I have some huge news to share with you.
I’ve been friends with Anil since the earliest days of Fog Creek Software. He’s a pioneer of blogging (beat me to it by about five months), and has been a tech industry entrepreneur, activist, and writer for almost two decades.
You can read Anil’s full bio here. For those of you that want the top level bullet points:
- Blogging pioneer
- Helped start Six Apart, the company behind Moveable Type and TypePad
- Founder of Expert Labs, ThinkUp, and MakerBase (which is joining Fog Creek)
- Advisor and board member to a whole slew of companies and non-profits
- Lives in New York City, with his wife Alaina Browne and their son Malcolm.
I’ve gotten to know Anil much better since he joined the Stack Overflow Board of Directors in 2011 and discovered that he’s a remarkable creative thinker and really, really understands developers, how the work developers do fits into society, and thus, how we can make technology more humane and ethical from our unique position of making things for software developers. There is no single person I would trust more to help Fog Creek figure out how to make something big, important, and valuable.
Fog Creek is a weird company here, with unique values that you don’t find in a lot of other companies. That’s why we’re so successful, and that’s why we love working here. Some of the weird stuff we do is non-negotiable. We would never dream of having just any competent person from outside the company come in, let alone give them the CEO role, if we weren’t convinced that they were 100% fanatical and excited about Fog Creek Software’s unique operating system. We’ve been friends with Anil for so long that we’re confident that the combination of his talents and worldview with our quirky operating system will be a stellar combination.
In short, we need Anil to help support us with ideas and leadership for HyperDev (now renamed Gomix) and any future products we come up with, and we need his soapbox and industry connections to continue to keep Fog Creek Software relevant. Thus I think the perfect position for him is as CEO of Fog Creek Software.
A typical startup is built around a single product, and some theory that people will pay money for that product. This theory eventually become false, and the company goes away. But Fog Creek was different. We were just a place where great people come together to build great things. People come here because of the other people that are here. And that makes it fundamentally much stronger and longer lasting. We build new products every year, some of which work, and some of which don’t; we can spin off other companies; the individuals who work here can change; but as long as we remain dedicated to being a place where great people come together to build great things we’re going to remain a highly respected and successful company for a long long time.
What are you doing, Joel?
I’m the full-time CEO of Stack Overflow, which just hit 300 employees and really takes all my time now.
Where’s Michael Pryor?
He’s the full-time CEO of Trello, which is about to hit 100 employees and takes all of his time.
So, what’s going on at Fog Creek?
Fog Creek is focused on two things:
- Fog Creek’s developer tool, FogBugz, is still going strong. We have a dedicated development team continuing to work on it and are still regularly releasing new features and enhancements, especially in the area of agile development.
- Fog Creek’s newest project, Gomix (formerly “HyperDev”) is relaunching. This is a developer playground for building full-stack web-apps fast.
Anil as CEO will be assisted by COO Jordan Harris, and Michael and I are still heavily involved but now at the board level.