Sunday, January 7, 2007

MarketSmart Interactive Closes Its Doors

For the past two years, I worked for a single company with three names: Keyword Ranking, WebSourced and lastly, MarketSmart Interactive. On Friday, 5 Jan 07, MSI closed its doors for the last time. People like Garrett French, Andy Beal and Stephen Ward (all of them are amazingly smart and talented people that I have no end of respect for) have posted on its closing and its effects on them.

From MSI's peak in 2005, where we had more than 150 people, to December 06, when the company had about 30 total employees, we've all had some very hard times. Without going into some of the details of the problems with MSI (which are all well known), 21 people... 21 amazing, talented, smart, creative people lost their jobs. I however, have been rolled over into our sister company MarketSmart Advertising - MSA along with 8 other talented people.

On an emotional level, I've poured my heart and soul into MSI, I've been told by dozens of people about the writing on the wall... MSI was doomed to fail... some very talented people from MSA gave everything to save it, but in the end, it hemhorraged out and it was the best decision to remove the feeding tube and let it go. I feel guilty that so many good people, people that made me grow personally and professionally are out of a job, relieved that I still have a job, but it's pretty hard. I have nothing but faith in MSA, and their leaders and their people... they seem like a great bunch of people and I'm excited for the new opportunity, but it's always tough to transition and I'll always remember the great people at MSI. Stephen Ward says it brilliantly.

"It’s a harsh truth that being employed is like being alive. It’s ultimately a temporary condition that nobody likes to see brought to an end. I’m not suggesting that anybody has died, of course, but it’s difficult to tell the difference when you look at the faces of your coworkers."
On monday, I join MSA to add my expertise in competitive intelligence, seo, sem and usability to their already creative efforts. I hope to do well there. I'm nervous and a little scared, but excited and optimistic.

To all the amazing people who lost their job, I'm sorry, I already miss you and I know that it was not our fault. We were like the paramedics trying to resuscitate the patient after they flatlined. We tried, we failed... but I know that we all came out of this smarter, tougher and better.

1 comment:

Koenig said...

As we both know, I was laid off twice in 2001 - in January and December. The first time was very like the situation you describe: the writing was clearly on the wall, management had done what they could to at least get us through the holidays, but ultimately the doors shut.

Second time: Sudden, if not out of the blue, with a "you all have to be off the property in 1 hour" message.

No matter how it comes, this kind of thing always feels like a punch to the gut. When I worked for Consumers Digest, I poured my heart into a project that was completed less than 2 weeks before all my work was washed away - and I knew it would probably happen that way. But I was determined to prove that I could stay focused even in the worst situation.

I know you'll do well in whatever job situation you ultimately end up in - the shock, the sadness that you'll probably never see some pretty awesome people again - yeah, been there.