A sad departure from Six Apart and looking to the future

Getting Fired CartoonThree weeks ago my wonderful and fruitful tenure at Six Apart came to an unexpected and abrupt end when the company laid me and 8% of my friends coworkers off. In the wake of my dismissal I tried to understand why such a dedicated and passionate employee with so many accomplishments, with such a deep knowledge of each of their many products and who, as a former coworker told me, was "part of the DNA of the company" could be cut loose.

Layoff Tweet

The more I thought about it though, the more I realized that it is just too easy to be bitter, and that the truth is that I have so much more to be proud of and thankful for having worked there: such as playing an important role in the invention of OpenID, helping to drive one of the most successful launches in Six Apart's history and spear heading the effort to open source Movable Type. In fact, it is my having worked there that may very well be what saves me in the end. Following what few initial slightly ambiguous tweets I did make regarding my change in status, I was inundated with email not only from friends, but also and more surprisingly from readers and followers of my blog that I didn't even know I had.

The influx of inquiries, offers of freelance work, job referrals and simple words of encouragement made me conscious for the first time of the extent of the network I was building just by doing and sharing with people what I love and do best: creating. And I can't help but think that the knowledge, experience and connections made while at Six Apart had a little something to do with the amazing network of friends, followers and supporters I now know I have.

So, now I begin to look forward, past the upset and disappointment of having been laid off from a company I love and admire, and towards a future I may otherwise have never been able to imagine for myself. What that future is however has not fully taken shape, as there is surprisingly a great deal of opportunity out there.

I would be curious what friends and followers of this blog think I should do? Should I venture off on my own? Try to make something of Test Run? Become a premiere Movable Type consultant? Join a new and innovative company? Or, considering the economic climate, play it safe and join something more established? Let me know what you think:

As I am in the process of deciding what is next for me, I am also looking for contract work that will allow me to make this decision in my own time. I already have some exciting projects lined up and that I am working on, but I am looking for more. So if you, or someone you know needs help, there are few who know more about Movable Type. Drop me a line and let me know what you need help with, be it Movable Type, PHP, Perl, TypePad, blogging, or Product Management.

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It's been a true pleasure working with you Byrne, I've learnt a lot from you and I hope to continue "seeing" you around :)

Good luck with everything!

Byrne, a few years ago I was laid off from a wonderful job where I made some great contributions. It wasn't until after I left that I began to see just how much I was held back from what I could do, what I could be, and where I could go! I wish the same for you. I'm sure at some point in the future you're going to look back and see this as the best possible move.

we miss you lots and lots! xoxo to you and the squirrel.

There wasn't my preferred option: Join with me on my quest to take over the world! Muahahahaha

Life is too short to not try and leave your mark on the world. No reason to settle in only one very tiny spot in this huge world. Things happen for a reason, and it is time to make a new mark.

Good luck!

I really enjoyed working with you, Byrne-- I hope you enjoy whatever your next activity is. (And I never doubted, as soon as I heard, that you'd bounce back fast-- you're too valuable to be out of the game for long.)


I hope you to work as Movable Type Consultant. Good luck!!

Byrne, Thank you for all the help you've given me through ProNet, your blog, via email and in the forums. You have taught me so much and I look forward to what you'll be doing next. I hope you continue to work on MT! But I can't wait to see what your next big project will be.

Freedom leads to doing things you would have never tried!

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

I can't say I'm all that sad about you being more available now to collaborate with on projects. :)

I vote that you join me with my idea: comp sci for toddlers.

Think about it: Motzart wrote his first concerto at what? 5?

There's no reason JBM and H. couldn't write their own compiler in the next year or so.

On a more serious note, I've got feelers out in LA for you.

Hi Byrne,

I'm still trying to understand exactly how you weren't still a vital part of 6A's future?

I guess if I've learned one thing it's to be ready for change. Lots.

I gotta say I love your attitude and I'm glad you're both still an MT fan and looking ahead to new challenges.

Right-ho, off to write you an email re freelancing ;-)

All the best

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