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Dot-Com Implosion Survival

I knew something was up when they announced on Friday that there was a manditory all hands meeting at 10am on Monday morning.

When they announced at the meeting that the project that I've worked on for a year and a half was cancelled, I was annoyed but not surprised. This sort of thing happens frequently in the software industry.

When they announced that they were laying off 30% of the company's employees, I was also not terribly surprised. Times are hard for small tech companies at the moment. I was assured, however, that I, myself was not laid off. They told me to come back in the morning to attend a manditory 9am meeting.

When I came in this morning for that meeting... That's when the doozy hit. Yes, they had laid off 30% of the company... But one-third of that was engineers from my group. We lost 70% of the engineers in our office. Over half my friends here are gone. We also lost the last of the founders and prime visionaries of the company, who was also a friend of mine. He disagreed with our new CEO too much, I guess.

I joined my company as its 8th employee. We shared a floor of a business cluster with several other tiny start-up companies. We grew too big for the cluster finally, when we needed two elevator-loads to take everyone to lunch. So we moved to a bigger building. Then a bigger one still. We grew to 90+ people.

Of those two-elevator loads of people I worked with at the old cluster -- some eighteen people -- five of us remain. And somehow, I'm suddenly the most senior remaining employee in the entire company. Our founders are gone. The original engineers are gone. The vision is gone. Everyone hired before me is gone.

Between the four of us remaining engineers, we've agreed more or less that the old company is now officially Dead. Which is fitting I guess, as our new CEO is having us rename the company anyways. We engineers agree that we're effectively employees of a completely different company, now.

Le roi est mort.
Vive le roi. I think.