Bob Lisbonne has long been one of my favorite venture capitalists and, indeed, people. He's a warm, intelligent person. I've passed more than one bad venture idea his way and had him very kindly tell me it was a pile of potty.
So it was with mixed feelings that I read his email today that he's leaving Matrix Partners to possibly rejoin the ranks of the entrepreneurs. Here's the guy who, while senior vice president and general manager of Browser Products at Netscape, helped to give us Firefox. Here's the guy who invested in promising open source-related companies like PostPath and LucidEra. And now he's leaving. Or coming back.
Over the years, I've tried to make time for my own little software projects during nights and weekends, but, as you can imagine, that's whetted my appetite more than satiated it.
So after serious consideration, I've decided to step out of my General Partner role and into a Venture Partner role at Matrix....Instead of looking for new venture investments, I intend to explore some new ideas, have fun writing software, and ultimately pursue one or more entrepreneurial endeavors.
I haven't yet asked Bob if he has a particular project in mind, but I can't imagine the itch to develop something new doesn't have some direction behind it. Perhaps he could find himself developing some interesting exceptions to his baby, Mozilla's Firefox?
That would be cool.