Today was my last day at Goojet. I've been the CTO there since april 2008, and have been involved informally with their team since even before the company was created in 2007.
As in every startup, there has been ups and downs, incredible times with an amazing creative energy, and times of doubt when the result of our work did not seem to attract as many users as we expected. We reinvented ourselves a couple of times and have some very loyal users but still not the masses that make a success. The company must now focus on a smaller and more agile core, and the technical challenges aren't as complex and movitating for me as they were when I joined. This is why we have decided it was time for me to move on to something else.
At Goojet I learned the many sides of developing for mobiles: the importance of user experience, network latency, buggy operator gateways, device fragmentation with a J2ME application that runs on more than 400 phones, and the great fun that is developing on iPhone and Android. On the backend side, I was even closer to operations than I was at Joost, being responsible for the overall system architecture and quality of service.
I will miss the team. Very talented people, some of which have been working with me for 6 years or more, when they started as interns at Anyware, then employees, and embarking with me for the Joost adventure, and some others who I came to know and value in this job. It feels like leaving behind people you have helped growing, but I know they're great professionals who will do a great job without my guidance. And they're still good friends even if no more colleagues!
So what's next for me? I have realized that I need to take a break from the emotional involvement and more-than-fulltime dedication that is required by being a founder or CTO of a small startup. I will probably work as a consultant to see other projects, meet new people, address different challenges.
Check out my resume and let me now if you think we should be working together!