JAW Speak

Jonathan Andrew Wolter

Archive for the ‘startup’ tag

Learning Experiences! TSG to FeedBurner (until Google) to my startup, Second Valley, Inc

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Yes, I am well.

  1. I left the botique enterprise content management software consulting company, Technology Services Group. [1]
  2. I joined FeedBurner, as an engineer in February.
  3. I did some really cool ad serving optimization code. My IE degree let me do some fun multivariate linear regressions to prioritize ad serving into their feed ad network. The code base was great to work in. Plus the team was great and I’ll really miss them. This leads to #4.
  4. Thanks to the Chicago PHP users’ group, as well as my Chicago tech event calendar site Techsocial, I was able to attend php|tek. The presentations are now available. [2]
  5. Google acquired FeedBurner in July. I don’t have much to say here, other than I learned a ton living through the acquisition process.
  6. Meanwhile, I incorporated a side business that I’ve been working on since 2003. It’s been profitable since the launch in September ‘06. The entity is Second Valley, Inc, but I”m operating under another name. [3]
  7. I pretty much had the perfect opportunity to ramp up my business by working on it full time. I’ll spend a few months at marketing, product development, (more) SEO, statistical analysis enhancements, and rebuilding the PHP app in Ruby on Rails.


  1. This is where I started my career and if any of you reading this are college students interviewing with TSG, feel free to contact me. Because of the small size, and management style, if you’re aggressive you can get 3 years of experience in 18 months. I went from zero to supervising another developer and working directly with clients on $200K and $300K+ projects. Plus the people are really fun!
  2. I’ve spent most of my time in Java, but up until now all my side projects were in php. The Facebook APC presentation was killer!
  3. Last year at Bar Camp Chicago a bunch of us tried to get Chicago Coworking up and running. That never took off, but one of the name ideas was Second Valley (You know, create an entrepreneur friendly community like Silicon Valley. Call it… Second Valley. Which is even a bigger pun when you think of Chicago’s Second City.) My business is unrelated to coworking, but I had the domain, and it can hold multiple doing-business-as projects, so I figured it’s good enough.

Written by Jonathan

July 7th, 2007 at 3:12 am

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