Today Sofa announced we have been acquired by Facebook, who are moving the team to Palo Alto. Sofa’s products will find a good home in due time, but what about Sofa’s role in the Appsterdam initiative?
I’ll tell you what’s not happening; I am not going to Facebook. I never even considered that an option. As much as I love Sofa, I love Appsterdam more. It’s not just a question of honoring my obligations. I think what we’re building here is bigger and more important than Facebook.
When I started talking about Appsterdam, I thought there was no developer culture here, because that’s what everyone told me. It seemed like every day I would go to a different meetup and listen to a different room full of developers tell me there was no developer culture here.
I came to realize two things about Appsterdam—there is a ton of technology here, and nobody knows about it. To illustrate this, I asked a group of developers how often they thought we had a tech conference in this city. The consensus was about once a year.
Actually, it’s once a week. Every week we have a tech conference here. Every day we have a developer meetup here. Talented and passionate developers fill this city. Just the other day we had a BBQ on a week’s notice over Twitter and had about 40 people stop by to talk about Appsterdam.
We haven’t even launched yet. The Appsterdam initiative begins this summer with a launch party over the last weekend of June (24-26). Yet we’ve already been in two newspapers here, are all over Twitter and the Internet, and have dozens of people coming to the weekly planning meetings.
One trend that disturbs me however is the most common response to all this: “I hope you can pull it off.” Building a world-class developer community is not something one company, let alone one person, can pull off. The success of Appsterdam is something we all have to be a part of.
So the idea that Sofa is the lynchpin that holds Appsterdam together is as silly as the idea that a feather can make you fly. It is not the feather, but your willingness to believe, that lets you fly. When the feather is gone, the important thing to realize is that you never needed it.
The good news is, the feather has been gone for a while. Acquisitions take time; the likelihood of Sofa’s non-existence has been part of Appsterdam longer than the promise of Sofa’s involvement. We, the developer community of Appsterdam, have been running things without Sofa for months.
We will all miss Sofa. They are one of the most talented teams I have ever had the pleasure of working with, and I am honored that I was able to do so, even given the circumstances. But we still have each other. We are still together in this glorious city. We are still Appsterdam.