Departing b5media

About two and a half years ago, I embarked on a journey of a lifetime. It was a breakthrough journey that took me from working in a cubicle at Northrop Grumman to living my dream building an internet startup. At some point, we took funding. I recruited Brian Layman and Mark Jaquith and the rest of the tech team. We moved from hosting a blog network on someone’s shared hosting provider to developing hard plans to encompass hundreds of servers in grid format.

We went from WordPress 1.5 and basic installs to over 350 installs of WordPress working in tandem with robust data sharing via APIs. We developed techniques to deploy advertising campaigns quickly and efficiently. We worked hard to build reporting tools, financial tools, management tools, and more – all in an effort to make this company work.

And it has and continues to grow at an astounding rate.

It’s been a great ride, but now it’s time to look forward and explore new territory. Recently, through my interactions with so many wonderful people in the DC technology community, the PodCamp community, the larger social media, business and technology communities, my appetite for something new and challenging has been overwhelming. I’ve had several conversations with Jeremy Wright, our CEO, over the past months exploring this stuff and he has been amazingly supportive, as has the rest of the b5media team.

An exact date has not been set, as I want to make sure a replacement is found and brought up to speed, however it will probably be within the next couple of months.

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to the next steps. At this point, I’m not sure what those next steps are but I have options. I’d like to develop Mokonji a bit more. I also have a few other venturistic ideas floating around in my head and I want to spend some time focusing more on the DC community that has sprung up around here. Obviously, I’ll continue to be blogging here at Technosailor, though in the short term, I’ll be exploring effective ways to monetize it – gotta pay for the server costs now (whew, forgot how that worked! ;-) )

I don’t know. The eager anticipation of the “what’s next” is crazy for me right now. It’s sort of like going out on a date for the first time. You don’t know what to expect but you know you really, really like the girl a lot.

Thanks for all your support for these years that I’ve been blogging. Looking forward to see what comes next! And if you want to be me (erm, the b5media Director of Technology), the company is actively looking for my replacement.

Aaron Brazell

Aaron Brazell is a Baltimore, MD-based WordPress developer, a co-founder at WP Engine, WordPress core contributor and author. He wrote the book WordPress Bible and has been publishing on the web since 2000. You can follow him on Twitter, on his personal blog and view his photography at The Aperture Filter.

44 thoughts on “Departing b5media

  1. The work you have done and the effort you have put into making b5media what it is today has been nothing short of amazing. I commend you for all you’ve done. It was a pleasure to get to know you as a friend, work for you for a short time and all that other stuff. Wishing you the best of luck!

  2. Aaron –
    Congrats! Everyone here in DC is excited to see what you have brewing – you’ve been such a big part of b5, we can only imagine what you can do here.
    -Zvi

  3. Many congrats!

    I’ve got a few projects on the go right now and feeling excited about all of them – your post is pretty inspirational so hopefully me and my projects will grow at an astounding rate!

    All the best for your future projects.

  4. Aaron it’s been great tele-working with you over the past 2.5 years I’ve been with b5. It’s sad now to hear you’re leaving the company, after having finally met you in person at SXSW. Can’t wait to hear about what you’re up to next and I’m sure that will be easy to do with twitter and RSS.

  5. I’m very happy for you Aaron – Congrats on taking a leap into some unknowns and the pool of possibilities. I’m here for ya if you want to bounce ideas around and get some swift kicks in the ass to keep you going.

  6. Wow, Aaron – As great as your work’s been for b5, I’m sure you’re off to do something even better. You’ve got astounding energy and I admire you for making the jump! Best of luck, pal.

  7. Aaron, in the past year and a half or so that we’ve gotten to know each other, I’ve appreciated your perspective and… er… opinions. Glad we won’t have to share you with b5media anymore.

    Now how are we going to shake things up around here?

  8. @Debbie Weil, @jonnygoldstein, @zvi band, @ann bernard, @keith casey, @barry austin – We’re going to rock the District. Totally. Thanks for being supportive!

    @David Beaudoin, you’re my source of energy!

    @Jeremy and @Chad – dudes… How the hell do I get back to Toronto?!

    @Brian, b5 won’t be the same, but hopefully it will be better. You’re a rockstar.

  9. making a move can be frightening but i bet you will rock. eagerly awaiting your next move! ping me if i can be part of it.

  10. Though we haven’t interacted much, I have been following you on this blog and twitter. Congratulations and I am pretty sure you are going to rock in your future endeavors.

  11. While you’re looking for a new gig, I’ve got a few hundred earmarked for you in exchange for some blog coding assistance. I may have to pay you in beer, though, since hiring pals doesn’t always work out well. ;) And good luck with whatever you do next – you’ve made quite a name for yourself.

  12. Whatever you end up doing, I’m sure it will be a great success. It was good seeing you at the breakfast yesterday. With the gathering strength in the DC community, yours is probably the right move at the right time.

  13. Wow, this is big news! This will shake things up, I’m a little worried that it isn’t good news for b5media, but trust that you will be a phone call away. Definitely looking forward to what you cook up next!

  14. I’m going to come be your boss at Automattic, Lloyd. ;-)

    Kidding.

    b5media is in fine hands and whoever will take my place will take it because they will be better than me. :-)

  15. That is an amazing list of accomplishments, Aaron. It’s good to know what you want, that’s how you get it! Let me know if I can do anything for you. Granted, I don’t run in with the DC Group, but you’d be surprised at the connections corporate folks can have.

  16. We’ve definitely come a long way, Aaron. And, with your help, we’ve managed that herculean task of merging AW with b5media. You did a lot more since. And, it was great that I at least managed to meet you in person at least once in New York.

    I’ve told you we’ll miss you a few times in text form already. And, I was hoping to record it on video – but your Viddler plug-in won’t let me.

    So, I’m writing this all over again. Thank you for everything you’ve done for b5. And, you know we’ll miss you – and we wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

  17. Aaron, you deserve some time to just let the future play itself out a bit; after all – you’ve put in some grueling hours and I know you’ve contributed blood sweat and tears for b5.

    You don’t need a “good luck” message from me, here it is anyway. I know you’ll do better than OK; you’ll be brilliant at whatever’s next on the path.

  18. Aaron,

    I wish you nothing but the best. I keep a short list of people that if I could, I would work with in a NY minute. You are definitely one of those folks.

  19. Aaron, I’m sure you’ll do phenomenally well with whatever your next move is. It’s been great getting to know you and watching you shine in the community here. Keep up the great work and I’ll be in touch regarding some ideas :-)

  20. I don’t know if you remember me or not, but I was Joey’s friend at the Apple Bar & bonfire/bbq at the ranch in Austin. Anyway, best of luck with your new adventures. I hope it’s everything you are looking for.

    On a random note, my dad worked at Northrup Grumman for 13+ years and was more than ready to get out of there by that point.

  21. Hi Aaron,

    Congrautlations on your leap of faith!

    I have been touched and inspired by the love and encouragement expressed by your colleges, family and freinds.

    I too want to thank you and wish you the very best on your new journey. I know you will do well, you have a wonderful foundation and have surrounded yourself with good and talented individuals.

    Perhaps, someday we will have an opportunity to meet and collaborate and work together too! Carpe diem!

    Wishing You All The Best,
    Lori Morris
    At Your Service
    Motion Picture Arts & Entertainment Services
    AKA: Faith Takes A Leap and Believes

Comments are closed.