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.
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.