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Saying goodbye to Ibuildings to found Egeniq

Note: This article was originally published at Planet PHP on 12 August 2010.
Planet PHP

Those who pay attention to my occasional seemingly random tweets may have noticed this tweet, back in March. It's the first line of the Bob Dylan song "Times they are a'changin", and it marked the start of a long thought process. I had a '10 year itch': I was at Ibuildings since january 2000, back then a 5 person web development shop in the south of the Netherlands, and over the years I had helped Ibuildings grow into a 110+ people PHP service company with 5 offices in 3 countries. Very proud of what Ibuildings had become and my own role in the company, I had a growing feeling of 'what next?'.

In my enterprise PHP book I mentioned 5 major goals I wanted to accomplish in life: one of them is to found and build a company of my own. And although Ibuildings has always felt a bit mine, that's not the same. So I slowly started thinking about starting from scratch and building a new awesome company. Over the course of the next few months I searched for reasons to leave and reasons to stay, but eventually I knew that in my heart I had already made the decision in March, and all I was doing was finding reasons to validate that choice. There's a saying that in the end, you'll only regret the things you DIDN'T do, so finally I made the decision to go for it.

What am I going to do? I'm going to found Egeniq, a company centered around a number of mobile products, concepts and related services. Over the course of the next few weeks it will become more clear what exactly we will be doing, but in short it's doing cool stuff with iphones, ipads and android devices (and whatever device makes sense). I've found partners in crime: Bas is going to look after the commercial side of the business, and I'm going to look after the technical side together with a person that I've known and trusted for years (but it will take a couple more weeks before this person's able to announce it).

So far I've been a member of the PHP community; will this change when I am working with mobile devices? No, on the contrary! I'm both proud and happy to be part of this community, and you can bet that the products we will be developing will have loads of PHP in them (for backends, apis, webservices and the occasional web frontend). I'm still speaking at Zendcon in November, have a new book coming out soon and I hope that Egeniq will be able to contribute to a couple of open source projects.

I'm very thrilled to finally have this out in the open. I have very supportive friends and family, but I'm still both excited and scared at the same time; I'm giving up a great career for a lot of unknowns, and this may very well be one of the most important decisions I've made in my life so far. So any words of wisdom, encouragement or just plain 'you are stupid for doing this' feedback is more than welcome!

And to start plugging my new company right away: send all your ideas, project requests and CVs to ivo at egeniq dot com.

I will be with Ibuildings until the end of September, mainly to hand over my responsibilities and make sure that we part ways smoothly. My job at Ibuildings has been amazing and I'd like to thank everybody I worked with, every client I worked for and everybody at Ibuildings for a great time. This is not the end, it's a new beginning. A beginning I'm very much looking forward to!