Transitions: Leaving Jive and Starting a Consulting Practice

I have decided to leave Jive Software to do something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time … start my own consulting business focused on online communities and social media. Many of my friends know that I have been talking about going independent and moving into consulting for a while now. The timing just seemed right to me.

The background

I was hired at Jive a little more than a year ago to build a developer community around their new Clearspace product. When I joined Jive, there were less than 50 employees, and my role was very broad, which gave me the opportunity to do a variety of really interesting activities. I learned so much and had a great time building the developer community and getting participation from many of our customers. Over time, the role has changed, narrowed, and become more tactical. It started to feel less and less like I wanted to continue in the role, and I started to realize that I was no longer the person that Jive needed in this role. I recently had a heart to heart discussion on this topic with Matt Tucker, Jive co-founder and CTO; we talked about they type of person that Jive needed to have in the developer relations role and my desire to move on to something else. I did have the opportunity to look internally within Jive to see if I should continue in a different role, but I couldn’t find a role that appealed to me more than starting my own consulting practice.

Moving Forward

Today I announce the creation of Fast Wonder Consulting. This consulting practice seems like a natural extension of the Fast Wonder blog where I have been blogging about community and social media for several years.

Recently, I’ve seen a number of companies struggling with how to get more savvy about social media and interacting with online communities. My focus will be on providing consulting services to help guide companies in developing a comprehensive social media and community engagement strategy. I will help companies engage with their community both online and offline to help generate buzz around their products. I can also help companies find, monitor, and respond to what others are saying about them online. You can find more details about the services that I will provide on the consulting page.

I am also pleased to announce that Jive will be my first client. I will be continuing to manage the Jivespace developer community with a reduced time commitment and fewer responsibilities. This helps to ensure that the Jivespace developer community doesn’t suffer from my leaving while giving Jive some time to find a full-time replacement. It also frees up my time to start picking up additional clients.

Later this year, Jive will also be looking for someone with a Java development background and community management expertise to fill the developer relations role. This person would mentor partners and customers who are writing Clearspace plugins, and he or she will contribute technical content and expertise to Jivespace and other technical communities. Please feel free to ping me if you are interested along with submitting your resume to Jive’s online job site.

I still love Jive, the people, and the culture. I am sure that I will continue to engage with Jive as a part of my role in Legion of Tech, since Jive has been such a great supporter of the local Portland tech community through event sponsorship and participation. I also hope to have other opportunities to work with Jive in the future.

49 thoughts on “Transitions: Leaving Jive and Starting a Consulting Practice”

  1. Nice to hear! Way to go for making the leap and following your gut. I look forward to seeing your success unfold. Cheers-

  2. Whoa! Congratulations! Sounds like an exciting move, that will make you happy. That’s excellent. And I have to say, I’m a little jealous of the freedom you’ll enjoy. πŸ˜‰

  3. Congratulations on making the big leap! I left my last regular job and paycheck 20 years ago this fall, and it’s been an interesting trip. Very validating at times, very scary other times, always worth it in one way or another.

  4. Congratulations on making the leap to the other side of the desk! I’m really really happy for me. That is, assuming I get the chance to work with you. Oh, and I’m happy for you too. πŸ˜‰

  5. Hi Dawn. Way to go!! Congrats and best of luck! I know you will succeed and it was a pleasure to work with you!

  6. Big congrats Dawn. Welcome to the world of consulting. No doubts that Faster Wonder Consulting “rock”!

  7. Congrats once again! Way to follow your heart πŸ˜€ I look forward to hearing more about the world of consulting

  8. watching you is what made me realize community manager is a real title :). if peoples’ actions on the internet is itself a living organism, then the field of community management makes a lot of sense. you’re riding the wave! congrats.

  9. Yay! I thought you had a twinkle in your eye the last time I saw you. πŸ˜‰ I am so excited for you. I have no doubt that with your keen insight and experience–not to mention you just rock–that you’ll be incredibly successful. Congratulations!

