Milestone: five years without a day job

A little over five years ago, I gave my notice to my last employer, Creative Commons. I'd been waiting for the day for over a year, but even with outside income from blogging it was pretty crazy at the time. We had just bought a new house and we had a six month old baby, and there I was, thinking it was the perfect time to quit my cushy telecommuting job and strike out on my own with no real idea of what the future would be like.

Thankfully, a lot of luck landed in my lap in the form of advertising income. It took six penniless years to get MetaFilter going, but soon after I started doing it full time it became big enough to pay other people to help out and we continued making MetaFilter the best site we could, as income grew with traffic.

2010 is the first year that hasn't seen double digit growth, but I'm chalking it up to the stagnant recession economy and I'm seeing glimmers of things improving again so I have high hopes for 2011.

I'm stoked that I went from something that could barely pay the bills to a company with employees, it's really beyond my wildest dreams when I made the decision in 2005. Here's to another five years (and hopefully a lifetime) of never having a boss ever again.

Published by mathowie

I build internet stuff.

4 replies on “Milestone: five years without a day job”

  1. Congrats! I’m so glad you decided that Metafilter would be your baby — it’s such a wonderful resource and wouldn’t be without the full-time attention and staff.


  2. Congratulations!
    The slowdown this year is perfectly understandable considering the broader impacts on economies everywhere since 2008. However, it will also be important to try to determine whether the slowdown is specific to Metafilter or if it is a more general Internet advertising sector slowdown. Clearly the former would require some action whereas the latter is not something that 1 site can really control.


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