The earliest memory I have of Pudince is one that is most likely, very different to that of any other company. It was December of 2008, and I was sketching the design for a website I called Pudince. I was 12 years old and it was during a movie that was being shown on the school projector as the school year was coming to a close. The website was a sort of mashup of two competing websites at the time, Google and Yahoo. With the capable search engine of Google, mixed with the news, weather and entertainment of Yahoo, I really thought I was on to something.
While all the other kids in the class were watching the movie and my best friend Luke to my right was making spaceships out of his erasers and pencils, flying them around the table and using his wild imagination, I was doing what I do best – working. I had just built my first ever website in HTML, though as unoriginal and simplistic as it was, I thought I could take on the world and charge in with this concept of Pudince. Little did I know, that in 10 years time I would be saying goodbye to a company that has provided me with the opportunities to meet industry professionals, the opportunity to travel the world and speak at conferences, the opportunities to better myself as a person.
This last two months in particular have been some of the most defeating, some of the most sad and some of the most dark months of my life. It has taken me months to come to the decision that I come here to announce today. It is with great regret that I announce that I am selling a 51% share of my company, Pudince LLC (including all subsidiaries) to Microsoft Corporation, after a successful partnership lasting over 7 entire years. This decision doesn’t come lightly, nor do I take for granted all of the unwavering support, love and assistance I have received over the years from my family, my peers, my employees, my industry partners and my best friends.
Pudince as a company for me is almost half of my life dedicated to a single project. I started conceptualising Pudince at the age of 12, and now at 22, I am handing it away. Pudince to me is not only a success, a failure, a company, a project, a hobby, a job. For 10 years I lived, breathed and worked Pudince. At the age of 18, being responsible for employees and travelling to the United States to headline a Microsoft Partner conference is a huge amount of pressure, and yet that seems like the easiest part of the last 10 years.
And so while I intend to still watch from afar, as I continue to own 49% of Pudince, I have decided also with a heavy heart and months of contemplation that I must step down as Chief Executive Officer of Pudince LLC. I am sure and confident that Microsoft will be able to find a replacement and that they will be well equipped and acutely skilled for the task.
You may have noticed already that some changes are happening as a result of the sale to Microsoft. There are more changes that will be apparent soon, and for our consumers I know this will be a bit of a shock – maybe even disappointing but I promise that these changes are for the best.
As some of the last things I am to do as CEO of Pudince, I would like to introduce you to the new Pudince logo.
In addition, I would like to announce that all Pudince employed staff will be reassigned to positions that are relevant to their skillset and goals within the Microsoft workplace. I am beyond excited for our AeroBrowse team as they move to the Microsoft Edge development team. I am also excited for our other software engineers as they move to the Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Surface and Microsoft Office teams to work on amazing new features and projects for future releases of those software platforms.
Lastly I would like to apologise to those close to me in my personal life. To my family and friends, the last couple of months have been incredibly stressful and to say I have been hard to talk to, hard to reach and hard to get a hold of would be an understatement. I only hope that in the future you can forgive me as I attempt to move on from my time with Pudince.
For the final time as CEO of Pudince LLC, I would like to thank you for an amazing 10 years.
Chief Executive Officer (2008-2018)
Lead Software Engineer (2012-2018)