It's been a busy, busy few weeks with the soft launch of the MinutesNotice local advertising network, the local deals/coupons portal, and SXSW Interactive… all of which I'll talk about in more detail in coming days.  Lost amidst all of this are two one-year anniversaries for me: 1) my departure from Microsoft on March 14, 2008, and 2) the start of this blog on March 16, 2008.  Some thoughts on both:

Microsoft — Leaving Microsoft was professionally one of the easiest things I have ever done.  Why?  I need to take one more shot at an early stage startup.  The demands of life in your 30s are far more significant than the carefree living of your 20s… so I saw my clock ticking to some extent.  It helped that I saw a few business opportunities.  Every fiber of my being told me that I had to make a move away from a stable, and extremely promising future in Redmond.

I do miss some things about Microsoft though… I miss a lot of the people who worked in/around the Web Platform.  It would have been nice to see things through in a few areas.  I helped build a foundation to prioritize the Web from a marketing perspective that simply didn't exist when I started at Microsoft in early 2005.  I take some pride in seeing parts of the vision realized with products, roadmaps, and improved communications with customers.  I also see some things we could have improved while I was there.  I see blind spots that people at Microsoft still have regarding startups and how things get done in a resource constrained environment.  Suffice it to say that it is very interesting to live on both sides of the fence…

Blogging — In one year's time, I've posted 129 times (or once every ~3 days).  I didn't think I'd have so much to say… but between news/events, developments in our industry, progress we make with our business, events I attend, and most importantly customer interactions across our business I find I still have a lot to say.  I don't think there will ever be a shortage of things to comment on.  Lucky you.

Blogging has proven to be more than an academic exercise for me and for Notice Technologies.  It has proved to be an invaluable way to communicate.  We've told customers about our products and our approach to local advertising.  We've told people about the collaborative blogs and Facebook applications and social presence we've created for consulting clients.  We have had numerous people contact us about a wide range of business proposals, ideas, and other interactions.  Perhaps most importantly though, comments to this blog have furthered the conversation and have often made me think about the issues in different, deeper, and perhaps better ways.

So thanks to all of you for your participation and your continued support of this blog and our company.  The next year should be very interesting as we navigate a rough economy, product rollouts, more consulting work for clients eager to improve business results through social media, and the next year of developments in our industry.

Onward to year 2!