edd-standingToday I start a new job.  I’ll be part of the Easy Digital Downloads team; writing docs, teaching things, speaking at WordCamps, and anything else awesome I can think of.  I’m really really excited to be working with the team that’s there.

Why? (and what about HeroPress?)

More than one person has asked me if XWP fired me because HeroPress didn’t get funding from Kickstarter.  I’d like to be very clear and say that did NOT happen.  It’s true that HeroPress didn’t become my full time job, and it’s true that there was no longer a position for me at XWP, but it was in no way a punishment for failure.

The week after the HeroPress Kickstarter failed I spent most of a day on Skype with Dave, our founder, looking for a place for me inside the company.  I realized later that since he’s in Australia he stayed up all night with me.

We found several different options that kept me working until I could decide what I wanted to do.  XWP staff spent time on the clock helping to figure out what *I* wanted to do, whether it be within X-Company or not.  They really went over and above to help *me*, and I’ll be forever grateful.

You didn’t answer the question

The “why” is that my time with HeroPress opened my eyes to a wide range of jobs outside of coding that I could do, and many of them fascinated me.  I’ve always loved teaching, writing, and making contacts with people, and it became apparent that I was good at it, and might be able to make a living at it.

More than one company indicated that I should talk to them if HeroPress didn’t pan out, so that’s what I did.  Most of them weren’t looking for what I wanted to do, but even they spent time to help me figure things out.  WordPress has a good community around it.

Pippin’s been wanting someone to wrangle docs and communicate well for the company for a while now, so when he heard I was available and interested things just clicked.

Ok, but really, what about HeroPress?

When we were working full time on HeroPress there were two of us putting all our time and energy into it, and two others on contract putting a fair amount in as well.

When it became apparent we weren’t going to make a living from it, we all had to get back to work on other things.  The contractors went on their way, Dave went back to running X-Company, and I started coding again.

But I couldn’t let HeroPress go.  With the new direction of text instead of video it’s not nearly as expensive or time consuming.  So I just did it.

I’ve been doing it on my own time with my own direction since the Kickstarter ended.  I honestly don’t know where it’ll go.  I don’t know if it’ll ever support anyone financially in any way or not.  I just know it’s a good thing, and at this point I can afford to run it.

It might end tomorrow, a month from now, or never.  We’ll see what happens.


I mentioned it a bit above, but I wanted to be clear there’s no bad blood between XWP and me.  To the contrary, the team there quickly became like family to me.  They taught me so much, and supported me through some really hard times.

Last fall I did a post thanking each and every one of them, and I still mean every single word.

Here are some of the team from last spring:

Some of the XWP crew in Austin, Spring 2014


Thanks so much for everything gang, you changed my life.

9 thoughts on “Moving Forward

  1. I had no idea things were still changing up this much. Praying that they continue to work out for you. Looks like you found an exciting new direction!

  2. Topher, thanks so much for everything. You’ve been a great contributor to XWP and a great friend. I’ll always fondly remembered our startup chapter on HeroPress. While it may not have turned out as we imagined, it’s mission to expand the periphery will be one we will always champion. I can’t wait to see what you do at Easy Digital Downloads!

  3. Topher, you’re the best, man! It’s been great working together with you, getting to know you and learning from each other. You are a unique person with an amazing skillset. I’m so glad that you’ve found such an awesome guy to work for!

    We’ll be still be in touch, I’m sure.

  4. It’s been great having to work with you Topher . Although we’ve never had a chance to meet in person I knew you’re a nice person. I wish you all the best with your next adventures. /five

  5. Topher, my life and XWP journey has been enriched through the experience of getting to know you and working with you, and I am grateful for our time together. You have a kind, kind heart and such caring, giving and good nature, all validated when meeting you in person in Toronto. Your contributions to and participation in the XWP team culture, the way you represented the company in the community and at WordCamps are key parts of the legacy you leave behind.

    I wish you all the best in your new role – where you get to apply your superpowers full-time. Look forward to watching you thrive and do what you truly are passionate about from afar 🙂

  6. Topher, you’ve had such a positive influence on all of us on XWP, especially me. You truly have the X-Factor because your successes are obvious and you choose to see what see what some might call failure as merely a temporary obstacle. I know you will be no less than great in all you do! See you WordCamp 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *