End of an Era
The past two years have been a hell of a fun ride, but alas it must come to an end. It is with sadness but no regret that I must announce Friday will be my last day at HP / Palm. This was a very difficult decision to make. I have enjoyed my time here and after seeing the webOS roadmap I'm very excited for it's future, but it is time for me to do something else.
I am extremely proud of what the webOS Developer Relations team was able to accomplish. We kept the community together through several big platform changes and managed to launch the TouchPad with more native tablet apps than Android had after six months. Even after the webOS hardware was canceled we still managed to grow the app catalog to more than a thousand apps. Recent numbers indicate that our USA Today app has twice the number of downloads as all Android tablets put together. I'm proud of what we built with fewer resources than our gigantic competitors.
Sadly, webOS is a failure as a retail product, at least in it's current incarnation. There are many reasons for it's failure ranging from poor marketing to the ravings of a lunatic. Perhaps one day I will write more on the topic, but for now I will let the past be past. webOS has a new future as Open webOS, but one that I must cheer from the sidelines. It is time for me to make some changes in my own life.
I have spent the last seven years championing underdog platforms. Starting with desktop Java and Swing, then NetBeans, the JavaFX platform, and the JavaStore. Finally I spent the last two years doing my best to make webOS a success. I'm proud of the work I've done and the platforms I've helped, but quite frankly I'm damn tired. It's a lot of fun to champion something you are passionate about, but also exhausting. And since Jesse arrived I no longer want to be a platform evangelist; traveling to conferences and staying up late for weeks to ship a product. My life is simply different now.
So March 12th I will be taking a research position at Nokia. I will get to play with cool future stuff and stay involved with the industry, but at a much slower pace. I simply need a break for a few years. This doesn't mean I will disappear. Rather I plan to increase my blogging, but on a wide range of topics in more long form essays.
I do plan to stay involved with webOS. Now that I'm no longer an HP employee I can actually sell my own apps in the app catalog. I will also keep working with Enyo and the Open webOS builds; and making sure Amino and Leo support them. I love my TouchPad and will continue to use it until they pry it from my cold dead hands.
I want to mention my incredible fellow Developer Relations crew members, some of who were laid off today. And my eternal gratitude to the amazing webOS community. You made all of our hard work worth it.