When I founded npm, Inc. back in 2014, one piece of advice I got as a founding CEO of a startup was: start planning your transition (lest it be planned for you). I took that advice to heart, and throughout the life of this company, I have tried to avoid holding any illusions about my own abilities. After spending 8 years running npm – first as an independent project leader, then as a founding CEO – I learned my share of lessons about where my skills lie and where I fall short.
I have a passion for developing products that streamline the experience of creating software applications and sharing libraries. npm’s place in the development ecosystem speaks to some considerable skill in that area. I don’t have as much of a passion for running go to market efforts, hammering out the details of partnerships, business and HR operations, or managing a large team of employees.
These are interesting challenges, to be sure, and I adore this group of humans who have joined the company and added so much to npm. But it became increasingly clear that npm, Inc. needed new leadership if the company was going to make good on the promise of providing financial support for this cultural movement. I found that any attention I spent on anything other than product meant that the company suffered, and so did my soul.
It turns out hiring a CEO is hard! We spent 6 months on our first search, and the outcome was that the company was just not ready. Several extremely smart and capable people came in and said, “Yeah, you’ve probably got something here, but it’s not far enough along to hire someone like me.” So, we regrouped, reevaluated our strategy for our enterprise product line, acquired a security company, and came up with a better vision for the company’s future. Our second search had a much better result, with one candidate standing out, being both a good fit for the company and also eager to take on the challenges ahead.
Today, I’m happy to introduce Bryan Bogensberger as npm, Inc.’s CEO. He brings a wealth of experience in Open Source and a ton of excitement and expertise to help grow npm to the next level and beyond. Commercializing something like this without ruining it is no small task, and building the team to deliver on npm’s promise is a major undertaking. We’ve sketched out a business plan and strategy for the next year, and will be announcing some other key additions to the team in the coming months.
Meanwhile, I’ve taken on the title of Chief Product Officer and I will be spending my time focused on the part of the problem that I love.