“When it’s time to change, you’ve got to rearrange,/
Who you are and what you’re gonna be.”
— The Brady Bunch
I remember the first time I saw the Internet. It was through The Electronic Trib, a BBS that featured Albuquerque Tribune content, chat rooms and a tenuous link out to the Internet via a text-only Lynx browser.
It blew my mind. I could access information from across the world. I could see the card catalog at the University of New Mexico. And I remember telling an Albuquerque entrepreneur this was going to change everything. He wasn’t convinced. But I was adamant.
I jumped into the Internet with both feet. When I moved from The Trib to the Denver Rocky Mountain News, I started agitating to launch a website at the paper. And when management decided to go for it, they turned to Paul Pershing and me, the two guys at the paper with ponytails and an HTML jones.
We had no idea what we were doing, but we managed to pull it off with considerable help from Jack McElroy, a senior editor who was the project’s guardian angel and who also was a catalyst behind the Electronic Trib a few years earlier.
It’s funny, though. As much as I embraced the Internet and all the change I thought it would bring, I’m generally averse to change. In fact, I’m terrified of it. I’m a creature of habit. I like to know what’s coming next and I take a deep comfort in the tried and true.
This ruthless consistency, this hobgoblin of ruts and familiarity, is my greatest nemesis. It was with considerable trepidation (and a swift kick in the ass from my wife, Lara) that I moved from Albuquerque to Denver. And moving from Denver to Austin in 1996 to work for a web startup called GoWest was even more daunting. But I did it, and each time I moved out of my comfort zone to the land of nightmares and churning stomach acid, it opened the door to fresh horizons, exciting opportunities and new friendships.
It’s time to shake things up again.
After 13 years in a series of corporate interactive roles at Scripps, I’m quitting to join a partnership that is a veritable league of Super Friends called Maroon Ventures. My partners in this endeavor are amazing. It took only one meeting to convince me this is the right move. I can’t describe the electricity in the room while we tossed ideas around and planned world domination. I haven’t been this energized since those early days in Denver when I was staying up all night to learn HTML and mine the mysteries of the Internet on a Mosaic browser.
Of all the changes I’ve embarked on, though, this one is the toughest. Probably because I’m leaving an incredible company and the best boss I’ve ever had. I hate to resort to the old breakup cliche that