(I've been sat on my hands on this one for ages - over a month! - but that's what happens (as it turns out) when you resign, it takes a while for official channels to happen and stuff - the PR was timed for 9:30 this morning, but it's been delayed a bit ... meanwhile, @jemimakiss got a bit of a headwind on it, so here's some elaboration.)
I resigned from my rathergood job as Commissioning Editor for Education at Channel 4. I think a lot of folks are going to think I'm crazy, and they'd probably be a bit right. But sometimes, things and timings just happen: in my case, I had a magic startup idea that I actually want to go do, again. I've done this before (1998-2002), and always thought I might want to go back to it. This coincided recently with suddenly available office space close to home, and suddenly available 3D printers, and sudden, incoming queries about my availability outside of C4 for things like interesting-project consultancy.
So, here's what I'm doing. I gave C4 a long, long notice period (4 months), so I can help them get stuff organised as the place goes through its pretty radical change programme. Dr Jo Twist will pick up the baton, which I'm obviously over the moon with: she's a towering talent, and all the Education sites, games, telly and apps will be in literally the best hands in the business. And that's what I care about: making wonderful products for young people: long may it continue at C4.
As for me: the plan is to go raise finance and prototype. This stuff will take a while, so I expect I'll be doing much of that through 2011. Meanwhile, I'll also be getting stuck in to a few play-related projects: I'm organising the gaming section of the incredible Campus Party in San Francisco, for instance. LAN party roots ;-)
What's the startup? Dolls. That's all I'm saying for now, but you can take it as read that it'll be something pretty different from Barbie. And Moxie. And Liv. And BBF Ink. When was the last time you were in a toy shop looking at dolls? It's astounding how little innovation there is there. So that's where I've set my sights. I'm taking a bunch of learning to it: games and avatars, educational play, social technologies, identity parameters, emerging technologies... it's called Makieworld, for the mini makers out there.
I'll miss Education. We have the best team, and we have the most fun I think it's possible to have in a large corporate environment. It's not uncommon to find us screeching with laughter, and walking away from that is really tough. I'm fantastically proud of what we've accomplished in the three years of taking Education from a TV-only department to an any-platform, any-format department.
I'll miss our indies too, I've been blessed with working with some of the absolute best over the past three years, and it's won us a BAFTA, an Emmy, a Develop award, an armful of BIMAs (four of Channel 4's six this time round!), a Prix Jeunesse, a handful of Learning on Screen awards, and two SXSWs.
So thank you Margaret Robertson, Preloaded, Littleloud, Raw, Somethin' Else, Introversion, Neon Tribe, Oil Productions, Six to Start, Zombie Cow, Beatnik, Tuna Tech, Objective, Pulp Theatre, Public Zone, Fish in a Bottle, Big Talk, Failbetter Games, Hide & Seek, Coney and Ladbury PR, everyone I've inevitably missed (sorry in advance, I've only had one coffee) and all the brilliant folks about to work with Education in 2011. You're making education a lot of fun.
Yesterday I tweeted that the builders had thrown out our nerd tree decoration collection. Poor builders. Turns out that despite three rummages under the stairs, the husband managed to entirely look past the large cardboard box with XMAS written on it. Adorable! New glasses for hannukah for you, sunshine!
Gorgeous. But full. We're gonna need a bigger tree*, especially as - thinking we'd lost the whole shebang - I've ordered a complete set of console ornaments to go with the controllers. (* cue C trilling, "I'm opposed to bigo-tryyyy!". Every time, I kid you not.)