First Things First: You
If you're a Tekpub subscriber don't worry: you're still a Tekpub subscriber. AND a Pluralsight Subscriber. Here are the details:
- Tekpub Annuals will roll right over to Pluralsight Annuals Plus. You'll get an email letting you know when your new subscription is active – which should be very shortly.
- Tekpub Monthlies we've deactivated your monthly billing and you'll receive free 30-day access to Pluralsight to evaluate the goodness in the Pluralsight library (and you should!)
- You're Both Pluralsight and Tekpub Your Pluralsight subscription will be extended based on your time left at Tekpub.
As for me – I'm a Pluralsight author now and will continue releasing videos through them AND I'll continue working with our authors (Skeet, Hanselman, Ward, Ayende, Rob Sullivan) in just the same way as before.
As for our existing, stellar content: we're in the process of rolling it over to Pluralsight – in fact we have a few that are ready right now!
If you're interested in the story behind all this – read on. If you have any questions feel free to fire them off to me.
Running a company and staying small is hard. It's exceedingly hard when the market you're in is on fire! It seems like every month I'm fielding a call from an investor or listening (and sometimes fielding) ideas for mergers etc.
For any tech startup (If I can call Tekpub that) it's always a question of "When", especially when you enter a market that's blowing up. That's where the investment is – and companies who are funded are growing at 5 to 10 times our growth rate – with less (and often sub-standard) content.
If they're not being funded, they're being acquired. This is a natural cycle of the market and as a small business owner you have three choices:
- Take investment
- Merge/Acquire/Be Acquired
- Be put out of business
I've known this for a while, but the timing never seemed right… until now. There is nothing devious going on and no, I'm not being put out of business or threatened or anything negative like that. I'm joining forces with a company that's, simply put, on fire and excited to be growing.
I want to expand on that – because it sounds markety and exactly like something I'd be coached into saying by a douchey PR firm. If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know I don't go in for that kind of thing.
I had a chance to visit the Pluralsight offices recently as part of exploring this deal. I sat with Aaron Skonnard (CEO of Pluralsight) and as he started telling me about why he thought this deal would work etc – I interrupted him (ask him – he'll recount this), completely derailing the conversation. Then, I asked:
What's your goal with all of this? I know the pitch, the spiel about being "the destination for online training" etc. I mean you. What's the goal for you, personally?
It was an interesting moment. He looked back at me, relaxed a bit, and started telling me about his company and the ridiculous love he has for it. His excitement reminded me of the picture I chose for this post – what it feels like to get barreled. Every part of you is alive and there is no place in the world better than where you are, at that moment in time.
A CEO that's on fire and a company riding that wave… that's good stuff. And it's all I needed to see – this is a company I want to be part of.
I started talking to Pluralsight about this deal in the summer of 2012. We explored various ways that we could share content and even what a full merger would look like. At the time, I wanted to try a few different things with Tekpub which didn't align with their formatting, so we decided to put things off – leaving the door open for later discussion.
I tried those things and some of them worked, some didn't but all in all things were going along just fine… until…
This last summer I spent a good solid month with my family, taking some time away from production and general business "stuff" – it was the longest time I've been away from work since… I don't know when. It was one of the best vacations I've ever had and my wife and kids noticed the change in me and they loved it. I wish I could bold/highlight/expand that last part to give it all the gravity in the world. I've asked a lot of my family over the last 5 years, and I forgot what it was to be "dad" and "Rob" without the constant stress of running my own business.
There are many ways to change my stress levels – such as hiring an operations person, finding a CEO/COO, etc (in case you're wondering about James, my cofounder, he decided to spend more time with Adzerk so reduced his role with Tekpub).
Or you can join forces with another company that's particularly good at the business end of things – and that would be Pluralsight.
So I called Aaron when I got back from my vacation and we put this deal together.
What I'll Be Doing
As I mention – I want to make videos because that's what I love doing – and that's what I'll continue to do with all of the authors I've been working with before. The only difference is that I'll be doing it with Pluralsight and not Tekpub.
I don't have a permanent role in the company and this choice was mine. This is right where I want to be, doing exactly what I love to do: making kickass videos and helping others to do the same.
I also get the chance to work with Geoffrey Grosenbach who has inspired me for a very long time. His attention to detail pushed me on every level and it will be exceedingly fun to see what we can do together.
I'm very excited about this, and I'm sure you'll have some questions. If you do, please don't hesitate to drop me a note!