Because our users do so much to make SO what it is, "Default public" has been one of our core philosophies at SO since the early days. And that hasn't changed, so I'm happy to share thoughts on how the difficult changes we made last week fit into our current outlook, and what our current focus is.
That said, in situations like this, our top priority is respect for our affected teammates and their privacy, so we won't talk about specifics related to staff changes, or try to compare and explain exact ratios in one department vs. another, etc.
We've made a deliberate decision to focus more of our product development on our core Q&A offerings. From a monetization perspective, this means more focus on Stack Overflow Enterprise, and our upcoming Stack Overflow Channels product (Currently known as Teams). Enterprise has been an incredible success so far, and we literally have companies waiting in line to be the first to help us test early versions of Channels.
While last week's changes were incredibly sad, we believe in the underlying strategic shift for two reasons:
- It provides us with new, high-growth opportunities to monetize, to augment our existing Jobs and Ads businesses, which remain incredibly important to the company
- It puts more of our focus on Q&A, which has always been our flagship product, and near and dear to many of our <3's
The shift in focus also changes what specific roles we need where, in ways that span almost all teams at the company. As a result, individuals were impacted in almost every department. That said, the public statement you referenced was accurate: the restructuring had the biggest impact on the sales and marketing departments, particularly in our Denver office.
I hope this helps address the big picture questions about strategy; we owe you transparency on where we're headed.
A few last thoughts:
- Our recently departed colleagues are genuinely incredible talent. This was about restructuring, not performance. If your company is hiring, email me, and we'll try to introduce you to some amazing people.
- If you're replying in the comments, lets be extra careful to respect folks' privacy, even those that shared some of their info in public forums. No one wants to read about their story or their team's reductions in the third person more than is truly needed.
- While I don't think it's deliberate, I think the verbiage in the original post describing PR, sales, marketing, etc. as "fluffy, cash-draining" work is unfair and disrespectful. I don't think that was your intent, but I'd ask you to consider removing that language. While I may happen to geek out more on the product side of things myself, I can tell you for a fact that those areas are all mission critical to building strong, successful businesses.