Hard to believe it’s been 6 months since my last post, but what can I say, I’ve been busy! Not only have I been silent on this here blog, but for those that I have talked with over the last few months can attest, I haven’t talked a whole lot about what I’m working on. Today is the day I get to tell my story. NetworthIQ has been acquired by Strands and I have joined the Strands team to work on moneyStrands, the upcoming personal finance solution. For info on how this news is going to impact NetworthIQ, be sure to read the post over there. This post contributes my personal perspective. Needless to say, I’m pretty excited about it.
It was just over 3 years ago that we started working on NetworthIQ. It was a bit of a bumpy ride. In the first couple months, I wasn’t sure if it was going to make it, but with a couple of high-profile press mentions we were off and running. The idea for NetworthIQ was pretty basic, apply the popular Web 2.0 principles of the time (social networking, public sharing, collective intelligence) and apply it to personal finance, something that hadn’t been done before. There was the occasional “this is the dumbest site ever” comment, but for the most part we always got great response and feedback from those that signed up, which was what kept me going.
Hard to believe that with the web being as global as is now, that the company that came calling was practically in your back yard. I spent two terms at OSU, and went through the disappointment of seeing my baseball career die, but now I’m back in Corvallis living out the dream. Pretty ironic. Not only that, as an active follower of the Silicon Florist and Silicon Forest, I already knew who Strands was and was following what they were doing.
So, how and why did NetworthIQ and Strands come together? Up until a few weeks ago, the face of Strands on the web was MyStrands, the social music site. It may seem odd for a personal finance site to come under that umbrella. But, now that moneyStrands has been announced, I think it starts to make a lot more sense right? Strands is starting to take the personalization and recommendation technology that they’ve built in new directions and personal finance was one of those directions. My primary job now is to channel my knowledge of the personal finance market gleaned from building NetworthIQ into the moneyStrands roadmap and keep NetworthIQ humming along.
Though it was a few months ago, it was sad to say good-bye to TransCore, I had many great opportunities to transition into software development (I started as a financial analyst) and got to work on some fun projects with great people there. But, when an opportunity to work on something that you are personally passionate about full-time and still allows you to support your family, it’s something worth making the jump for.
As for Corvallis, yes, I commute. Quite a bit different from my old commute (though I’m now even more disappointed in Oregon drivers). But, it’s only two days a week normally and the rest of time I’m up north here at home, or enjoying the quiet confines of the Sherwood public library (gotta love a city that provides free wi-fi. Even if its only downtown), or I’ve even been known to drop in on fellow web innovators and do a little co-working. I’ve also been able to make it to more events around PDX like PDX Web Innovators, Lunch 2.0, InnoTech, and BarCamp since it’s good to get out of the house a bit when working at home. However, after commuting 3 hours one day, I’m not exactly eager to make the drive into pdx proper that often, but it’s fun when I do.
Just wanted to add a personal thanks here to Todd, Jeff, and Aaron, my partners in crime at Fourio. Though we certainly had our struggles, the fact that we saw our first released product (a side-project no less) through to an exit is something to be proud of. I don’t want to make this into an academy speech, but I haven’t shared in a while, I should mention that my wife has been great through all of this, supporting my crazy/obsessive side-project turned startup dreams and for that I am extremely grateful. See honey, it wasn’t a waste of time :-).