Blasting Off with Moontoast

Since I announced on Twitter that January 15 would be my last day at Schematic, I’ve received many positive responses and much encouragement. The biggest question, though, was where I would be going next.

My decision not to be very public about where I was going had nothing to do with being secretive or stealthy. Instead, I wanted to make sure I could effectively communicate the business when I finally did announce where I was going. However, as time wore on, I put off blogging, over and over, to the point where it has been four months since I joined my new company, and I’ve yet to blog about anything.

It’s time to break my silence.

Let me introduce you to Moontoast, the Social Commerce Network.

Moontoast Logo c. 2010

Moontoast is a social commerce network. A social commerce network is a marketplace where businesses and people come together to pursue and promote their passions through personal relationships.

Moontoast has three kinds of users:

Explorers use Moontoast to pursue their passions and learn more by interacting with real-life people who have the knowledge, experience, and products Explorers are looking for. Moontoast allows Explorers to find, connect with, and create relationships with Guides, other Explorers, and Branded Communities.

Guides use Moontoast to build a business and personal brand around their particular area(s) of expertise. Moontoast provides tools and resources to help Guides connect with their customers and market their ideas, skills, and products to the Moontoast Social Commerce Network and beyond.

Businesses use Moontoast to build branded communities. A Moontoast Branded Community generates new leads and creates new selling environments for businesses, and businesses can turn their employees, affiliates, fans, and members into revenue-generating branded Guides.

That’s Moontoast in a nutshell. While all of this might sound like boilerplate marketing verbiage, it’s actually my own words about what Moontoast is.

Moontoast is a startup, and we’re still in the early stages. As with all startups, there are risks and considerations that must be made prior to joining one, as Keith has outlined. As such, I didn’t take my decision to join lightly, but I firmly believe this is the right opportunity at the right time and place. I’ve moved to Nashville, TN to make this possible. My family is still behind in Atlanta, but they’ll be moving to join me later this year.

I’ve joined Moontoast as the Senior Software Architect, joining the team at a crucial stage in its development. Moontoast is built on top of a LAMP stack, a tried-and-true platform for scalable websites, but we still have a lot of hard work ahead of us to ensure that we remain stable as our traffic increases, and that’s part of my job. I’ll also be focused on all the things that most software architects do: team leadership, mentoring, code quality, standards and practices, task management, performance tuning, security and hardening, data modeling, UML diagraming, lots of white-boarding, etc., etc.

After just four months with Moontoast, I’m still very excited to be a part of the team, and I believe we have a bright future ahead. I’m also very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Marcus Whitney, our CTO and co-founder—and fellow PHP community member. Marcus is a dynamic and charismatic individual who is dedicated to the advancement of a strong technology community in the Nashville and Middle Tennessee region. He’s the primary reason I’m here and the reason I’m excited about the future of web technology in Nashville.

You’ll be hearing more from me in the days ahead, blogging and tweeting about things I’m doing and learning as software architect at Moontoast. I hope you’ll check out Moontoast and see what we’re doing. I think many of you would make excellent Moontoast Guides and will find it very helpful in advancing your consulting offerings. We still have a lot of work ahead of us to make things painless, effortless, and full-featured for all users, but you can help by being an early-adopter and testing the platform and offering your suggestions for improvement and new features.

Finally, I hope you’ll also check out Nashville, TN. It’s a great place to live and work!