Moving On

Norcross Apr 25th, 2017Life Stuff

So I’ve been sitting here trying to think of a way to open this post. So naturally, I looked back to the last time I wrote something on this topic for some clues. I didn’t get much. So I’ll just say it: I’m leaving Reaktiv Studios.

wait. what?

You heard right. I am leaving the company that I founded, built from the ground up, and helped grow into a respected web development agency and WordPress VIP Featured Partner. To be clear, the company isn’t going anywhere. Quite the opposite, in fact. Josh Eaton, who’s been a partner for a long time and has been managing the client services division, is assuming ownership the entire company. The company itself is growing. We’ve hired two developers in the last 3 months, and will likely be hiring more soon. Sales and revenue have risen steadily up over the last three years. The caliber of clients we’ve had the privilege of working with has gone up. The scale and scope of projects has been increasing, along with the budgets to match.

Josh and I have been having conversations over the last year or so on long term strategy and growth plans for the company. The deeper we got into those plans, the more I realized that I shouldn’t be the one to implement them. At my core, I am the happiest when I am building new things, and the amount of time spent doing that was steadily decreasing as the responsibilities of managing a company increased. We have different management styles, and that gets more difficult to deal with as things grow.

When I started Reaktiv, one of my main goals was for it to grow beyond my own name and reputation. To stand on it’s own two feet, more or less. And you know what? It happened. But the reason I got into software development to begin with was that I like solving puzzles. It’s what drove me to build Design Palette Pro, which is also remaining under the guise of Josh and the team there. It’s a solid product with an active user base, built on top of Genesis.

We could have spun off Design Palette and I just went with it. But that would have put me back to the beginning, managing an entire company on my own. Insurance, administrative things, etc. And while Design Palette is doing well, it wouldn’t afford me much time to focus and work on new products. New puzzles to solve.

The other aspect is that I’m just tired. I’ve been doing this for almost 10 years now. Anyone who’s been in this game for a while will tell you that it can wear you down. It’s a 24/7 job, and the effects of that have become more and more visible, at least to me. I have other things in my life that require more of my time and attention, namely my son and my parents. I love what I’ve been able to accomplish at Reaktiv, both individually and with the team, but I’m also looking forward to closing my computer and not thinking about work at night.

I do still have bills to pay.

To that, I’m joining Chris Lema over at LiquidWeb as a Senior Engineer and Developer Advocate starting in May. It’s literally a role built for me, as it combines the things I excel at and removes the things I struggle with. It gives me the ability to focus on building products internally, both for WordPress and the web at large. I’m genuinely excited about what I’ll get to work on. And I think some of y’all will be too.

Curious about the other side? Here’s Josh in his own words.

18 Responses to “Moving On”

  1. Chris Klosowski

    Congrats on the new role and having the intospective approach of what’s the right move at the right time. I’m happy to see you make this move when you know it’s right for you personally. Looking forward to the future of both parties.

  2. Alan Bleiweiss

    Andrew,

    You already know how much I appreciate all that you have done to help me with the many challenges I have faced dealing with my site. I cannot emphasize, in spite of my selfish fear of missing your help, how happy I am that you are following the path you need to be on for all the reasons you mention. You deserve to be happy and successful in work and life.

  3. Pippin Williamson

    Good on you, Andrew. I applaud you doing what YOU need.

    Congrats and have fun!

  4. Kyle Maurer

    Awesome move! I’m happy for you. Agency life is pretty hard man. That’s part of why I did exactly this same thing four weeks ago. I left my own company to join a dream team at EDD. LW has an amazing crew too. Very exciting stuff.

  5. Ben Lobaugh

    Congrats sir and best wishes to you in your new role! May it bring you fulfillment and take your life to the next level!

  6. Duce

    Congratulations and good luck. Sounds like a great opportunity. Thanks for all you contribute to the WP community! Cheers.

  7. Matt Cromwell

    Congrats! That takes real courage and vision to leave a company you created. Also, tons of real discernment. Nice job! Will continue watching LiquidWeb for sure.

  8. Zach Wills

    That’s crazy! Kudos to you for making what was almost definitely a tough decision. It sounds like you know this is what you want to do and it’s awesome that you’re going ahead and doing it.

    I have no doubt that you’ll be able to build some awesome shit at Liquid Web and am sure that the ability to focus strictly on building cool stuff will pay off in spades.

    Good luck at Liquid Web and enjoy the new position!

  9. Nick Gernert

    Congrats on this, man. I’m excited to see what you’ll do with the new role.

    I’ll miss your face around Reaktiv and I hope you don’t think this gets you out of catching up at Buddy Brew.