May 15, 2015

Not Goodbye. Until.

Last week marked the end of my journey with Keen IO. What an incredible two and a half years it’s been! I want to thank the founders, employees, investors, and community for the opportunity to be a part of something very special. It was a privilege working with each and every one of you. I’m so excited for the future of this company and the wonderful people behind it.

Keen is an experience I’ll always treasure and was highly formative. Every reservoir of talent, heart, and grit I have was tapped and tested. But each time replenished—topped off higher than before—by the thrill of success, or the outpouring of support when success was still another peak away.

When I joined Keen in January of 2013 we hadn’t made a buck yet. The majority of events we collected were from an eastern European game developer who refused to pay us. This month, May 2015, Keen will accept billions of API calls from thousands of developers, a large number of whom pay for our service. My how we’ve grown.

I architected the core of the distributed system that stores and queries these terabytes of data. It remains one of the most flexible yet powerful big data systems in the world. The day it went into production—after thousands of commits, a half dozen design iterations, weeks of fussing over every last detail—was the high point of my technical career. I want to recognize the patience and support that came from Dan, Kyle, Ryan, Michelle, Micah and others during that time. Your collective belief in me was the wind in the sails. All I had to do was steer.

Today, Keen’s technology is in very capable hands. Teams of brilliant individuals are adding power and reliability to the product every day. Keen’s developer community and open source efforts remain well represented by some of the biggest hearts in the business. The teams doing this work are organized like the technology they develop, with an emphasis on autonomy, wholeness, and peer-to-peer communication. Every team at the company works this way. It’s one of the reasons I’m betting big on Keen in the years decades to come.

I’m sad I won’t be seeing these smiling faces every day, but I’m very excited about some of the new smiling faces I hope to meet. I’m embarking on a self-guided study of spontaneous creativity and human interconnection. My discoveries—if I’m fortunate enough to have them—will be shared through art, writing, and conversation. I’ll keep you in the loop here and on Medium.

To the Keen family and the wonderful people I’ve met in my (tri-continental!) Keen travels: I will miss you, but I’ll also be right here just doing my thing. Stay in touch and don’t hesitate to reach out. There are no goodbyes, only until next times…

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