Writing The NEXT Chapter

WritingI just want you to know that this post isn’t even possible without the generosity and help that I’ve been given by my friends and also by Brian Solis and Bub.blicio.us–thanks for helping me to dream about bigger things.

This month, I celebrate my four-year SF anniversary. I’ve had an interesting ride over the past few years and I’ve been fortunate enough to share it with many friends, old and new.  But perhaps what I’ve been most proud of is the fact that I’ve managed to find a really great job here in San Francisco and pick up my life after a couple years of (f)unemployment. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been an interactive producer at one of the best healthcare communication agencies that I know–Kane & Finkel. Of course many of you probably know what I did better as being a “drug dealer”, which technically isn’t too far off from the truth…I’ve essentially been working on the marketing side of things taking a strategy and executing it, thereby contributing to the cause of selling more drugs for patients to get better.

Time at Kane & Finkel

Working at Kane & Finkel has been very rewarding for me and I’ve definitely learned a great deal. From stepping foot inside this small but agile agency, working with a very creative and dedicated team centered around being as invaluable to the client as they are to each other, there was no challenge big or small that we couldn’t handle. In reflection, I’m amazed that I produced four iPad applications, at least five video animations, 4-5 websites, countless emails, numerous reports, and several dozen pages worth of documentation–definitely something that will stay with me forever.

But while working at Kane & Finkel has been nothing but great to me and helped me grow professionally, I can’t help feeling that there’s something missing from my life and time here in San Francisco. I’ve been here now for four years and what people have told me is that I’d be perfect in a startup or that I fit right in the industry. Sounded bizarre to me, but the more that I heard this, the more I heard the siren’s calling and I felt that right now would be the right time to see what other opportunities lay ahead of me.

Taking the leap

So, in looking at the economy and the opportunities that were available to me, I decided that right now would be the chance to take the leap. That’s why, September 25 will be my last day as an interactive producer at Kane & Finkel. I totally don’t go into this decision lightly, but I think that the desire to keep following what’s happening in technology and with startups has become too great of a calling that I couldn’t pass up.

So what’s next for me?

The Next WebToday, I’m really excited to share some great news…starting next month, I’m going to be more involved in the technology and startup community getting to know the ins and outs of what’s it like to be an entrepreneur, investor, developer, designer, and lord knows what else. Basically, I’m going to be wandering through Silicon Valley eager to know more about what’s happening in tech–eager to hear your story. With that, I’m super happy to announce that I’m the newest reporter for The Next Web. Yup, that’s right…this time I’m going to be an industry man–covering consumer technology and startups right here in the greatest city I’ve ever lived in.

For the past few years, I’ve been watching from the sidelines, usually from afar, at some of the coolest tech companies begin and grow to become some of the world’s most important facets of everyday life. Each day, I’ve found my interest grow and my passion for the tech world increase…and now I find myself having an incredible opportunity to be involved while sharing it with the rest of the world. This is definitely something that suits my style…

Okay, here’s the particulars…I’ll be staying put here in San Francisco (natch) and the official title is Bay Area Reporter where I’ll be highly interested in the consumer tech & startup space. Expect to see me roaming through the streets of this great city, as well as throughout the valley.

Big shoes to fill

Apple iPhone5 announcement: Mashable's Lance Ulanoff, Rackspace's Robert Scoble, and The Verge's Joshua TopolskyI’d be quite remiss to say that I couldn’t have gotten here without the help of some great friends–too many to mention, in fact, but I definitely appreciate all the support. I step into this roll with a bit of trepidation in doing a great job…not because I’m not qualified, but because of all those that have come before me and still are having a great impact on reporting the latest and greatest in tech. Working at The Next Web will be great because I will be working with some of the brightest reporters and minds in the industry–very thankful to be learning from folks like Zee, Brad, Alex, Matthew, Jon, Hermione, and many others on the team. Lots of great stuff has been coming out from The Next Web and I’m hoping that my hunger for news will help add value to that–definitely a role I’m eager to make an impact in.

But I can’t also forget that there’s been a lot of great folks in the industry that I whole-heartedly look up to and hope to be as successful as they have been/are now (in no particular order): Kara Swisher, MG Siegler, Michael Arrington, Eric Eldon, Ben Parr, Alexia Tsotsis, Rafe Needleman, Liz Gannes, Jolie O’Dell, Jennifer Van Grove, Om Malik, Marshall Kirkpatrick, Josh Topolsky, Robert Scoble, Shel Israel, Louis Gray, Jason Kincaid, Erick Schonfeld, Sarah Lacy, Michael Carney, Josh Constine, Drew Olanoff, Lance Ulanoff, Kym McNicholas, Owen Thomas, Ryan Block, Anthony Ha, Dean Takahashi, Adam Ostrow, Pete Cashmore, Adam Hirsch, and probably like a billion more names that I don’t have the space to list out–but there are definitely big shoes for me to fill…

The drive is there…I hunger for knowledge and to learn. So let’s do this…October 1, it’s game time.

Photo Credit: A writer’s tools via bloodylery/sxc.hu

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently Flipboard's Assistant Managing Editor, overseeing news curation in technology, science, gaming and health. In addition to his day job, Ken's the co-host of "The Created Economy" podcast, examining the Creator Economy. In a past life, he was a former reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding.