Fin.

Today – more suddenly than anyone would have liked – matchmine came to an end. I got word of the decision on Friday, and told the team here this morning. We are shutting the company down immediately, though a few of us will stick around to try and support our partners through a transition, and notify others affected by the closing of our doors. If you’re a partner or a prospect and haven’t gotten a call from us, expect one from Shawn or myself soon.

Interesting Times

I think it’s safe to say these are are unprecedented financial times. While the nature of our financing meant that the financial market crisis overtook us more abruptly than most, in the end it’s my responsibility that we hit the wall like this, and I accept it. To my team and their families, our vendors, network partners and prospects, I can only say that I am deeply sorry for the way this comes to a close. And I don’t mean “press release sorry;” I mean really, personally sorry. Please know that I could not have imagined this last Thursday, let alone earlier. It is one thing to be failed, quite another to have been deceived.

For what it’s worth I still beleive in what we were trying to do here, in most of the ways we tried to do it, and in nearly all of the people trying to get it done. It’s been a privilege to chase this massive opportunity with these great people, and among the most painful parts of this experience is that it ends just as we are breaking through, having worked so hard to get here for these past 22 months.

Close only counts in bocce, though, and it’s taken us too long to reach this point. Rather than share my no-doubt-partly-delusional musings on how this came about, I’d like to do what little I can to help the people we let down today take the next step toward an inevitable future triumph. So…

ATTENTION TECH COMPANIES SMART ENOUGH TO BE GREEDY WHILE SO MANY ARE SCARED:

Here are links to reach the best people on this team. I suggest you hire them, en masse, while you can.

First, our best Architects, Engineers, and Project Managers. Dr. Jim Butler, Rajan Desai, and Brian Connor – our CTO and his great architects. Yury Faktorovich and Alvaro Cruz – The leaders of our engineering team; great people, coders and managers. Our fantastic Software Engineers: Irina Berdichevsky, Joachim Martin, Sarah Valentine, Aravind Damodharan, Christopher Huyler, Gary Moh. You guys are all great. Our dedicated PMs, Leigh Krastin, and Kathy Teehan. And our tireless and dedicated QA folks, Bob Ingalls, and Srini Velagapudi. Thanks for the late nights, guys.

Our incredible Science team… the brilliant and practical Dr. Scott Oddo, our VP of Science, and the person most responsible for turning our recommendation approach into something that worked in the real world. His truly outstanding team, rock star Domain Manager Susan Ciatto; Science Engineer Dean Cerrato; Dave Walend, Software Engineer; and Gary Kadet, Domain Expert.

The Product Managers who kept us all on the same page and focused on the external reality: Scott Centurino, our VP, Product Management, and quite frankly my best guy, again. Erik Holm, a truly great Sr. Product Manager, and Adam Rosenberg, our Product Specialist and consummate team player.

The Marketing team who helped shape our brand identity, explain what we did to the world, and put our daily adds on a slope we were becoming proud of: Michelle Heath, a great VP of Marketing and spiritual leader within the company; Nathan Burke, power blogger and Web Community Evangelist, and Tom Boates, our massively talented Graphic Design Manager and part time Johnny Knox impersonator.

Our Business Development team who came so close to bringing our partner network from zero to 12 Million average monthly unique visitors. Shawn Yeager, our VP, Business Development and my accident prone partner on more trips than I care to remember; Ken Gellman, our great East Coast Director, Sales; and the big man, Steve Caroompas, our top guy out west. Thank you for the hard work, guys.

My good friend Tod Amazeen ably built and led our Partner Services team, which rose to a whole ‘nother level with the addition of rock star Senior Relationship Manager, Denise Gibbons. Technical Consultant and future CEO Craig Blum stepped up every time we asked for 110%, and Rob Eaton was our Tech Lead in Client Services.

The Operations team that kept us all running was led by Director of Ops/IT Eric Paul, and manned by Systems Engineer Keith Barnes and Systems Administrator Bill Norris.

And finally, our G&A team led by my friend and 3-time CFO David Chapman, HR superstar Amy Cohn, and truly fantastic Executive Assistant, Jess Mollet.

Last but not least, our Founder & Chief Innovator Trent Adams. It remains a great idea, Trent – I’m sorry I couldn’t make it real for you.

There is not a single person on this page I wouldn’t gladly work with again. And be forewarned… I will actively seek out most of them when I figure out what’s next for me.

What about the IP?

If you’re interested in building on what we’ve built, let me know. We’re open to selling the IP and patent portfolio, and just as willing and able to protect it.

If you want to reach me for that or anything else, you can do so here. We’re going to do our best to settle our outstanding obligations, and you can call me at 781.433.5302 if you have specific concerns or gripes. I’ll continue to post on my personal blog, at least after a stiff drink and some time to figure out what I should learn from this.

I guess that’s it. Thanks for your interest, faith and support, and good luck to you all.

Mike

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7 Responses to Fin.

  1. Alex Olson says:

    Sorry to hear the news, Mike. You guys put in a lot of hard work up there. I know you will find something bigger and better and will ultimately make it more successful. Keep me in the loop.

  2. Jim Spencer says:

    Mike,
    I wish you and the team all the best. Talented people are always in demand, even when they have to create it.

  3. [...] and “it will be okays” and exit through the security at the door. At least I’m in very good company. So, what to do now? Well, I decided perhaps I could help others by sharing my “5 Steps to [...]

  4. JD says:

    Trap,

    Sorry to hear about that. Looking forward to hearing about the next one. Good final entry. Keep your head up.

    JD

  5. [...] ceremonial hugs and “it will be okays” and exit through security at the door. At least I’m in very good company. So, what to do now? Drink, of course! Seriously, I really have no idea. It’s been an amazing [...]

  6. [...] You might also be interested in the final note on the company posted by Mike on his [...]

  7. Greg says:

    Mike,

    Sorry to hear the news, hope we can reconnect, perhaps oppoertunity to work together. Can’t find your email so pls. send one my way.

    Greg

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