Roy, along with Yoav Kutner, first brought us the Magento platform back in 2007/2008, initially under the Varien company. Since then it’s been a fast ride for many of us as we, along with them, have kept up with the frantic pace of growth of the Magento platform. An eBay buyout back in 2011 left some of us worrying about its future, but here in 2014 we can see this is a platform that is definitely here for the long haul, thanks in large part to the great extensibility and flexibility it offers, and also in part due to the vision Roy and Yoav have had.
I’d personally like to extend my deepest gratitude to Roy for all that he has done to aide and enable companies and developers such as WebShopApps in being able to participate in this great journey. We owe him and Magento itself a great deal, indeed for myself Magento completely changed my life, bringing me to live on American shores, giving me the passion and enthusiasm to step beyond my comfort zone and see my own vision for the future of shipping in commerce. Without the support of people like Roy encouraging us to step up and to innovate and, more than that, believing in us, well, where would we be now?
It’s only natural that there comes a time the founder will want to move on. By their nature founders are innovators, they are creators, they are looking for the next big gig. For someone like Roy who has spent many years in this space I’m sure it will be great for him to step out and enjoy the thrill of small startups again, to search for that next big ‘thing’.
Where does this leave us?
Where has our leader, our visionary gone? Is Magento falling apart, is the monolith which is eBay going to wave its corporate wand and try to stifle this great community that is full of people with a startup agile mentality.
I can only give my personal view on this. Which is actually I think this is a good move that it has been done before Imagine. Because now we can look forwards to the future of Magento, and this is our future, we are now in the driving seat here, all of us that run our own companies, its time for us to step up and be counted. Magento is there, its a platform, it has a great reputation and great traction, its used by companies from the Mom and Pop store right up to the multi $100M organisations. Roy has done his job. We now need to do ours.
What I would say is that in the type of community we are in we love figureheads, we like personalities, and we want to be in this exciting tech space where companies have a ‘face’. So please Magento, all I ask is you keep it cool, you keep some personality and you keep your individuality. I recall saying a long time back to Matthew Mengerink – ‘Who do you want to be known as – the Apple of eCommerce or the Microsoft?’ I’d ask that again.