It’s been a while since we popped our heads out of the sand around here. It’s fair to say that Shiny New Toy has been in a bit of hibernation mode for almost a year. To say that we’ve folded our hands would be incorrect. To say that we’ve become increasingly self-aware and have evolved as a result would be accurate.
Holly and I started Shiny New Toy in early 2008. At the time, we had both moved on from working together at NASA. Holly found a great opportunity working with Hot Studio in downtown San Francisco. I left NASA when Stanford University came calling. And I was preparing for life with a second child. There were a number of reasons we created Shiny New Toy. First (and most importantly), Holly and I missed working on things together. Our skills, cultural sensitivities, and work habits complement each other perfectly. Second, we are often approached with opportunities outside of our day jobs. Shiny New Toy became a mechanism by which would could easily assess those opportunities and chose the ones that we wanted work on. Third, we’re always coming up with new (often silly) ideas that we quickly wanted to execute. Shiny New Toy could be a banner for various skunkworks that we wanted to crank out.
We’ve had ups and downs in momentum over the last couple of years. Over the past year, we’ve been pretty quiet about what we’re up to. Last summer, I started working full time at a startup. That was pretty much all consuming. Doing that with a one year old and three year old at home was practically suicidal. Meanwhile, Holly continued to crank out work for high visibility clients over at Hot Studio. And a few months, the circle completed for me as I returned to a role at NASA.
Concurrent to all that activity, the WordPress niche which were pretty invested in began to change. Simply put, the landscape of WordPress resources out there is pretty saturated now and forced us to reassess our focus. In response to that we tried some different things including attempting to work on projects for pure company equity. Not so great results with that on first attempt.
Essentially, we realized that Shiny New Toy was meant to complement our existing professional lives (for now) not be the centerpiece of it. We’ve become self aware and comfortable with what Shiny New Toy (see previous paragraph). Ideally, we’d pick three projects a year to work on and going forward that will be the metric we will seek to achieve.
No, we don’t have anything big to announce today. So stop holding your breath and exhale. But something needed to break the silence here. For a couple months, I started wondering what would be the tipping point to break the ice. And last week, I think the spark that we needed was lit with the Thesis/WordPress cage match. It got Holly and I riffing again. Stay tuned for more thoughts on that.