Moving On…Hello Orange


As we wind down the week filled with news of Facebook’s monstrous acquisition of WhatsApp for $19 billion, Paul Graham stepping down as president of Y Combinator, Apple acquiring Burstly (creators of TestFlight), and more, I thought it might be a good time to reflect on what’s been going on in my life and where I’ll be heading soon.

I must admit that I’m rather nervous about writing this post — it’s certainly not easy. So I’ll just flat out say it: next week will be my last time writing as a full-time journalist at The Next Web. It’s time for me to move on. Starting next month, I’ll be working with Orange Silicon Valley as one of its Strategy and Research Content Leads.

So long TNW

But leaving The Next Web isn’t an easy thing to do. After all, it’s where I got my start as a professional blogger/journalist. Before that, I worked hard to get to where I am thanks to the support of role models like Shashi Bellamkonda and Steve Fisher who encouraged me to write for them at Network Solutions, along with Brian Solis who gave me a shot at and has offered me his support and advice time and time again.


Working at The Next Web has been both rewarding and invigorating. I had the distinct honor and pleasure with working with some of the smartest people in the tech journalism space, including Martin Bryant, Josh Ong, Jon Russell, Emil Protalinski, Natt Garun, Kaylene Hong, Ben Woods, Nick Summers, Paul Sawers, Matt Navarra, Owen Williams, and Jackie Dove.

In addition, I’ve been fortunate to have worked with Matthew Panzarino, Alex Wilhelm, Brad McCartyMatt Brian, Robin Wauters, Harrison Weber, Zee Kane, and many others.

Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten and Patrick de Laive for starting The Next Web and giving me this opportunity.

During my 1.5 years here, TNW has certainly offered me a great role in getting out there to meet with some of the movers and shakers in Silicon Valley and the tech industry. I would have never imagined being able to chat with folks at Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Twitter, Salesforce, Box, Twilio, Y Combinator, 500 Startups, and many other companies. The team is seriously top-notch and if you have a chance to meet any of them in person or even attend their conferences, it’ll be one of the best decisions you ever made.

To date, I’ve published 1,690 posts. An impressive feat for me, at least. I hope to one day be able to catalog them all and pick out the ones that mean the most to me.

Putting it all out there.

So what does this all mean? For the record, I did not leave TNW on bad terms — in fact, I adore everyone there and strongly believe in the publication’s mission. That being said, Orange Silicon Valley offered me a role where I can still write about cool technology applications and news without having the pressure at ‘being on’ all the time. In my capacity, I’ll be producing more reports and analytical pieces for various stakeholders and also assisting with Orange Fab, the French telecom giant’s accelerator program.

I begin this exciting new role in March and hope to continue to network with many of you during my tenure and hope that you’ll keep me in mind about any cool things you’re doing or that you’re aware of. While I don’t have my work email set up yet, in the meantime, you can chat with me at ken [at] thelettertwo dot com.

If you’re looking to pitch me for coverage on The Next Web, starting Wednesday, February 26, 2014, may I suggest that you forward them on to tips [at] thenextweb dot com and someone will take a look at it.

The Next Web is hiring someone for my role so if you’re interested, please contact Martin Bryant, Editor-in-Chief, for more details: martin [at] thenextweb dot com.

Thanks for the memories, TNW. It was fun.

P.S. Yes, I’ll be at SXSW so let’s meet up.

Photo credit: Xlibber/Flickr, TNW Conference photo via Julia De Boer/TNW