There was no single event, person or experience that swayed my decision — just a gradual realization that I’ve done what I wanted to do with EveryBlock and am hungry for the next thing. I’ve really enjoyed building the site, collaborating with talented people and breaking ground in several areas, from open data to mapping to local news — but I’ve realized lately that I don’t have the passion for it that I once did.
Msnbc.com bought EveryBlock in 2009; unlike most acquisitions, Holovaty writes, this one has worked.
Msnbc.com has been a fantastic company to work for. With EveryBlock, it’s managed to do something very rare: not only keeping it alive post-acquisition (which the acquired company cannot take for granted), but achieving the delicate balance of providing guidance/resources and keeping their hands off.
Holovaty lists four key accomplishments of the site, including launching the open data movement and spurring the creation of mapping platforms other than Google Maps.
“Very few people” have used EveryBlock code, which was was released to the public at the end of the Knight grant, to create similar sites, he writes. But “indirectly, a lot of prominent people derived a ton of value from the code, learned from it, and went on to create amazing things.” That includes Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom, who told him in an email, “I learned most of what I know about Django by reading the EveryBlock source code.”
Holovaty doesn’t know what’s next. “I do know two things: I’m staying in Chicago, and I’m ready, once more, to make something awesome.”
Earlier: EveryBlock names new president; founder Holovaty to focus on product side | Knight Foundation to Fund Plug-and-Play Version of EveryBlock | How EveryBlock Code is Being Used to Develop Location-Based Journalism | EveryBlock: One-Stop Shop for Local Info