Startups + failing economy – VCs = layoffs.
Many friends and acquaintances have already faced the dreaded “we’re sorry but we have to let you go” lately… and today I joined the club.
Yep, still feels weird to say it but I was laid off today. My first layoff.
I am unemployed. Sounds a little tragic, no? Don’t get me wrong, I AM excited about what’s next. I know it will be great. It’s just a real kick in the gut to realize that the marketing session you thought you were going to is actually your dismissal meeting. This has never happened to me before.
Not to suggest that I was blindsided. It wasn’t so much of a surprise given the market conditions, the industry (software/web) and the type of product we were working on (image search, mobile search apps).
So, what’s next? Some soul searching, some researching and the rest I’m not quite sure about yet. What I do know is that I am very lucky to have the amazing group of friends I have. It’s been just a few hours since I started letting people know and already my phone has been ringing and my blackberry has been buzzing with leads and tips, along with lots of humorous “keep your chin up” messages. You guys rock. Really.
To Leila and Paul… thank you for bringing me on board and letting me share your vision for the last six months. It’s been such a learning experience and the team, well, you know how to pick’em Leila – what a bunch! From the long nights and hectic scheduling required to launch a product my first week on the job to the fun and stress-free Friday night get togethers, it’s been quite a ride. And the technology is pretty incredible, so I’ll be keeping a close eye on how things go. I’m proud to have been a part of launching the world’s first image search engine out into the world.
And while I know I am in good company (hey Seesmic folks, a shout out to Accordion Guy, to name a few), it still really kinda sucks. As Seesmic‘s Le Meur noted about their recent layoffs: “We cut everything that wasn’t outsourceable, core or absolutely necessary for the company.” Ouch. But it’s true. Unfortunately for me, community and marketing manager doesn’t fall into core when your product is software, and doubly so when you have products still in beta.
Marketing and community = important, but… Developer = core.
So there you have it.
I recommend to those folks who have also just joined Club Sacked that they head on over to read Joey deVilla‘s post about getting terminated. Believe me, you will feel better afterward, I know I did. In the software and web industry things are looking pretty grim, as Joey points out, “people who follow the industry are writing articles warning us that it’s not if you’ll get laid off, but when.”
Well, it looks like I just stepped in a big steaming heap of when.
So, buck up, as they say. It’s time to buff up the resume and hit the ground running. I’m looking forward to new adventures.
I’m going places.
Image: Don Solo