Brian Parks


What am I doing now?

Since the downsizing and restructuring of Synapse Software, I'm sure many readers are wondering what the next chapter in my life will be. Will I get a day job? Will I start going on a lecture circuit? Will I focus on my side projects? Will I ever do another startup?

I think the best way to answer these questions is in reverse, because that's kind of how I've been thinking about them. Running Synapse Software for the past 10 months (and on the larger scale, the past 5 years) has been an incredible experience. I've learned quite a bit, some of which I'll share in future blog posts.

Will I ever do another startup?

Probably not.

By that I mean (a) not one of my own design, (b) not one where there is a significant amount of uncertainty or risk, and (c) not one where I need it to succeed in order to continue to have a paycheck.

But that doesn't mean I will never again have businesses that make money. I certainly already have side projects that I am making available for paying customers (dudl, neomsg) and others that may evolve into services that are worth paying for (klipr) and I'm sure there will be no end to those.

Another option would be building a company around web development on pails, the same way that e.g. Acquia has built itself around Drupal development, though that gets way too close to the startup thing I've just left.

Will I focus on my side projects?

Yes.

Right now, I'm focusing the most on pails (ironic, because I know I'm not likely going to build a business around using pails to solve client problems). The initial goal was to get the pails-content and pails-blog modules up and running so that I could use them on this site, but I know there's potential beyond that and I've even had to resort to putting together a plugin-requests page just so I can remember all the functionality I want to add.

I also plan to pick at dudl every once in a while to keep the community going and try to build a modest revenue stream. I think it's a useful web design tool and I want to keep improving it based on my own experience and user feedback.

klipr and neomsg are more back-burner right now. I think klipr is great as-is, but I don't want it to necessarily stay there. neomsg, on the other hand, hasn't been pitched to the right people to get any good traction, but I'm sure it will stay relevant for at least the next few years.

Will I start going on a lecture circuit?

I suppose it's no secret that I enjoy talking. Especially when I have something worth talking about. I currently have two talks I've been honing: one on intentional web architecture (inspired by my experiences writing pails) and another on "the modern semantic web" and the use of Javascript to utilize the Web as a giant, distributed database.

To answer the question, I probably won't go on too extensive a "circuit", but I do plan to do talks around town and possibly at select conferences with topics that pique my interest.

Will I get a day job?

Yes.

I will refrain from adding more detail until there are more concrete plans, but the plan is to get a day job at a company or organization where I enjoy not only the work, but what the company as a whole does. If that happens, everything listed above should just fall into place.