It’s always hard saying ‘adieu’ to a co-founder but it’s especially painful in this case for me to bid Elliott goodbye. I’ve known Elliott since we started as graduate students in 1994 (note to youngsters like Dennis Schaal and Kevin May – this was pre-world wide web in Boston. We jointly organized a Silicon Valley technology tour in spring of 1996 and visited young wannabes like Yahoo, General Magic and @home; still stalwarts like Intuit, HP and Wired as well as then-leaders like Sun and Silicon Graphics. Elliott and I caught the web bug on that tour and we bucked conventional wisdom in 1996 – and ignoring fat signing bonuses and salaries – we went off to co-found our first start-ups – Netcentives for Elliott and CitySearch SF for me. Loyalty Matrix followed Netcentives for Elliott, then a stint in Corporate America, running online marketing for Intuit Quickbooks.
For those of you that know Elliott, you know that he has three deep professional interests – start-ups, social media, and U.S.-China cross-border opportunities. We are going to miss him as he heads off to pursue new, yet-to-be-defined, start-up ideas that combine all three.
I cannot imagine a photo that better captures the essence of what Elliott would like to do next – this is the Great Wall; and yes…that is Elliott tweeting the dude beside him…
Relentless, always optimistic and ever the team player, Elliott did whatever it took to help launch Kango, then re-launch as UpTake after we discovered that our trademark lawyers hadn’t done their work like they should have. He found numerous creative and pragmatic ways to drive our consumer acquisition and team-building efforts forward, and his results are clear in the speed at which we reached 1 million visitors (<12 months after public beta), the success of the
UpTake blognetwork, the launch of Travel Insights 100 and the complementary position he has helped us establish in online travel position
We’ll miss Elliott tremendously. He’s not disappearing of course (see his post on more details), he’s transitioning into an active advisory role and will continue to drive our social media strategy and initiatives (including TI100, the Blog Network and some TBD initiatives) with Pat.
It goes without saying we wish Elliott the very best and as we say in Chinese – live long and prosper!