Twelves years ago, I took the biggest leap of faith in my professional career. I left a stable, well-paying job as a project manager at an architectural company, leaving behind health insurance, two weeks paid vacation and a 401k plan.
Every day at 4:00, I would drive away from the office and had the luxury of leaving work behind. When I turned off my computer, that was it. There were no projects to estimate, there were no drawings to be made, and there weren’t any phone calls I had to make.
It was a good job, but it wasn’t a great job—and I knew that it had become a means to an end.
During my last year there, I started blogging on WordPress and was doing freelance web design. I taught myself how to customize themes and built an audience by sharing what I had learned.
Little did I know, I was laying the foundation of my first real business.
Fast forward a few years—February 2009, to be exact—and the theme company previously known as Revolution rebranded to StudioPress. Little did I know how much foresight I had back then:
“Moving the brand over to StudioPress will result in better user experience, a growing community of users, and better theme development.”
About a year later, we launched the Genesis Framework, which still stands as the industry standard for WordPress design frameworks.
For the past twelve years, my life has centered around StudioPress. What started as a side hustle has become a line of business that has generated millions of dollars of revenue.
In June of 2018, I made an important announcement about the future of StudioPress: WP Engine was acquiring it.
The past 15 months have gone by quickly, and it sometimes feels like yesterday that we made the announcement. In the same breath, it has also felt like forever.
Transition periods can look several ways, and they can take equally several periods to complete. Thankfully, everyone involved went above and beyond during this transition, and—for the most part—things went as planned.
By definition, the word “transition” is the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.
In this case, the condition was ownership of StudioPress. While WP Engine officially took over last summer, today is an equally important day in that process.
I am both sad and relieved to announce that today is the last day of my contract with WP Engine, and therefore my last day with StudioPress.
Now, before you start shedding tears, let me take a moment and reassure you that I’m not going anywhere. This post is merely an “on paper” type of goodbye, and not a real one.
Let’s Stay Connected
Yes, you can say that I am now free to as I wish, which I will. And if you want to follow along as I “do my next thing”—which I hope you do—I encourage you to sign up here:
I am a champion of community and have spent more than the last decade of my life dedicated to growing and fostering the Genesis community. My innate desire to stay involved remains.
That means you will see me on social media, at WordCamps, and most importantly, in your inbox. But this is more than just being about me.
It is about you, and it is about everyone who helped us get here.
When we decided to sell StudioPress to WP Engine, three things mattered:
- WP Engine would invest time and resources into Genesis.
- WP Engine would continue to build into the Genesis community.
- WP Engine would bring over the StudioPress team.
I think it’s safe to say that WP Engine has fulfilled these promises. The Genesis roadmap has never been as clear as it is now, and the amount of updates that have taken place over the last 15 months also proves the point.
The creation of the Genesis Shapers and the announcement of the Genesis Community TLDR Blog Series also prove their commitment to recognizing and promoting the work of folks who build with Genesis.
As much as the first two points mattered to me personally, it was the last point that was non-negotiable.
We Are Family
I have worked alongside several of the folks currently on the StudioPress team for many years. In some cases, it is more than a decade, and I consider them family.
When I knew that we were entertaining the idea of selling, I wanted to make sure that everyone on the team had a place.
Since the acquisition, I have seen WP Engine fulfill their promise to keep the team intact and have seen them build into each of the members.
One of their company values is “Where the best get better.” and they have demonstrated this time and time again. I have seen members of the StudioPress team recognized for their work and promoted accordingly.
As I hand the torch over to these technology and community leaders, I’m proud of what they’ve accomplished and all they have planned to make Genesis even better, help the community grow, and to continue to nurture a legacy that has made and will continue to make a profound impact on the open web.
Today is bittersweet, as I am officially letting go of direct involvement with StudioPress and the suite of products. I hope to continue playing a role in its future and look forward to watching WP Engine and the StudioPress team as they move forward.
I am thankful for the opportunity to have served and worked alongside so many talented and wonderful people.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for trusting me, and thank you for believing in me. It means more than you know.
As I leave my role directly with StudioPress and continue my role as a member of the Genesis community with all of you, I’d like to share some kind words my colleagues have said about my contributions to Genesis and our community.