Wait. Was I just fired?

Yesterday I had a job. Today, through no fault of my own, I don’t. I’m remarkably cheerful about it all things considered, except for one thing. I think I may have been fired. And now I’m in uncharted territory of figuring out what to do as a writer and a reporter when the place where you told your stories shuts down.

The stories are still there. People are telling you they want to read them. There are still places on the web where you can publish them. So, in the spirit of my mentor Om Malik, who told me to write what I must, I’ve set up this place to write the stories that I must write. Right now it’s an intro to where I am personally.

Yesterday afternoon, Gigaom shut its doors. I have no idea how long the site will stay up or how long my email will be active. The news was sudden and surprising, and I am proud of the way my colleagues stuck together and behaved. We looked out for each other and I expect we will continue to do so. What we had at Gigaom was special. It was a rare work environment where I not only liked, but respected all of my colleagues. I hope they all find jobs doing what they love, and if I can help them, I will.

As for me, I have learned several things. I suppose the first is that Twitter is a terrible medium for tracking requests and comments. So please reach out to me via email at Stacey at staceyhigginbotham dot com if you’d like to stay in touch, or you don’t get a response to a DM or tweet. I’m trying, but I know I’m missing a bunch. I also have learned that while blogging about tech may not change the world, I have made some very real friends who have reached out to help and cheer me up in astonishing ways.

To those who are saddened by the loss of Gigaom, I too am sad. It was a place where some truly knowledgeable, passionate and curious writers got to explore technology not for page views, but because they loved technology and because they believed it was truly important. I believe that came through in our work and in our events. While it’s a loss, I’m also grateful that I had the chance to do what I loved in place that I loved for eight years. That’s a crazy long time! So that’s what I’m going to focus on as I look for my next opportunity.

And I hope that as the Gigaom team scatters and then pops up at new places, you’ll continue to find that we still bring our same curiosity, passion and love of technology that kept you coming to Gigaom in the first place. Those articles may not always be in list format but they are good journalism. And I continue to believe good journalism is worth rewarding with your time, attention and even your dollars.

Thanks for reading.

57 thoughts on “Wait. Was I just fired?

  1. I really enjoy your Home Automation/IOT podcast and I would support your efforts on Patreon or something similar. I wish you the best of luck on your new endeavors.
    Tony

  2. It is really sad the shutting down of Gigaom šŸ™
    I have been following Gigaom for many years and it is my first thing in the morning to catch up the tech things. Stories covered in Gigaom are truly amazing, I wish there will be a notice saying Gigaom continue it’s service and call back everyone tomorrow

  3. Rock on out Stacey.

    One of the most remarkable things I found from the GigaOm team over the years was how well it was able to stay together. The continuity was impressive and enviable. After Say Media bought ReadWriteWeb, we never had a chance for that same type of continuity.

    Let me know if I can help in any way. In the mean time, tell the stories that need to be told.

    ~ Dan

    • Having actually gotten to work with both of you, I can say that’s it’s been an honor and a pleasure, and Gigaom and ReadWrite both deserved better.

      Stacey ā€“ I was a fan before Gigaom and I’ll be a fan long after. You’re one of the smartest people in the business, and in an age of selling out, you don’t. Im looking forward to the next place you land.

  4. Stacey:

    Good luck, I always enjoyed enjoyed reading your articles. They were well-researched (which isn’t always the case with tech-policy articles). I hope you land on your feet someplace soon! Are you still in Austin?

    Fred Goodwin
    San Antonio, TX

  5. Hey Stacey,

    So strange, I finally posted our interview on linkedin this am (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHA2AGJPxmk) and saw your tweet / post about your job at Gigaom. The good news is that you are a fantastic and personable interviewer, with strong writing skills. Plus you really own the stage in front of an audience and your research capabilities shine, as you effortlessly drop knowledge into your thought-provoking questions. Don’t believe me? Watch our interview with an objective eye – you more than hold your own and I’d hire you in a heartbeat so let me know if you’re up to working at a start-up, and building on the tech you so aptly write about. You know far more than you think lady.