  10. Wow! Thank you all so much for the supportive comments. I am really excited about breaking out on my own and am looking forward to the challenge!

  11. Congrats Dawn, you’re going to be an incredible resource to those lucky enough to work with you.

    Here’s to following your passions, and living the dream. Cheers!

  12. Hey Dawn,

    I’m so happy to see that you’re going to be doing something you love, and still working with us too πŸ™‚ There is nothing more important in life than finding something you really love to do! I wish you the best in everything that comes your way and hope we still get to see you often πŸ™‚

  13. You have done so much for Jive bringing your network and influence into their organization. It is a big reason why they have had such a strong presence in the Portland tech scene and worldwide online. Not to mention your speaking and representation at the top tech conferences.

    Dawn, I’m so excited to see what you are going to accomplish on your new path!! I’m telling my network that a bad ass community manager is available for consulting πŸ™‚

  14. Selfishly pleased you’re taking your community 2.0 expertise on the road, and hope this means a payload of informative and timely writing from you is in my future. Yay me! Yay YOU!

  15. As I said a year ago, “that’s a good gig you’re going into.” It’s even more true now. Yippee! Congrats!

  16. Terrific news, Dawn! I know Jive has been a great venue, but now it’s time for others to get a chance to share your wealth of knowledge. Go out there and change the world, geekygirl!

  17. Congrats Dawn! I’m so glad to see someone with more guts than me striking it out on their own. Thank you for teaching me how to be a better listener, even if I don’t seem to do it. πŸ™‚

  18. Dawn – huge congratulations! We’ll miss you around here… stop by a happy hour every once in a while, will you? Best of luck!

  19. Such fantastic news! You rocked Jive and I know you will rock your future endeavors too! Let us know if there is anything you need! Lunch, feedback, leads etc!

  20. Hi Dawn,

    What an exciting announcement. I’ve worked with you now on and off for almost 3 years and I hope to continue our great relationship. Mostly I wish you great success and joy in your new adventure!

  21. Congratulations Dawn. We’ve never met but I work with Justin Kistner at Voce and have been reading you for some time. I’m originally from Hillsboro. Would love to meet up with you next time I’m home! (getting married in hood river in sept, so hopefully before then). Best of luck to you and go get em!

  22. This is really fantastic news for the companies and organizations that need to get the smoke cleared and understand how to effectively use social media! I’m really excited for you, Dawn, and look forward to seeing Fast Wonder soar. Although my current employer (now a Fortune 500 company) is headquartered in the midwest, if there is some way to get their attention on social media, I’d like you to help them navigate the waters.

  23. Congrats Dawn on your newest adventure! I know you will do great things and be successful in creating your dreams!! Stay in contact…We’ll miss you around the office!

  24. Congrats Dawn! This sounds like the perfect opportunity for you — and goodness knows there are a lot of companies that need your help πŸ™‚ Good luck!

  25. Wow, sounds exciting. Best of luck. With your energy I know you’ll build a successful business.

  26. Very exciting! Glad to hear that your knowledge and enthusiasm will now serve a wider domain! Companies and communities alike await your expertise!

  27. Very cool news! Best wishes from all your friends at Vidoop. I know personally you have made it very easy for me to get started/involved with the community here in Portland.

    Note: If you need someone to help you develop a community for your products/services Dawn is the person to talk to!

  28. I always admire people, who has a strength to start doing what they want to do πŸ™‚ Good luck πŸ™‚

  29. *stomps foot* You suck and I don’t like you anymore!

    I pout because I love. lol Seriously, congratulations Dawn! I’m sure you will kick butt and we’ll miss you tons! Stay in touch! Don’t forget to keep “igniting” things. ;D

  30. Congrats Dawn!! it’s a shame people are not supportive of your move. But you will bravely face your new challenge with spirit and determination.
    (too bad there is no emoticon for sarcasm)

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