March 30th, 2011

And away I go

This is my last week at Engadget.

That’s a strange thing to write. It’s not something I ever really planned for. Then again, I guess you don’t ever plan for that when you’ve got your dream job.

I’ve told my coworkers in the past that I believe one of Engadget’s greatest strengths is that it’s a site of big personalities and egos — egos that balance each other out, keep each other in check, feed off one another. It’s a sight to behold. There’s a tremendous amount of confidence in everything we do, because there’s tremendous confidence both in our internal processes and in our hires. We trust each other. And though we clash at times, the mutual respect is never lost. Frankly, I’ve been in a state of near-constant awe watching this incredible group of individuals kick ass and take names for the past five years.

What’s my point? It’s that we don’t take crap from anyone, internally or externally. And so I want to echo what some of my colleagues have already said: Aol has never interfered with our editorial. Not once. And if they had, I believe I can say with confidence that every editor Engadget has on staff would’ve quit without a second thought. It’s just not how we operate, and it’s not what we signed up for.

That brings me back to the occasion of my departure. I won’t pretend that I’ve been thrilled with every move Aol has made since I’ve been here — but once again, I’m not leaving because I’m being indoctrinated into “The Aol Way” or because I’ve been told what to write or how to think by some dark force above Josh. As I said in my letter of resignation to him, I think that one of the trickiest things we all face in the course of our careers is knowing when it’s time to move on. It’s nearly impossible. I don’t pretend to have that down to a science, but I do believe that we’ve got a new generation of editors coming onto the site that are going to do great things. I just want to see what else is out there, find other challenges to take on. That’s it. No conspiracies, no hard feelings.

So on that note, I want to thank every one of my amazing colleagues — going all the way back to Ryan and Peter — for making me look forward to work every day (no small feat). You’re seriously the best, and I love you guys. I also want to thank the readers (yes, even the ones I butt heads with on a daily basis) for… well, reading and for keeping us in check. You’re the reason we’re able to do what we do, after all.

I don’t think this is goodbye — I think it’s just the beginning.

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