Colliding With The Social Web

Frank Gruber Leaves AOL to Devote Time to TECH Cocktail and Shiny Heart Ventures

Frank Gruber, one the most popular Washington, DC tech figures and a product manager of AOL’s Lifestream Platform, has revealed on his blog, Somewhat Frank, that he is leaving AOL to pursue new interests.

Saying that his New Year’s resolution “is to be bold”, Gruber writes that he will devote much of his time to growing TECH Cocktail, which he started with Eric Olson in 2006, prior to joining AOL three years ago. TECH Cocktail is a community building startup that offers events and community-powered projects open to bloggers, technology enthusiasts, entrepreneurs & professionals interested in technology in under-served technology communities.

In addition to TECH Cocktail, Gruber writes that he has “co-founded Shiny Heart Ventures, a startup focused on building products that remind us of the joys of life.” The company’s first product was Thankfulfor, “a social gratitude journal which launched in September” and according to Gruber, “has been growing into a strong community.” Last month the company also lunched Shiny Maine Lobster which is designed to “help bring a family business online for fresh lobster” that can be shipped direct by mail.

Gruber writes in his blog, “I have racked up a lot of airline miles bouncing between DC and the West Coast. It has been a good run and a great learning experience working in a large organization and I have met so many great people along the way. I am proud of our accomplishments at Aol. As anyone who has ever worked at a large company can attest, it is not easy to launch a product in a big organization and I did it a few times in just three years.”

In his blog, Gruber thanks AOL for the opportunity to work for them and bring new products to millions of people across the world. He said, “I am so proud of our accomplishments and look forward to Aol doing it’s own start-up thing in 2010.”

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