Jeff Atwood, the co-founder and CTO of Stack Exchange, a network of free, community-driven Q&A sites mostly about programming and gaming, and Stack Overflow, is stepping down from day-to-day operations at the beginning of next month.
Atwood writes on his Coding Horror blog that startup life was having too much of an effect on his family (Atwood has a son and twin daughters).
Startup life is hard on families. We just welcomed two new members into our family, and running as fast as you can isn’t sustainible (sic) for parents of multiple small children. The death of Steve Jobs, and his subsequent posthumous biography, highlighted the risks for a lot of folks.
You may have more discipline than I do. But for me, the mission is everything; I’m downright religious about it.
Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange have been wildly successful, but I finally realized that success at the cost of my children is not success. It is failure.
I concur with Instapaper creator Marco Arment, who says Atwood clearly has a healthy perspective on life, and others praising him for the decision, though maybe that’s because I became a first time father myself not too long ago.
You may also want to check out the Hacker News thread on the topic.
Stack Exchange has raised $18 million from Union Square Ventures, Index Ventures, Spark Capital and individual investors like Ron Conway, Naval Ravikant, Chris Dixon, Caterina Fake, Joshua Schachter and many more.
Commenting about the move some more on Twitter, Atwood says his decision to leave Stack Exchange’s day-to-day ops has also to do with his “personality and temperament”.
He adds: “Either I’m all the way in, or all the way out”.
Atwood blogs that he doesn’t know what’s next, though it seems he’s already pondering about it:
What’s next for me?
I honestly don’t know. I do know that I love the Internet, and I remain passionate as ever about making the Internet better – but right now I need to be with my family. In six months, perhaps I’ll be ready to choose another adventure.
Also check out our video interview of the other Stack Exchange co-founder, Joel Spolsky: (Founder Stories) Joel Spolsky On Startups: “Have A Co-Founder Otherwise You’ll Go Insane”