Giving it a go, Barry Kooij forgoes a job at Automattic to focus on products

As readers know, Automattic acquired WooCommerce, and Automattic has a strict no paid side projects policy, as I mentioned in the post about Mike Jolley selling WP Job Manager.

Barry Kooij has been selling plugins for a while now. He is currently the proprietor of three plugins with paid features:

  • Related Posts for WP
  • Download Monitor
  • Post Connector

He had decisions to make after the acquisition. Should he join Automattic, or go out on his own? He chose to give self-employment a shot, and Never5 (links to his products are on that website) is now his primary business.

Decisions like this are hard. I had to choose between a good steady salary at theWordPress company while working with a lot of awesome people but giving up my personal products where I worked so hard on or declining the contract and keeping my products but losing my job.

I came to the conclusion I just couldn’t give up my products and abandon my customers. I just love working on them so much and I put so much effort and time into them. I couldn’t and I won’t. I have declined the contract offer of Automattic.

Kudos to Barry. I’m sure this wasn’t an easy decision. He could’ve sold these plugins to third parties, of course, but I like to see his ambition and desire win out. I’m sure the team at WooThemes will miss him. I think him going out on his own is good for the larger commercial WordPress ecosystem, and I look forward to seeing what he does from here, considering how productive he’s been working on products on the side.

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