Motricity Leaning Heavily On InfoSpace Acquisition; Laying Off 250 And Moving To Bellevue

49 Comments

Motricity has confirmed its much anticipated layoffs, putting the official number at 250. The elimination of more than one third of its workforce will occur over the next nine months, with all affected workers getting an unspecified severance. Previous guesses had pegged the number at about 200 of its 600-person workforce. Also, as rumored, the Durham, NC-based company, which is taking these steps following the acquisition of InfoSpace (NSDQ: INSP) Mobile last year, has also decided to relocate its headquarters to InfoSpace’s Bellevue offices to be closer to customers. Release.

Based on the details of the announcements, it appears Motricity is leaning heavily on the InfoSpace acquisition for people, technology and location:

The technology: Motricity will migrate customers from its own Fuel platform to InfoSpace’s mCore platform for Portal, Storefront, Search, Messaging and Managed Web products, although some elements from Fuel will be integrated into mCore.

The headquarters: The company will consolidate office locations, moving the headquarters location from Durham to Bellevue, “which is in close proximity to some of Motricity

49 Comments

Out of Fuel

You know what? One thing I won't miss is working with the ATG platform. What a steaming pile of write-lock-happy, unwieldy garbage. Good f*ing riddance.

Ah, _now_ I feel better :)

To Wuerchless

Agree with some of what you said, except about rationalizing going with an inferior product. Motricity's portal has always been far behind INSP's. Can't speak to mcore or whatever, but they' made the right decision on Fuel – fundamentally broken, particularly the cms and being built on atg makes it extremely expensive to deploy and impossible to merchandise and manage in-life. Taking the goldpocket stuff along as-is makes a ton of sense and is the only product asset that belongs in the new portfolio.

ActionJoe

Man, there are some names I haven't seen in here since forever ago.

It'll always be Pinpoint to me. Up until the end, it was simply the best work environment I'd ever been in. That's not saying it was perfect, but I sure as hell have some great memories from this company. Ah, "Fight Club."

Let's not bring up San Francisco, however; that's still embarrassing.

Good luck in your future ventures, guys. Brockman, are you going to finally get to go to college? I'll be hitting the channel tomorrow to find out what you're up to next.

WhatTheBleep

Durham office is closing? That's not we're being told internally. What's the true story here. The press release states "the company is consolidating office locations" but NBC news is saying that the 100 or so employees left in Durham after the layoffs will move to another office. Why doesn't someone give us a straight answer. Some of us do not want to move to Bellvue so if that's the end game Motricity should let us know now.

Also I don't think they're giving all the pink slips out this week. Some will be given at a later date but no one knows who will get them. How do they expect people to continue working when we're uncertain about where we'll be working and whether or not we'll get the pink slip later. If you're part of the news media you should be calling Motricity on this.

Seems like the press is unaware of what is actually going on.

Wuerchless

Lets see…Today the arrogance and disrespect of Lord Elf displayed to the employess of Motricity was amazing his "strategic rationalization" on how he decided to go with a inferior product was blatantly disrespectful to every employee in the building. Then to have Wuerchless hiding in the pantry when the slide of the "elimination of 250 Durham employee" jobs was shown. He is a coward and a liar! I guess now the company will either buy him out of his ghastly house or forgive his loan while others lose their jobs!! Way to look out for your employees Wuerchless!!! I guess Nathan and Ryan will move to Seattle with their Miss America's in tow.

MotriciteGirl

To all those geting laid off, I'm sorry. To those who got out early, congrats.

Motricity was way oversold from the beginning. As much as the Nobility Group was a pyramid scheme, so was motricity. All of us got caught in the scheme, hoping to achieve the "googleness" of mobile, and make some money. We brought in more people to work at motricity by playing up the hype and the culture, something that never really existed. We left, and the people we brought in got more people to come and work at Motrcity. Take a pay cut, leave your decent paying job, work long hours, and move across the country? For what, a bunch of gay pageant guy groupies who wear ugly suits and shirts?

Now it's up to the new president who effectively is running the show (one would hope). Hopefully he'll get the IPO going, I'd like to recoup the cost of my options I stupidly bought. How long will Ryan and the oklahoma coterie last in seatle? Probably not long, one would think.

