This year provided entrepreneurs with plenty of opportunities to practice the craft of writing thoughtful companywide e-mails. Among them:
Jason Finger, CEO of SeamlessWeb, a food delivery service in New York City, on the demise of several major Wall Street customers: "[T]he past several months in the capital markets have been filled with significant volatility, culminating over the past 24 hours with the bankruptcy filing of Lehman Brothers and the shotgun sale of Merrill Lynch (NYSE:MER) (on the heels of the forced sale of Bear Stearns just a few months ago). [T]hough these companies were amongst our largest corporate clients, our business remains and is expected to remain extremely strong. Regardless of whether people are at work or away from work, they need to eat."
Nick Denton, founder of Gawker Media, a leading online publisher in New York City, on layoffs: "I have some bad news. Here's the heart of it: we are cutting 19 of our 133 editorial positions and suspending bonus payments at the start of next year'¦I could come up with some bullshit line about how much worse it would have been to wait until we were forced to control costs'¦I could give you my optimistic spin about the glorious future that awaits us on the far side of this downturn. But there is no escaping the fact that we're losing some excellent colleagues and the environment next year will be bleak. The one consolation is that there will be plenty of news for us to break -- starting with this email, which you are free to leak."
Stewart Butterfield, co-founder of the photo-sharing site Flickr, on his decisionto quit the company, which he sold to Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) in 2005: "I don't know what you and other executives have planned for this company, but I know that my ability to contribute has dwindled to near-nothing, and not entirely because of my advancing age. '¦So, please accept my resignation, effective July 12. And I don't need no fancy parties or gold watches'¦I will be spending more time with my family, tending to my small but growing alpaca herd and, of course, getting back to working with tin, my first love."