Current State of the Tony: I am currently “between startup obsessions”. I’m spending my days doing some consulting/advising (drop me a note if you need a hand) and meeting with lots of folks (from early stage investors to early stage companies to potential co-founders).
Things that I enjoy having a hand in include customer support, product vision, interaction design (from wireframing all the way to CSS and some light rails/JS), PR & linkbait, SEO, social media marketing, blogging, evangelism, hiring, PR, fund-raising and more.
Career highlights (chronological):
- In ’05, I sold a 15ish person custom web application consultancy that I’d built from the ground up over a period of 5 years in Anchorage, Alaska. No, I do not know (or support) Sarah Palin. I have made caribou chili, however.
- In ’06, Mike Arrington of TechCrunch said the following about my interaction design efforts on the resume search startup I’d recently founded: “Anyone building a new web company with search features should take a look and consider, cough, copying their interface. It’s really exceptional.”
- Later that year, I sold that company (called “Jobby”) to Jobster.com, a heavily funded startup in Seattle. There I led various consumer effort for the span of 1 year.
- In late ’07, I was accepted into one of the early Y Combinator “classes”. Y Combinator is an incubator/seed fund that selects 10-30 companies to fund/mentor out of thousands of applicants every 6 months.
- On the design front, the user experience was lauded by blogs and mainstream media. Do a twitter search or a google blog search to see what people are saying.
- I authored and implemented an SEO strategy that brought us from page 4 to the #1 result for our top search phrases.
- I led a wildly successful PR strategy. I’ve personally been quoted in a front-page article in the New York Times and interviewed on CNBC and Fox Business. RescueTime has been featured by NPR, the Wall Street Journal, BBC, Slate, LifeHacker, TechCrunch (3x), US News and World Report, BusinessWeek, and more. On several occasions, I led link-bait efforts that "went viral", with individual blog posts netting nearly half a million views in the span of a few days.
- I led an A/B testing effort to improve site conversion to trial and paid accounts that resulted in a 400%+ increase in conversions.
- I’ve done a lot of public speaking (alone and on panels) including at the Web 2.0 Summit, the Information Overload Research Group Conference, The Churchill Club, Seattle Tech Startups, the Six-Hour Startup Conference, and more.
- I’ve been syndicated on VentureHacks, BusinessWeek and 47 Hats.
- In late 2010, I stepped down as CEO of RescueTime. The company is still growing rapidly and is quite profitable. I still serve as an advisor to the company and count my co-founders and investors among my friends. You can see my rationale for stepping down here.
What I do for fun: I like reading (sci-fi and biz books), traveling, cooking, kayaking, sailing, camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, playing casual sports (racquetball, ultimate, volleyball, touch football), computer games, and hanging out with my wonderful wife & dog.