Hi! I’m Dave Kiss, and I help make the internet.
I had a pretty early start on this web stuff – I still remember the modem connection sounds of AOL 2.5 emanating from my eMachines desktop like it was yesterday.
My first website was a Kool-aid fan site that I built in 2004 (yeah, it’s still up.) However, it was 1995’s Spider-Man Cartoon Maker that was the real catalyst for pursuing my first dream of being a world class video producer.
For years, I was laser-focused on being one of the best videographers out there. I went to university to study digital media production. While I was there, I had to make a portfolio website to display my videos on and realized that I really enjoyed the challenge that building a professional website presented.
In 2011, I moved to Chicago and started working with a small 3D animation studio called Greyscalegorilla. We needed a way to showcase some videos on the company’s website, so I researched some options and wasn’t able to find a great solution. So I did what I always do in that kind of situation – come up with my own way to make it work.
Rather than building a tool that only worked for us, I thought it’d be a good fit for other companies that faced a similar task. With permission, I open-sourced the code and assigned a price tag to some of the more complicated features.
In 2012, I started selling my own software online and took a few years to grow the sales to a sustainable level. I did it by extracting my truth from the industry’s smartest brains, applying it to my ideas along the way, and finding out firsthand what did and didn’t work.
I worked happily this way for years – and then, the pandemic came along and changed everything. I had had enough alone time. It felt like it was time to get back out and collaborate with others.
I’d always thought devrel might be a good fit, so I applied to a community role with Mux in 2021, sold my project in 2022, and have been learning about what it means to provide a great developer experience ever since.
You might enjoy this site if any of the following values resonate with you:
- I value autonomy; my time is extremely important to me.
- I want to take ownership of the things that I make. I did not get in to creative work just to crank out work for someone else.
- I want to learn about the things that I care about the most – not the rigid requirements of what only makes someone else happy.
- I want more out of my life than sitting predictably at my office desk every day. I want to push, encounter new situations, and explore.
- I want to have input on what I should work on for the day. I don’t want to just rent out my brain space for someone else’s agenda.
- I want to collaborate with others who are just as passionate about working as I am.
- I believe in listening to my body and my mind. If I’m not feeling like I’m putting out strong work, I should stop and come back when I’m ready. I don’t want to be made to feel bad for taking workdays off.
- I believe in the importance of remote work, and I prioritize my work environment over a predictable commute and cubicle.
- I enjoy applying all of the ideas and inspiration that surround me to a project of my own.
- I believe that the time I spend working is, at best, indirectly related to the value of the things that I create.