Friday, May 8, 2020

Stack Overflow Layoffs

Prashanth Chandrasekar (via Hacker News):

Like companies large and small, we have had to make difficult choices in order to reflect the market conditions. This week, we reduced our global workforce by approximately 15%. Most of the affected employees were furloughed, except for employees and contractors in regions where furloughs were unfortunately not an option. These actions primarily affected sales and customer success teams within our Talent business, which is dependent on the hiring environment.


Despite the impact to our Talent business, we are seeing significant growth in our core SaaS business, Stack Overflow for Teams, and our Advertising business.

Talent is their product for helping tech companies to hire. The Web site that we use is not the main focus of the company.


The only certainty with Stack Exchange, is that it’s going to end up in the belly of one of just a few possible tech companies: Microsoft, Oracle, Google, Salesforce, etc.


Knowledge services are not great businesses, they’re almost entirely incompatible with the venture capital model. Those that take VC all eventually get force-liquidated, without exception. Stack Exchange is still pretending to be a knowledge service. As they took on more venture capital they pivoted to being primarily HotJobs 3.0. The only way they were going to avoid that outcome, is to 1) never take major venture capital 2) stay super thin operationally; they did neither, so they get liquidated, it’s only a question of time now.

The Internet will need to replace Stack Exchange with a new platform in the near future, as it’ll combo rot and most of the communities will be killed off after SE is sold. I’d advise someone/s out there to get started on replacing SE right now, as by the time you get a new platform up to speed (assume a few years), SE as it has been thought of over the prior decade will be on its last legs and the new platform will be in prime position to step in.

Stack Overflow is not open source, but all the content is Creative Commons.


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