Looking for great talent

I know this is not a good situation for many of you, but I hope this affords you the opportunity to explore new ventures. We're recruiting– funded, growing, solid team and you can stay local. Looking for highly motivated and talented team members with knowledge of large content publishers and advertising operations. Email us at rtp.techco@gmail.com. Your confidentiality will be respected.

Slaughter

Kenny,

Bali Hai is still running strong, I go at least once a week.

Also, maybe you can resurrect PalmGear.com…I'm sure you could get the rights to PocketGear.com from the Mo at a very good price since they are just going to close the doors most likely.

At the Zoo

Amongst all the chaos and late night rolls came a camaraderie with some other folks that I've not seen anywhere else in my career. The days in 2810 were special because of the amount of work a dedicated team did together (whatever it took for each other) and due to the many long-term friendships that were made there in just a few months – more than in my much longer tenures elsewhere, where we didn't have access to squid for lunch. Even the "bosses" were excellent.

To my good friends there who'll need to start a search soon, the best of luck, and the gra$$ IS indeed greener out there. Just choose Wisely.

Kenny West

Hey Bender, Slaughter, et al…

While I did not work, except on rare occasions, with the non D2C folks, I really miss the camaraderie and the Friday lunches at the Mongolian restaurant!

Sad for me on a personal level, having founded PalmGear, to see it folded into PocketGear (unifying the D2C brands made sense though the deployment left much to be desired IMHO, not I might add the fault of the engineers in all likelihood) and now being sold off as dead weight. :(

ThePhwner

Agreed, the time for the blame game is over. Its nice to know how this will all unfold.

To second "Out of Fuel," I met and worked with some of the most amazing, committed, intelligent folks I've ever known, and that's something you certainly don't find at every job. Motricity provided a great environment for fostering new ideas and creativity, and whether or not they all made it "live," the knowledge, skills, and experiences gained here will serve me well for a lifetime.

It certainly saddens me to know that Durham's doors are closing, but I've got no bitterness with the Mo'. Props to the Durham team on getting us this far, and best of luck in your next endeavors.

Motricity is Out of Fuel

I now know my fate, and frankly it's a relief . I've known that this was one of a few possible ends for at least a year. Frankly, I'm surprised that the ride lasted this long.

I have a lot of very fond memories of my time spent at Motricity, and the people I met there. I don't regret a minute of it. I came out of it a better person, wiser and more skilled.

It's been a real pleasure, folks. Let's close the books on this one, and start up another ;)

Bye Bye Motricity

I feel for everyone affected by this news…especially those people that moved to RTP to work for Motricity. No matter how you slice it, this is a huge detriment to the RTP area.

You can blame many people, but one should always look at leadership (or lack thereof) when assessing responsibility. Even though I have no affiliation with Motricity, it is clear that Ryan Wuerch shares most of the blame…although he would never admit that.

The only good from this debacle is the millions of $$$ poured into the local economy over the last several years.

Good luck to everyone!

"I told you so"

Where are all the nay sayers now? Again, Motricity was and is for the VC's. It was a good ride. Those who were wiser and didn't buy into the "kool-aid" left in the past 15 months. Be sure to look up the Motricity alumni in Linked-In for real placement services.

Benders

It's all over but the cryin'. I this qualifies as total capitulation on the Durham side.

Since I let last weeks thread go, I figured I should drop a note in this time just to be "friendly". Tonight I'll bust out the Blue Label (yep I've still got that bottle) and toast all the other old soldiers.

Here's to Taylor and Jud, who gave us five years of employment right through the middle of the first dot-com crash, with lots of fun along the way. And grudingly to Ryan's hair, which paid the bills for some great toys (although the Cingular launch nearly did kill me). And to those still on board, I can assure you, the grass really IS greener out here.

Shlomoe

I learned a lot at Motricity, and do not regret working there. The techies I worked with were great, and because of them my career has gone in a great direction.

I only wish the company focused more on a Core platform instead of practically rewriting Fuel to fit each customer's needs. It seemed that short term gains were always put above long term goals which resulted in bloated teams, unrealistic development schedules, long hours, and a higher burn rate. It's a shame.

I wish everyone at Motricity the best of luck in all their future endeavors. If there's anything I can do to help you guys out, please let me know. You know where to find me.

Slaughter

I saw the DTC thing crashing a long time ago because no one in the company really cared about the business and it was often treated as the red headed step child.

