By Elaine Wherry (Co-Founder, Meebo)
It’s a New Year and I’m looking ahead to new beginnings.
In 2011, I found myself with a set of Meebo responsibilities that no longer comprised a 40-hour work-week and a nagging feeling that this was the right point to start gracefully unwinding from my formal tasks.
In October, I started transitioning into an advisory role. It was a difficult decision but nothing makes you prouder than seeing the next generation of leaders take the company to new heights and witnessing the company grow from three people to seven offices, tens of millions in revenue, and billions of monthly page views.
While it’s exciting to think about what lies ahead, it’s also hard to leave the best group of people I will ever work with. I take my advisory role seriously and as the team needs me, I’ll be back at 215 Castro Street in a heartbeat.
Looking back, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I am grateful to our angel investors and to Sequoia for taking a risk on us when we were just a few kids toying around with two servers in an apartment. I am grateful to have been a part of a team that genuinely cares and respects each other. And, I am grateful for the opportunity to realize a product that has touched so many people and for the kind support of our users. These have been the best six years of my life and I wouldn’t trade a single Meebo day for anything.
But most of all, I am grateful to Seth and Sandy. I challenge anyone to find a better set of co-founders. If you don’t know them, Seth is the most savvy business strategist you’ll ever encounter and Sandy will out-execute anyone with her gosh-darned-cute charm. When you work with someone for so long, you learn a lot about a person’s true character. After working with Seth and Sandy for eight years, I know that they are two of the most selfless, fiercely loyal, and talented people you’ll ever meet – much less have the extraordinary good fortune to work beside. I can’t thank them enough for their support and understanding.
As for what’s next, I have an idea or two but before diving into something new, I am finishing projects with Meebo and taking a few months to recharge and reconnect with people I’ve long neglected. The Bay Area consists of an extraordinary entrepreneurial community with tremendous goodwill. After benefitting from the ideas and advice from others for so many years, I’m more than willing to return the favor. Please feel free to connect if you’re looking for an outside opinion.
Looking ahead to 2012, it’s exciting to have a blank slate and the opportunity to start anew. Thanks again for everyone’s support and for believing that passionate people really can make a difference.
This post was originally posted at Elaine Wherry’s blog.
About the guest blogger: Elaine Wherry is a Co-Founder of Meebo. She co-founded Meebo in 2005 with two friends from Stanford, Seth Sternberg and Sandy Jen. Elaine led the web, user experience, and product management teams before stepping into an advisory role in late 2011. She holds a B.S. in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University. Follow her on Twitter at @elainewherry.