On MouseOut…

In an amusing twist of irony, my nameplate (pictured above) arrived last week, 4.5 years after I first ordered it.It is with both sadness and anticipation that I announce my departure from The Walt Disney Internet Group after four and a half years of employment. It’s been a great half-decade here and I can’t thank The Walt Disney Company enough for giving me the opportunity to work on such high-profile projects with such high-caliber people. In my time here, I’ve helped lead the standards-based redesigns of ESPN.com, ABCNews.com, and many other Disney-owned properties, as well as play a hands-on role in the design and development of all-new technologies like ESPN Motion, and countless unannounced products still in the pipeline. I owe all pride from working on said projects to the incredible teams of people across the company in Seattle, North Hollywood, New York, Connecticut, Orlando, England, and Japan who continue to make it all possible.

That said, I’m moving on.

So why would someone give up a six-figure job that they love, working for a company that they love, in a city that they love?

Two words: Opportunity Cost.

There’s something big I want to build, and now is the time to build it. I’m not going to say any more because I’m leery of getting caught in the hype machine, but you can expect a launch later this year. Watch this space for details as they become available.

As for blogging on Mike Industries, it’ll be business as usual for now. The iPod contests will continue (of course!), and my posting frequency should remain steady at several posts per month. Additionally, if I’ve turned you down for an interview or speaking engagement in the past, feel free to ask again as I no longer have a PR department to deal with. Disney’s policy required me to refuse almost all such requests in the past, so it’s nice not to have that restriction anymore.

And so with that, I begin anew on something I’m very excited about. If all goes well, it’ll grow like a Vine.

MouseOver. MouseOut.

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90 Responses:

  1. Andrew K says:

    <comic-book-guy>Best. Title. Ever.</comic-book-guy>

  2. Jesus says:

    The best of the best in your new projects!!

  3. Contrats on making the move. It is great to see that you are taking your passion for creating a better WWW to the next level. Create something the market needs and we will come…in droves.

  4. Alex says:

    Congrats on your move!

    BTW, is your job open at Disney? Who can I call? :>

  5. Ria says:


    Congratulations on your new journey! Choosing to break out on your own is a brave move. I hope your new project will bring you great successes and advancement of knowledge.

    I look forward to seeing what the future holds for you and what you will be unveiling.

    Renmeleon :)

  6. Wow Mike. Wow. Excitement and intrigue. I love it. ;)

    I’m headed to MM offices in SFO tomorrow … I wish you were just a little closer, it’s rare I get to the left coast and I’d love to meet you finally. Ah well…

    The best of luck to you… let me know if ever I can help in any way. You rock… even without a mouse. ;)

  7. Dan says:

    Mike — I have to say that I wish you the best in your endeavours and I look forward to seeing what you’re going to be putting together. Good luck and God speed!


  8. As we are reborn lifetime after lifetime, It is not until we are willing face the reality of life that we are able to evolve. If you are able to grow your own fruit you can feed your own family. If you can not grow your own you are forced to steal from others. Learn this. To be happy you must be able to to fall from the tree and grow a new; or else you will just rot and die. Plant. Grow. Evolve. Inspire. And don’t be forced to steal for a living.

    From crazy but true and happy enough to pass it on to you.

    (Editor’s Note: Great stuff. Many thanks…)

  9. I wish you the best with the new project and we all will wait to see what is about :).

  10. Kevin says:

    Good luck, Mike.

    “ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod…. MIKE IS BUILDING SOMETHING….!!! *passes out*”

    Let’s see if “Stan” will register “MikeDRumors.com” or “Think-Mike.com”. :-D

  11. Best of luck, mate! I love your work, and I hope that what you’re coming out with is great and works out for you.


  12. Just stay away from the bon-bons and Dr. Phil in the afternoon and you’ll be fine. ;)

  13. For some reason, I’ve kept every name plate I’ve ever had from previous jobs. Who knows why, it’s not like I need them. But to be fair, the one I received from the failed startup I worked for is all metal with a nice plastic frame and looks pretty spiffy. That one hangs on the outside of my cubicle to this day.

  14. Creford says:

    Congrats on the new project and good luck!
    I hope it’s going well. :-)

  15. Mark says:

    My Mike Industries Moment:
    About a year ago, I was working at one of the major sports leagues, working on a redesign. We were talking about the ESPN redesign, and discussing Flash and whatnot, when I mentioned I read the blog of ‘this smart guy who worked on the ESPN redesign’ and started talking about sIFR. The Director, Mark H., an old ESPN employee, asked me to send it to him. It turned out he knew you pretty well, and thought it was great how big your audience was, and that the entire Creative Team were regular readers of the site.

    Good luck with the new project, we are holding our collective breath…

  16. It’s already been said but, very clever title name =)

    Congrads on the move, I’m excited to see what you come up with!

    You’re still going to remain a fellow Seattlite, right?

    (Editor’s Note: Yep… definitely staying in Seattle. Thx.)

  17. Tatiana Castro says:


  18. Duane says:

    Good luck to you Mike. Im sure whatever you are launching
    will be great.

  19. Keith H. says:

    Best of luck Mike! I am sure the decision was not easy, but I have no doubt that your future endeavours will be a great success.

  20. AkaXakA says:

    Good luck! Having a mint?

  21. Zach Anderson says:

    I can’t believe noone is going with the obvious here for the new project.

    Connections at ESPN…
    The recent explosion of table games like poker…

    Start practicing guys, the Professional Saltine Challenge League has found it’s man.

    Who wouldn’t want a piece of this opportunity?

    Good luck with it and I hope I’m not ruining the suprise.

  22. digx says:

    /me patents the idea.


    Good luck to you Mike. Can’t wait to see what it is and I’m sure it’ll succeed. :)

  23. Mike P. says:

    Hey there Mike!! Wow, huge news, best of luck to ya and like many, I’m looking forward to seeing what you’ve got in the pipeline. Geez, maybe you could take a vacation out my way for some IKN pool pointers??

  24. Long time follower, first time commenter.

    Best wishes for every success! When you get dejected, as sometimes happens, come back to this page and see how many are cheering for you.

  25. Wow, congratulations, Mike. Sounds like you’re set to make a big splash, and I’m sure everything will work out well for you.

    All the best!!

  26. Ali says:

    Hi Dear.You are great ,It’s not important where U work.
    Continue your Progress ;)

  27. Dean says:

    The March to Your Own Standard discussion was going great. Why did you shut it off? I think you make a valid and worthy point. I’m sorry the conversation was terminated. In other words, I agree with you.

    (Editor’s Note: Ha. Commenting was turned off because one individual was accounting for 90% of the words in that conversation thread, thus drowning out the point of the article, the ensuing conversation, and the voice of reason in general. I could probably turn it back on now those I suppose. :) )

  28. I’d love to go to Gnomedex but it appears to be sold out. Anybody have a pass they can score me?

    Don’t worry, I don’t think you missed much. I just saw today that MS announced they will be embracing RSS with their new operating system and browser. Oh and guess what? There is even a screensaver where you can watch your RSS feeds. Unbelievable.

    Good luck to you and congratulations on moving on. May you find fulfillment in whatever you do.

  29. It’s all already been said but all the very best with your new venture, I am sure it will be something we all want to get our hands on!

  30. Awesome Mike, I’m about to join this club today. :eek:

    Looking forward to the Vine thing :)

  31. Oooh, sounds promising, Mike building something big!

    All the best with your endeavours, I’m sure you’ll blow us all away with your ideas once they come to fruition!

    Now add a label around your “Notify me via…” text already! ;)

  32. Dustin says:

    For the rest of us chickens. We’ll just stick with our six figure job for peace of mind.

  33. Matt J. says:

    This must have something to do with that unknown domain you fought tooth and nail for, huh?

    Good luck to you!

  34. Yo Mike. Well unless you are going to make millions, go ahead and do a monkship for a year, because you will be all the wiser for it and much healthier than sitting in your chair for 6 months. Our true soul is what we stare at in the mirror every day, not what the LCD says to us throughout the day… smart money says invest in the former :)

    Now if it is millions than sacrifice the holy living shit out of yourself for the greater good :)

  35. Paul Brettle says:

    Whatever your future endeavours/direction I would simply like to say thanks for what I have learned about the possibilities of web design, simply from looking at your website over the last hour or so.

    Based on that evidence alone, I’m sure your plans will bear fruit and then some!


  36. Ben says:

    My guess would be “Grapevine” …

  37. Congratulations, Mike. I hope it all works out well for you (as I’m sure it will).

  38. Jeff B says:

    Glad to hear you’re launching out on something new. I would have figured SeasonTicket.com would have soured you on that.

    Watch your burn rate.

  39. Mike D. says:

    Jeff B: Are you kidding me? Seasonticket.com was a great experience. Everybody on the product side did exactly what they were supposed to do. We got a lucrative buyout bid from Disney in the summer of 2000 that would have made everyone quite well-off… our only problem was an overzealous VC partner who decided to reject the deal.

  40. New MicroISV, I Think

    It sounds like Mike is starting up his own biz after 4 years at Disney Interactive. He’s a super talented guy so I’m sure whatever he’s building is very cool. That’s a space to keep an eye on.

    Also he gives away iPod Shuffles which is another reason…

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Humanity's deep future:

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Steve Jobs speaks about the future at the International Design Conference in 1983:

31 years later, it’s safe to say this is one of the most prescient speeches about technology ever delivered. Jobs covers wireless networking, tablets, Google StreetView, Siri, and the App Store (among other things) many years before their proliferation. A fantastic listen.

How to travel around the world for a year:

Great advice for when you finally find the time.


A fantastic app for prototyping your design work onto real world objects like billboards, book covers, and coffee cups. This seems like just as great of a tool for people learning design as it does for experts.

50 problems in 50 days:

One man’s attempt to solve 50 problems in 50 days using only great design. Some good startup ideas in here…

How to Do Philosophy:

If you’ve ever suspected that most classical philosophy is a colossal waste of time, Paul Graham tells you why you’re probably right.

TIME: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us:

Stephen Brill follows the money to uncover the pinnacle of corruption that is the U.S. Health Care system. A must-read article if there ever was one.

DIY Dot Org:

A beautifully designed site full of fun and challenging DIY projects. I could spend months on here.

The Steve Jobs Video Archive:

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Self-portraits from an artist under the influence of 48 different psychoactive drug combos.

Water Wigs are pretty amazing.

David Pogue proposes to his girlfriend by creating a fake movie trailer about them and then getting a theater to play it before a real movie. Beautiful and totally awesome.