As the ex CS Manager I can say that I fought battles everyday with different people within the company to get features which we desperately needed, but I was unable to get anywhere because the focus was always on the MNO side of things and it really took away from what little resources were available.

When I started at Motricity my team supported DTC only, but over time we took on support for MNE and MNO, which to me still baffles me considering my team had nothing to do with content or the delivery of content, but yet this was our job to support.

When I left the CS team was supporting all of DTC, AT&T;, Alltel, BellMo, MTV Mobile, BET Mobile, Sprint Game Lobby and all the Off Deck support. I know that I'm even missing more properties, but my team of 5 people kept things going to the best of our abilities.

Sure, DTC didn't make a ton of money, but at least it was making some money for the company. If the company would have simply dedicated some resources toward the vertical then it could possibly survive on it's own, but it looks like that day will never come.

For those of you looking for a good STABLE work environment, check out Duke. If any of you want to contact me then look me up on LinkedIn.com.

Take care,

Slaughter

RTP VC

For those impacted, I have startups looking for QA, dev and business/sales talent so shoot me a resume. triangle.vc@gmail.com

Sorry to see this happen to Motricity, glad we didn't invest though….

RTP VC

MovinBackToBellevue

To "mindlessgarbage", how "misinformed and not accurate" does last week's post seem today?

http://www.moconews.net/entry/419-motricity-may-slash-as-many-as-200-employees-may-move-to-bellevue-repor/#69671

The reverse acquisition by INSP solves a bunch of problems. The first thing they should do is move to Bellvue and rebrand the company.

Motricity has burned through much of the technical talent pool in RTP, and the company’s reputation precedes it for future recruiting. Seattle is rich in people skilled Internet/Web, mobile and ecommerce

From a product portfolio standpoint, Infospace’s portal product is light years ahead of the one Motricity has been starving. Migrating portal customers is kind of funny, particularly because some, like Alltel, fled INSP due to hating that company’s business practices. It also consolidates both sides of the AT&T;/Cingular house at one vendor (but for how long?)

Motricity’s commerce platform is fundamentally flawed, held together with not much more than chewing gum and baling wire. INSP’s has _got_ to be better, particularly from the standpoint of facilitating international expansion and back office operations for settlement

The job market in RTP will suddenly get much less tight with all the Motricity folks available, which is good for other employers. The only surprising thing is that it’s taken this long for the company to implode.

BenC

While it's unfortunate that this is happening, I actually feel sorry for Infospace. They're losing out on a ton of very talented individuals. It's been my pleasure to work with some of the brightest and most intelligent engineers while at Motricity. It's sad that it has to end like this, but I've definitely grown as a software developer and as a professional. I would not trade all of the blood, sweat, and tears for a cushy, boring job at twice the pay…well maybe twice the pay, but you get what I'm trying to say. It's challenges like this that grow a person and I'm looking at the impending layoffs as yet another hill to climb and obstacle to overcome. Ya'll should know how to reach me via linkedin.com.

Ken O'Berry

Hey gang, keep in touch thru LinkedIn and let me know if there's any way I can lend a hand.

Best,

Ken

don't believe the hype

What does this announcement and everything else we know about the issue tell us about the credibility of all the Triangle organizations that showered Motricity and its key players with awards and accolades?

Motricity seems to have had awfully rich compensation packages at the top levels as well as high discretionary luxury expenditures picked up by the company, whereas the usual startup deal is low current pay and somewhat downscale working conditions balanced by a high eventual payoff. Maybe the incentives were a little skewed here. (Why focus on future success if you're already getting paid?) You'd have expected VCs to have kept a little better eye on their moneys. I wonder what the top level severance packages will be. At least they got to stay in nice houses a couple of years and have personal tasks done on the VC dime. Maybe that's enough.

Best of luck to all those affected negatively.

jbark

Wow. I'm in disbelief. Working there was really tough but I feel like I'm a better person for it.

While I was there, we always felt as though we were 6 months away from the cusp of greatness / Googleness / profitability.

This may sound cheezy as hell, but my heart goes out to anyone affected by this since there are so many great people there that practically bled for the company giving up their free time and sanity to make it through a project or fire drill.

frank

This is a big shakeup for lots of employees. Who would like to share?

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