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A special Silicon Prairie Awards

Four years ago I launched a series on Silicon Prairie News called “Opportunities on the Prairie.” Now just referred to as the “SPN Job Board,” the series’ goal was to share a roundup of all local startup jobs. Looking back on the series, it’s astounding to think of the many folks who reached out to SPN to say “thanks” for connecting them with a new job or future employee.

With that same feeling of gratitude, I say thanks today to the awesome team at SPN and the incredible startup community around it, because as a result of my time here I’ve landed a new opportunity on the Prairie. Tomorrow I’ll be joining the Zapier team, moving on from SPN after four years as the company’s managing editor and, like other early startup employees, jack of (nearly) all trades.

As SPN’s first employee, I’ve had the best seat in the house to watch this community grow. I’ve learned an immense amount about startups, business and journalism. And it’s that combination that primed me to fulfill a goal I set in 2007: work for a software startup.

The move to Zapier will bring me a new focus—I’ll be the two-year-old company’s first full-time marketer—and a new place in a community I’ve come to value immensely. I’ll go from reporting on the Silicon Prairie to being a part of growing it. I’ll remain in Omaha, working remotely for the Mountain View, Calif.-based startup, becoming one of four Midwestern employees among Zapier’s seven-person team. (The company was, after all, born at Startup Weekend Columbia in October 2011.) On top of staying in the area, I’ll stay connected to SPN, too, as I’ll become an advisor to the company.

And this is why the Silicon Prairie Awards event August 29 will be a special one for me: it’ll be my last event as part of the SPN full-time team. I can’t wait to celebrate this special startup community. I hope you’ll join me.

As I sign off, I want to thank SPN’s co-founders, Jeff and Dusty, for making a bet on me in 2009. Thanks also to my teammates—Brittany, Caleb, Frank, Fred, Kim, Megan and Regan—and former teammates—Geoff and Michael—for their tireless work and constant encouragement. Thanks, too, to our freelance writers and event volunteers who regularly provide a much-needed boost for our company. And thanks to the sponsors who help SPN financially, the readers and community supporters who cheer it along and, last but not least, the startup founders and employees who kindly give us their time and trust.

So as I make my career change this week, I especially get excited about my new role in the startup community. I just hope I’ll be able to successfully pitch that news blog with a prairie dog mascot to write about my new employer—I hear there’s more happening in the Silicon Prairie, so I bet coverage isn’t as easy to come by.

You can reach me at dannysschreiber@gmail.com or find me on Twitter, @dannyaway. And, of course, you can now read my writing on Zapier’s blog.


Credits: Photo by Malone & Company

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