Why I am leaving AOL

It’s not because they got rid of my old Autoblog logo and it’s not an April Fool’s joke involving Twitter this time.

About a year ago an old friend of mine asked me if I wanted to be involved in a comic book publishing company with him. We discussed it off and on and I was hooked. After all I had wanted to be a comic book artist since high school. Where did I go wrong?

We incorporated last summer and had plans to launch a site last fall. Mostly because my day job at AOL running Weblogs and Blogsmith takes up every online minute I have, that launch was delayed until February and even then we launched with just a news site and not the whole sprawling comic site I had envisioned.

Having a site described as the “Huffington Post of comics” is flattering, but it’s not what I want to build.

So I’ve been planning for a while to leave AOL and I’m way past my own personal limit of “Shoot me if I’m still working there in March.”

Next Friday will be my last day. If you have any favors you’ve been waiting to ask me for, let me know soon. After June 1 I will not be able to stuff the free car contest ballot boxes for you or get you those high-traffic links from EngadgetTMZ and Cinematical.

I’m leaving my companies in the capable hands of Brad Hill and Gavin Hall and they’re working for the two best people I’ve worked with recently at AOL, Marty Moe and Ted Cahall. The only drawback to me leaving AOL is I won’t get to work more with Ted or have a front-row seat as he tries to revamp AOL’s entire technology foundation, but I’ll do that vicariously through Gavin.

Actually, there is another huge drawback: I’ve built two amazing teams for Blogsmith and Netscape and I’m leaving them all behind at AOL. I always imagined I’d be working with these guys for years and years on many new projects and now I have to see if I can continue my winning streak and put together a third bunch of geniuses for the publishing platform at ComicMix.

At least I’m smart enough to not try and build it all by myself.

Published by Brian Alvey

I build software that makes creative people more powerful.

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