A couple weeks ago, I started blogging again after a hiatus over over two years - my last post was in July 2009. I figured before I got too carried away with any more activity, it might be worth a quick recap of where the heck I’ve been!
Back in November 2008 I announced my second startup, BrowserMob. My goal was to re-invent the world of website load testing by utilizing real browsers (and Selenium) in the cloud. About a year later we launched our second product, a low-cost website monitoring service.
During the summer of 2009 I did an exhaustive search for VC funding, getting several term sheets along the way. Just as an aside: it’s amazing how much the power has shifted to founders in just 24 short months. Today it’s relatively easy to raise a first round of funding on a $3M+ pre-money valuation. Doing so in 2009 was a different story!
But before I closed the financing, I was fortunate enough to have generated enough profits to simply hire two awesome engineers (and friends), Ian White and Rafael Ferreira. We were able to continue to grow organically and profitably, racking up over 500 customers along the way.
And then out of the blue Neustar and a few other companies called to discuss an acquisition. I ultimately decided on selling the company to Neustar for many reasons, which I will write about soon. Needless to say, the experience and lessons learned along the way were life-changing. I met a bunch of fantastic investors, customers, potential acquirers, and founders of startups in the cloud space (ex: Twilio, CloudKick, AppFog, PuppetLabs, PagerDuty, etc).
After the sale I moved from Portland, OR to San Diego to join Neustar and run the product and engineering teams under the Webmetrics product line, (which BrowserMob is part of). I’ve been having a blast since then - both professionally and personally.
Not only do I have a great team that I get to work, I have the backing of a publicly traded company with a $2B+ market cap that is 100% committed to expanding my vision of a simple-but-powerful suite of website performance testing products. And most importantly, since moving to San Diego my wife and I had our first child, a beautiful baby girl named Maggie Rose Lightbody.
Life is good and I’m glad to be stepping back in to the world of blogging, technology, and startups. Part of why I’m blogging again is that things have finally settled down. Between the chaos of the startup, the acquisition, the move, the new job, and the baby it was hard to do much else. But things are a little more calm now and I’m energized to engage with the startup community again and contribute to this blog much more regularly.