative. However, to be clear, open sourcing Crowd Fusion in earnest would be a side-job / hobby for myself and multiple former Crowd Fusion developers, and we’d really need people who were interested to jump in and participate and help us flesh out our documentation etc. Sound interesting to you? Then please email me at ck+crowdfusion@sampletheweb.com and I’ll put you on a list of people for us to contact should things move forward with this initiative.

Finally, I’ve decided to start blogging again. I had already said I was going to start around the New Year, but now I actually plan on doing it. There’s no reason not to and I have the time and interest in doing so. There’s lots of things to talk about, so stay tuned…

UPDATE: Here’s an example of a site built on Crowd Fusion.