Leaving Avvo

Now that the sale of Avvo has closed and the transition is progressing, I’ll be leaving the company. It has been an absolutely stellar experience. I have loved working with everyone here. After Spotify, it was critical for me to find another company that had values that aligned well with my own, and a senior leadership team and board that I could learn from. Avvo was that place.

I’m extremely proud of the team that we’ve built and the one-of-a-kind engineering culture that now exists at Avvo.

I’m taking a bit of time to consider my next move. I always aspire to be deliberate in my actions, and I need to get a bit of distance to decide what is next. Now that I have a bit more time, I hope to share some of my lessons from Avvo in writing and talks.

This is the e-mail that I sent to my team:

In Simon Wardley’s article “Bits or pieces?: On Pioneers, Settlers, Town Planners, and Theft“ (http://blog.gardeviance.org/2015/03/on-pioneers-settlers-town-planners-and.html), he talks about the need for skilled folks to explore uncharted lands (the pioneers), to take the crazy ideas and turn them into practical products (the settlers), and to industrialize those products (the town planners). I have worked in all three of these roles in my career, but I am happiest as a pioneer and settler. Last year, an interviewer asked me about this article (https://youtu.be/4tqJJ2c6BrU).

As Avvo moves into its new home in Internet Brands, it needs a new leader that will help it thrive and grow in a company that excels at Town Planning. I know that I am not that leader, and so I’ve decided that it is time for me to find my next set of uncharted lands.

I have been privileged to work with every one of you. I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished together. We have built a mentoring, inclusive, diverse and agile culture with strong teams of people who support each other. While sometimes we focus on how far we are from where we want to be, it is worth realizing how far we’ve come and what rarified air we breathe.

It’s important to understand that the tough changes that have come are not due to the culture that we created. They are the result of two very different companies coming together with different priorities and goals. I will do my best to make sure that every person who is affected gets a new role as soon as possible.

For those that have joined in the last couple of months, I am disappointed that we won’t have more time so that I could get to know you better. I have been thoroughly impressed by what I have seen. For those that I have been able to spend more time with, I’m glad to have been on this journey with you.

I wish each of you the absolute best of luck. While our paths are diverging, there is a bond that we share and a responsibility towards each of you that I will always feel. I’m always available for a coffee, a beer or a phone call if you want someone to hash through something with you.

My last day will be April 6th.

One thought on “Leaving Avvo”

  1. Nancy Sinatra sang it best….”These boots are made for walking”.
    Yours have sure done a lot of wandering. I’m certain they will lead you to your next great adventure. Good Luck! Keep us posted.
    Aunt Sandy/Uncle Joe

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