This is an attempt at proactively answering a question I hear frequently from new business contacts, as well as friends, and even immediate family. I may just permalink this on my business card and email signature to make things easier, given all the balls I have in the air at any point.
First and foremost, I've really been enjoying the slow(er)-time during development of my two startups to spend time with my beautiful wife, perfect daughters, furry felines, and our new dog Hank. That has fed the soul in so many ways that were so overdue after working 100+ hour weeks for the last 20+ years.
Second, yes, I have two startups. The first is one that I have disclosed previously, The Athena Project. The short version is that Athena is about applied knowledge in the form of an educational massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) for school children. I've been working on this one off/on for over a decade and I believe that we've reached an inflection point between gaming technology and outright hostility towards conventional teaching modalities that it may at last have fertile ground to grow.
The second startup I have to still be a little guarded about as it's awaiting some final legal approvals, but it's in my old arena of collaboration technology. I think this one is going to be a game changer and it's consuming the lion's share of my time. The 'teaser' webpage is here.
When I'm not working on those two offspring, one of my own offspring started her own company this summer named Stork.ly, which is a baby-supply delivery service for new parents. It's all her, with our logistical (read: "Transportation and angel funding") support, and it's been a great applied educational experience for her.
In the 'old habits die hard' category, I am evidently also regressing to my Cisco days of Technology Center with the plans behind StartupCity Des Moines, a technology startup incubator. Tej Dhawan and I have been working on this for nine months and we are getting close to launching it in a physical location downtown soon. Tej and I probably spend a good 20-25 hours a week mentoring startups without the benefit of a fixed physical location, so we're looking forward to getting many of these startups together with one another for their natural synergies.
Finally, I am on the boards of directors of two non-profit organizations, the Technology Association of Iowa, as well as the Des Moines Social Club. Recently I was able to step back from my old role on the board of Des Moines Metro Opera, as it was time to clear the path for fresh blood and ideas.
There are also a million other things that I am actively working on, as usual, but that's about as current a 'status update' as I can capture for the balls that I am juggling.