Big news: new company, new city and more of the same

July 26, 2010 by Jared Goralnick

SET Consulting's original logo I had to make a choice.  If you’ve known me the past couple years, you’d have seen that I’ve spent a lot of time away, and that I’ve been doing two different jobs.  Well, instead of living a second life, I’ve opted for some changes.

As of July 17, SET Consulting has a new owner.  As of August 30, I’ll have a new city.  (this logo above is SET’s original 2002 logo…)

SET Consulting is a New Company

I’m excited to still be part of SET, a business that began 8 years ago and inspires me to this day.  I’ve spent the past week introducing SET’s new president to clients, responding to leads together, and building a plan for the next several months and it reminded me just how much I love the team I’ve grown up with, the clients who have become family, and the meaningful challenges we’re solving.  From 2 hours per week at $50/hr to 6 figure contracts with Fortune 500 and government clients, it turned into a real business.

SET's current logoAnd SET now has a chance for its second life. John Lucke is the new owner and president, and he has the chance to grow SET into an even more successful company.  I’m happy to say that our existing clients have nothing to fear and new business is coming at a rapid pace.

If you spend a long time on proposals or reports in Word, or presentations in PowerPoint…or if your company is migrating from Office 2003 to 2007 or 2010, please let me know.  The SET team is ready as ever to help you kick ass with Microsoft Office templates, automation, and training.

In case you were wondering, AwayFind is now a fully independent business.  We’ve got 10 people pounding away at something beautiful, and I’m of course still serving as CEO.  I’ll keep pounding away on AwayFind, just in a new city.

I’m Moving, but not Leaving DC & Baltimore Behind

I’ve made DC and Baltimore my home for the past 11 years.  In the past 3 years I’ve traveled about a quarter of the time, and tried to come home and share what I learned.  I don’t plan to stop, at least not in 2010.

I’ll still be hosting Ignite DC 5 on September 30 and Bootstrap Maryland on October 27.  I’m participating as a mentor in DC’s next Founder Institute and I hope to check in with the Greater Baltimore Technology Council and the Baltimore Angels regularly.  I’m not selling the house or taking the car just yet, either.  I’m going to try to still play a role here.

Why Move?

My First big trip to SF Last summer I was deciding between San Francisco and Barcelona to spend a couple months.  I went with Barcelona because I thought that I wouldn’t get an escape in SF, that I’d be too immersed in the technology scene there to get a chance to breathe.  I’m really glad I spent my summer in Spain , but I was wrong.

This past year I’ve taken many trips to San Francisco and realized that while it’s got a strong tech scene, it’s got much more.  I’m excited about the dance scene, the perpetually perfect running weather, the diverse beauty of Golden Gate Park, the European cafes, and the healthy and balanced lifestyle that people respect and appreciate.

But I’d be lying if I said that Silicon Valley wasn’t a big part of my move.  And I know I may end up as yet another example of the inability to run a startup in DC.  But that’s not so.  Silicon Valley does justify a move at a time when I have to be careful with my finances and my company’s direction, but I’m going there because of the whole picture and the fact that I’m ready for a change.  But back to the eternal San Francisco and DC/Baltimore debate.

DC and Baltimore are Great Places to Start a Business

Certain things are easier to do in San Francisco and certain things are easier in DC.  Raising money, finding distribution partners for the consumer internet, or staying up on platform changes are unquestionably easier in San Francisco.  But finding technology talent, spreading a message, or effecting policy change are likely easier here.

Both DC and San Francisco are cities that people come to from far away to make a difference.  Both are full of independent, liberal, idealistic people who want to make their mark.

And don’t forget Baltimore—it’s got a small technology community, but it’s the most cohesive technology community I’ve witnessed.  There aren’t factions, there are just friends.  The respect I have for people like Dave Troy and Mike Subelsky in the way they’ve put on events that really bring people together…I just don’t know a community so giving and with open-arms.  Starting a technology business in Baltimore you’re going to find real support.  And you can buy a row house there that won’t break the bank, a block from the water, and with neighbors that want to know you.

I love you, DC and Baltimore.

I just feel like the difference I want to make will be easier in San Francisco.  While I’m proud to have sold a small business where I made a good living, I want to grow a big business where I make a big impact.  It just so happens that most of the companies and people who are involved with email and communications workflow are out there—and I want every advantage I can bring to AwayFind as I want to significantly impact the way people communicate for the better.

Lunch together, Party Time, Cole Valley, Etc

If you’re in the area, I’d love to meet up on August 28th when I have a little informal going away get-together.  I’d love to catch up a little and also introduce you to some other great people. You can RSVP at this Facebook invitation.

