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PERSONAL NEWS! Today is my last day at @Cloudflare. When I joined in 2016 I never thought I would be here for almost four years. I’m leaving with affection for more than a hundred friends who never would have been in my life without this company.
27 replies and sub-replies as of Jun 12 2020

The story started in 2014, when @adamfschwartz made the questionable decision to start a company with me. We had built OS projects which improved websites, but it was clear only the tiniest % of ppl who had a website were ever going to be able to ‘add a script tag to your site’.
We founded, and spent about a year building. This is what we had on day 11:
Eventually it became clear we needed to do marketing, so I got to write blog posts which went deep into topics which at least I found interesting!… Who can say whether that's a good way to market what we were building, but it was better to do what I love.
Telstar and Starfish Prime - Eager Blog
Telstar and Starfish Prime
We did a good job of relating to developers, but we didn’t get nearly close enough to the actual people who have websites. With only one side of the market figured out we needed ppl who really understood website owners, and had maybe the luckiest break in my life.
We were a team of four by then, with Teffen and Renan also working on Eager from Boston. After the acquisition we got to work, integrating Eager and Cloudflare with the help of new friends like Preston and John from the new Cloudflare Product Strategy team.
Product Strategy had been founded only a few months earlier to let Cloudflare build new and bold things, if you ever get a chance it’s a pretty amazing team to work on.
Integration wasn’t simple. Cloudflare had only a limited set of products, the billing system had never had to contend with a world like Apps where products are released every week, have many pricing tiers, and complex install/uninstall dynamics.
Allowing a user to preview before installing Cloudflare was also a big challenge, but something we really believed in and wanted to ship. After about six months, was live!
I had the unbelievable luck to be the engineering manager for this new team right as it was growing. This was the most exciting period of my career. If you ever get a chance to work on something you genuinely believe will change the world, I recommend it.
Working in engineering, I had never quite understood what product managers did. As I became more familiar I realized that caring about customers, sharing vision, and replacing confusion with clarity were three things I really cared about, perhaps even more than code.
I then got another incredible break, one which is rare without having to switch companies, I was offered the job as the Director of Product for that very same Product Strategy team.
Under Dane and with amazing PMs I had the privilege to see so many products move from idea to launch. It is such an incredible blast to have ten balls in the air, every product in its own phase and with its own unique problems, and then to get to see them face the world!
I also got to work closely with engineering teams who became some of my closest friends. Areg, Chung-Ting, so many people on the Storage team, and in the Austin office (where I eventually moved!) in general. Sweet, kind, brilliant, honest people.
I got one final incredible opportunity, to be the head of developer marketing. CF has so many valuable products like Load Balancing or Workers which would save developers so much time if only they knew about them. Getting to work with Jade, Connor, and Kas has been such an honor.
Along the way I got to give talks in front of hundreds of people, speak at a board meeting, hire and manage teams, write blog posts people read, visit customers everywhere from the Bay to Bangalore, and finally on my last few days appear on!
Cloudflare TV | Cloudflare
A 24x7 live stream video channel focused on general and technical topics related to building a better internet.
On my last day, entirely by coincidence, I got to meet with a new PM Intern, Jordan. I got to relive all of it for him. I also got to see what the next generation joining and building @Cloudflare looks like before I go. Yet again I am presented with an incredible privilege.
All I have to share is this overflowing well of love and gratitude for the past three years of my life and work. I don’t know how anyone can be so lucky. Thank you to everyone I worked with and learned from.
One thing I haven't done here is list all of the amazing people I've worked with. I have been able to connect with many of the ones who still work at CF over the last week. For others I'll hopefully be able to pass along my thanks and love soon!
Anything to share on what's next?
You rock Zack! Thank you for being awesome and for giving so much to so many. God speed and let's keep in sync, I'll "follow along", I am sure you'll do great things!
Good luck zack, cya around!
Including speaking & hosting @wasmsf! All the best on whatever is next!
Thanks for sharing this. Best of luck! :)
Good luck on whatever is next!