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A New Chapter Ahead at ESPN

I have always been a sports nut. Growing up, I wouldn't go to bed without first calling the Washington Post's automated sports hotline for 'current' sports scores (delayed by 15-30 minutes); and over breakfast, I'd scour over newspaper box scores for details. Years later, the habit hasn't changed... just the routine: newspaper clippings have been replaced by ever-updated web content, apps, podcasts, shows, feeds, SMS alerts, etc. I am also a tech / product geek... which explains the existence of this blog and my investment philosophy (at the highest level: find product visionaries / leaders building truly compelling, engaging product experiences). It also explains what I have loved best about early-stage tech investing: the opportunity to work with driven entrepreneurs on evolving the business, the product and the relationship with their users.

I am excited to combine those two passions (product + sports) at ESPN. I will be joining as Senior Vice President of Product Development and focused on digital product across all screens: including ESPN.com, ESPN Mobile, WatchESPN and ESPN3, Fantasy and social media.

It is bittersweet of course: I have been with Polaris Ventures the last 3+ years and I've been part of the extended Polaris family for much longer. I helped to build Polaris' west coast office and the @dogpatchlabs community & brand. And I am grateful to have worked closely with such a great and diverse collection of founders, executives and companies. One of the unique attractions of Polaris is it's diversity in sector, stage and investor: from seeds to growth and consumer tech to life science.

Thanks to the fantastic Polaris team and family: Dave, Jon, Terry, Amir, Alan, Alan, Brian, Bryce, Jason, Peter, John, Gus, Noel, Kevin and the larger team. And thanks to the Polaris portfolio, of which I have been privileged to work with - including: Formspring, KISSmetrics, LOLapps, PostRocket, ReadyForZero, Recurly, ShoeDazzle, Sosh, Space Monkey, Spindle, Wantful, Wordpress, and many others.

Introducing: Mastering Facebook in Kindle and Paperback

I'm excited to announce that I've turned the last 2+ years of Facebook blog posts into a book focused on Facebook: exciting campaigns, product development, virality, and platform developments. There are 200+ screenshots in the book and it's an easy / fun / visual read. The book, Mastering Facebook, is available:

- On Kindle, full color and links are enabled - Paperback, black and white - Paperback, color - unfortunately expensive due to 200+ screenshots - but looks good!) Enjoy!

Announcing Dogpatch Labs Palo Alto & Europe

In early September, we got the unfortunate news that the San Francisco Port Authority was closing Pier 38 (home to Dogpatch Labs San Francisco). It was a sad ending to a really terrific 2.5 years for Dogpatch Labs SF: 250+ entrepreneurs, 100+ companies, $100m+ in funding, 9 acquisitions, 9 Polaris investments. We expressed our commitment to finding a great new home and building an equally strong, innovative community... and today we are thrilled to announce Dogpatch Labs Palo Alto and Europe.

You can apply to all locations (Cambridge, Dublin, Palo Alto, New York) here.

Dogpatch Labs Palo Alto:

In early November, we will be opening a permanent Polaris Ventures office in downtown Palo Alto. Dogpatch Labs will be adjacent to the Polaris Palo Alto office, will have its own design and functional identity. It will be based at 151 Lytton Street - just one block from the Palo Alto Caltrain station.

Dogpatch Labs Europe:

Dogpatch Labs Europe officially opened today and is based in Dublin, Ireland (The Warehouse, in the Grand Canal basin). It is opening with 35 entrepreneurs who have come from across Europe. Dublin has become a hub for tech innovation and entrepreneurship - Dogpatch joins Twitter, Google, Facebook, Zynga and others.

Read more here:

- TechCrunch: Dogpatch Labs SF Moves From Pier 38 To Palo Alto, Opens New Accelerator In Dublin

- XConomy: The Polaris Express: Dogpatch Labs Says Goodbye Pier 38, Hello Palo Alto and Dublin

- Silicon Republic: Polaris’ Dogpatch Labs locates in heart of Europe’s digital capital

Joining Polaris Ventures Partners

I am excited to announce that, starting Monday, I will be joining Polaris Venture Partners and will work out of the Dog Patch Lab on Pier 38. Over the last few years, I have had the opportunity to get to know the Polaris team and I am eager to begin working with them in a different capacity. I have enjoyed my time at eBay, Widgetbox and beRecruited, but have always wanted to move into venture. My two questions were: what is the right them and where is the right fit. Polaris is certainly the right fit and the timing is particularly exciting because I will be based in the Dog Patch Lab - a vibrant collection of entrepreneurs and start ups on Pier 38 off of Embarcadero (portfolio company LOLapps and ThingLabs launched here). The lab is operated by Polaris and focused at connecting entrepreneurs and helping founders conceive and build startups.

If you read this blog, you know my interests: consumer internet, digital media, mobile and social media. I will also enjoy being exposed to other investment areas as Polaris is diversified across industries and stages: life sciences, growth equity and technology.

If you would like to tour the lab or find a time to meet, drop me a line!

Stay tuned for more information on events at the Dog Patch Lab (many are coming). You can find more about Polaris, the portfolio and the lab at:

- PolarisVentures.com - VCMike (Mike Hirshland): Blog, Twitter - RyanSpoon.com: Blog, Twitter, Facebook - TechCrunch: Polaris & Dog Patch Labs - Xconomy.com: "Dog Patch Lab - An Entrepreneur's Kennel"

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