Who Will Hire Don Dodge?

Yesterday Don Dodge was laid off from Microsoft.  The startups community did a pretty good job of being a) absolutely shocked b) supportive and c) lending support.  Don was the most public advocate for startups at Microsoft, and his firing is being taken as another ‘Microsoft doesn’t get it’ case study.  I let those arguments happen elsewhere, I’m interested in what is next for Don.  Don has a great track record at AltaVista, Napster, Bowstreet, Groove and MicroSoft.

From a comment on the TechCrunch post Don says:

The support from the tech community has been overwhelming. I had no idea. I truly appreciate it.

There have been lots of offers and requests to talk from the biggest names in the business. All the usual suspects. And lots of interesting startups are reaching out. I hope to take some time to evaluate where I can add the most value.

Here are my guesses on what is next:


Someone has to have seen the massive community outpouring of support and thought to themselves, ‘you know, we might have gotten the wrong guy.’   A rehire with a bonus of a few staff with him.


Nothing makes a googler happier that a employee or toy that their competition can’t have.  Google needs a Don type to work with startups.  They have a Boston office.


Total shot in the dark, they are not in Boston, nor really need Don.  I think this would be a great fit from the outside.

Random Will Be Big Startup

Don has a history of helping startups become big, so look out for a company either raising a round because of Don or starting a sprint.


Can’t wait to think about government agency working with a guy so plugged into the startup scene.


Biggest tech blog in which Don is already a writer.  Would love to see him write more!

Your thoughts?






9 responses to “Who Will Hire Don Dodge?”

  1. matt Avatar

    great post man- and truthfully refreshing to have a “strategy of career” post around someone so involved in the strategy of this industry. the last idea is a striking one to me; after hearing him at Pop!Tech and listening to him in conversation, @AlecJRoss should be in touch with him. the two would move so much with their abilities and contacts… would be an awesome play for this admin, if not setting hire policy to influence.

  2. michaelcummings Avatar

    Microsoft will never take him back because they will be percieved as uncommitted to their decisions, and cast even greater doubt in peoples minds about the company. Maybe there was a reason they made the decision, but you are likely right that they didnt really see what they were doing.

    I see Don moving on with a smaller startup and helping them build up. I think there is a satisfying feeling of building something up, and at Microsoft he did what he could for small businesses, but ultimately couldnt make a large impact on specific businesses.

    We'll see what he does though…

  3. andrewhyde Avatar

    I would have loved to go to poptech this year, next year! Next year!

  4. Tyler Willis Avatar

    Involver, obviously 🙂

    I actually think there's a decent chance at a First Round Capital or similar organization working with Don to add value to portfolio companies and source new deals. With the connections he has and the insight into building big ideas, Don would make a great seed/a round VC — not sure if he'd be interested in being an investor, but it would be a good fit.

  5. Don Dodge Avatar

    Andrew, You are pretty close. There are several more big companies that might be interesting; amazon (cloud), Cisco (cloud/collaboration), and AOL.

    There is also the Venture Capital path. There are several VC firms that could be interesting.

    Lots to consider. I'll let you know when I have narrowed down the choices.


  6. hubs Avatar


  7. hubs Avatar


  8. hubs Avatar


  9. […] an earlier post, Arrington called the move a “huge mistake,” and others expressed similar sentiments. Dodge himself wrote on his blog the layoff “left me with a cold […]

Leave a Reply