GeekWire's John Cook interviews entrepreneur Tony Wright at last year's Seattle 2.0 Startup Awards
GeekWire’s John Cook interviews entrepreneur Tony Wright at the GeekWire Seattle 2.0 Startup Awards

Entrepreneur Tony Wright made a bit of a stir last May when he announced plans to leave Seattle for Silicon Valley to build his next company: Tomo.

Now, Wright, the founder of RescueTime and Jobby and a well known fixture in the Seattle tech scene, is chucking it all for … an around-the-world adventure.

In a blog post titled “Time to Go,” Wright says that he plans to leave on the excursion with his wife in order to “de-screen.” In other words, being wrapped up in the day-to-day grind of the tech industry has taken its toll.

He writes:

“For the last 5 years, I’ve been waking up and grabbing at the first screen I could get my hands on. After a quick morning routine, I hop on a laptop. I head to work and sit in front of a computer. I come home and often surf the web or watch a show. I fill in the gaps with a smartphone, catching up on Twitter, Facebook, and Hacker News. I won’t lie– when I break this routine, I feel pangs of withdrawal. World travel will force me back into the real world.”

It’s unclear what this means for Wright’s company, Tomo, which interestingly had been developing a mobile travel guide product. We have an email into Wright to ask what he plans to do with Tomo, which has yet to launch.

In his blog post, Wright notes that he may do some “light consulting” from the road and possibly assist some non profits.

“I’m interested to see how much of my identity is tied up in my output and whether that hole needs to be filled or not. Stay tuned on that front,” says Wright, who plans to start the trip in May in southern Spain and Morocco and conclude it in South America in May 2014.

Good luck to Tony on his voyage, and coping without a “screen.” I personally unplugged for a 24-hour period earlier this month, and I’ve got to say it was pretty awesome.

UPDATE: Here’s more from Wright:

We got TomoGuides to some good early milestones– we had some quiet prototypes in the wild that were testing really well and a great bunch of investors circled up.  Ultimately, my cofounder and I couldn’t get aligned on product vision.  So we decided to hold off on a seed round and (after a lot of friendly discussion) parted ways in the fall.  Since then, I’ve been doing some product consulting for a few really awesome start.
I’ve no doubt that I’ll return to startup life and (after spending a chunk of the last year in northern and Southern California) will certainly be returning to Seattle.  If home is where the heart is, Seattle is certainly home!  The city and the startup geeks that live there are pretty special.
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  • TheRealRealWorld

    “World travel will force me back into the real world.”

    I think that statement alone shows how much he doesn’t know about the “real world”

    • chuckDazzle

      What a weird comment … seemingly appropos of nothing comes a bizarre, inaccurate, and wickedly judgmental op/ed.

      It’s boggles the mind that, given one sentence as the foundation of some kind of argument (however dumb that argument is), someone can dismiss Tony as not knowing anything about the real world.

      Just the concept of the Real World is so subjective that’s almost pointless to have a discussion about whether one knows the RW or not without defining what the RW actually is.

    • Drew Meyers

      the “real world” is whatever you make it to be

  • Adam

    Good luck, Tony. Will look forward to your triumphant return. Safe travels!

  • John Raffetto

    Have fun Tony. Just remember to call your carrier and get an international plan for your smartphone before you head out.

  • laslo

    Next time he eats a doughnut, I want to read about it too.

  • Andrew Kinzer

    Good insights on the vacation stats. Happy travels Tony!

  • Newsworthy?

    I don’t understand why this is news. He always seems like a nice guy, but has not started any major companies or had any huge successes. He has worked for 9 years and now is taking some time off. Good for him, but it seems strange to see an article about it.

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