    Reach out anytime,

    Juliette
    [myfirstname]@turing.ai

    • Juliette, that means a lot coming from such an incisive speaker and thinker. I’m still reeling from the news and outpouring of support (and possibly all the caffeine of the last 18 hours) but I’ll be in touch in the new few days as I figure out what is next. Thank you!

  6. No, you weren’t fired, in HR-speak, you were Rif’d (a reduction in force) or from the UK, and my personal favorite, “made redundant”.

    Keep your head up, file for unemployment (don’t be proud, take the $350 or so/wk) and stay active. Something great will come your way.

    Your loyal reader

    • Ah, I’m glad that I have been made redundant instead of fired. I’m okay waiting for something great. Or making it happen if need be šŸ™‚

  7. You have a huge following, and we will follow you wherever you go next. Just take a deep breath, (a sip of wine), and find a place that best showcases you. The readers will be there. šŸ™‚

    p.s. Please stay here in Austin. We need to retain all the cool people we can.

    • Thanks. I plan to stay in Austin if I can. I love this town and think my distance from the tech epicenter actually helps me stay a bit more grounded.

  8. Stacey,

    The way the entire staff at GigaOM handled the news yesterday speaks volumes. I wish you all the best of success as you chart out your futures.

  9. You were my favorite part of writing for Gigaom and my mentor what seems like ages ago. You taught me how to write for a blog and not a law journal. Whatever happens, the hardest part will be if we don’t work together again.

    But you’ll be fine. We’ll all be fine.

  10. Please pass along to your co-workers: consumer tech writer & editor jobs in sunny Phoenix with stable 20-year company, presence online, on radio and TV. My [first name].[last name]@komando.com Good luck!

  11. “Write what you must.” Good advice and I too am saddened to hear of not only the loss of a good website, but also the (hopefully temporary) loss of voices such as yourself, Kevin and others that I read.

    • Om was special because he built a place where he could nurture us and get out of the way. I am confident that the loss of our voices in the media world will be temporary. I can’t imagine any of us actually shutting up šŸ™‚

  12. Yesterday was a huge shock to me and I’m sure countless others.

    Om managed to collect not just a bunch of outstanding writers, but wonderful people. It was apparent in every interaction I’ve seen you all have over the years.

    You specifically are one of the best writers in the telecom space I’ve had the pleasure and honor to be able to follow. I have absolutely no doubt that you’ll all find new homes in short order, and that this setback will be short lived.

    Greatly looking forward to seeing what you cook up next, wherever that may be!

    -K

  13. Yesterday was a real shock to us in the PR community. The GigaOm staff are some of the most intelligent and enjoyable people to work with.

    Thank you for making our days successful and our clients so happy (also, sorry for all of the terrible pitches).

    Good luck in all of your next endeavors!

  14. Hi Stacey. I admire your work, your ability to simplify tech, and your passion toward women in technology. I am excited to see where your new path takes you but selfishly hope you stick with technology. Best of luck on your new adventure!

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  16. You said, “The news was sudden and surprising”

    Stacey, you know that the business model of the Tech Trade Media has been following its current downward trajectory for a while now — there’s very little surprise here. That said, while the logical path ahead might seem like your best prospect is joining another advertiser-supported publication, but I’d reconsider that line of thinking if I were you. Perhaps you’ll find another publisher that will use events revenue and market research revenue to help subsidize the low-margin publishing side of the business, but that’s apparently not sustainable. Besides, scale doesn’t seem to change the outcome — just look at UBM, IDG and their peer group, it’s the same story… different venue.

    You have a talent for storytelling. The good news, this skill is transferable into other scenarios. Most tech vendors need experienced writers and managing editors to help them produce meaningful and substantive editorial — this is one market where demand for talent like yours exceeds the current supply. Give it some thought. It’s a viable option.

  17. Stacey – while “blogging about tech may not change the world”, a group of smart folks with interesting insights and excellent communications skills can.

    Sad to see Gigaom go, but really appreciate what you all brought to us and will look forward to the impact all of you will make in your next chapter.

  18. Yep,

    That pretty much sums up what I and the rest of the Gigaom editorial staff is feeling. It’s been a pleasure working with you Stacey. Thanks for bringing me on board. It changed my life. And see you next week at SXSW.

