Goodbye, Divmod. Hello, World!

Friday July 10, 2009
At the end of this month, Divmod will lay off its last employee and cease to be.

As some of you know, I've been on hiatus for several months now.  The idea was originally that I would take a break, allow the company to build up a small operating buffer to deal with our cash-flow issues, and heal a psyche damaged by many months of intense stress (caused largely by those same cash-flow issues).

The psyche-healing worked out okay.  I'm feeling much better than I was when my break started.  The cash-flow issues, not so much.  The reality turned out to be that much of the new consulting business we were counting on just didn't materialize.  We managed to get quite a bit of maintenance done on our infrastructure — I continued to help out intermittently, interleaving some reviews and bugfixes with hobby projects — but it was no longer really clear what business purpose that infrastructure was serving.  We didn't have any product that generated a revenue stream and we certainly didn't have the resources to build a new one.

Users of Divmod email: I'm not exactly sure what the plan is, but JP and I will personally make sure that you can get your email in some form and we'll work out some way to keep at least a forwarding service running.

Users of Divmod open source projects: we will figure out some way to continue to host and maintain the code.  I'm not sure what we're going to do about official stewardship, but it was years before Twisted needed any official legal structure, so I'm sure we'll make due.

The Divmod Fan Club, which deposits money into my personal paypal account rather than a business one (for stupid technical reasons which are now extremely convenient), is generating enough money that we may be able to afford some hosting, assuming those of you who supported Divmod-the-company would like to continue supporting Divmod-the-ambiguously-defined-collection-of-open-source-projects.  Regardless of whether you decide to cancel your subscriptions now (you can do so in the UI for your PayPal account; nothing to do with us, happily), thank you all, very much.  You enabled us to do a lot more with our open-source work than we would otherwise have been able to, and you helped the get through a number of crunches in the past.

The fan club might enable us to host the collection of open source projects, and possibly also host versions of Mantissa and Quotient, and Sine.  I think that having some users would help keep those projects alive in the absence of a corporate sponsor.  I'm not really sure what's going to happen to Blendix, though, and as a proprietary thing it requires more thinking.  If you care deeply about it, please get in touch with me.  Also, if you are a member of the Divmod community who might like to help out with administration, we might need help with mundane things like keeping our Trac instance running.

Now, on to the more personal stuff.

Thanks in advance for your condolances, but I'm feeling okay about this.  Not to say that I don't wish Divmod had ended with more success, but I spoke to Amir and JP yesterday, and we all agreed — it's time to move on.  We tried everything we could think of.  It's time to do something different.

More importantly, I'm not really sure what I'm going to do next.

Right now I'm considering a few things.  I have a couple of job offers, I have a few ideas for new businesses that I might want to start myself.  Some of those ideas are things I would bootstrap myself, some would require funding.

Some of you reading this right now have intimated that you'd like to offer me a job, if I were available.  Some have speculated that you might want to fund some other company that was less ambitious than Divmod.  Well, now's your chance.  Get in touch, and let's talk.

If you can, please do it soon, though.  Some of the offers I'm already considering need a decision soon, but I'd really like an opportunity to consider my options before I jump into the next thing.