Also, if you want to meet up in August and if you’re willing to come to College Park, I’m happy to buy you lunch. Old friends and new are welcome.

Or come visit in San Francisco after the summer—I’ll be in Cole Valley, near the N Judah and Golden Gate Park!

Cole Valley

Sorry to cram so much into this blog post.  While only a few of you will likely notice my move, I do care a lot about the DC/Baltimore community…and want to share what led me to these decisions.

I hope to see many of you in the coming weeks.  And this is far from goodbye!

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25 Responses to “Big news: new company, new city and more of the same”

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  1. Mary Specht


    As a fellow ex-DC type, I think you’ve made the right decision and I’m very glad to call you my neighbor.

    (Almost literally. You’re, like, 6 blocks from us!)

    Can’t wait to catch you on the West Coast.

  2. Jared Goralnick

    I forgot that you spend most of your time in Noe Valley, Mary–I pictured you as in the Marina. That’s super great!

  3. Victoria Pickering

    Jared -
    Best wishes growing your business and your life there!

  4. Frank Gruber

    Congrats Jared! Glad to hear everything is coming together. Sorry to see you leaving the DC area but you’ve been in the area awhile and switching things up is going to be exciting.

    Unfortunately, I’ll be in Chicago during your going away party but we’ll have to visit you out in SF. Good luck with the move.

  5. Sam

    Congrat Jared! All the best!

  6. Mary Specht

    We’re in Nopa, actually – few blocks north of you, just past the Haight. I’ve started using my Marina place as my “office” some days, but other than that, I’m not really there. I do love Nopa.

  7. Atli

    Great news Jared! Best wishes and hope to see you soon (on either continent)!

  8. Ernesto

    Whoa! That’s big news Jared. Personally I’m happy to see that I have a possible new couch to crash on in San Fran. ;) But that’s just me. I think you’ll be well missed here in DC and Baltimore if you don’t use those frequent flier miles to come back and visit often. And of course, you have a couch anytime at my place.

    I wish you all the best.


  9. Joe M

    Jared, congrats on all fronts. It all sounds very exciting. Your post reminded me to reach back out from a SET consulting perpsective. Have the new owner call me if you want. Past this, I have a very good contact/friend (successful entrepreneur several times over) who I would be willing to introduce you to out there. He is in my line of work and VERY networked. Just let me know.

  10. Kevin Dewalt

    Congrats, Jared. That spot in Cole Valley is very nice. We looked at some places near there not long ago.

  11. Matt

    Good luck! DC will miss you and I’m glad you’re staying involved with the area.

    Look forward to visiting you in SF!

  12. Charlie Park

    Great news, Jared. I knew some of this was brewing, but it’s great to hear about everything you’ve got going on. Congrats on all of it.

  13. jessiex

    Muy felicidades. Or however you spell it. Congratulations on all things wonderful and new in your life.

  14. Lokesh Dhakar

    Congratulations! I’m both happy for you and a little jealous.

    I’ll see you in August.

  15. Steven Mandzik


    I went there and hated it, tho i love the rest of Spain, especially the Mediterranean villages.

    Thanks for sharing all that you are doing and the reasons why. Amy and I should soon be making a similar move and will hope to keep a presence in DC/Charm City as well.

    Pioneer the way as we will be watching and rooting for ur success.

  16. Jen Gunner

    Jared, I’m so proud and happy for you. Hopefully I will get to see you out in San Francisco and will definitely work on swinging by on the 28th. Best wishes and thoughts on all your future will bring!

  17. Keith Casey

    Congrats Jared.. both on the sale and the move. I wish you the best. :)

  18. Nathan Zeldes

    Good luck, Jared! Change is good, and it’s good that you know how and when to pursue it. I don’t have to tell you San Francisco is a wonderful place… enjoy!

    And convey my best wishes to John in HIS new adventure!

  19. Alexis

    Jared, Congrats!!!!! Am so happy and excited for you… the best part is, even bigger things to come!

  20. Mike Subelsky

    Wow! Congratulations man! We will be sad to see you go but thanks for laying it out so clearly in this post! Sounds like a smart move. I can’t make the 8/28 shindig but will email you about meeting up before you go. Good luck!


  21. Sohit

    Hey Jared,

    Congratulations on your new endeavor!You are such an inspiration. I learned a lot from the events that you organized – both BootstrapMD and Ingnite.

    Wishing you all the best for the future!

  22. Patti

    Jared! Just heard about your move from Mary not too long ago. Congrats! Obviously I’m a fan ;) Haven’t made it to Cole Valley yet; I’m in Castro / Noe / Mission and work in Soma. Let’s meet up when you get settled!

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