    • Kevin, finding someone both smarter and more enthusiastic than I was on spectrum and radio tech wasn’t easy, but when I did, I knew we needed you on the team. I’m so glad you came on board. We had fun while it lasted.

  19. Sorry to hear about this. Hope things turn out ok for you. Being laid off when the startup I was working for ran out of cash turned out to be the best thing for me, because I ended up doing what I do now, never would have made that move on my own.

    • Gosh Katie, meeting you for the first time coming in for that Gigaom interview was like meeting a rockstar. And you actually lived up to the billing šŸ™‚

  20. Stacey, joining the chorus of admirers and well wishers. I’ve esp appreciated your insights and ability to uncover and tell stories that matter in the tech world. You’ve been a great colleague at Gigaom, making the trek from Austin to Atlanta to support meetups, etc. I look forward to staying in touch and continuing our collaboration in some shape or forum. All the best.
    @Phil_Hendrix

  21. Stacey, working with you was one of the highlights of my career in journalism — even when you were my news editor, and trying to get me to write shorter šŸ™‚ The Gigaom team was a special thing, and as you said I think a lot of the credit goes to Om for hiring strong and passionate writers and then getting out of their way. That is a rare quality, and I will miss working with him and all of you because of the way we all fit together so well in our respective nerdiness.

  22. Pingback: Storytelling Techniques For Effective Business Communications » A PR Perspective on the Demise of Gigaom and a Few Words on Tech Media

  23. Stacey — I agree with so many comments here.

    I have been enjoying your writing / reporting for years. I look forward to where you will next land. No doubt – you have much to offer and the way I like to look at it — as we all ride this wild new media roller coaster — we have no choice but to enjoy the thrill of the ride! @riedmancomm

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  26. I have really enjoyed reading your articles and other content. I think what makes them different is that you have a historic and broader view of the industry as a whole which makes the content more insightful.

    With the knowledge and expertise you have, I am sure people will continue to enjoy reading whatever you write. I know I will. Good luck with everything !

  27. Stacey – I’m many time zones away and still reeling from the news. So sorry to hear what happened, but echoing many others: I know you will go on to do something awesome. You were one of the best and most fun writers to work with (and interview, for goofy event videos!), and I’ll be keeping my eyes and ears out for your next adventure.

  28. Virtual hugs, Stacey.

    I’ll continue to read anything you write, and am actually excited for the opportunities you have a head of you. I can tell you from experience that getting fired is one of the best things that ever happened to me in my career — when you’re pushed off the cliff, you fall for a bit in a panic. Until you realize you can fly.

  29. I admit your articles about the Internet of Things, the way you criticise the state of the art, a realistic point of view is something we’ll miss. And from a startup point of view, you helped us on having ideas way more clear on how things really are. Not just hype. And also to better understand how to move in the field.

    So, Thanks a lot for your work šŸ™‚
    Looking forward for your next projects, hopefully soon.

  30. Stacey,

    I’ve seen a lot of news organizations wither or shut down, but learning of the demise of yours hurt more than most–I mean, where am I supposed to get my story ideas now? šŸ™‚

    But I also know that with some work and some luck… it gets better.

    – R

  31. Sure you’ll land on your feet.
    Huge demand for great writers!
    And since just about everyone in tech has worked for companies that failed (many suddenly), this experience, though jarring, adds to your perspective.

  32. Can I simply say what a comfort to uncover an individual who truly knows what they are talking about on the net. You certainly understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More and more people must look at this and understand this side of the story. I was surprised that you aren’t more popular given that you definitely have the gift.

  33. Pingback: Gigaom is dead. Long live Gigaom | mathewingram.com/work

  34. All of us loved the Nightline segment. We got to see your new home! I know very little about your tech industry, but I am so proud of you and your accomplishments. What a fan base you have, and I suspect very few of them heard your witch’s impersonation! See you, Anna and Andrew in Seattle soon. Happy Easter!

    • Hi, Mrs. Mattox! I can’t say any of them have heard my witch’s impersonation yet. Maybe one day šŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by and I’m sure I’ll be in Seattle soon.

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