So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

May

14, 2014

by John Shedletsky


Archive

John-on-BLOXcastIf I could work on any project I wanted, I would be working on something very much like ROBLOX. That is what I remember saying to ROBLOX CEO David Baszucki during my job interview in June 2006. I was a newly minted Computer Science graduate from Stanford University, and I was shopping around looking to join a hot startup. Boy, I found one.

ROBLOX has experienced literally 1,000,000% growth since those early days and it has been a wild ride. That ride has now come to a partial end.

Recently I stopped working at ROBLOX full time in order to pursue my dream of starting my own company. It was a hard choice to make, because being at ROBLOX has been so much fun that it hasn’t really felt like work. This is partly because the people I have worked with at ROBLOX are insanely brilliant. It’s also partly because ROBLOX players themselves are so creative and inventive.

Sword Fight on the Heights, one of my earliest ROBLOX creations, is still played today.

Sword Fight on the Heights, one of my earliest ROBLOX creations, is still played today.

The best part of every day at ROBLOX has been logging in to see what new craziness has surfaced on the Games page. It’s extremely gratifying to see several million people embrace the tools that you have given them to innovate and make something that you yourself could have never imagined. I hope that everyone gets to experience this feeling at least once in their lives, because it is singular.

I am going to remain actively involved in the future of ROBLOX. I have regularly scheduled product meetings with our executive team. I have many more casual conversations with the engineers who are working on some great new features for you guys. I intend to stay active in the ROBLOX community. And, hey, maybe we’ll see a couple new ROBLOX games from me yet.

Keep on nukin' whales for me.

Keep on nukin’ whales for me.

Before I sign off, I want to give a special thanks to Dave Baszucki for being a great mentor to me these past eight years. I’ve probably learned more about running a business from him than I even realize at the moment. It’s knowledge that I believe will come in handy. I also want to thank ROBLOX co-founder Erik Cassel, who taught me the huge difference between the type of engineering one learns in academia and the type of engineering it takes to solve real world problems and get stuff done. He helped me bridge that gap.

If you want to keep in touch, the best way to do that is via Twitter, or the developer forums, if you have access to those. I will also be at the ROBLOX booth this Sunday at the Bay Area Maker Faire – drop by and say hi. Keep building, ROBLOXia.