End of an Era

Today I decommissioned and removed the last piece of functioning IT equipment at my employer’s now nearly evacuated building. I have rather ambivalent feelings about all this. I first started with this company in its inception back in June of 2001, when it was still in the basement of another company that was incubating it. I built up the IT infrastructure in this company before there were even walls in the building I’m in the process of emptying now. I still remember those early days like they just happened.

But at the same time I also remember the management imposed on us which departed greatly from the original vision, and proceeded to destroy what were trying to build. I remember the imposition of a working environment that was thoroughly miserable and degrading. I remember the valiant efforts of later management, who were good people, to try to salvage what turned out to be a hopelessly wounded animal.

We did not fail because our idea failed. We failed because our investors flushed an A idea down the toilet bowl of a D- management team. We lost a lot of very good talent due to that. In the past two years things got much better, and particularly the past year we’ve been much more focused, but the wounds we were bearing still impeded progress. I am not really sad to execute the closing of this chapter, but I’m very keen on what happens next. I’m looking forward to it.

6 thoughts on “End of an Era”

  1. I understand. I face similar challenges now. My mistake was implementing technology 20 years ago. Now I must make the case to upgrade it.

  2. So, does this mean Sebastian will soon begin to collect his 99 weeks worth of unemployment now?

  3. Though I didn’t have as much time in as you have, I was in a very similar situation about four years ago…. great tech company with a good idea, a decent and growing customer base, worker bees who were smart and worked hard, and a senior management team so totally worthless they flushed $200million into an ABC loss in less than a year.

  4. “We failed because our investors flushed an A idea down the toilet bowl of a D- management team. ”

    Been there, done that. The VCs replaced a highly competent, well-respected, highly technical CEO with a guy from US West who was so hated that rather than helping us get US West to buy our product–he made it impossible. In 17 months, he turned a company that was turning down $300 million buyout offers (and that we expected to IPO at a billion) into a company that Nokia bought for $117 million.

  5. Been there too… We traded a hard-working CEO for an around-the-block sinecure-guy from Viacom who was going to coast-into retirement land in SoCal – and did… When they sold it wasn’t even for a song, just a tap-dance.

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