dark matter

2010: New year, new job, New Kind

Well folks, there are gonna be some changes around here in 2010. So let me cut to the chase.

After 10 1/2 years, I’m leaving my full-time position with the greatest open source company in the world later this month.

This was no easy call. Red Hat has been a fantastic ride. I’ll spare you the trip down memory lane, but Red Hat has been the defining job of my career.

I certainly wouldn’t leave Red Hat to join another big company. In fact, thanks to DeLisa Alexander, my wonderful boss, and Jeff Mackanic, my long-time partner in running the Brand Communications + Design group, I’m going to continue to work with Red Hat– just in a different capacity. More on this later.

I’ve always wanted to start my own company, see how entrepreneurship fits, and have never had a good opportunity before. In 2010 I believe we are entering one of the most exciting opportunities for entrepreneurs in decades. I aim to give it a go.

As folks who’ve been reading Dark Matter Matters know, I have a deep interest in seeing how the lessons of open source might be applied to companies outside of the technology industry. I’m excited about taking some of the principles we’ve used to build brand, culture, and community the open source way at Red Hat and finding other companies who could use them too.

To that end, the news that won’t be a surprise to folks who know me well: I’ve decided to join up with two of my best friends, David Burney and Matt Munoz, who have spent the last year building a new kind of communications firm– New Kind.

David and I have worked together for almost 10 years, first when he owned Burney Design and was Red Hat’s creative agency partner, then as my boss at Red Hat for 4+ years. And, of course, he and I still play together in our band The Swingin’ Johnsons.

Matt and I first met while he was working on the Red Hat account at CapStrat. He was an early architect of the modern Red Hat brand identity, leading projects like the Red Hat brand book and the Fedora logo design.

As for New Kind, we have a lot of ideas.

So rather than stretching this post too long, I’ll promise to continue to share my ideas here at Dark Matter Matters if you promise to continue to read.

Thanks to my amazing Red Hat family, especially my brothers and sisters in the Brand Communications + Design team, for 10 great years. The hardest part of this decision was knowing I would no longer be sitting beside you five days a week.

Happy new year, and thanks to each of you for making the first year of Dark Matter Matters a special one.

A New Kind awaits!

About Chris Grams

Chris Grams is Head of Marketing at Tidelift. He is also the author of The Ad-Free Brand: Secrets to Successful Brand Positioning in a Digital World.


18 thoughts on “2010: New year, new job, New Kind

  1. Wow! Didn’t see this coming! That’s great news and I’m really excited for you. Best of luck. But you won’t need it…talent trumps luck any day and you’ve got loads of talent.

    Posted by Donnie Barnes | January 3, 2010, 11:24 pm
  2. Wow! That’s a change, Chris! But I am sure the insights you’ve gained at Red Hat will be a key driver in your new venture. Looking forward to continuing our friendship.


    Posted by Harish Pillay | January 3, 2010, 11:32 pm
  3. This is exciting news! Congratulations. Watch out world….Chris Grams is now on the loose and with some very fun, smart, creative and talented side kicks/partners!

    Posted by Rebecca Goldstein | January 4, 2010, 10:42 am
  4. I can’t tell you how excited I am for you! To take the lessons of Open Source and apply them beyond the technology industry is such a great concept. The community aspect of Red Hat’s brand is certainly its secret sauce — I’m glad you’ll be evangelizing this more broadly. Congrats to you. 2010 is going to be a big year!

    Posted by Tim Hyer | January 4, 2010, 11:54 am
  5. You will be awesome, you have done a wonderful job at Red Hat and will continue in whatever you chose to pursue. Working with the guys at New Kind will be loads of fun as well. They are a talented bunch.
    Wish you well.

    Posted by Deb Woods | January 4, 2010, 1:10 pm
  6. Quite a dream team you’ve got going there and three of my favorite people ever. Congrats and good luck.

    Posted by Jeremy Hogan | January 4, 2010, 1:36 pm
  7. Chris,
    That is outstanding. What a powerful mix it’ll be. I got a good feeling about this “New Kind” you speak of.

    Posted by Steven Keith | January 4, 2010, 1:38 pm
  8. Chris,

    It takes real guts to make the leap you’re taking. Good on ya, and knock ’em dead!

    Posted by Erich | January 4, 2010, 2:14 pm
  9. holy smokes! you people are so nice to me– thank you!

    Posted by cdgrams | January 4, 2010, 3:28 pm
  10. Congrats – when you guys get settled in we’ll do “round 2” of New Kind Portraits.

    Posted by Bruce DeBoer | January 4, 2010, 3:35 pm
  11. Congratulations Chris – to me that sounds so amazing. All the best for your new venture. I’m looking forward to read and know more.

    Posted by Werner Gold | January 4, 2010, 4:42 pm
  12. Chris! Let’s meet when I am in Durham next week…



    Posted by Phil Verghis | January 4, 2010, 6:31 pm
  13. Congrats Chris – I have no doubt you, Dave and Matt will kick serious butt – exciting times.

    Posted by Jamie Pride | January 4, 2010, 8:42 pm
  14. Congrats, Chris, very exciting! Sounds like a design super-group in the making! ;) On a slightly more serious note, I share your interest and enthusiasm in applying open source principles in other facets than software… very interested to see where you guys take it

    All the best, and happy new year

    Posted by fbrock | January 5, 2010, 12:18 pm
  15. Hi Chris,

    I can’t believe you are leaving Red Hat! Very happy you will still be around in some capacity. I’m sure New Kind will be all kinds of fun – can’t wait to see what you guys are working on!


    Posted by samfw | January 5, 2010, 1:12 pm
  16. Holy Cow! I can’t believe you are leaving the Hat! Congratulations to you for being such an amazing force in the communications and brand department. I have no doubt that you are leaving a gaping hole…

    Posted by Melissa London | January 5, 2010, 4:28 pm
  17. The relationship between gravity, cosmic evolution and life:

    Again: Dark Energy And Dark Matter YOK

    A. From “Ancient dawn’s early light refines age of universe
    Satellite images reveal new aspects of Big Bang’s relic radiation.”

    – “The ancient light, known as the cosmic microwave background, is peppered with hot and cold spots, signs of the tiny primordial lumps from which galaxies grew”, And “(It is suggested) that theorists will have to revise their understanding of galaxy clusters”.

    – The “universal composition” mantra is displayed, again, as 4.5% ordinary matter, 22.7% dark matter and 72.8% dark energy.

    B. From “No Dark Matter, No Maybe”

    – Enough is enough. Humanity has been hallucinating about dark energy and dark matter for circa 100 years.

    – The “tiny primordial lumps” grew NOT into galaxies, but into galaxy clusters.

    – “Galaxy Clusters Evolved By Dispersion, Not By Conglomeration”.

    – “There’s No Dark Energy Nor Dark Matter”. All the initial singularity energy and matter is still there in space-distance, accounted for by E=Total[m(1 + D)] .

    C. And “Cosmic Evolution Simplified” accounts for the origin and nature of evolutionary biology via the cosmic gravity monotheism.

    Dov Henis
    (Comments From The 22nd Century)

    Posted by Dov Henis | February 12, 2010, 11:28 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Hey, I Wrote a Book!

The Ad-Free Brand: Secrets to Building Successful Brands in a Digital World

Available now in print and electronic versions.

%d bloggers like this: