Empty ICOM

posted by Jeff | Friday, January 28, 2011, 11:27 PM | comments: 0

George posted some photos of the space that used to be Insurance.com. Pretty sad thing to see. When we moved into that new building, it was kind of exciting because it felt like the startup was growing up. If I'm orienting myself correctly, the panoramic photo is the space that we, the programming folk, along with QA, project management, carrier account people and some managers occupied. Of course, it was less dense then, because I believe they later put the call center there, and patched up a wall to what used to be the call center so that space could be rented to someone else. I got laid-off in one of the offices in the middle.

I dedicated two and a half years of my professional life to that place. In some ways, it was very rewarding. The relative stability of it, in a time when my personal life was in a bit of a chaotic transition (divorce, dating, meeting my then-future wife), sure helped me out. I certainly increased my skill level while I was there. I also had a hard time finding my niche. It wasn't from a lack of trying though... it was more because the niches were already filled by people who had been with the company since its earliest days. Maybe that was even a weakness of the company, in retrospect. There were plenty of smart people, but I often felt they were focused on the wrong things. You can only speak up about that so many times before you feel like you're talking to yourself.

When the place was officially sold last year, essentially for its data, as best I can tell, it was the end of a decade of work for a lot of people. I honestly don't know many people my age who have worked anywhere that long, especially in technology. It just doesn't happen much. Most people didn't seem to be bitter about the end, but obviously disappointed.

The job market sucked when I got canned, and it really didn't get any better, despite relatively brief employment. The demise of ICOM has a lot to do with the reason I'm in Seattle now. The funny thing is that I think I've learned more from failed companies (Penton Media, Pfingsten Publishing, Insurance.com) than I have from... holy crap... I don't think I've really worked for any truly winning companies. Wow, that's kind of dark. I'm pretty sure that I work for a successful company now though.

Good times though, while they lasted. Lots of good memories.


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